A Complete Guide to Shadow Boxing Your Wedding Dress
Even the most cautious brides can end up with a mishmash of unsightly stains on their wedding dress at the end of the night (really, we’ve seen it all!). And despite the fact that you probably won’t be wearing your dress anymore, we understand why you would want your dress to stay in pristine condition for years to come and also serve as a commemorative keepsake that you can display around your home.
Step into a shadow box: the solution to preserving and displaying your wedding dress, ensuring it looks as perfect as the day you wore it down the aisle. Whether you choose a box that showcases the bodice of the dress or opt for a full-length frame to see the entire dress, this method of preservation is something every bride should consider.
What is Shadow Boxing?
Shadow boxing is a form of dress preservation “when your dress is cleaned, pressed, and beautifully displayed in a sealed memory box,” says Lindsay Dragone, Senior Accessory Buyer for David’s Bridal. By choosing this method, she explains, you are protecting your dress from yellowing and exposure to the elements in the air like dust and moisture.
Meet the expert
- Lindsay Dragone is the primary accessory buyer for David’s Bridal, an international wedding destination that began in 1950 as a sole Florida bridal salon.
âAfter walking down the aisle, partying with guests, and dancing the night away, your dress might not be as crisp as it was when you brought it home. Preserving the dress allows you to restore and maintain the timeless beauty of your dress for years to come. Additionally, many brides will include a few accessories (like a tiara, veil, earrings, etc.) alongside the dress to capture the essence of their wedding day look.
How to shade a dress
In general, before a gown is placed in a box, it is usually cleaned, treated with an anti-yellowing and stain remover treatment, steamed finished, and wrapped in an acid-free fabric. There are also two popular options when it comes to shadow-of-a-dress boxing: visiting a custom framing store or using a mailing kit.
For those who prefer not to visit a framing store, several retailers, like David’s Bridal, offer kits that cover the entire process. âThe kit comes with everything you need to post your dress for conservation,â says Dragone. âWe thoroughly clean your dress and send it straight back to you steamed and displayed in a heirloom box. As easy as that. [It] it can all be done from the comfort of your own home. This ombre boxing style flaunts the bodice of the dress, but there are also companies that offer full-length framing for a more daring display moment.
If you want to go for the bespoke route, consider researching your local executive stores to see if they offer this service. It is also common for dry cleaners to provide shadow boxing for wedding dresses.
Is Shadow Boxing For Everyone?
Dragone recommends that each bride keep her dress. âBy doing this, you not only preserve your special memories, but also your investment and peace of mind knowing that your dress is cleaned and repaired,â she says. âThink about all the experiences of wearing your dress on your big day (makeup, hair spray, champagne, deodorant, perfume, weed and mud on your train) that can lead to stains and yellowing if not. not processed soon after your Wedding Day. ”
It’s important to remember that shadow boxing is all about personal preference, but it can be a unique way to cherish your wedding day forever. âIt’s also a great option if you want to pass your dress on to your family members,â says Dragone.
Shadow Boxing Tips
For those considering shadow boxing, the tips below are helpful to remember throughout the process.
- Do your research. Be sure to research the shadow boxing methods that are most convenient for you and your dress style. You’ll also want to make sure you buy a box that you’ll love forever.
- Establish a budget. If you want to show off the full length of your dress, there are framing services that can do it – just expect to pay a much higher price. However, if you don’t want to spend a lot, be sure to choose retailers and vendors that provide kits at an affordable price.
- Store your box in an appropriate place. As with any delicate work of art, be sure to display your wedding dress in an area of ââthe house that doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight and an area that is a cool, dry environment. You can also look into the UV glass for extra protection.