First, it is important to note that plastic bags are never a good choice for long-term storage of any garment. Short term is fine, but over time, plastic bags contain chemicals that break down and can stain or scent your garment. Even if you do not detect an odor or stain, the chemicals can still seep into the wedding dress and when you do take it to be dry cleaned, the chemicals for cleaning will combine with the plastic's chemicals and can ruin the dress.
- Fold the wedding gown carefully, without creasing it. Wrap the sleeves under the bodice of the bridal gown, and then fold that back over the skirt, then wrap the skirt up and over the top of the bodice. After this, you can continue to fold the gown until it will neatly fit into the box snugly, but not too tightly. However, remember not to fold creases. The gown should be folded loosely.
- Use acid free tissue paper to place between each of the folds of the dress to help prevent creasing or the fabric touching other parts of the dress. Since many wedding gowns use special stitching or beads, sequins and pearls, you do not want these items to scratch or snag satin or silk fabrics when folded, and the tissue paper between folds will help prevent this.
- Once folded, wrap the wedding gown one more time completely with the unbleached muslin prior to inserting in the box for storage. This is a time-consuming process, so you don't want to package your dress until you are sure you will not need to remove it from the package again for some time. Wrapping and packaging your wedding dress over and over can damage the dress, so wait until you are truly ready to store and preserve your dress before you box it.
- Once boxed, slide your wedding dress packaged box under your bed or in a drawer or on the shelf of a closet. The less light that can reach the dress while it is stored the better.
- While some people choose to store wedding dresses in specialty garment bags and store them hanging or laying flat, boxing your wedding gown is the best choice for long-term storage and preservation. The gown will probably need to be taken to a cleaners and pressed and refresh after storing it this way, but you will be able to avoid the musty, 'stored' feel and scent of a dress stored in garment bags or hanging but not used regularly.
- When you are ready to reuse the gown or remove it from the box packaging, simply reverse the process and be careful not to snag or catch the dress or pull too roughly when taking it out of the box. When you do remove it from the box, beside slight wrinkling of some material, your wedding gown should look every bit as good as it did the day you stored it, no matter how long you have stored it.