This is a continuation of our story with Paige Delbene, a Pittsburgh bride who found Owl Cleaners for her pre and post-wedding needs.
We last left off with Paige finding Owl Cleaners just in time for her stunning wedding dress to come to life for her wedding day. Heather worked her magic to finish the dress in time for Paige to walk down the aisle, though these plans for Paige were also significantly different than planned due to the current pandemic.
Paige’s wedding went from the Omni William Penn Hotel to her parent’s backyard.
“Since the wedding was moved outside, my dress was so dirty, there were red wine stains, and I even had a strap break.”
We’ll spare the details of how the strap broke (a combination of an excited guest and open bar), but this was not something Paige anticipated happening.
“All of a sudden, I heard a pop and a strap just popped off in the middle of the dance floor, and I was like, Oh my god, my dress just broke.”
Luckily, the wedding planner saved the day and the dress for the rest of the wedding. Plus, an eventful wedding provided Heather with the exciting task of bringing this dress back to life again, but differently.
“After personally witnessing my level of love, attention, and care to the finishing/packaging of her dress and need for absolute perfection, Paige asked if I would clean and preserve her gown post-wedding. We had trust! Because she is absolutely wonderful to work with, and I knew I was the right/ best cleaner and preservationist for this beautiful dress, I said, Yes, to the dress.”
Having a feeling that Paige would trust her to clean the dress post-wedding, Heather already had a cleaning plan ready to execute.
“As we are a member of America’s Best Cleaners and Wedding Gown Specialist, I consulted with two other bridal cleaning consultants on our cleaning plan for Paige’s dress as well, before execution. It had a few difficult stains (pink lipstick, red wine, grass and hemline soil.) Paige’s dress was voluminous (many layers of tulle) and heavy. It weighed 20-30 pounds. The dress’s entire bodice/straps were encrusted with Swarovski crystal, which required special care when being cleaned. This was an extremely challenging but fun dress to clean due to the many layers, long train, and delicate Swarovski crystals. We had special hoists to help us elevate the gown so we could work on it stress-free and steam it.”
To finish off this unique (and not at all easy) job, there was one thing left to do: find the perfect box. As you could have already guessed, this was not an ordinary dress, meaning that a special box needed to keep it preserved.
“We had to custom create our own acid-free box large enough to preserve and protect the gown. My seamstress also custom-designed and sewed a muslin bag with a silk rope to further protect the actual preservation box, which protected the dress. We used almost an entire ream of acid-free preservationists tissue within the preservation.”
Paige stressed that she wanted to preserve her dress sooner rather than later to make sure it looked as close to perfect as possible for someone to wear again someday.
From pre to post wedding, Heather was able to help Paige achieve her real fairytale wedding, even in the middle of a pandemic.
Stay up to date on all of our wedding gown preservation stories and more through our Instagram, @owlpremierandbridal.