Bringing home the gown

As you might recall from my dress post from a while back, I ended my search for an affordable couture gown at the website of Dream Bridal LA, from which I purchased the very lovely Monique Lhuillier "Mona Lisa" gown. A week later, Mona showed up at my door. Instant gratification! But after the oohing and ahing was done, I came to the sudden realization that Mona was here for the long haul; she didn't have anywhere to go until late October, when I have my first fitting.

Flashback to 4th grade, when my mom finally got me that Cabbage Patch doll I coveted. Um, now what do I do with her?

Surprisingly, there's not much on the internet about how to store a gown before the wedding. Thank goodness for Martha:
Ideally, you'll bring your dress home a day or two before the wedding. But if you must store it for longer, you'll want to take precautions. If storing it for less than six months, hang it on a padded hanger in a closet away from direct sunlight, leaving several feet of space on either side. To shield fabric from dust, cover it with a material that allows for ventilation, such as muslin or a white cotton sheet. Don't use plastic -- since it's nonporous, it can trap condensation, causing mildew and mustiness; it might also emit gases over time that cause deterioration. If you'll be storing the gown for more than six months, it's best not to hang it to avoid stressing shoulders and seams. Instead, package the dress in an acid-free cardboard box.
Based on this advice, I went to the Container Store and bought these items:

I took Mona out of the garment bag she came in, hung her on the padded hanger (using the hanging straps of the gown -- not the embellished capsleeves, since that could damage/stretch the gown), and placed her in the canvas garment bag with the cedar hang up. For those of you with lacy gowns, Britta from Dream Bridal adds that it's best to store those horizontally because lace can stretch or tear in the pressure points. You can just fold up your dress in a Z formation, putting crumpled up acid-free tissue between each fold (so as not to leave creases) and store it in an acid-free box.

I think Mona's been pretty happy in her new storage place. Fingers crossed that she'll still like me when it's time to take her to the seamstress.

For those of you with sample or off-the-rack gowns, where/how have you been storing them in advance of the wedding? Any additional tips or advice?

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