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Preserve memories

All good things must come to an end. But, there are ways newlyweds can savor the memories from their wedding day. Here's some advice for keeping the wedding gown, bouquet and cake intact for the future.

The Cake
The tradition of eating a piece of wedding cake on the first anniversary can be followed if proper steps have been taken before freezing it. That way you can have your cake and eat it too!
Encase the upper most layer securely in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Beware of using foil alone as it can leave the cake with a nasty, metallic taste. Store the cake in the back of the freezer where the temperature remains constant so the cake will retain its original flavor.

The Bouquet
Flowers can be dried, turned into potpourri or individually pressed within the pages of a book. To properly preserve a bouquet, don't delay, begin the drying process before leaving on your honeymoon.
Turn the bouquet upside down and hang it in a dry, dark place for about two weeks. By that time it should be completely dried out and ready to decorate a wall or shelf.
To make potpourri, remove fresh petals and place in a bowl out of sunlight, for about 2-3 weeks. After the petals are dry, add a drop or two of floral-scented potpourri oil.
Pressed flowers or just the petals can be used to adorn the pages of a wedding album, placed in a picture frame or used on stationery. Cut fresh flowers close to the base and place them inside a folded piece of wax paper. Then, place it all within the pages of a heavy book. Check back in two weeks.

The Wedding Gown
Time is especially important when handling your dress after the wedding. Take the garment to the dry cleaners as soon as possible, no longer than one month after the ceremony, so stains can be removed. If you wait, the stains may adhere permanently to the material.
Inquire how the dress will be handled and packed. The gown should be cleaned individually and turned inside-out to avoid harm to the beading and embroidery. Stains should be treated by hand. Some stains, such as sugar, cannot be dissolved by most dry cleaning fluid, so check into this, if necessary.
The best storage option would be a acid-free box with acid-free tissue paper. The window of the box should be acetate, which is also acid-free, rather than plastic. Glue, metal and rubber parts in the headpiece can produce brown stains on the dress, so request it be stored in a separate box. You can ask to see the gown before it's packed away to inspect it for problems. If you choose to do your own wrapping, remove all padding from the shoulders or bust. Wrap the garment in a clean white sheet or piece of muslin.

All gowns, whether they are prepared professionally or wrapped by you, should be laid flat, not hung, in a dry area with a constant temperature. Attics or basements may not be a good idea, as they can be too hot or too damp. It's also a good idea to check the dress once a year, for any damage or stains.

   by Kathryn Lemmon, Staff Writer




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