Ashburn, VA

How much does wedding dress dry cleaning and preservation cost?

$170 – $260 wedding dress dry cleaning only cost
$200 – $560 wedding gown cleaning + preservation cost

Get free estimates near you, or view our cost guide below.

March 9, 2022

Reviewed by Tom Grupa.

Wedding dress dry cleaning vs. preservation cost

Wedding dress dry cleaning costs $170 to $260 on average, depending on the bridal gown style, fabric, number of layers, and amount of staining. Wedding dress preservation costs $200 to $560 on average for the cleaning service and preservation kit.

Wedding dress dry cleaning vs. preservation cost - chart
Wedding dress dry cleaning vs. preservation cost - chart

Wedding dress dry cleaning vs. preservation cost
Service Average cost
Dry cleaning only $170 – $260
Full cleaning and preservation $200 – $560
  • Dry cleaning involves chemical fabric cleaning and stain removal.
  • Full cleaning and preservation treatments include wet and dry cleaning and anti-aging protection.
  • Preservation kits offer mail-in service to a gown cleaning factory for treatment.

Wedding dress dry cleaning cost

Wedding dress dry cleaning costs $170 to $260, depending on the staining, dress fabric, and the number of layers. Dry cleaners charge more for heavily soiled dresses, lace or silk fabrics, and highly embellished gowns.

Wedding dress preservation cost

Wedding dress preservation costs $120 to $1,000, depending on the dress style, fabric, staining, and damage. Preservation includes cleaning, repairing, and packaging the gown in an airtight box.

Wedding dress preservation cost - chart
Wedding dress preservation cost - chart

Wedding dress preservation cost
Service Average cost Details
Basic light-level $120 – $360 Standard service for simple dresses with few adornments or stains
Mid-level $280 – $540 Next level service suited to synthetic (satin) gowns with some detailing or staining
High-level/Couture $370 ­­ – $1,000 Highest service suited to natural silk fabrics and couture gowns with ornate designs. Includes higher insurance coverage for more expensive gowns
A specialist that hand-cleans and preserves gowns on site is typically more costly than a cleaner or bridal salon that outsources to a national gown cleaning factory.

Wedding gown preservation kit cost

A wedding gown preservation kit costs $200 to $560, depending on the kit type best suited to your dress.

  • Standard kits for simple, synthetic gowns are the cheapest.
  • Premium kits for designer dresses have higher costs and extra insurance coverage for more expensive dresses.
  • Restoration kits for heirloom gowns over 20 years old include anti-yellowing treatments and other specialized restoration techniques.

David's Bridal preservation kits cost $150 to $200. Personalization, extra insurance, a storage box with a carrying handle, or preserving accessories costs extra.

Wedding dress cleaned and preserved in box
Wedding dress cleaned and preserved in box

Wedding Gown Preservation Company cost

Mail-in kits from the Wedding Gown Preservation Company cost $280 to $600, with additional fees for personalization and extra insurance. Many bridal salons sell gown preservation services to brides at a higher cost and then outsource to this company. Brides save money by purchasing the kit directly.

Wedding Gown Preservation Company cost
Kit type Average cost Description
Traditional kit $280 – $530 Basic service for simple dress designs less than 20 years old with few adornments or stains
Celebrity kit $360 – $500 Premium service suited to designer natural silk fabrics and designer gowns with elaborate embellishment; includes greater insurance coverage for more expensive dresses
Restoration kit $340 – $600 Service includes an anti-yellowing process to restore vintage wedding gowns more than 20 years old

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Cost factors to clean and preserve a wedding gown

The following factors affect the cost to clean and preserve a wedding gown:

