How Much Does It Cost To Dry Clean A Wedding Dress? [On Average]

When it comes to getting your wedding dress cleaned, you may be considering taking it to the dry cleaners. But how much can you expect to pay for a typical service? I spent some time researching the costs involved and how long it generally takes to set my own expectations. I would like to share what I managed to learn with you here today.

So, how much does it cost to dry clean a wedding dress? A wedding dress typically costs between $100-$175 to get dry cleaned, on average. The total cost depends on several factors, such as the dry cleaning service used, the type of dress you have, and how quickly you want your dress returned. Either way, you can expect your dress to take between 2-3 days and 3-4 weeks to be dry cleaned.

Whether you want to dry clean your wedding dress in preparation for sale, or you simply want to repurpose it, dry cleaning is one of your better options for returning it to its former, spotless state.

Thankfully, it is also one of the most affordable and in many ways, safest options when it comes to cleaning. So, it is something that you should definitely consider.

Let us now take a closer look at some of those other questions you may have, including whether or not you can dry clean your dress yourself and whether or not you should be looking to dry clean your dress ahead of your wedding day.

So, be sure to keep reading to the end to get all the information you need!

How Long Does It Take To Dry Clean A Wedding Dress?

It typically takes between 2-3 days and 3-4 weeks for a wedding dress to be professionally dry cleaned. This is from the time that it is dropped off and ready to be picked up.

As you can see, the timeline varies dramatically and how long you can expect to wait does depend on a few different factors.

Firstly, it depends on your dress itself. Some dresses are easier to clean; whereas others with more layers will require extra care and attention, and thus the process takes longer.

Secondly, it depends on the time of year and local demand for dry cleaning services in your area.

They may be very busy, and many of these services operate on a first come first serve basis.

So, you’ll likely be at the back of the queue; but how long that queue is can vary.

This is why, if you can, it is a good idea to get your wedding dress dry cleaned in the quieter seasons, and those when weddings are generally not taking place (such as those summer months).

The other common factor that can impact the time it takes, is the reputation and the quality of the dry cleaning company/service itself.

Generally, the better the service the more customers they will have. Additionally, they will be more particular – giving the dress the care and attention it deserves.

While it may take longer, it comes strongly advised to seek out better-known and respected dry cleaning companies.

Local dry cleaning companies may not have the expertise or knowledge to clean your dress adequately or properly, and this runs the risk of either potential damage or them sending it to a wholesale dry-cleaning company.

This, of course, will only increase your waiting time.

Do Dry Cleaners Steam Wedding Dresses?

Dry cleaners do not generally steam wedding dresses; instead using a cleaning solution of particular solvents/chemicals to remove any stains, embellishments or markings.

Dry cleaning is actually a process that does not use water, as it can damage certain fabrics; such as those used to make your wedding dress.

Depending on the dry cleaning service used, will ultimately depend on the chemicals they use on your dress.

As you would expect, the better quality services will use chemicals most suitable for wedding dresses, which run a lower risk of causing damage such as shrinkage or changing the shaping.

When your wedding dress is taken, it will be first inspected. It is from there that all issues are accounted for, prior to a decision on how to treat the dress.

Spot cleaning will then take place on any significant stains or discoloring. This will usually be done manually and before the general and overall cleaning of the dress.

For the most part, professional dry cleaning services will place your wedding dress in a protective bag before being fully submerged in the cleaning solution for a specified time.

Can I Dry Clean My Wedding Dress?

It is generally not possible to dry clean your wedding dress; due to the fact that you would need expensive equipment and particular items to do so. These are not the kind of things we have lying around the house!

So theoretically, you could dry clean your wedding dress.

But, you would need to invest in a dry cleaning machine (costing upward of $15,000), the correct chemical solution, be able to measure out the correct proportions, and know exactly how long to submerge your dress.

This is why it is much more cost-effective, safer, and recommended that you use a dry cleaning service.

Sure, there are other cleaning workarounds often recommended for cleaning clothing items at home, such as steaming and using particular cleaning agents (like alcohol and vinegar) but you do not want to risk these on your dress.

So, for the preservation of your dress, it is important that you take it to a particular dry cleaner, one that specializes in wedding dresses.

They’ll have the expertise, knowledge, and know-how to clean your dress safely, without causing any long-lasting damage.

For example, they will be able to review the specific fabric, stitching, and finer details; before cleaning it in the most appropriate and safest way.

Should I Dry Clean My Wedding Dress Before The Wedding?

Whether or not you decide to clean your wedding dress before the wedding, will mostly depend on where you get your dress from and the condition it is in.

For example, if you are buying a new wedding dress – there will be no need to have it cleaned.

That being said, if you are renting or wearing a wedding dress that has already been worn before, you may need to consider getting it cleaned. Inspect the dress for any discoloration, stains, or markings.

It is also advised to seek out the advice of a professional cleaner, long in advance of the wedding. They will be able to offer advice as to whether or not it is required and what will be involved.


Getting your wedding dress dry cleaned is one of the most affordable and safest ways you can restore it to its former glory.

In many ways, it comes advised following your wedding for long-term preservation.

Generally, the faster your wedding dress is cleaned following the wedding, the higher the chances that any stains will come out.

This will make your life much easier down the line. Whether you want to wear it again, repurpose it, or even want to sell it.

Whatever you do, be very particular with the dry cleaning service you use. You do not want to regret your decision for the sake of a $50-$100.

Wedding dresses are specialized garments that require certain knowledge to work on.

If a regular dry cleaner attempts to clean your dress without the know-how, you may find your dress is returned damaged, shrunk, or out of shape.

Ultimately, it will require some time and investment to get your wedding dress properly cleaned, but it is one of the best things you can do.

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