Our Process

A Detailed Guide to the Dress Preservation Service

When an order is placed on our website.

  • An email is sent to the customer to confirm the order and the address for shipping.
  • A shipping kit is sent to the customer.
    • The kit contains a shipping box, a shipping label, a protective bag, the Gown Detail Form and instructions.
  • The customer packages the dress for shipment and takes it to a FedEx location.
  • Tracking emails are sent to confirm FedEx's receipt of the package and delivery to our facility.

The package arrives at our facility:

  • Each dress and its accessories are checked into our inventory with control tags.
    • Your order number, is the inventory control number used throughout the process. We use the order number for every step including shipment. This gives universal access throughout the process to locate and control inventory.
    • Each item is photographed for inventory control, including accessories.
    • The Gown Detail Form is reviewed and any specific instructions from the customer are added to our inventory control software. We encourage your input on the form.
    • The dress is now checked in to our system and an email is sent to confirm its arrival.
    • Repairs are performed prior to cleaning, as well as post-cleaning when needed. Minor repairs are included with our services (up to $15 value). Should repairs exceed $15, we will contact you with an estimate before proceeding with your order. 

      Cleaning Service

      • Our goal is to provide each dress with the highest level of care. To ensure quality, Jeff Schwegmann, the owner of Happily Ever After Preservation, The Knot's trusted cleaning and preservation provider, personally oversees the cleaning and preservation process of every dress.
        • All dresses are cleaned individually. All dresses are pre-treated for spots and stains. The hem lines and underarms are specially treated, and a black light is used to find invisible stains such as white wine stains.
        • The dress is inspected post cleaning. Additional spot cleanings are performed as needed.
        • Once cleaning is complete, the dress is moved to our finishing department for steaming and pressing.

          Pressing and steaming:

          • The dress is hand-steamed and pressed.
            • After pressing, the dress is inspected again. We check that all requests notated on the Gown Detail Form have been addressed, that all stains that can be removed are removed, that after pictures are sent (taken by request only), that repairs are performed. Once our inspector is satisfied, the dress moves to our Preservation Department and is ready for preservation.


              • The dress is moved to a climate-controlled room for the preservation process.
              • All materials used for preservation are acid free and of archival quality, and all dresses receive white-glove service.
              • The completed dress is placed on a bust form to maintain its shape and display its beauty. The dress is placed in a preservation box with a viewing window.
              • The box is sealed to protect the dress from the elements.
              • Nitrogen is injected into the box to create a sterile environment.
              • The completed dress is placed in an outer box to protect the inner box.
              • Lastly, it is placed in an outer box for additional protection.

              Delivery to customer:

                • Once preservation is complete, an email is sent informing the customer that the order is complete. The customer is asked to confirm any changes to the shipping address.
                • The customer receives a tracking email when FedEx picks up the package.
                • We require FedEx to obtain a signature for delivery. We can arrange shipping to another address, or your package can be picked up at a local FedEx facility. We do not waive signatures for wedding dresses. 
                • The customer receives an email once FedEx indicates that the dress has been delivered.

                  Additional information:

                  • Minor repairs, such as buttons, seams, small tears and more, are included in the service. Major repairs will be addressed on an individual basis.
                  • Photographs during the cleaning and preservation process are available by request only. You can make this request on your Gown Detail Form, or email us. There are no extra charges for photographs, just remember that we are not professional photographers.
                  • There are no additional charges for restoration or multiple cleanings.
                  • We only use sustainable GreenEarth Drycleaning solvent.  We do not have any other dry cleaning solvents in our facility. We highly recommend that you only use a GreenEarth dry cleaning facility. Learn about the GreenEarth dry cleaning solvent here.
                  • Please allow 4 weeks for cleaning/preservation including shipping.

                  Have additional questions? Feel free to contact us anytime via phone, email, or text.

                  800.232.0792 | Toll Free

                  859.739.1920 | Local

                  Live texting available, the fastest way to communicate with our company.