Ashleigh’s Wedding Dress Cleaning in Ohio
After Ashleigh’s wedding, she brought her gown to be cleaned and preserved by a local dry cleaner in Ohio, but unfortunately the dress was not properly cleaned. Luckily, she found Dublin Cleaners (a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists) who was able to expertly re-clean and preserve her gown. Read more about her dress and wedding in our Q&A below!
When and where did your wedding take place?
My husband Christopher and I were married on October 12, 2013 at St. Michael Catholic Church in Kalida, Ohio. This is actually the church my husband grew up in and one that I’ve always found beautiful. Ohio weather in the fall can be unpredictable, but luckily it turned out to be an incredibly sunny and warm day–we couldn’t have asked for better weather!
Where did you purchase your wedding gown?
I purchased my Justin Alexander wedding dress from European Bridal near Cincinnati, Ohio.
When did you know that your wedding gown was “the one”?
I tried on 20 different wedding dresses at 4 different bridal shops before visiting European Bridal. All the gowns I had tried on were of a very similar style (A-line, strapless dresses) and after awhile they all kind of blended together. At this point I was extremely disappointed and discouraged, but my mom convinced me to stick to our last appointment of the day at European Bridal. When we arrived, my consultant JoAnn really took the time to understand my personal style and vision for my wedding day. She started pulling gowns within my budget then suddenly asked “Are you willing to be a bit adventurous?” She then handed me a wedding gown unlike anything I had previously tried on. She helped me into the Justin Alexander gown and when I looked in the mirror, I immediately gasped. I admired the dress for a few moments, then stepped out onto the podium for my mother to see. In that moment, we both knew this gown was ‘the one”.
The Sabrina neckline provided the elegant class and the unique style that I had been searching for. The alencon lace bodice was soft and delicate; not itchy and uncomfortable like so many other lace dresses. The dropped waist ballgown silhouette was perfect for my tall stature (I’m 5’10”). As unique as this dress already was, I knew I wanted to do something to make it my own. We added a handmade satin, organza, and lace sash accented by a crystal brooch around my natural waist. My gown had no beading on it so this sash provided the little bit of “bling” to make it really stand out.
I also added a very personal touch to my gown – my grandmother’s buttons from her 67-year-old wedding gown. Her buttons were a perfect match and served as my “something old”. I’ve always idolized her gown and knew she would be so flattered to have part of her dress play a big role on her youngest granddaughter’s wedding day.
Why did you want to get your wedding gown cleaned and preserved?
The hem of my gown was pretty soiled and there were a few stains on the skirt, so a cleaning was definitely needed. I knew I wanted to have the gown cleaned so a future daughter or granddaughter could wear it, or use parts of it for her own wedding dress. I was so honored to be able to use my grandmother’s buttons and want to afford a similar opportunity to a future family member of mine! My family also has a few baptismal gowns made out of heirloom wedding gowns, so if mine gets re-made into something else, that would be an honor as well.
Why did you decide to get your gown cleaned by a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists?
I actually brought my dress to a local dry cleaner a few weeks after the wedding. I asked them about their process and was informed that they clean many gowns each year and have been in the business for years. I decided to let them clean and preserve the gown for me…and 6 weeks later couldn’t have been more disappointed. The stains on the neckline and hem were still visible through the preservation box, so I decided to open it to see more. Not only was my dress just a dirty as the day I brought it in, but my grandmother’s buttons had rusted through the fabric and the entire dress had a dirty yellow tinge. I was extremely unhappy but the cleaner told me there was nothing they could do but “clean” it again.
After asking around, I received a few referrals from friends on Facebook to Dublin Cleaners. When I saw on their website that they were members of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, I knew my dress would be in good hands and contacted them immediately. Margaret promptly contacted me back and walked me through the gown cleaning process step by step. My grandmother’s buttons could not be fully restored from all of the rust (which was likely a reaction with something the previous cleaners had used and failed to tell me about), but was pleased that they gave it an attempt. They even replaced them with my original buttons which was above and beyond what I would have expected! My gown was shipped back to me and is just as stunning now as it was the day I wore it.
It’s no longer yellow, the lace is spotless, and it looks beautiful in the preservation chest. I know it will now be a timeless treasure for years to come. I am so happy that I contacted Dublin Cleaners and could not be more pleased with Margaret and her team for their hard work and amazing customer service. I will gladly refer them to any other bride I know as it was truly an enjoyable experience. They really know what they are doing and they do it so well. I actually open the chest on a daily basis just to admire my gown and the wonderful work of Dublin Cleaners!
Photographer credit: Cindy Baden of Baden’s Photos (Bride’s aunt)