Why I Never Cleaned My Wedding Dress {Guest Feature}

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While scrolling through my Facebook feed today, I saw an image… from Brittney Kluse – a photographer friend that I just adore. The image stopped me in my tracks and the story kept my attention. I didn’t expect that the post would resonate with me so much… Well it did and I immediately messaged her asking if I had her permission to share with you all. So here it is… Why Brittney never washed her wedding dress (and you shouldn’t too!)

why i never cleaned my wedding dress brittney kluse


“There are certain things we take through life that carry years of memories. For me, it’s my wedding dress.

On our first year anniversary Blake came home from work to find me hanging out in the kitchen in my wedding dress reading magazines. He knows how quirky I can be, so I’m sure he was more amused than shocked, but when he asked why I was wearing it, I responded “because I wanted to! And it’s my wedding day!”

I never felt the need to preserve my wedding dress like a jar of jelly. And on that first anniversary, I was glad I didn’t.

I went to the closet and put it on – still dirty on the bottom from hours of dancing with my friends the year before. Beer drops from my drink and food stains from people’s hands who hugged me that night still cover the dress.

It told a story of that day. Slipping into it and walking around my house helped bring back all the memories of the best day of my life.

By our second anniversary this had become a “thing.” Blake knew to expect to see my in my dress. On our third anniversary I was two months away from having our first child – but I didn’t let it stop me! It only slid on to the bottom of my hips, but I didn’t care. I wore it as a skirt and wore a maternity PJ tee over it.

I’ve worn this dress pregnant, nursing a baby, changing my kids diapers, cleaning house, editing photos – and even running through my favorite coffee drive-through.

Some years the zipper flies up the back and fits like a glove … some years it doesn’t make it past my hips.

Alas – this year, despite pulling and tugging, I cannot make it zip! I sighed a little … then I laughed and remembered why it wouldn’t fit … a summer of fun with the people I love.

So despite a half-zipped wedding dress, I won’t let it get me down! I’m wearing this thing all day, and Blake and I will look through our beautiful wedding photos from website here and we will watch our fun wedding video from website here and sit with our kids on the couch and explain to them why some people they know now look different in that video.

If you’re getting married this year – my advice is don’t treat your dress like jelly. Let it be a living thing that zips up and down with you throughout your life! Put it back on each year and remember WHY you wore that dress down the aisle WITH the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life alongside!

Maybe 2016 is my year for it to ZIP once again!!! Cheers, peeps!”

You can find more of Brittney on social media:

Here is her Facebook & Instagram!

And her beautiful photography work can be found on her website here!

Thank you so much for sharing your sentimental story with us all Brittney!


The Sentimental Mama Signature



Brianne Geiger
  • I love this! I’ve never washed my wedding dress and people used to give me such flack about it. My husband and I are coming up on our two year wedding anniversary and my dress is still hanging in our spare closet with dirt, food, and sweat stains but I think it’s such a perfect reminder of such a perfect day/night that I see no reason to wash it all away! Great read! Thanks for sharing this!!

    Carly http://www.frecklesandcheeks.com

  • I never washed mine either! Maybe I shouldn’t??

  • Thanks for the inspiration! I never washed my dress either and my ten-year anniversary is in a couple of weeks. I didn’t want to spend money on preserving it, but also liked having the ability to touch my dress, and spread it out to admire the beautiful beading. I can’t wait to see whether it will zip up 🙂

  • This is so cute! Love the story behind the reason!

  • I love this! I never got around to having my cleaned and now, coming up on my one year anniversary, I’ve been beating myself up a little. Now, I think I’ll go try it on instead! <3

  • A lovely sentimental story. Who said romance is dead? Love it!

  • Justine Y

    I love this post! I did “preserve” my wedding dress, but I have cheated an taken it out a couple times, with clean hands, lol. I think the sentiment behind this is beautiful though!

  • Rae

    My dress is still hanging in the bag, I’ve been too lazy to take it to the dry cleaners or send it off to be preserved.

    • Mary Krempasky

      Me too!!

  • Stacey Eckert

    This is such a sweet idea. I will definitely consider it after I get married this year!

  • Kate Walton

    I never cleaned and preserved mine either. I had these visions of my
    One day children playing in it. Now that I hav 2 daughters I can picture dressing them up as brides and taking their pictures! Yay! I loved this post!

  • Shannon Bunton

    I love that you put your dress back on each year, im a sappy girl so i teared up a little thinking of past memories while wearing mine. I almost sold mine but held off im so glad i did because my mom bought it for me she has since passed away and every time i look at the dress i remember how much fun her and i had planning my wedding.

  • jenny

    What a wonderful and emotional post! I love it! My husband and I will be celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary this Sunday, and I think I might just pull my wedding dress out of the closet 🙂

  • Mary Krempasky

    I want to do this! I’m not sure how a N need some ideas. I am 150 pounds smaller than I was on my wedding day and I can’t get it to stay up 🙁

  • Aly Funk

    I love this! Such a great way to always reminisce about your wedding day! So fun!