From the Forum – Recommendation Needed: Wedding Dress Cleaners

Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric Spiegel

Recommendation Needed: Wedding Dress Cleaners:

“I recently got married and am not sure where to take my wedding dress to get cleaned/preserved. Any DC area brides have recommendations? I also have no idea how much it’s going to cost so estimates would be great!”

You can see all forum topics and add your own here. If you are having trouble uploading your question  please email me at princeofpetworth(at)gmail

25 Comment

  • Oooh, I need this, too–was going to get mine done at the bridal store where I got the dress, but they went out of business soon after my wedding. My dress has been hanging in my coat closet for over a year at this point…at least it’s in a garment bag!

  • Actually, I’ve heard that David’s Bridal is the best for gown cleaning and preservation. I went a bit bourgier when I bought the gown, but had mine “preserved” there–they were quick and it looks great (as a comparison, my sister had hers done at a fancy tailor place, and it took them over a year because I think they lost it or something… I dunno) Hope that helps!

  • I used parkway (I think that’s their name) on Connecticut (almost near the beltway). They did a fantastic job, however it was about $600. Looking back, now that my dress has sat in our closet for 6 years untouched/moved, I now doubt it was worth it!

    • Parkway is by far the best dry cleaner in the region, but very, very expensive. For something with priceless memories like a wedding dress it’s probably worth it.

    • If you want it done well and right, use Parkway. Might want to ask what they’re going to charge first – quality doesn’t come cheap.

  • Parkway Drycleaning is the place most DC bridal stores recommend. Mine cost about $400 for the dress and veil (so they aren’t cheap). But that included packaging it in acid free paper etc. Overall I thought it was worth it for the quality.

    • Yep, we used them too. My dress was a little more expensive than that, but they do free pickup and delivery, and they called me when they had a cost estimate so I could give the go-ahead or not.

    • I had mine done at French’s Cleaners on 14th Street. Took a few weeks, and cost about $100. Everything looks to have been done well but, of course, it is in a sealed box so a bit hard to evaluate. They have always done right by me in the past and get good reviews for wedding dress cleaning/preservation online.

  • I used Best Tailoring & Dry Cleaning on 8th St NE. Cleaning and preserving cost me just over $300, although this was just for my dress – no veil.

  • Hi everyone! We are a bridal boutique in Georgetown and we actually recommend J. Scheer & Co. in New York to all of our brides. Their cost ranges but they have excellent customer service and do amazing work for cleaning, preservation, or both.

  • AA, you could sell it to me! anyone done the used dress route?

  • Can someone please explain why you would do this (especially given the cost)? I’m not trying to be snarky – this isn’t something something people did where I’m from, so I am really wondering what you do with it.
    The only reason I can really think is to possibly pass it down to a daughter or granddaughter to wear one day? Or just for sentimental value?

    • Another reason would be to donate it to an organization like Brides Against Breast Cancer, who sells donated gowns (both used from brides and donated directly from makers) at a lower cost than buying new, with the proceeds going to cancer treatment services. They’re how I got mine several years back.

      (Note for anyone considering donating their dress: they generally only want dresses from within the past 5 years or so, in order to keep current with the styles brides currently want.)

  • My tailor recommended Besson’s Dry Cleaners on 14th and Rhode Island N.W, but I’ve been very lazy, haven’t called them nor used them. I am trying to sell mine and eventually want to determine if it’s worth cleaning before I find a seller based on cost.

  • I had my wedding dress cleaned (only), 37 years ago and to be honest don’t really understand the point of preserving “it”. Is anyone else going to wear it? and if so When??? I had my my dress re-cleaned about 10 years ago for no reason in particular and went to Zips. (on Conn Ave) They did a wonderful job! Cleaned it twice for the $1.75 (price at that time) and they got out every little stain. Now maybe one day my daughter (who is 23 and fits into and looks beautiful in the dress) will decided to use the dress when she gets married, BUT maybe, not? There is my point once again….Is anyone else going to wear it?

