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Tips and Tricks to Keep the Hem of Your Bridal Gown Clean

Whether for your portraits or an alfresco ceremony, you don't want the ground to dirty up your dress!

We understand if you’re not willing to lose the photographs taken in nature or have your heart set on a wedding outdoors, so instead we’re here to offer tips on how to keep your precious bridal gown clean throughout the big day.

Bridal Gowns
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Photo: Full Spectrum Photography

Even if you are having an indoor wedding, barring rainy weather (and sometimes even embracing it!), there’s a good chance that you will have some portraits taken in the great outdoors. From the golf course of a country club, to the sandy beaches of a resort, or the forest by a rustic lodge, some of our favorite couple shots have come from these alfresco photo shoots. However, these timeless images can come at a cost – the hem of your bridal gown. This is particularly a problem if you take part in a “first look,” traipsing through a field may make your dress dirty before you even walk down the aisle!

We understand if you’re not willing to lose the photographs taken in nature or have your heart set on a wedding outdoors, so instead we’re here to offer tips on how to keep your precious bridal gown clean throughout the big day. 

- Use a stain-protecting spray along the bottom hem. However, this can be risky, as if you spray too much there may be a mark. It’s best to have a professional take care of this before the wedding, but at the very least, you should test on a scrap of fabric before spraying directly on your dress.
- Wear a petticoat to lift the hem. The extra inch or so will be a lifesaver while walking around or standing for photos, but you can remove it for the ceremony or reception if you don’t like the look.
- Stand on a sheet. A lesser-known photographer trick is to have a white sheet for the bride to stand on when shooting outdoors, protecting the dress from the elements.
- Hire a seamstress to remain on-site. While this option may seem indulgent to some, it’s easily the most effective. After your photos are taken, but before the vow exchange, a bridal dresser can steam clean your gown, as well as make any necessary repairs that may be needed after taking portraits outside. Hire someone for the whole day for any fixes throughout an alfresco celebration.

See a few of our favorite chic, short wedding dresses, read up on tips to keep in mind while shopping for your gown, and learn about some of the most common dress preservation mistakes you can make – and how to avoid them.

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