Once you've found your wedding dress, you'll want to make sure it looks picture-perfect from the start of the ceremony through to the end of the reception. That's why we asked some of our favorite wedding experts to share their best tips for keeping your dress (and the rest of the bridal party's outfits) pristine and wrinkle-free all day long.
Julie Sabatino, owner of the wedding-day styling company the Stylish Bride, is something of an expert on this topic. "It's definitely a big issue, something that I've found every single bride is worried about. It doesn't matter what type of fabric their dress is—they're concerned," she explains. Her first recommendation is to ensure the bridal salon where you're purchasing your dress packages the garment appropriately after your final fitting. "They steam the gown and stuff it with cardboard and tissue paper to make a bodice form inside the dress to keep the shape," she says. Even though the garment bag can get tough to travel with, you'll want to make sure to keep everything in place so that the bodice doesn't shift.
"The next important piece is putting plastic over the dress before it goes in the garment bag. That does a lot to prevent wrinkling because the gown won't rub against the veil and garment bag," Sabatino suggests. If you can't hire a professional, Sabatino recommends buying a good quality hand-held steamer (her favorite is the Jiffy). "I'm weary of hotel steamers because they can spit or not be cleaned well," she says. "I like tying a piece of white cloth around the head with a ribbon so that when it spits out water, which all steamers do, it doesn't get on the dress."
Sabatino also recommends asking your bridal consultant and tailor how to treat the dress in case of wrinkles. "Keep in mind there are some fabrics that shouldn't be steamed at all. You should always test the steam on your dress on a small spot on the back and always steam from the inside rather than applying it right on the outside of the dress." She also reminds us that embroidery tends to shrink under heat, so avoid steaming the finer details on your gown.
Wedding planner Lyndsey Hamilton says that a day-of dressing service is worth the splurge, especially when you consider the fact that this team will handle everything from a dress that needs steaming to a hem that needs sewing. "A professional dresser is on-hand to tackle any last-minute attire hiccups. Also, they are there to help dress and bustle the bride, as well as make sure her train and dress is in perfect order when she walks down the aisle," Hamilton says. With all that time, effort, and money spent finding the right dress, think of this as an insurance policy to guarantee your dress looks flawless on the wedding day.