    • Emmaleigh504

      My mom’s hidedous wedding dress did just fine hanging in the closet. All she did was have cleaned after the wedding. And trust me,

      • Emmaleigh504

        NO ONE is going to wear that thing. Hideous is an understatement. But she loved it so it served it’s intended purpose. I think she finally donated it after about 20 years. She’s got pictures of herself in it and the memories of getting etc. That’s good enough for her.

  • I recently got mine cleaned at Dupont Court Cleaners. I was amazed at how clean they got it — it was cleaner than it was when I got it back from the cleaners before my wedding (it was sample, the one that women try on in the store). It was $80 bucks for the cleaning, I think — very reasonable. They get great reviews on Yelp.

  • If you’re willing to make a trip to Silver Spring, Prestige cleaners on 16th St. cleaned my all-lace dress fairly well. I had an outdoor wedding, so the hem of my dress was fairly dirty. They were able to remove about 95% of the stains. I didn’t have it cleaned right away, so I’m sure the small number of stains they weren’t able to remove settled. I think it cost around $250-$300 and took them three weeks to complete.

  • I can’t speak to cleaning, but as far as preserving, you can certainly find archival storage supplies online and do it yourself. Some places sell kits with all the materials and instructions – Gaylord Archival has one for about $80. There’s no preservation-related reason for the box to be sealed, and every reason to refold the dress and repad creases from time to time. Lots of info online from sources including the Smithsonian on proper care and storage of heirlooms (or heirlooms-to-be, in this vase).

  • I can’t understand wanting to keep it – many of those people who kept dresses hoping their daughters would wear them were disappointed that their daughters weren’t interested – styles do change, you know?

    Makes sense to me to keep the photos, and either sell or donate the dress. Can’t understand paying hundreds for cleaning, but then, I pay attention to what can be cleaned easily when I buy anything. Unless you are making back the price of cleaning by selling it, or truly want to invest in cleaning to donate, it seems you’d be better off tossing it.

    • I don’t really understand the cleaning/preservation thing either. You’re not going to wear the dress again (presumably), and $400 seems like a lot to keep it as a very nice scrapbook item. (Do the preservation boxes even have see-through windows?)

  • Similarly, does anyone have suggestions for reasonably priced place to have a wedding dress altered? Mine just needs a hem and bustle (simple dress purchased off the rack, and fits just fine), but prices are quoting me crazy prices ($400+) just because the word wedding is involved…

    • Go to Cheryl Lofton’s. They did a fantastic job on my dress, and I was in the same boat except I also wanted to add buttons on the back ($2/per if you bring your own buttons). My hem/bustle was quoted at $250 — they ended up doing it for $200 because I balked at the price, but most places won’t touch it for less than $500 so it’s not a bad deal. I saw another dress’s receipt that cost $250 for the hem, but that was the big princessy kind with lots of layers.

  • I have a background in textile and clothing conservation and collect vintage clothing. I take anything I care about to Prestige Exceptional Fabricare | 9420 Georgia ave. | silver spring | MD | 20910. They do very well on removing stains carefully and use a mild solvent. They also have very good customer service and pay careful attention to special items. They’re not cheap, but you’ll get good results. If you sign up for their mailing list they often have 25% off if you prepay. The problem I have with most cleaners is that they use a very harsh and toxic solvent and some aren’t very good about cleaning their solvent so your clothes swirl around in dirty solvent and other peoples funk. Yuck. They also are not as careful as I would like. I used to go to Parkway cleaners on Connecticut but had some very bad experiences. They are not what they once were and I think are riding on their reputation. I’ve probably spent a thousand dollars at Prestige over the years, but they have successfully cleaned garments like a fragile 1920s dress and a felted and painted 1950s skirt that was moldy. Its a good idea to clean your dress before storage because some stains will become visible or darken over time. As for storage… buy a good acid-free garment box and some acid free tissue and pad out any folds. Don’t bother with the “preservation” offered by the drycleaners.
    Search the web for Gaylord Archival. The “Gaylord® Blue/Grey Barrier Board Archival Textile Box with Tissue” is a good choice and comes in 5 foot length choice. It should fit a wedding gown. Good luck

Comments are closed.