Advice for Handling Spills & Stains on Your Wedding Day
07 Jan 2022 •2 min read
What cleaning products would you recommend couples put in their wedding emergency kit?
My first suggestion is to not get too wound up anticipating every possible emergency, stain, or tear that could happen. Planning a wedding is crazy-making enough, without devoting extra time to considering all the ways in which things can go wrong. At the end of the day, all that really matters is that you got married. With that said, a package of baby wipes -- which are low in moisture and use a mild soap -- are an excellent thing to have on hand to quickly clean everything from makeup smudges to a salad oil splatter off of formal attire.
Are there any stains you just shouldn't touch during the wedding, and instead should let a pro handle?
If stains happen during a wedding, your best bet is to blot at them and then continue on your merry way! Seriously, a wedding should be fun -- a stained dress is a small thing in comparison to having your friends and family all in one room, so you're better off having a live-and-let-live attitude.
If a couple wants to do a cake smash, is it going to ruin the bride's dress? What's the best way to get frosting out of the gown?
A cake smash probably won't ruin the bride's dress, so if a couple wants to do one, go for it! Just have some club soda and a catering napkin nearby to quickly wipe away any frosting that might get on the dress. Just remember to blot at the stain rather than scrubbing at it, which can grind the frosting into the fabric rather than lift it off.
What can a bride (or someone close to the bride) do immediately following the wedding to help clean/preserve the wedding gown?
The most crucial part of cleaning and preserving your dress is to have a plan in place before the wedding! The three main factors to consider when deciding whether to clean the dress yourself or send it out to professionals are your intentions for the dress (do you want to resell it, save it for a friend or family member, preserve it as an heirloom, etc.); the cost of professional cleaning versus the time it will take to do it yourself; and the material -- including any beading or embellishments -- of the dress. Questions about cleaning and preserving dresses are best asked of the place where you make the big purchase.
For more information on cleaning up all sorts of wedding spills and stains, how to restore a vintage bridal gown, and how to care for all that fancy china you registered for, check out Kerr's book, "My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag … And Other Things You Can't Ask".
Jolie Kerr is the author of the popular column “Ask a Clean Person,” featured weekly on Deadspin and Jezebel. Her work has also appeared in Fortune, Cosmopolitan, BlackBook, Gothamist, The Hairpin, and The Awl. She has been featured as a cleaning expert in the New York Observer, O Magazine, InStyle, and New York Magazine.