Is Wedding Dress Preservation Worth It?

Wedding Dresses
Secret Wedding Gown

Photo: Getty Images

Brides now have plenty of options for what to do with their wedding gowns after they walk down the aisle: Donate it, sell it, "trash it," display it in the home, or even turn it into lingerie. One of the most timeless options, though, is to save your dress. It's the ultimate heirloom, after all.

But keeping your gown in pristine condition can be a challenge, even if you never ever touch it. Enter: Dress preservation services. Usually found at top-notch dry cleaners, as independent boutiques, or as a third-party service by your bridal shop or alterations specialist, dress preservation is the professional answer to making sure your beloved dress doesn't end up yellowed, moth-eaten, or ruined for no identifiable reason.

Here, we break down a few of the pros and cons of the wedding dress preservation process.

PRO: A preserved dress is typically stored in an airtight box where the oxygen has been sucked out and replaced with nitrogen. This prevents oxidation (aging, discoloration, etc.), which can happen to clothes that have been stored for several years.
CON: You can't open that box your dress is in. Ever. Not for "I still do!" photos, not to put it on for the heck of it...your prized possession is sealed until it's ready for a new bride or until you want to pay the price to have it re-sealed.

PRO: Dress preservation services are typically a seamless add-on to getting it cleaned, which in itself can run you $100-$200.
CON: Gown preservation typically costs several hundred dollars — as high as $500 (cleaning included).

See more: 4 Wedding Dress-Alteration Blunders (And How to Fix Them)

PRO: Your preserved dress is typically stored in a "museum-like" box in which there's a clear plastic (acid free, of course) window to see your dress. The showy box is often then placed in another heavy-duty box that's ready to be carried out and stored away.
CON: The boxes can be a little cheesy. You know how a Barbie looks when she's still in the plastic box? It's like that, but of a bust with your dress on it.

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