Post-Wedding Decision: Bridal Gown Preservation

To preserve or not to preserve—have you and your daughter had this discussion yet, Mother of the Bride? The answer will depend on whether or not your daughter wants to keep the gown in good condition for possible use by her future daughter or for another relative or friend. And it will also depend on which expert’s advice you listen to. I found two vastly different viewpoints.

First let’s look at what The Knot has to say. They offer some great advice in an article called Preserve Your Wedding Dress. Be sure to read the entire piece for all the details you’ll need to know, but I’ll give you a snapshot look in this post.

Here are a few of the highlights:

*Cleaning the gown is the most important part of the preservation process. All stains—even hidden ones like sugar—must be removed.

*Have the gown cleaned while the stains are fresh. It can wait until after the honeymoon if need be but don’t wait much longer.

*After cleaning the gown, a reputable specialist will wrap it in acid-free tissue paper or muslin and place it in a museum quality archival box. All storage materials should be clean and completely acid-free.

*Get referrals for a preservation specialist. Many dry cleaners claim to clean wedding gowns, but they are not specialists. If you go with a dry cleaner, they should process at least 100 gowns a year. (By the way, that number seems pretty high to me.) Try to find a professional gown preservationist with a good track record.

*Will the preservationist company guarantee their work? How will they reimburse you if you discover damage after a number of years? Will they reimburse only for the cost of the preservation or for the gown itself?

*If you open the box and handle the gown, be sure to wash your hands first or wear clean white gloves.

*Beware of those who quote a price before seeing the gown. Different gowns will require different treatment depending on the fabric and type of stains, etc.

*Expect to pay $250-$700, maybe even up to $1000 in metropolitan areas.

The authors of Bridal BargainsDenise and Alan Fields, express a different view of gown preservation. Again, I will give only a snapshot of what they say in the book. I recommend reading the entire section on gown preservation to get a thorough look at the authors’ findings and conclusions.

The Fields reference one horror story in particular and offer a statistic from the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops regarding preserved gowns that are brought in to be sold. They stated that 80% of the gowns are found to be dirty. They go on to call the gown-preservation-box scheme a rip-off and then recommend that brides don’t do it.

The authors suggest cleaning and preserving the gown yourself or selling it as soon as possible after the wedding. They claim that most wedding gowns can be washed and offer a few how-to tips and also recommend storing it in an acid-free box. They say it can be wrapped in a clean white cotton sheet and stuffed with acid-free tissue paper if desired.

For those who don’t want to try to clean their own gowns (that would be me!), the Fields do give some advice on using a dry cleaner. They also go on to recommend two companies for gown preservation, even though they first advised against it. Of note, when I compared my copy of Bridal Bargains, the 7th edition put out in 2005, to my friend’s copy of the latest edition (11th) put out in 2013, I noticed the information on gown preservation had only been changed slightly. It makes me wonder if the 80% statistic given is still accurate. I also felt like they could have used updated examples.

I know it’s confusing to hear two different recommendations by those who specialize in all things wedding, but I hope this helps in some way, MOB, as you and your daughter decide what to do about the gown. Remember to examine the more in-depth info found in the article from The Knot and in the book Bridal Bargains itself. Good luck!

*If you have any info or insight or personal experience to add, please share in the comments. Everyone reading is all ears, I’m sure!

*You might also like to read Wedding Planning Tip: Post-Wedding Inventory.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Photo by Will Flowers

Simple Wedding Attire Expense Tip

Mother of the Bride, on your MOB journey, you’ll constantly be making decisions about how much to spend on different aspects of your daughter’s big day—wedding attire included.

Questions like is it okay to spend a little more than I wanted to for this pair of shoes and should we go with the less expensive veil will pop up on a regular basis—and sometimes even play havoc with a good night’s rest. That’s understandable. Like any good mother of the bride, you’re always looking for ways to trim wedding expenses.

Here’s one simple guideline to use as you decide when it’s okay to spend a little more for one wedding attire: If it’s an item you or the bride (or someone else in the wedding party) will keep wearing for a long time, go ahead and buy the more expensive option if you’d like. A better quality product will more than pay for itself if you’re able to get several years’ use out of it.

Shoes? If you’ll wear them for a long time, by all means get the better ones. The veil? Unless you have other daughters that might use it, that’s pretty much a one-day use. You can find gorgeous options at reasonable prices.

Apply the how long will we wear it guideline with each attire purchase decision, MOB, and your decision-making agony will be cut in half. I can’t promise a good night’s rest, though—too many other things can interfere with that!

*You might also like to read Getting the Most Bang for Your MOB BuckBudget Agreement with the Father of the BrideSavings Tip for Bridal and Bridesmaids Bouquets, and Wedding Savings Tip: Borrow!