  • Boxed vs. bagged – A preservation box costs more than a dress bag for hanging. A sealed box protects against aging and moisture, while an acid-free bag protects the dress from dust and light.
  • Fabric damage – Preservation typically includes minor stitching and re-beading, with severe damage incurring additional repair fees.
  • Fabric type – Natural fibers such as silk require more time and expertise to clean than synthetic fabrics.
  • Guarantee – Most preservationists offer a limited lifetime guarantee against yellowing and brown spots.
  • In-house vs. outsourced – Hand-cleaning by an in-house specialist costs more than outsourcing with a factory preservation kit.
  • Insurance – Most companies provide coverage against damage during cleaning. Couture gowns require greater coverage at a higher cost.
  • Number of layers – Simple gowns with fewer layers have less fabric to inspect and clean than multi-layered ball gowns.
  • PERC vs. SYSTEMK4 cleaning method – SYSTEMK4 is an environmentally friendly, non-toxic cleaning method that is more advanced than the former PERC dry-cleaning method.
  • Shipping – Most preservation kits include 2-way shipping with transport insurance. Brides must purchase additional insurance for higher-value dresses.
  • Stains and oils – The cleaning base price includes removing minor dirt, grass, and makeup stains. Pulling oils such as sweat or food grease from fabrics and cleaning set-in stains or yellowed fabric is more time-consuming and costly.
  • Trim construction – Seamstresses must protect or remove intricate trim designs during cleaning to avoid damage.
  • Additional items and accessories – Most preservationists treat your veil, purse, shoes, or other keepsakes. Some companies include up to 5 accessories with dress preservation, while others charge $15 or more per item.

Frequently asked questions

What is wedding dress preservation?

Wedding dress preservation is a specialized cleaning and packaging process that protects a gown from aging. The process includes stain inspection, gentle cleaning and pressing, minor sewing or beading repairs, and storage in an airtight box.

Should I dry clean or preserve my wedding dress?

Wedding dress dry cleaning is essential to remove stains, sugars, and body oils. Preservation is optional to avoid fabric yellowing with age. Have your dress cleaned and preserved if you plan to pass it down as a family heirloom.

How to preserve a wedding dress

Specialists take these steps to clean and preserve a wedding dress are:

  1. Examination – A thorough stain and fabric examination looks for visible and invisible stains.
  2. Dry cleaning – Dry cleaning at a low temperature in a mesh cleaning bag protects the fabric from snagging.
  3. Wet cleaning – Gentle hand scrubbing with non-toxic chemicals removes any residual stains or yellowing.
  4. Repairs – A seamstress examines and repairs every dress seam, including beading repairs and button replacements.
  5. Boxing and packaging – Once restored, the dress is sealed in an airtight box with the oxygen removed and replaced with nitrogen to prevent aging and discoloration. The cleaners return the boxed gown to the bride in a waterproof, crush-proof shipping container.

How long does dry cleaning a wedding dress take?

Dry cleaning a wedding gown takes a few days to a month, depending on how soiled the dress is, the number of layers on the gown, and how busy the dry cleaning company is.

How long can I wait to get my dress cleaned after the wedding?

Ideally, brides should have their dress cleaned and preserved as quickly as possible before stains set in. Waiting just a few weeks results in more stubborn stain removal. Delicate fabrics become a dull yellow color after 6 months if not properly preserved.

Can you preserve a wedding dress years later?

Yes, you can preserve a wedding dress years later unless there is severe fabric rot or pest damage. Special cleaning agents restore even severely yellowed vintage gowns.

Can a preserved wedding dress be worn again?

A preserved wedding dress can be worn again. Most brides who choose preservation intend to pass their dress down as a family heirloom.  

Can you sell a preserved wedding dress?

You can sell a preserved wedding dress, but opening the sealed box voids the preservation guarantee. Once opened, the dress should be preserved and sealed against oxidation in an airtight box again.

Where can I get my wedding dress cleaned and preserved?

You can get your wedding dress cleaned and preserved at a local dry cleaner or bridal salon. To save money, brides often purchase preservation kits directly from a mail-in gown cleaning company such as David's Bridal, The Knot, or the Wedding Dress Preservation Company.

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Finding and hiring a wedding dress preservation company

Before hiring a wedding dress preservation company, be sure to:

  • Determine if you need wedding dress cleaning, preservation, or both.
  • Ask for referrals from friends, family, your wedding planner, or other recent brides.
  • Search online for a professional company with years of wedding dress experience.
  • Read their reviews on Fash and Google.
  • Go with the most skilled professional that works within your budget.
  • Review all contract terms before signing and ensure you are completely satisfied before making the final payment.

Questions to ask

  • Do you perform the cleaning and preservations in-house?
  • What process and treatment will you use to clean my wedding dress?
  • Is your cleaning method process non-toxic and environmentally safe?
  • Do you guarantee your work, and for how long?
  • Does your guarantee cover the cost of the dress if it is damaged during the preservation?
  • Is my gown insured during shipping and while in your possession?
  • How will you package my gown after cleaning?
  • What is included in the total cleaning and preservation price?
  • How long does the service take? When should I expect to have my dress back?

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