We always tell brides to have their gowns cleaned and preserved as soon as possible after the ceremony because the longer you let spills and stains sit on your garments, the less likely it is that a professional dry cleaner will be able to remove them. Sadly, we didn’t know as much back in 1974 or 1946 as we do today, but luckily for Margaret Rehder, we are as good as we say we are.
In 1974, Margaret wore this gown she purchased from Montaldo’s in Winston-Salem to marry her husband. “It worked,” she said, “because I’m still happily married 42 years later.” After her wedding, she placed the gown back in the Montaldo’s bag and stored it away. The gown has moved around with them as they’ve changed homes, and most recently, it has been living in the same bag in their attic.
Margaret dropped her bridal gown, along with one that her mother had worn in 1946, off at our Shores location in Winston-Salem. Brian, the General Manager of Shores, said that Margaret’s gown was no problem to clean and restore, but her mother’s gown was a completely different story.
Her mother’s gown, after being worn in 1946, was placed in an old electric blanket box without being cleaned or preserved. The gown was made of Chantilly lace and the fibers were completely dried out. Placing it in a machine or subjecting it to the smallest amount of agitation would cause it to completely fall apart. So, David, Manager of the Shores in High Point, spent three days cleaning it by hand. While the dress could not be returned to its original condition, it has been reconditioned and restored to its former beauty.
Even though the dress looks beautiful, it cannot be worn again, and this very reason is why we are so adamant about providing the proper care for wedding gowns as soon as the ceremony is over. If you have a wedding gown that’s been sitting in your closet untouched for far too long, drop it by one of our locations so that our gown experts can restore it to its former beauty. Also, feel free to contact us with questions about our preservation process.