Your wedding dress is a huge part of your special day. Use these tips to ensure that it stays looking its best even after you finish the ceremony.

Most wedding dresses are gorgeous, expensive, and impeccably crafted, so there’s no secret about why you would want to preserve yours. There are so many memories tied up in that dress, and it would be such a waste to toss it after the big day ends! We’ll go over some of the dos and don’ts of preserving your wedding dress so that it retains its beauty for you or whoever you may want to pass it down to.

DO: Use a Reputable Cleaning Service

Not every cleaning service knows how to handle something as delicate as a wedding dress. Your regular dry cleaner likely won’t cut it. Taking your dress to a reliable cleaning service as soon as possible is the first step toward preserving it for the long haul. A cleaning service with experience in cleaning wedding dresses will be your best bet.

DO: Store Away From Light, Heat, and Moisture

While you should put your dress in a garment bag, that alone won’t be enough to protect it. Light, heat, and moisture will be your worst enemies, so consider where you plan to store the dress. Your attic is far too prone to these things, so don’t rely on it to keep your dress safe.

DO: Use pH-Neutral Materials for Storage

You’ll also want to cover your dress in acid-free tissue and find a place that is neutral in terms of pH balance. Even an environment that is slightly acidic can erode the delicate fabrics of a wedding dress over time.

DON’T: Hang Up Your Gown Long-Term

Hanging your dress up is a bad idea. Normal clothes aren’t left alone for years at a time, but a wedding dress that you keep on a hanger will lose its shape and put pressure on the seams. If you want to keep your dress the same shape, leave it off the clothes hanger.

DON’T: Rely on Plastic Dress Covers

In the dos and don’ts of preserving your wedding dress, this one tip is arguably the most important. Many people believe that plastic dress covers are safe to use, but that’s a myth. They don’t allow for changes in humidity, which can lead to mold growth, and they can fade over time, dropping particles onto the dress and exposing it to harmful light that can discolor it.

DON’T: Leave Your Dress Near Other Clothes or Fabrics

Dyes and fabrics from other pieces of clothing can have an effect on your dress if left near one another for too long. This is because of the extremely delicate materials that make up most wedding dresses. Keep it separate from other clothes and fabrics using acid-free mediums, and it will be fine.

On top of preserving your wedding dress, you’ll want to have beautiful pictures of your special day. Joe Curry is a professional wedding photographer in New York who understands the trials ahead of you. He can take your special day and turn it into everlasting memories that you’ll cherish forever.