Angela’s Wedding Gown Journey

They say rain on your wedding day means good luck in your marriage, and Angela certainly had that. Her sparkly gown was going to shine no matter what! With rain outside and dancing the night away, Angela needed to clean her gorgeous gown after her Arkansas wedding and make it look brand new again. See why she chose Treasured Garment Restoration to protect her Cinderella gown!

When was your wedding and where did it take place?

My wedding took place at Thorncrown Chapel. It’s located in a tiny historic town in the Ozark mountains called Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

When did you know that your wedding dress was “the one?”

I knew that my wedding dress was “the one” after going to a few shops without any excitement. It was the 4th shop and the second to last dress I put on. The style of the dress has wider straps and a beautiful cut on top. I chose this style because it looked antique to me and would fit the venue perfectly. It also was shimmering with sparkly sequins. I felt like Cinderella! I absolutely love sparkly things and the dress was so easy and comfortable to move around in and I could twirl and dance around the shop with ease! It was definitely unique from the other dresses I tried on. To top it off I got half off the price because it was the only one on the rack and it happened to be my size! So it was meant to be!

What is your absolute favorite memory from your wedding day?

My favorite memory from my wedding was taking all of my guests on a ghost tour of the Crescent Hotel “America’s most haunted hotel” where our reception took place. Everyone had so much fun and learned a lot of history behind the historic town and hotel. Our reception was very memorable as well because we had so much uninhibited fun dancing the night away at a club in downtown Eureka Springs called Eureka Live.

Why did you decide to get your wedding dress cleaned?

I decided to get my wedding dress cleaned and repaired because I want it to look like it did when I first put it on, in the hopes of giving it to another bride to be or maybe keeping it for a special someone someday- maybe my daughter!

Why did you bring your wedding dress to Treasured Garment Restoration?

I brought my wedding dress to Treasured Garment Restoration because it was recommend to me by the staff at St. Croix Cleaners. I saw amazing reviews online and knew I wanted to take it to the best! The employees I encountered were all so helpful and they had impeccable customer service!

Treasured Garment Restoration is a nationally recognized member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists. This means we clean each bridal gown individually with care. Learn more about wedding gown cleaning and preservation options at www.TreasuredGarmentRestoration.com.

*Photos by Ashley Kimbrough Photography

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Buying a Used Wedding Dress

Weddings can be very expensive. A great way to cut some of the cost is to consider buying a used wedding dress.
Considering the dress is only worn once, you can often find great
deals on beautiful, gently used gowns.
Their are numerous sites and shops you can visit that buy and sell dresses.

However because they are used, be sure to be extra cautious
when ordering a used gown.
We have found some of these tips to be helpful with
brides shopping for a pre owned dress.

Model - faded

Be sure to get thorough pictures or check the gown out yourself before committing. Stains or stags can often go unnoticed at the right angle. Make sure the images you’re looking at are of the owners album and not the model pictures you can find online. So when chatting with a seller, be sure you know what your buying.

Make sure you’re buying at the right price. A little internet research can go a long way. If you’re nervous about buying online, at least make sure you’re paying a fair price. Especially considering this dress has been worn before.

The dress you buy doesn’t need to be in your exact size. We’ve mentioned in previous blogs what when buying you’re dress its better to go to big than too small. We can always take a dress in but adding fabric is much more difficult. We have a exceptional team that can work with you and your dress to make sure it fits you perfectly.

Be aware of the sellers return policy. Ask the seller exactly what the return policy is. That way if you get it and its in way worse condition than they led on, you can send it back.

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Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses

Looking to sell your used Wedding Gown?  Perhaps you found a different gown before the wedding that you liked better – now what should you do with the old one?

We realize that not every bride wants to preserve their wedding gown – in fact, a growing number of brides are reselling their wedding dresses in hopes to share their beloved dress with another bride.  This also benefits soon-to-be brides looking for the perfect wedding gown, at a better value.

So where to sell your used dress?  Where to buy a pre-owned gown?  Visit preownedweddingdresses.com –  and explore the possibilities!

As a seller: we recommend cleaning your gown after the wedding and before selling it – you can achieve a better resale value.

As a buyer: we recommend trying it on, and working with a seamstress to alter the gown to truly fit you.  It’s pretty amazing how good alterations can really make the gown your own.

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It’s All About the Dress!

Betty Altheide 1953

It was a warm Saturday in Minneapolis, July 18th, 1953. Betty Schuler arrived at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in her beautiful white eyelet layered wedding gown and she was a bit nervous, yet excited as she was about to become the bride of John Altheide.  Betty recalls that it was rather warm that day and that there was no air conditioning; “I don’t remember the temperature exactly, but I do know that no one fainted” (as was the case in many hot, summer weddings in those days).

