Cleaning Your Wedding Dress Between Events

Posted by on Oct 3, 2011 in General, Wedding Gown Care | 17 comments

Cleaning Your Wedding Dress Between Events

 If your wedding was like my daughter Robyn’s recent wedding, there were many opportunities to get your wedding gown very dirty: the wedding, photos, the reception, etc.  We also had a luncheon after the wedding featuring red italian pasta sauce – just daring my daughter to keep her gown clean.  But that was not all, we celebrated at two different receptions (one here in California and one in Virginia.)

After each event, my daughter’s dress definitely needed attention. Fortunately for her, my business is cleaning wedding dresses, so I handled everything from spot cleaning food spills, hemline cleaning after the first event, to a complete cleaning after the first reception and before the second reception. Wow, a lot of work for just one garment.

What about you?  I am dying to know how everyone else handles their wedding gown between events.

  • Did you take your dress to the cleaners between events?
  • Were you impeccably clean and careful so you made no messes?
  • Or did your Aunt Betsy jump in and touch up the messes?

Please tell us what kind of care your wedding dress received between events and I will send you an coupon for $25 off your wedding gown preservation.   I’m dying to know how you did it!


Robyn after wedding
Great photos by M Portraits
What a mess! Hemline after Virginia reception



  1. I was very careful all day with my dress, but in between our photo session and our reception, we made sure to re-do my bustle so that it would be extra secure for dancing, greeting guests, hugs from family, etc!

  2. my daughter tammy thought she was being careful,so far things were ok until she arrives at the reception and on the tail of train were sort of black from what have no idea,later that evening she discovered more stains. so we just put her dress away for we had no idea where to get it cleaned and then i discovered heritage and sent dress to be cleaned and perserved. the dress came back from them beautiful like it was new. thank you heritage!!!

  3. My bridal party and I woke up bright and early to start getting ready to take photos at several locations before we got to the ceremony site. By the time pictures were through, the bottom of my train had a lot of black dirt on it, simply from walking around outside. We tried to brush it off, but luckily it was only underneath and not noticeable during the ceremony. For the reception, my mother bustled the back for me and I danced the night away with my new husband!

  4. My reception was an outdoor reception, and even though I tried to be very careful and all of the area had been recently swept, my dress became tinted a light brown with dust toward the hem shortly after I arrived at the reception venue. One of my bridesmaids noticed what was happening and we bustled the dress soon after. The dust wasn’t too noticable, and it doesn’t show up in the pictures, but it makes me sad for my dress to be less than pristine, so I’m sending it to Heritage! So, I didn’t technically have different events on different days, but, if I had, I think I would have had my dress completely cleaned. I wouldn’t have wanted to step into a dress that had already been worn, and was a bit dirty around the hem or underarms.

  5. It was very hard to keep my dress clean with an outdoor ceremony at the state park. We took pre-ceremony pictures at our reception location – an amish historic farm! Needless to say, after we came in from pictures there were multiple flecks of mud caked on the outside of my all-lace dress! My future sister-in-laws scrubbed away on the hotel floor before we headed to the ceremony, and all looked well. However, after our outside ceremony, pictures in fields and by lakes, etc – and our reception in the barn and the historic farm – it really needs some help!

  6. We took outdoor pictures before the ceremony and had to do some scrubbing before we went because of caked on mud, not fun! We also did pictures afterwards outside in fields, and outside the historic barn where the reception was. You can only imagine what the underside of my poor train looks like!

  7. After the cermony we took a boat to our reception. I didn’t want to bustle my dress before pictures so I tried to hold it up as best as I could. We took pictures on a golf course and I think the bottom of my dress may have gotten a little dirty at that point. However, it got the most dirty when no one could remember how to bustle it and I spent the entire night dancing without it bustled. The bottom of my dress what basically mopping the floor.. 🙁 It makes me so sad to think of it!

  8. Did the first-look photos on an island in Hawaii, so my silk organza dress went through grass, sand, and the dance floor! Tried to keep it as clean as possible, but the bottom still has pieces of twigs and leaves in it. Unfortunately I was moving overseas right after the wedding, so I did not have the opportunity to get it properly cleaned.

  9. Before our wedding, I took a walk with my bridesmaids in front of the church. We were all in our formal dresses, and we tried to be very careful about keeping the dress off the dirty sidewalk. I did bustle up my dress during the reception as we made our way around the room meeting dear ones. After the wedding and reception, we went with our photographer and videographer to the botanical gardens to take more pictures. Again, we tried to be very careful with the dress being around Texas mud. 🙂 I think just being careful helped, but there were still several stains that the dry cleaners were able to get out. Now I want to preserve my dress using the Heritage Garment Preservation method.

  10. My husband and I had our wedding in Savannah, Georgia. Although it was a beautiful location, it made it very difficult to keep my dress clean with all walking around outside for hours worth of couple portraits! Fortunately, no major stains got on the dress as I was very careful during the reception, but my train is a bit dirty. After the portraits were completed, my bridesmaids bustled my dress, keeping it from getting any dirtier and allowing me and my guests to dance the night away with ease. Hopefully now Heritage will be able to remove the dirt and return my gown back to the state it was before the wedding!

  11. I was very careful with my dress for most of the ceremony, and I thankfully did not have any accidents. Also, our ceremony and reception was in the same location, in doors, so I didn’t have to walk around outside a lot. I have not gotten the dress cleaned yet, but hopefully there will not be any suprises when I turn it in to get cleaned!

  12. I served as a bridesmaid for my friend’s wedding this September. We had pictures before the service, then a reception outdoors. We tried really hard to keep her dress clean during pictures and the service, and succeeded. However… during the reception the hem of the dress got quite brown! We didn’t try to clean it at all because we knew it would just get dirty again and we all just wanted to enjoy the reception and celebrate. The cleaners took care of it though and she’s looking into gown preservation.

  13. After having an outside golf course wedding you can imagine how my hem looks like…. I did bustle my dress to help the hem but I love to show the beauty of my train… Now I’m looking for a place to get my dress clean before my next reception in Dec 2012…. these time will be at the beach in Puerto Rico…. Hopefully with the Heritage Garment Preservation I should be able to wear my dress again as new!!!!

  14. I made sure to have a touch up pen just in case, and drank only white wine and water–no colored drinks for me! Besides that though, I made a decision to just not worry about it. It was an outdoor wedding and I had a long train that was beautiful, and if the underside got a little dirty by the end, so be it. I didn’t want stressing over the gown to distract from my day–that’s why there are gown cleaners!

  15. I tried to keep my dress clean on my wedding day, but it wasn’t so easy! For the ceremony I had a runner and during picture taking in the park and on the beach I had help holding my dress and train up off the ground while walking around. The reception and dance floor is what really took a toll on my dress. I also kept a touch up pen handy just in case I spilled anything on my dress, which luckily I didn’t! 🙂

  16. I had an outdoor wedding therefore my dress train and the bottom was going through the grass and whatever other elements that it was being exposed to at the time. I have not had it cleaned yet but I am seriously considering having heritage clean and perform the museum preservation method. It is the best one I have found in researching and sounds to be a great way to keep my dress beautiful!

  17. my sister had a traditional Chinese wedding last year and i am the bridemaid, I keep her company all the time , did a lot work as the photo session , horse riding activity, the traditional ceremony… her wedding dress is in red colour, so not so easy to get dirty , but still took some time to clean the hemline~

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