Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Christening Gown Restoration

This isn't a bridal dress, but our gown cleaners used the same restoration techniques to restore this 150-year-old christening gown. This gown is from India and the person will wear it on April 29. Congratulations to the happy family!




Bodice Before
Bodice After
Train Before
Train After


Monday, April 2, 2012

Ring Pillow for Bride: Restored

It's age-old tradition for the bride to wear "something old, something new; something borrowed, something blue; and a silver sixpence in her shoe." Using a special vintage piece from a close relative's wedding can make the day even more special.

Margaret's was recently given the opportunity to restore a vintage ring pillow for a bride whose mother used it in her wedding 34 years ago.

In order to clean the satin, we removed the ribbon and the stuffing from the pillow. The bride requested that we remove the tulle and replace it with a piece of lace from her mother's vintage wedding gown.

Our cleaners hand-cleaned the satin and lace, removed the oxidized stains, and restored the fabrics.

Our talented seamstress stitched the restored lace around the pillow and restuffed it. To finish the pillow, the seamstress added new white ribbon and re-sewed the embellishments.

We wish this bride a very happy wedding day filled with wonderful memories. We hope that someday her gown or even this ring pillow can be passed on to her daughter or daughter-in-law.

TELL US: Did you use a special vintage piece in your wedding? What was it?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

World's Longest Bridal Train!

Having trouble deciding between a cathedral train, a chapel train, or a royal train? How about a two-mile long train?!

Margaret's Bridal Coordinator, Carey, sent this article to me and I think it's fascinating!

The Andree Salon, a Bucharest fashion label, hired 10 seamstresses to create this stunning dress, which took 100 days to complete.

A model wearing the dress was lifted into the sky via hot air balloon for a dramatic showcasing of the elegant world record.

The fabric alone (French lace and Italian taffeta) cost about $7,300. This pretty price tag doesn't include labor or the hot air balloon.

Check it out here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's Wedding Season!

Every spring, the wedding invitations and save-the-date cards begin arriving at my mailbox. After all: 'Tis the season for weddings!

My brother-in-law and his girlfriend got engaged last week. It was a huge celebration because they have been together for over a decade, and it was a long time coming. Emily, his now-fiancée, wrote on her Facebook page: "Let the wedding planning begin!" Even though I know she's been planning it for probably nine years (in her mind), she can finally be active about the actual planning instead of just dreaming and envisioning secretly.

Wedding planning has never been easier for blushing brides, thanks to the emergence of helpful websites, such as Pinterest and Tumblr, and tens of thousands of valuable wedding blogs and review sites, such as Yelp.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to 2007 when I began planning my big day, but also be armed with the beneficial and easily accessible information for today's bride. I don't regret much of my wedding planning, as nearly everything went off without a hitch; however, sometimes I see such cute ideas that I wish I had incorporated them into my wedding.

My husband and I are attending a wedding in Chicago this spring and I can't wait to see what details the couple put into the big day. It will be exciting to attend a wedding in such a big city, too! I'll be sure to take pictures and share them with you on this blog.

This Top 100 Wedding Blogs website makes finding ideas and wonderful wedding blogs even easier.

Talk to us! What was your favorite detail from your wedding? Share your pictures on our Facebook page!

Win a FREE Legacy Gown Preservation. The next drawing is April 30, 2012. Click here to enter!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wedding Gown Care

Wedding gowns aren't cheap, so it's important to take good care of them! Learn how to care for your gown before, during, and after the big day.

Gowns galore

1. Know Your Fabric
What type of fabric is your wedding gown? The two most popular wedding gown fabrics are silk or polyester.

Silk is a natural protein fiber produced by silkworms. Contrary to the name, silkworms are not actually worms, rather, caterpillars. Basically, a silkworm lays lots of eggs that eventually hatch into larva. The larva reach their maximum size in about four to six weeks. The larva then attach to branches and spin a cocoon made of a single thread of high-protein fluid. The larva are killed before the cocoon matures. The silk pods are then dipped into hot water to loosen the thread, which is then spun onto wheels.