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Flickr photo by AMagill; Creative Commons License

9 Quotes to Encourage and Help You on Your Mother of the Bride Journey

Are you in need of a little encouragement or a few words of wisdom today on your Mother of the Bride journey? If so, don’t feel down on yourself. Every mother of the bride goes through moments like that. And never fear, I can help you.

Below you’ll find a few quotes I’ve compiled with you in mind, with hopes of refreshing your spirit or giving some practical help. A verse in the Bible says, “. . . how good is a timely word!” (Proverbs 15:23 NIV) And I wholeheartedly agree. May the following words be timely and prove to be good for you today!

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“Laughter is an instant vacation.” Milton Berle

“Take the gift of this moment and make something beautiful of it. Few worthwhile experiences just happen; memories are made on purpose.” Gloria Gaither

“God is, and all is well.” John Greenleaf Whittier

“Attention to detail is the secret of success in every sphere of life . . .” Hugh Black

“Joy is the best makeup.” Anne Lamott in Grace Eventually

“Let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” Henry Ward Beecher

“To be prepared is half the victory.” Miguel de Cervantes

“When your dreams for a particular event seem to be slipping away, don’t despair. An unexpected joy may be waiting in the wings.” Cheryl Barker in Mother of the Bride

I hope these made a difference for you today, MOB. Be blessed!

p.s. That last quote is from my book Mother of the Bride: Refreshment and Wisdom for the Mother of the Bride. Hope you’ll grab a copy for yourself on Amazon or contact me for a personalized, author-signed copy!

*You might also like to read Wisdom and Encouragement for the Mother of the Bride, You Are Appreciated, Mother of the Bride!, and Mother of the Bride: 9 Easy Ways to Pamper Yourself.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*My photo

Trust In Him: A Poem to Encourage You

Poetry, like music, can minister to weary or hurting hearts and it’s a real privilege to be able to write a poem that ministers to someone going through a heartbreaking or agonizing time. I’m always thankful to be able to offer a bit of comfort in this way.

I wrote the first variation of the poem below for some friends many years ago. It flowed from my own experience of a dark and difficult time. I pray that it will encourage and strengthen someone in a special way today and remind all of us that we can always “Trust in Him.”

Trust In Him

When times of crisis come your way
You know you can trust in him,
When the burden is more
Than you can bear,
Continue to trust in him.
When you don’t understand
All that is happening to you,
You know he does—
Trust in him.
When you feel like the joy
Has gone out of your life,
He still wants you to trust in him.
And when you finally feel
Like God has forgotten you,
He’ll show you he hasn’t—
Trust in him.
Then one day
When you look back on this time,
You’ll be glad you trusted in him.

“Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:4 NIV

*When have you looked back and been glad that you trusted in God?

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*I hope this slightly revised post from March 2011 blessed you today!

*My photo

Wedding Planning Help During July Blogging Break

Mother of the Bride, I’m taking a blogging break during July but never fear—I will not leave you without some help. Below you’ll find a variety of ideas and links to help you with you and your sweet girl’s wedding planning while I allow myself a little blogging vacation.

So here you go—hope you find tons of ideas that will really help!

Four Resources Especially For You

  1. Look through the list of Favorite Posts on the sidebar and click the links to the ones that spark your interest. (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find the sidebar items.)
  2. Use the drop-down feature in the Archives to spot some posts that might be especially helpful to you at this stage in your Mother of the Bride journey. You’ll find the Archives on the sidebar too so use the directions above to find it if you’re on a mobile device.
  3. Check out my Pinterest page. Among other things, it features eighteen wedding-related boards!
  4. Read my book Mother of the Bride: Refreshment and Wisdom for the Mother of the Bride. Allow me to be your friend for the journey!

Most-Clicked-On Mother of the Bride Blog Posts:

Introducing the Mother of the Bride Blog! 

Where to Find Your Mother of the Bride Dress

A Prayer for the Bridesmaids’ Luncheon 

Wisdom and Encouragement for the Mother of the Bride 

Savings Tip for Bridal and Bridemaids Bouquets

Wedding Thoughts from Anne Lamott’s Plan B

Mothers of the Bride Need Prayer 

Groom’s Cake Idea: Law Books (or any other books!) 

Wedding Resource: Prayers for the Mother of the Bride

Gift Idea: Prayers for the Mother of the Groom

A Prayer for the Newlyweds

*You might also like to read Bridal Bouquet RoundupWedding Cake RoundupWedding Registry Roundup, and Wedding Photo Ideas Roundup That Star the Groom.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early August. One lucky subscriber will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.) p.s. If you sign up after 7-26, you will be included in all future Life Notes giveaways but not in this current giveaway.

*Flickr photo by smcgee, Creative Commons License