How to Steam a Wedding Dress

One of the biggest questions that new brides have when getting ready for their wedding is how to steam a wedding dress.

Fortunately, there are many ways to steam your dress at home or have it professionally done. I don’t generally advise brides to have their dresses steamed professionally if there are just a few wrinkles or creases, but you should use your best judgment.

How to Steam a Wedding Dress

I would strongly suggest that you steam your dress from the inside out, separating the garment by layer. 

If your dress is made out of a heartier fabric, like faille, you can steam it from the outside with caution. For lighter materials, remember never to place the steamer on the material itself, and consider using a barrier between the dress and your steamer to catch water droplets.

How to Steam Clean a Wedding Dress

So, how do you go about steaming your wedding dress? Follow my guide below to make sure you don’t mess up.

Step One

First thing’s first. You can avoid many significant creases if you take proper care of your dress. Make sure to put it on a high-quality, padded hanger and put it somewhere that’s not too crowded. I always advise brides not to hang their wedding dress in a crowded closet, where it might get jammed up against other clothing or even fall.

Step Two

One of the first things you should do is determine whether or not your fabric would benefit from being steamed. There are certain types of materials, like taffeta, that look worse after steaming. If you aren’t happy with your lighter fabric looks, I would highly recommend sending it to a professional.

For Fabrics That Don’t Steam Well

If you want to smooth out taffeta, or lighter fabrics at home, consider using a dry iron with a buffer layer of material in between. You can also use fabric sprays on more minor wrinkles or creases or simply hang the dress in a steamy room.

Be careful not to get any water droplets on the dress because water can leave marks on the fabric. Leaving your dress in a steamy bathroom can work, although you should always leave the door slightly ajar to ensure that it doesn’t get too damp. Handheld steamers can do the trick too. Steam from the inside of the dress and use a separate piece of cloth to make sure that no water gets on your skirt fabric itself.

Step Three

You can use a hand steamer to steam your dress if you don’t want to do it with a dry iron. Make sure that you stay away from beads, sequins, or embroidered designs. The heat from the steamer might warp these areas of the dress, leading to unwanted bunching or even causing tears.

If your dress has a lot of embellishment and you’re worried about it, consider taking it to a professional or skipping steaming altogether.

Keep in Mind

You can also talk to the people where you purchased your dress to see if they have any professional steaming packages. Occasionally, your dressmaker will include that cost in the initial price of the dress. If you’re worried about your dress wrinkling before the big day, see if you can negotiate this service ahead of time.