After growing up in Edina, MN, Betty went on to college at William Woods University, an all-girls school in Fulton, MO.  John grew up around St. Louis, Mo and attended Westminister College, also in Fulton, MO.  How did they meet?  “It was December 3, 1949, we met on a blind date going to a Fraternity party”, she blushed, as John stands by, in disbelief, that she even remembers the date!

After they finished school, John went into the Air Force.  They got to see each other only about 3 or 4 times in the ensuing 2 years that he was enlisted.  After 1 year, he proposed to her.

Betty proceeded with all the wedding planning on her own since John was not around.  The ceremony was held at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, the reception was held at the Edina Country Club.  She purchased her dress at Dayton’s in downtown Minneapolis and remembers that the dress plus the hoop skirt she wore with it was under $100.00. She was careful with the dress at her wedding, no cake spilled, no punch spilled, no drinking at the reception—so it was looking great after the big day.

The newlywed couple then spent their honeymoon at Maddens Resort in northern Minnesota where they actually were able to spend some time together to really get to know each other.  John, having been in the military for a couple of years, had been doing his own laundry, and Betty was alarmed to find that he didn’t spend much time sorting his colors—all of his underwear was pink! They then moved to St. Louis, Missouri after the wedding.  It seems that everything worked out through the years — Betty and John just celebrated their 59th Wedding Anniversary this summer—and they’re looking forward to number 60 in 2013!

In the spring of 2012 when Betty and John and their children were cleaning out their nooks and crannies, they came upon the dress, yellowed and stained, and it was sent to Treasured Garment Restoration for evaluation.  If the gown was so well protected the day of the wedding, what happened, then, with the horrible spills we saw on it when it came to be restored? “Well”, Betty explained, “35 years ago –when the dress was 25 years old—there was a party amongst our friends and the requirement was to bring or wear something from your wedding.  So, I wore my wedding gown!”  Amazingly, Betty was still able to wear the gown after 25 years and 2 children and her only comment was “yes, I fit into it, but I didn’t sit down all night”.

Fortunately, this spill was only 35 years old.               After careful testing, TGR was able to
If it had been spilled 59 years ago, it is possible          determine that the latent stains – aka
that these stains may have created holes                      caramelized sugar stains would be
in the fabric.                                                                                   able to be removed!

We, at Treasured Garment Restoration, have seen a number of things show up on vintage wedding dresses that can re-ignite memories of the day… and we are truly passionate about restoring and preserving the each unique dress along with the memories it symbolizes for our customers!

One thing remains constant– it’s all about THE DRESS!  Brides will spend countless hours looking at photos, magazines, (now Pinterest) and shopping for the one dress that makes them feel like a princess for the day.  Each dress is unique and could tell a story of its own—if only a dress could talk!

1953 Gown, oxidized (yellowed) and stained.                                      After – restored to white in 2012!
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Something Old…

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…as the old saying goes!  Some brides are making the “something old” the cornerstone of the wedding–her dress!  More and more I see brides pulling out Mom’s or Grandma’s gown from the attic and discovering that it’s in pretty good shape, but maybe yellowed, a few dark brown spots, and a few little tears.  They come in wondering if, somehow, it may be salvageable?

My answer–most likely!  Since each gown is different, has been cleaned (or not cleaned) differently, and has been stored differently–some in boxes with tissue, some in cedar chests, some hanging in the back of Grandma’s closet–they all come with a variety of challenges.  But, unless the integrity of the fabric has been seriously compromised (i.e. brittle and crumbly or tearing with little tension), it’s probably a great candidate for restoration and re-wearing.

 
1951 Silk Gown Before (the bride was going to cut off the bottom to make it a T-length dress)
1951 Gown After (the bride decided to leave it long since most of the latent stains were removed).

The restoration process involves removing the oxidation (yellowing) and returning the fabric to its original color and luster.  Yes, this is possible and done quite frequently by professionals who know how to handle vintage and age-damaged fabrics.  It may also be the most economical choice for the bride, as well.  Since each wedding dress differs dramatically, prices may also vary, but usually can start around $399 and up!

Check out a couple more examples:

1946 Wedding Gown Before.  Note the discoloration of beads and sequins.
1946 Wedding Gown After!  Color is restored and so are beads and sequins!
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Treasured Garment Restoration on Forever TV!

Thanks to Forever-TV! TGR will be featured in an upcoming episode about cleaning and preserving your wedding gowns! We had a blast during the filiming…!

Forever TV is a bridal media group that uses the power of internet television to promote local wedding vendors and educate local brides-to-be.

Be sure to check back here and on Facebook for updates… We’ll keep you in the loop!

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