You found it! The wedding gown you’ve dreamed of wearing since you first read Cinderella! Your alterations have been done, and the sales clerk at the boutique hands you your dress, wrapped in tons of tissue paper and encased in a clear, plastic, zipped garment bag to keep it clean and fresh. But what about on your wedding day? How in the world are you supposed to keep that thing clean?!
Okay, the first thing to remember is not to panic. There are many precautions you can take so that you don’t smudge that fabulous dress while primping before and whooping it up during your big day.
When selecting flowers for your bouquet, ask your florist which ones have “color-intensive stamens” that can stain your gown. You can then make an informed choice and, should you choose flowers that do have color-intensive stamens, you can get the 4-1-1 on what types of products can take out a stain, should one occur. On the same note, make sure that your deodorant includes an antiperspirant so that your dress won’t absorb any moisture stains, which can turn your dress yellow.
2. Plan Well
When choosing your makeup, you might want to think about the many smudge-free brands of foundation, mascara, and even lip stains that are on the market. Most of those are guaranteed not to run or smudge off on your dress and hands. Look for products by Rimmel, Blinc, Bare Minerals, and Revlon – but be sure to try them on before your wedding day. Also, some foods containing ingredients like oil can loosen even the most stuck-on lipstick, so pretesting and experimenting are a must. (And it wouldn’t hurt to have your maid of honor or your mother carry lots of tissues for you, just in case.)
3. First Things First
On the day of your wedding, remember to get your hair, nails, and makeup done before putting on your gown because accidents can happen! Imagine the nightmare of spilling nail polish or foundation on that beautiful, white, delicate material. Shiver!! Even after you’ve had your makeover, stay dressed comfortably. If you can, make putting on your gown the last thing you do before heading to the altar.
Just before dressing, scrub your hands and ask whomever is helping you does the same. Most gowns will zip up the back, which will allow you to step into them; however, if your gown needs to be slipped on over your head, be sure to cover your head with a face mask or a pillowcase so that no makeup will transfer during the awkward maneuvering.
5. Best Foot Forward
When the time arrives to put on your gown, whether you’re standing on a wooden floor or carpeting, there is a good chance that dust or dirt is underfoot, so it may be wise to put a bed sheet on the floor before lowering your gown and stepping into it. Another good idea is to have your hosiery already on and your shoes positioned under the gown so that as you step into it, your feet will slip right into the shoes.
6. Cover Up
Before your big reveal, you may also want to consider wearing gloves until you are ready to step out the door. Also, wear a robe over your gown or lay a towel or sheet across your chest and lap so that last minute touch-ups to your face and hair (and anything you may eat or drink) won’t spill on your gown.
7. Practice Graceful Maneuvering
When it’s time to go, as you walk around in your gown, be sure to pick it up so that it doesn’t drag on the ground or stairs and soil the hem. Also, take care to avoid grease and dirt when getting in and out of the car. When changing direction, turn around rather than step backward so that you don’t step on your gown, as you could rip it or get the bottom dirty. Remember that some fabrics (like chiffon or tulle) tear easily, so be sure to allow plenty of room between you and other objects.
8. Forget About Privacy
Most women agree that the most difficult task to do in a wedding gown is go to the bathroom. In a big, voluminous gown, it’s almost impossible to do by yourself. One way to try is to get someone to help you grab the whole bottom half of the dress and hold it over your head, while you use your one free hand in the stall. If holding up the skirt is not possible, have someone with freshly washed hands help you step right out of your dress and hold it while you do your business, and then help you back into it when you are done.
Have safety pins, tape, tissues, tampons, and other such items on hand. If you find yourself in any unexpected or unusual circumstances, you will be glad to have them.
10. Get Smart
Know the fabric and how to care for your gown. According to the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, it is much easier to get rid of stains on artificial fibers than those on natural fibers such as silk. The association says, “Natural fibers are hollow and absorb the spill,” so cover your chest and lap with a thick napkin when eating at the reception. In case of emergency, cool water or club soda should get out small stains, and baking soda, talcum power, or corn starch may help to camouflage small spots.