Silkworm and silk cocoons

Polyester is a synthetic, man-made fabric.This fabric is made from the same material used to produce plastic drinking bottles. Polyester is quick-drying, durable, and strong. Designers use polyester to make gorgeous wedding gowns because of the fabric's drape and durability.

To Silk or Not to Silk
Silk is more expensive, but has a luxurious hand that is unmatched by any other fiber. Silk is more prone to stains, as it is a hollow fiber that absorbs liquids like dye. If something spills on your silk gown, never use club soda or water to try to remove the stain!

Spills tend to roll right off polyester, and generally, a damp cloth is all that's needed to remove any stains.

2. Handle With Care
If you're traveling with your wedding gown, take care not to crush the dress. If you leave it in the garment bag, you will probably have to place it in the overhead compartment. If you place your gown in a suitcase, there is always the possibility that it could get lost.

Garment bags should only be used to hold the gown temporarily because the bag can crush and flatten the skirt. When you arrive at your destination, unzip the bag and allow the skirt to open fully. Be sure to cover the floor with a clean sheet to keep the bottom of the dress unsoiled. Or, if possible, hang the dress from up high and avoid letting it touch the floor completely. If you remove the garment bag entirely, be sure to protect it from light, dust, animals, and children by placing large white sheets over the gown.  

Never hang your wedding gown from a sprinkler in a hotel room! We've heard from many brides who did this and flooded their entire room (and ruined their dress!). Yikes! Avoid this catastrophe and just hang your gown from a door or a closet bar.

3. Clean and Preserve ASAP 
After the big day, send your gown to wedding gown specialists to be cleaned as soon as possible. Dry cleaners have a better chance of removing stains if they are caught early. If you allow the gown to sit for years, the stains will caramelize and the gown can yellow. 

4. In Case of Emergency
Pack a little wedding day emergency kit filled with safety pins, needle, thread, scissors, etc. If a minor emergency arises, you'll be prepared to fix it in a pinch. Safety pins are great for fixing a broken bustle.

 Margaret's Cleaners carries a Bridal Emergency Kit, which contains first-aid and sewing items, spot-cleaning aids, an assortment of personal care items, and a booklet filled with tips for brides. Additionally, the kit comes with two gift certificates for cleaning services. This kit is available at any Margaret's location.

5. Stain Solutions
There are three kinds of stains:
  • Wet Stains, such as coffee, tea, or wine: These stains dissolve in water.
  • Dry Stains, such as lipstick or grease: These stains require a dry solution to dissolve the oil.
  • Complex, or "Other": These stains, such as salad dressing or gravy, comprise wet and dry components. 
On silk gowns, you can try to temporarily mask a stain using baby powder or cornstarch, which absorbs grease and won't damage the fabric. Never use club soda or water to try to remove a stain on silk. The moisture will leave a ring on the fabric. 

On polyester gowns, you can use a damp, white cloth to gently dab at the stain. Do not rub, as this will only set the stain deeper into the fabric.


For more great tips, visit The Association of Wedding Gown Specialists website.

Win a FREE Legacy Gown Preservation. The next drawing is April 30, 2012. Click here to enter!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Recent Review on The Wedding Channel

I recently saw this review of Margaret's Legacy Gown Preservation service. We are humbled to receive such a wonderful compliment.

If you're a bride who employed Margaret's dry cleaners to care for your gown, please don't hesitate to leave feedback on this site. We grow from both good and bad reviews and we appreciate honesty!

Wedding dress perfection posted 2/27/2012
I was very nervous to take my couture Vera Wang wedding dress to just any ol' seamstress. I was terrified that it would get ruined. It was made of organza and had the classic Vera Wang bodice of ruching,and the skirt portion was fit and flare with a lot of flange. All the fear melted away after reading reviews on Suse at Margaret's Cleaners. I had a total of 6 fittings because like me , Suse is a perfectionist and wanted m wedding dress to be absolutely perfect. I received so many compliments from our wedding guests that the dress fit me perfectly in all the right places. She took her time, and her work and passion for what she does really shows. After spending so much time with her, she gave me a hug after my last fitting. Wedding dress alterations are characteristically pricey especially the complicated ones but I can tell you they deserved every penny. It was a completely stress free experience and well worth it. I would recommend Suse to anyone and everyone who is nervous about getting their wedding dress altered . I have yet to get it cleaned and preserved but I can guarantee that I will be happy with that...

