A Bride’s Guide to a Wedding Dress in Distress

Bridal Reflections shares their advice for dealing with unexpected stains on the big day.

Getting ready in the bridal suite before the ceremony can result in a messy scenario – with mimosas flowing, lipstick and makeup being applied, and snacks being passed around, the threat of an unwanted, surprise stain is high.

Photo: Amy Anaiz Photography

When it comes to your big day, there are a million things that could go wrong. While many of the couples featured in the pages of Inside Weddings and on InsideWeddings.com suggest future brides and grooms don't worry about minor issues that arise, there are some problems that can cause a bride to stress out no matter how hard she tries not to. One of these instances is staining the wedding dress prior to walking down the aisle.

Getting ready in the bridal suite before the ceremony can result in a messy scenario – with mimosas flowing, lipstick and makeup being applied, and snacks being passed around, the threat of an unwanted, surprise stain is high. Often having an emergency kit on hand will help, but what should you put in that emergency kit? And how do you go about using the items inside of it?

For advice, we asked the experts at New York bridal salon Bridal Reflections – with Fifth Avenue, Carle Place, and Massapequa locations – for their tips. Read on to find out what to do to best prepare for this unfortunate circumstance.

Megan Wollover wedding dress from Bridal Reflections Tracy Morgan wedding wife
Photo by Jeff Tisman Photography; Bridal Gown by Ines Di Santo; Bridal Salon: Bridal Reflections

Read expert tips on removing stains from Bridal Reflections, below!

Most brides spend months, years, or maybe even their whole lives dreaming of and planning their big day. More importantly, a bride-to-be always envisions herself in the perfect gown. So when that big day comes, a spill or stain on that beautiful white dress can seem like the end of the world.

The first thing to remember if this happens to you is not to panic or make the stain worse by rubbing it. Proper supplies and care can remove, treat, or at least cover up an unexpected stain. Day-of emergency kits, such as Madame Paulette's Professional Stain Remover Kit (sold at Bridal Reflections), are also very popular with brides, providing all of the must-have items needed for emergency stain situations. Have a trusted member of your bridal party, or guest, keep this within easy reach on the day of – just in case. If you don't ever need it, great! But at least you will be prepared and have the added peace of mind on your wedding day.

A typical emergency dress kit should include the following items:

White Cotton Towels or Cloths. These should be used to dab or blot stains. Remember never to rub – this will only make the stain penetrate deeper into the fabric.

White or Off-White Chalk. This can be used to cover remaining stains after treatment. Particularly helpful in covering up red wine, makeup, ink, or greasy food stains. This is something we always recommend having on hand.

Baby Powder. Similar to the use of chalk, baby powder can cover up stains as well as absorb oil from greasy food stains. Apply to grease or oil immediately to soak up as much as possible before cleaning.

Stain Removal Wipes. Dab and blot makeup or lipstick stains with stain removal wipes.

Denatured Rubbing Alcohol. This can be used to treat ink and grease stains in conjunction with white cotton towels. Remember to clean in a soft, circular motion rather than rubbing.

It is great to be prepared for the possibility of a stain, as we have had experiences coming to the rescue of numerous brides in distress. If a situation should arise, a reputable salon will often send someone to help, so don't feel shy about calling them in an emergency!

We have certainly encountered our share of the usual culprits, such as red wine, lipstick, and chocolate. But the one that takes the proverbial "cake" involved the recently waxed red leather of a Rolls-Royce and a scorching hot day. This resulted in a red splotch on the train of the bride's gown minutes before she had to walk down the aisle. Thankfully, we were able to rush to the church to assist the bride to make it look as good as new!

Hopefully these tips can resolve any issues that may come up, but if not, brides should always remember the following advice: This is your day and most guests will be focused on how beautiful you look and not on a minor stain.

Enjoy your special day!