Wedding preparations can come with all manner of hidden costs and difficulties, and unfortunately some of them can sneak up on people, causing undue stress and expense.
One such expense is cleaning the wedding dress – namely due to the fact that they cannot be washed in a washing machine, and require specialist dry cleaning to make them shiny and new.
But how much does dry cleaning cost for wedding dresses, and are there any cheaper alternatives?
How Much Does It Cost?
Generally speaking, the approximate price for wedding dress dry cleaning tends to fall into the region of $100 for the basic package.
However, if any further work needs to be done – or indeed if the garment requires special attention – then this could increase exponentially, but should not be more than $200.
If you are preserving an old or antique dress, then prices could shoot up to over $400.
Why Are Wedding Dresses Expensive To Clean?
When it comes to the cost of wedding dress dry cleaning, there are numerous factors that can all play a part in the expense – and how much it can add up to.
The Type Of Material
Firstly, depending on the material that the dress is made from, dry cleaning can go from being a cheap affair to one that leaves a significant financial dent.
Perhaps the most expensive fabric to dry clean is lace – due to the fact that it is a more expensive material that requires more care.
Likewise, other delicate materials like taffeta, silk, and organza require a lot of care and attention – making them expensive as well.
These delicate materials do not tend to react well to detergents and washing machines, which makes dry cleaning a necessity.
The Presence Of Stains
The presence of stains on the dress can also increase the price of dry cleaning.
This might not be the case if the stains are small and insignificant, but if they are sizable and noticeable, then further work and attention will need to be paid to get it clean.
This is why it is so important to take care of wedding dresses when you purchase them, because all manner of further expense can be brought to the forefront if the worst should happen.
The same goes if the stains are complicated and difficult to remove – such as oil stains and similarly viscous liquids.
Complexity Of Details
If the dress is customized extensively with beads, jewels and all manner of other decorations, then this too could increase the price of dry cleaning – if only due to the fact that these things need to be factored into the process, and more care and time has to be taken.
Heavy beading is perhaps the most expensive accessory you could have, and could easily elevate the cost to hundreds of dollars.
Once the dry cleaning has been done, they will then need to store the dress until it has thoroughly dried – and until the owner can come and collect it from the store.
This too incurs further costs, and can mean that an already expensive process becomes even pricier.
This also applies when the store chooses to give you a bag or a box – both of which can be expensive. This is why it is better to come with your own bag or box to lower costs where you can.
Costs By Region
The price of dry cleaning a wedding dress can also be affected by the location in which you live. If you live in a rural area then the price will undoubtedly be lower, however if you live in a city – especially a capital city – then the price could increase exponentially.
If you have the means of transportation – and the time to do so – it might even be worth traveling a short distance out of the city to find a cheaper dry cleaning service in more rural, quieter areas.
Age Of The Dress
The age of the dress is also another factor when it comes to the cost of dry cleaning – particularly if it is in such a state of disrepair that it needs to be restored before wearing.
This is obviously more specialized work, and as such the price will reflect the time and effort required to make such alterations.
Many dry cleaning companies will already have some form of insurance to protect them from legal troubles in the event of garment damage.
However, some also offer additional insurance policies for delicate items like wedding dresses – and obviously these policies don’t come cheap.
This is usually worth paying for, as it gives you that extra peace of mind – and the assurance that the dress will be taken care of while under the care of the dry cleaning company.
Should You Get It Dry Cleaned?
Of course, it is also important to decide whether or not the dress actually needs dry cleaning before committing to such expense unnecessarily.
Having the dress dry cleaned after the big day can be important for those wanting to preserve the memory of the occasion – and having it cleaned and looking pristine is an important part of this.
Of course, not everyone wants to keep their wedding dress, and some might choose to resell their dress to someone in need.
This means that the dress needs to be clean and pristine looking to secure the best price, and to actually be desirable for a bride to purchase.
To Pass It On
Some might also choose to save their wedding dress to pass on to future generations – such as daughters and granddaughters who might choose to get married in the future.
This means that the dress needs to be in tip top condition for that to be a possibility. For this reason, dry cleaning can be a great solution to that problem, and keep it looking its best for as long as possible.
Can You Do It Yourself?
If you have the experience, and the equipment to do so, then it is certainly possible. However, this is not recommended, and professionals are always the first recommendation.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about dry cleaning your wedding dress, and just how much that could cost.
It’s true that wedding preparations can be full of hidden charges and fees – some of which can come as a surprise to those not in the know.
However, with this article, hopefully the cleaning of the wedding dress can be one less source of financial stress before the big day occurs.
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