You found the perfect dress and you love it! With your closest women friends gathered around you as you walk out of the dressing room in “the one,” you know that this is the dress you will walk down the aisle in. It is beautiful and intricate, the viewing party loves it and, best of all, you know it’s right.
You go to your fittings where the bridal shop carefully retrieves your gown from storage and helps you into it in a pristine dressing room for the seamstress to make alterations. Finally, when all the changes have been made, it’s time to pick up the gown and bring it home.
What? They are going to let me take this dress out of the shop? What am I going to do with it? How will I get it home? What will I do with it when I get it there. How should it hang? Where should it hang? And, most importantly, how will I get it on?
Relax, you will get through this. Though it does seem rather shocking that one day you will have to actually take your dress out of the bridal shop where it is safely kept and, not to mention, where it is their responsibility. Step by step, here are some tips for transporting, hanging, and getting into that perfect gown.
1.) Bridal Shop to Home: To get your dress home, be sure you have a clean car with no liquids. Dispose of those fast food leftovers and those lattes sitting in your console. Bring a very clean white (or light) sheet with you and drape it over the area where the dress will hang. Generally, this is your backseat area. The sheet should cover the seat upholstery as well as (and especially) the floor area. Your bridal shop should have the dress in a special bridal dress bag, generally this is made of fabric, not plastic, so be careful. Some shops will have the dress in plastic first and then inside a fabric zip-up bag. You will likely need two people for this venture. Open both rear doors to your vehicle. Carry the dress by the hanger and pass the hanger end through the back carseat to the waiting hands of your helper and carefully guide the dress through the backseat so that it can hang from the handpull on the other side. Carefully lay the the rest of the dress on the seat. Pull the white sheet up on the side the dress is hanging from and tuck a piece of the sheet under the hanger on the handpull. This will keep something between the dress and the car door and window area.
2.) Keeping the dress until the wedding: Make sure you specifically speak to the consultants at your bridal shop about storing instructions for your gown until the big day. Often, they will have specific instructions. Sometimes, especially with a dress that has a long train, you will need to untie or open the bottom of the dress bag and let the train hang straight as soon as the dress arrives home (or wherever it is being kept until the big day). This is, obviously, a huge concern as, for some, this means part of their dress will be exposed. Make sure you have a room or space that others do not go into (especially that sneaky fiance). The dress will need to hang from a high spot with the sheet behind it and on the floor below it to keep it from resting on the ground. Beware of cats or other pets who might be especially interested.
3.) Home to Wedding: When it comes time to transport the gown to the wedding venue, use Step 1, making sure you have seen the dressing area at the church or other venue so you know where the dress will go once it gets inside. This is not something you want to be figuring out while holding a very heavy dress bag above your head. Again, the sheet should cover the ground and no one near the dress should be wearing shoes or stepping on the sheet and soiling it. Again, the dress should be allowed to hang to avoid train wrinkles.
4.) Dressing: Believe it or not, putting on a wedding gown can be some tricky business! You will need plenty of help for this. Most brides have their hair and makeup done before dressing (this is recommended). So, a good tip is to bring, in addition to those white sheets to protect your gown, a pillow case! Who would have thought you needed to bring a set of sheets to your wedding! A pillow case is a perfect manageable size to put over your face as you get into your gown. This is a must if your gown goes over your head. White shows all, and that lipstick or blush will certainly show if rubbed off on your lovely dress so be cautious. If you step into your dress, obviously, the pillow case is not warranted. Have helpers lift the dress and make sure at least one other person (like your mother or maid of honor) knows how the dress “works” so that it can be put on correctly. Make sure you got instructions from the bridal shop about how the back buttons, zippers, corset ties, bustling, etc. all functions so you are not trying to figure it out on the big day!
While the dress does seem like a huge responsibility and can easily make you nervous, if you are prepared with protective gear, you will take great care of that gown and make sure it is just as perfect for the wedding as it was in the dressing room!