Today’s advice post is one all brides are going to want to read and even share with their bridesmaids! Learn everything you need to know about how to properly hang formal gowns, including your wedding dress and bridesmaid dress, so they don't get ruined or wrinkled as you store them leading up to your wedding or special event.
How to hang your wedding dress or what to do with it after you pick it up from your wedding dress shop is probably a topic that you haven’t thought much about while wedding planning, but is one that is important. As a bride, you are investing much time and money in your wedding dress and you want to ensure that you take proper care of it leading up to the big day and that includes proper storage so your dress does not get messed up, or wrinkled, or damaged before the wedding day.
We're sharing this important advice to help you look your best on your wedding day. As a bonus, our advice on how to hang your wedding dress before your wedding is also going to be helpful tips for storing your dress after your wedding day as well.
The way your wedding dress is being hung up or stored can really affect and damage your wedding dress and we would hate for any bride to not realize this until they unzip their gown on their wedding morning. The way you store your wedding gown will vary slightly depending on what style or silhouette wedding dress you have selected. As we mentioned, be sure to share this advice with your bridal party, bridesmaids, and anyone else in your wedding wearing a formal style gown.
We are here to give you all the tips you need to properly hang and store your wedding dress or bridesmaid dress leading up to the wedding day, and even after the wedding.
VIDEO: How To Properly Hang a Wedding Dress, Bridesmaid Dress & Formal Gowns
Before we dive into this week's advice on how to properly care for your wedding gown, be sure to watch this week's advice video for all the tips you need to know to properly hang your wedding dress, bridesmaid dress and formal gowns.
Be Mindful Of Straps
The first important thing to consider when storing your wedding dress leading up to the wedding day or after the wedding is to be sure you are properly hanging your gown. Regardless of your wedding dress style, you are going to want to ensure that you are properly hanging your wedding dress for storage before the big day - especially because it could be hanging in a closet for a couple of weeks or even a few months before the wedding.
If you have a strapless wedding dress, you are probably wondering how you will hang your dress. Many wedding dresses, but especially strapless style bridal gowns, will have inner straps that are attached to the bodice area of your wedding gown, likely somewhere in the underarms area. These inner straps are what you want to use to hang your wedding dress.
You always want to avoid hanging your bridal dress from the actual straps that you wear over your shoulders as it will actually start to stretch out your straps or sleeves because wedding dresses are typically very heavy pieces of clothing.
If your wedding dress has sleeves or straps, then you likely had them adjusted to best fit your body during the alterations process. If you don’t use the inner straps to hang your wedding dress, then you will undo all the work you had done during alterations and your straps or sleeves may not properly fit you on your wedding day.
Inner Strap Removal
Another thing that you want to consider when it comes to properly hanging your wedding dress is perhaps your wedding dress is a little transparent on the top or the inner strap is a darker color or has writing on it. This is very common and that might show through the side of your wedding dress, so you’ll definitely want to cut those inner straps off for your wedding day.
If you cut off the inner straps, make sure to save them because when it’s time to hang the dress back up after the wedding, you are not going to have those inner straps there. We recommend to our brides to save the inner straps and get some really strong safety pins so you are able to safely pin the straps back to the armpit area on the side seams of your gown. Then you are able to hang your dress back up properly.
If you happen to throw away or lose the inner straps after cutting them on your wedding day, it’s not a huge deal. Don’t try to hang the wedding dress, just put your wedding dress back in the garment bag and lay it down flat.
Dresses With Boning
Oftentimes dress manufacturers don't put the inner straps right at the armpit. They actually put it farther down on the dress’ side seam, almost at the waistline and then it goes all the way up. This is usually done because the bodice area of the wedding dress is see-through or a lighter color fabric and they don’t want those inner straps to show. If your dress has the inner straps connected at the waistline, the one thing to be cautious of is if your dress also has any boning in it. Boning is a plastic-like material put into dress bodices to help manipulate the structure of the gown.
If the hanging straps are attached at the waist and your dress has boning, we suggest asking your seamstress to also tack the straps to the armpit area during the alterations process. When the inner straps are at the waistline, this can cause the boning to curve inwards while hanging because the weight of the wedding dress is being pulled up from that waistline point. A quick tack at the armpit seam will allow the weight of the dress to be distributed from the top down and you don’t have to worry about your boning and bodice getting misshapen.
Illusion Necklines & Off The Shoulder Straps
We have covered how to hang dresses with straps and sleeves and even strapless gowns, so let’s next talk about bridal gowns with illusion necklines. A wedding gown with an illusion neckline is just a dress with very delicate tulle across the top so that it just looks like your skin. It oftentimes will have a lace pattern or some appliqués in the design.
For wedding gowns with illusion necklines or even gowns with off-the-shoulder straps, you will still be hanging the dress from the inner straps. You just need to be extra cautious to not put any weight on the illusion fabric because it is so delicate and can be damaged easily. You also don’t want your off-the-shoulder straps or sleeves to be stretched out. In this case, we recommend using the inner straps at the armpit area to hang your dress, and then just letting the top portion of the dress just kind of flop over and hang down.
If your illusion fabric happens to kind of fray and look like it's been touched a lot, your seamstress can always give it a fresh cut to make it lay completely flat against your chest.
Zippers and delicate fabrics like what are used on wedding dresses are not a good mix. You want to be super careful when you are zipping up your bridal gown's garment bag so that none of the dress material gets caught in the zipper. This is an issue that unfortunately happens frequently.
If you have a dress that you feel may get caught in the zipper, we recommend using your hand as a barrier. You can put your hand in between the dress and the zipper and just move your hand along as you zip up your garment bag. The same goes for unzipping your garment bag.
You could also put your wedding dress in a plastic garment bag, like the kind you get from a dry cleaners, and then put that into your fabric garment bag so there is an extra layer of protection from the zipper.
Wedding Dress Trains
One last thing to consider when it comes to storing your wedding gown and hanging it as you prepare for your wedding day is if your wedding dress has a long train.
For dresses with long trains, typically bridal dress designers will put a loop at the bottom of your wedding dress train to help it hang. This is similar to the inner straps you’ll use to hang your wedding dress from. Many brides think this loop is to put around your wrist to help you carry your train on your wedding day. This loop is actually to hang the train. You’ll want to bring this loop up to the top of your hanger so your wedding dress train can be draped and not just stuffed into the bottom of your garment bag getting wrinkly. This helps the dress train to drape evening without any bunching in your garment bag.
More Helpful Wedding Dress Advice
These tips and advice for hanging your wedding dress are especially important if you will be transporting your wedding dress for a destination wedding, you want to be extra careful with how you store your gown. These tips are also universal to any article of clothing that you want to hang. It will work for a bridal gown or a bridesmaid's dress and even an evening gown that you may be wearing out to an event. It is just particularly important for bridal gowns because they are so much heavier than traditional clothing.
For even more helpful tips and advice when it comes to caring for and managing your wedding dress, be sure to check out these past posts:
- How to Move When Wearing a Wedding Dress
- How to Use the Restroom in a Wedding Dress
- Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Dress Bustles
- What Happens After Your Wedding Dress Arrives in Store
If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!
About Wedding Fashion Expert
Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.