Vancouver Wedding Dress Preservation

Like most brides, I planned on dry-cleaning my dress after the big day. However, I recently discovered that wedding dress preservation is a service unlike any other.

At the show’s height of popularity, I was (and still am) obsessed with Carrie Bradshaw’s “mille-feuille” dress from part une of a Sex and the City episode titled “An American Girl in Paris.” (Click here for a refresher.) With its layers upon layers of tissue-soft, stunning, ruffled fabric, the gown was nothing short of dreamy. Though my husband and I decided to elope to Kailua-Kona when we got married, I didn’t want to be without what would no doubt be the most incredible gown I’d ever wear – a wedding dress.

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With its corset bust reminiscent of a swimsuit, a waist of delicate flower pedals, and a train that swirls like the ocean, this dress was perfect for a beach wedding at sunset in Hawaii (and would be totally Carrie Bradshaw-approved). With aloha comes the inevitable black lava rock which became ground in to the hem of the gown after our photoshoot on the ocean. It was never my intention to “trash the dress,” but it was certainly worse for wear once all was said and done.

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Recently, after nearly three years of being stuffed in a closet, I brought the gown to Busy Bee Gold – Vancouver’s wedding dress preservation experts. Moments after I entered the store, I was greeted by Mohamud, the soft-spoken and kindly owner of Busy Bee Gold. I was slightly embarrassed over the nearly three years of neglect I’d inflicted on my gown. I told Mohamud I’d all but lost hope that the dress could ever be revived to its original glory, but he was confident that he could work magic.

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Busy Bee Gold’s process is unique in that they do not simply dry-clean the wedding gowns that come into the shop. Mohamud and his team personally preserve each gown that Busy Bee Gold’s clients bring to them using an eco-friendly, multi-step system. Each detail, sequin, ruffle, and stitch of embroidery is first documented, then cleaned, and carefully protected.

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Mohamud explained that my wedding dress would be cleaned by hand (yes – really!) and then washed with a custom blend solution, tailored for my gown. As the final step, it would be carefully stuffed to maintain its shape, draped out beautifully, and wrapped in soft muslin fabric. The dress would be packed with a pair of white gloves to wear when touching the dress so that the fabric would remain protected from my hand’s oils. This is the same method that is also employed by the Smithsonian Institute for all textiles. I knew my wedding gown was in the best possible hands.

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After several weeks, I finally picked up the gown several days ago. When Mohamud carefully opened the box to unveil my gown, I was left speechless. Each and every lava stain, Mai Tai spill, and drop of oil from my coconut-scented sunscreen was gone. Inside the box was a perfectly-presented, pristine gown, more beautiful than I’d remembered. I fell in love with my dress all over again, and was reminded once more why this gown was the one I said “yes!” to as I proclaimed “I do” to The One.

Busy Bee Gold Dry Cleaners is the highest-rated dry cleaning service in Vancouver, and they are open six days a week. Busy Bee Gold is located at 704 West 6th Avenue (at Heather Street). Call the store at (604) 872-1519 for more information, or book your wedding dress preservation in-store consultation online. You can also find them on Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp.

Disclaimer: I did not pay for my wedding dress preservation service, but the opinions, views, and experiences shared in this post are entirely my own.

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