Wedding: 2/19/2012
Member Since: 1/19/2011

Win a FREE Legacy Gown Preservation. The next drawing is April 30, 2012. Click here to enter! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wedding Planning Tips

Are you planning the wedding of your dreams? More than likely, this is the biggest party you've ever thrown. There are so many details that go into this huge day!

An Interest in Pinterest
Thanks to special social media sites, such as Pinterest, wedding planning is easier than ever! Because of Pinterest, I wish I could rewind time to four years ago and plan my wedding all over again. There are so many great ideas out there!

Check out the Margaret's pinboards and follow us on Pinterest.

Wedding Tips for the Big Day (Bet you never thought of some of these!)
Thanks to the help of Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, this list will help you prepare for the perfect day. I also included some tips of my own. Enjoy!

Busted Bustle
Sometimes your dress is too heavy and it falls or breaks. Or maybe the bustle is too complicated or too complex for your bridesmaids to handle. Or, worst case scenario: Someone steps on your train and the bustles tear. If you can, have at least one of your bridesmaids accompany you to the final fitting and request that the tailor provide detailed instructions on how to tie the bustles. My wedding gown had 30 ties, each marked with corresponding letters. My maid-of-honor had a "map" to help her. Create an "emergency kit" and fill it with a sewing needle, matching heavy-duty thread, and safety pins so you can quickly repair any problems that might arise. For more great tips on emergency gown care, click here.

It might feel awkward, but hold your bouquet lower than you think. In fact, practice holding a fake bouquet in front of a mirror before your big day so you know how it feels to hold it at the right level. A lot of the beautiful beading, ruching, and other gown decorations are on the bustle, and you don't want to hide that. If you hold the flowers too high, they will hide the gown's intricate details and you won't see them in pictures.

Hidden Beauty
Even though your groom will look handsome, the truth is: All eyes are on you. Don't obstruct the view of your pretty face with too-big hairstyles and weighty veils. When shopping for a veil, enlist the help of your bridesmaids and ask for their honest opinions. Oftentimes, a friend might see something that you don't see.

Picture People
Your wedding will practically be you, your spouse, and the paparazzi (OK, actually just you, your spouse, and your family and friends). While it's true that there will be lots of cameras and lots of people vying for the best shots, don't make your friends or family be your sole photographers. Hire a professional photographer so your family and friends can enjoy watching you tie the knot. Don't hand out assignments to your loved ones. Let them enjoy the day with you.

On Time
The ceremony is over and your reception is following.... two hours later? Sometimes, the time between your ceremony and reception can make or break your entire party. Too short, and people feel like they're being rushed; but too long, and people get bored or anxious and want to leave. So, how much time is the perfect amount of time? That's up to you. However, if you plan on leaving lots of time between the ceremony and reception, present guests with entertainment, such as cocktails, hors d'ouevres, and music. Some receptions even offer fun things like photo booths with souvenir photos. These things will keep guests occupied as they wait for you to take pictures. Or if you would like to spend more time with your guests, take pictures before the ceremony. It might spoil the surprise, but sometimes that alone time with your soon-to-be spouse can help calm pre-ceremony nerves.

The More the Merrier
Keep in mind that children, especially younger children, need to be entertained and supervised. Make sure your little flower girl or ring bearer get to sleep early the night before so they have plenty of energy for the long day ahead. Entertain kids at the reception with coloring books, snacks, and other quiet activities. Make sure children are fed promptly. And, don't forget to invite them to dance. Kids love the energy!

Relax and Enjoy
My best advice: Enjoy the day. Say "hello" to everyone. Look around and savor each moment. Everyone is here for you! The day will fly by. You'll see things go wrong and, well, there's nothing you can do about it. Don't let the little things bother you because mostly likely, you are the only one who knows those things are wrong or out of place. Remember the point of this day: Marry your best friend and celebrate with the people you love most. If you remember that, your day will be everything you hoped for and more.

Win a FREE Legacy Gown Preservation. The next drawing is April 30, 2012. Click here to enter!