So the great wedding planning that you did and the lovely gown that you meticulously designed, fussed and tried half a dozen times finally paid off quite beautifully. But now the wedding is all over and marital life begins. The question that immediately comes to mind after the wedding when you spot your precious dress is – what should you be doing with your prized possession – your wedding gown? It was the most priceless attire you ever wore and in all probability you ever will. It is the most important because you took a lot of interest in what goes into your gown. Every detail, every lace, every twist and every turn needed to be perfect to you. Besides, you or possibly your Goan bridegroom spent a chunk of his wedding budget in pursuit of that perfect wedding gown for you. Naturally , you have a great sentiment attached to it and it probably makes sense to care for it after the big day. Remember you are not going to wear it ever again for sure. Yet you are still in a dilemma as to what to do with this white elephant. Here is some help for you and some ideas of how to go about it.
- Sell your gown
This can be a drastic step for many brides and is definitely not the recipe for the ones who have untold sentiment attached to their wedding gown. This option is for all those brides who bear no such attachment to their gown and practicality overshadows sentiments for them. It is one of the most sensible and ideal way to’ dispose’ off your gown instead of using up the space in your wardrobe. Special dry cleaners are available in Goa to dry clean your gown and it could fetch you a good price. There are a couple of agencies in Goa and also in Mumbai who may be interested in used gowns. They simply buy and rent these gowns to prospective brides. For you it makes perfect sense even if you get little money for it.
- Donate your gown
For some this may be a little more difficult than outright selling. For some others it may be a much easier option than sell their precious gown with the knowledge that many could be using it. The idea to donate emerges from the thought that everyone may not have the wedding budget that you had and still may be looking for a tasteful bridal gown where you could provide the charitable answer. The gratitude is your reward in this case and you will have the satisfaction that your gown was put to good use after all.
- Keep your gown for sentiments sake
If you are intending to keep your gown, you must know that it needs to be cleaned before storing it. Normally every wedding gown would have the hemlines stained with perspiration and for a wedding reception you can expect some other stains too. Your lovely overexcited bridegroom may have spilled the champagne on you while exchanging glasses during the cutting of the cake or aunt bertha may have spilled the wine in excitement of cheering you. Regardless of what the reason may be it is better to have your dress cleaned as soon as possible. Stains on sparkling whites are known to set permanently over time and wedding gowns are no different. However those stains are more likely to erase if they are taken care of immediately on the next day. There can also be stains which may be not visible to the naked eye. Stains of body oil, clear liquids and perfumes are stealthy enough to hide and oxidize later to cause brown spots over your wedding gown.
Once you have your gown cleaned there are a few storage options to choose from.
(i) Hanging your gown in the wardrobe : when yo9u choose this option it is important to hang your gown in a muslin bag so that the fabric can get enough aeration. Never store your gown in anything plastic, even if it is the best plastic garment bag or brand you believe in. Nor should it be in any plastic bin or container. The bridal shops may provide you with some great looking easy feel plastic bags that you might be tempted to pack off your wedding gown, but don’t. With the passage of time, plastics are known to emit harmful gases which can yellow your dress
A drawback of hanging a gown is that it can stretch over a period of time especially if it has a long trail or if it is heavy. It is advisable to use the dress straps , if they are, for hanging. However the scope for distortions is till there. Also make sure your wedding gown is not bustled. A wedding dress bustled for a long time can easily cause creases in your trail
(ii) Storing the gown in a preservation box: When you choose a box make sure you also choose tissue paper both of which should be acid-free to prevent any yellowing of the gown> if the preservation box has a window you may need to verify whether that plastic emits gases
Whatever option that you may choose to store your gown it is important that the area that you choose to store is dry and a temperature controlled area of your home. Basement and attics are the worst places in a Goan home and you can presume your gown to be soiled automatically. The bedrooms reserved for guests may be an ideal place for you to store them. It is important for you to inspect the gown every year or so. For who knows if it remains sparkling white your daughter or granddaughter might find it useful one day
4. Maintain your gown for the christening or communion day
- If you can store the gown for a year or two depending upon the arrival of your first child and if you don’t retain an over charged sentiment for your gown and if whatever sentiment you have turns into a practical sense over time, by the turn of events when your child is born you could use the gown material to design the christening dress for your child. In fact you could have an elaborate set up with a cradle and some décor over it, all made with the wedding gown material.
If it is a girl child, the wedding gown could also be useful a good 8 years later for her communion day as well and you could come up with a smart dress for her on the communion day with your wedding gown material
On a lighter note, the following picture seems all so amusing to me. Neves, a good photographer friend of mine and the owner of “Cressida video and photography” clicked this picture while on his usual jogging rounds to the Majorda Beach in south Goa. This may be just another way to get rid of your wedding gown. Bury it at sea. But this one simply refused to go and washed ashore.
On a more serious note, after reading this article hope your post wedding gown blues get washed away and you earnestly focus on your marriage to achieve the bliss that you so fervently desired.