A bride's wedding dress is one of the most cherished possessions in her wardrobe. It may only be worn once, but most women will want to keep their gown in tip-top condition and as pristine as when they first tried it on in the shop.
To prevent the bride blushing for all the wrong reasons, "cleanologist" David Begley of Johnson Cleaners has shared his top tips on how to clean your wedding dress.
"If there's any day it pays to be prepared, it's your wedding day," said the expert.
David recommends packing an emergency kit with safety pins, a sewing kit and a small make-up sponge for the big day. One of the most common wedding dress disasters is a dropped hem, but this can easily be rectified with a simple tacking stitch that should hold until it can be taken to a professional seamstress.
For red wine stains... Mix a little white vinegar with water and a drop of washing up liquid then lightly dab the stain with a sponge.
For lipstick marks... Dab a little vodka on any lipstick stains and they'll be cleaned up in no time.
Some stains aren't visible to the naked eye... Champagne, sugar and perspiration are just some of the substances that aren't always visible, but can lead to discolouration over time. To preserve your dress perfectly for years to come, take it to be professionally cleaned after the big day.
Johnsons have specialist centres where staff expertly clean each dress in a dedicated Wedding Dress Clean Room, and use UV lights to spot all stains. GreenEarth®, a gentle alternative to harsh chemicals, is also ideal for cleaning the delicate fabrics and detailing on wedding dresses.
The cleaning process takes about two weeks... Your dress can be returned to you hanging in a protective sleeve or in a breathable presentation box.
Prices... Cleaning for slimline or column dresses costs £155, A-line or fishtail dresses cost £175 and "princess" style dresses cost £190 at Johnsons.