A Quick Guide to Steaming Your Wedding Dress

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Many brides get anxious when we say we’re steaming their dress in the morning of the wedding, so either you have a wrinkle-free cloth or a dress that doesn’t need to be shipped far away from the store. 

You’ll be so lucky and take the time to make sure your dress looks as fresh and seamless as possible! No, there’s no reason to worry—with a little planning, you’re going to feel assured entirely about getting your gown packed.

Check the fabric.

Do you still need a steamer? Shantung, dupioni, and taffeta might potentially look more wrinkly after steaming, so check your dress’s fabric and ask your tailor if you have questions. These fabrics are not very common in today’s designs, but they can be very striking when done correctly. For garments made of these materials, it is safer to use dry iron (usually medium to low heat) and CLEAN white press cloth—ideally a thin weave, like a fresh dishtowel. Remember—these fabrics can wrinkle very quickly during the day, so enjoy their organic design!

Get a steamy shower ready. 

Any dresses don’t even need anything to make the wrinkles come out. Particularly if you’re traveling or using a non-traditional place to get ready, it might seem like a hassle to move a steamer. If you’ve got a pretty plain dress in polyester or heavy lace, with a minimal skirt and a train you didn’t squint into a bag, don’t worry about having a steamer. Hang a dress on the toilet door or a high hook in the bathroom in front of your tub. Perhaps the night before your wedding, when you can leave your dress out of your bag securely overnight. Crank the heat in the bathroom, take your time, and get the room full of steam—all that’s the clothes you need!

Designate a professional steamer to know who’s liable. 

If you have space in your pocket, the only way to ensure that your dress is perfectly cared for is to employ a licensed steamer. However, if it feels like an extra cost, or if it’s not realistic at your place, ask someone you trust who’s going to get ready for your wedding morning. It’s a perfect job for an excited bridesmaid or a potential mother-in-law who needs to be of assistance in the morning of the big day! Asking your loved ones to help you plan does make them feel included, so it’s a better idea to name someone before the wedding morning who feels relaxed steaming a gown and can read any tips, or even practice using a steamer!

Secure a steamer. 

Make sure where you’re getting ready either has a quality steamer—most hotels, particularly in Chicago—or you’re buying your own. A buddy may also have one that you may borrow, ensure that it’s in decent condition—any steamers you haven’t used for a long time have had some water in them may spew some discolored water you won’t want anywhere near your clean white gown. It can be a worthwhile investment if you want to buy one—you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll need it once you’ve got the choice on your daily work clothes or cocktail dresses! The chances are that the bridesmaids will like their clothes steamed as well, so let them know when the steamer will be ready to prepare accordingly.

Ask your tailor for any tips to keep your dress in place. 

The way you hang your wedding dress on the hanger so you can steam it is essential, and it might be different from the recommended way to store it. Any dresses will benefit by carefully keeping the skirt hem taut, using a balled-up towel to help keep the form of the bust section, or by hanging the sleeves in a certain way. Every dress is different, but your tailor will give you a few tips as they have a lot of experience with a range of shapes and fabrics!

Cover the steamer head with the fabric. 

A clean white t-shirt that you don’t care for, or a small white towel, should fit just fine. It is to trap any drops of water that could leave a stain on your dress and avoid any drops from burning your arm like steam! Note that the steam will burn as well, so be careful never to place any body part in the direct steam route.

Steam from the inside and a distance. 

It is more protection against scratching the cloth. Much of the clothes you can steam from the outside if you use a blanket to catch any fall. But it’s always the best to steam from the garment inside. Never hit the steamer directly on the fabric—instead of keeping it 3-6 inches apart. It’s usually better to steam each layer of the skirt individually, but steaming multiple tulle layers together usually works perfectly.

Don’t forget about the veil! 

Veils are always the most readily wrinkled part of the style, which can undermine your crisp, seamless dress if you don’t want to! Veils will add a lovely airbrush effect when steamed. They’re usually very easy to steam, but they can take a while. Be mindful of any rhinestones or decorations that might you might in such a way as not to melt the glue and fall out of place or completely. Using antique veils ensures that you keep the steamer low, as many of the old polyesters are fragile and could potentially melt. It’s impossible, but it’s better safe than sorry!

Get in your clothes carefully. 

The trick is not to uninstall all the perfect steaming! Always put the shoes on first, so it’s a lot harder after the dress is on. If it’s practical for someone to stand on a platform, drop a dress over your skirt first, and cover your hair and make-up with your arms, that’s perfect. Most make-up artists will come armed with a face covering for this process as well. This strategy is not achievable on certain skirts, but if that’s the case, when you’re sitting down, get a helper to lead the dress up your legs until there’s a space on the floor where you can stand while your mate allows you to place the dress, while you’re packing as little fabric as possible. Use your modification appointments to see what fits best, and ask your tailor for some relevant advice.

Have fun! 

Remember, this day is about so much more than your gown. No one will spot a few wrinkles as they see the way you smile at your fiancé when you step down the aisle! 

If your ceremony involves sitting or kneeling, you might add a couple of creases, but that’s all part of the elegance of the day. Let the photographer and the maid of honor think about changing the dress for you—it’s the day to celebrate that little moment!