Best of Columbus Weddings Winner: Dublin Cleaners
Local chain Dublin Cleaners/New Albany Cleaners won first place in the Gowns: Preservation/Cleaning category.
Cleaning, restoring and preserving wedding gowns is a family affair at Dublin Cleaners, which in 2021 earned the readers’ vote in the gown cleaning and preservation category for the second year. (The local chain also operates under the name New Albany Cleaners.)
Husband and wife team Greg and Margaret Butler founded Dublin Cleaners in 1982 and still handle each wedding gown themselves. “Greg is the gown cleaner. He’s been doing it over 40 years,” says Margaret, who helps coordinate wedding gown services, performs any detail work such as hand stitching or replacing missing buttons, and preserves the dresses. “We’re very particular.”
Greg is teaching his proprietary cleaning process to their son, Brian, who now serves as company president.
Once the gown is cleaned, Margaret prepares to preserve it. Preservation prevents yellowing and protects the dress for decades to come. In addition to a passionate attention to detail and personal touch, Dublin Cleaners preservation services come with a lifetime warranty by the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, which is honored by any association member throughout the United States and abroad.
Even during a pandemic year, Dublin Cleaners still saw 700 wedding gowns pass through their doors in 2020, many the result of COVID closet cleanouts. Despite last year’s setback, they are on track to service more than 1,000 dresses this year.
While most clients seek cleaning services for recently-worn attire, restoring older wedding gowns is another specialty of Dublin Cleaners. Having restored so many dresses throughout the years, the Butlers assembled a before-and-after book featuring some of their proudest projects.
Greg recounts his favorite restoration story, about a woman who secretly brought in her grandmother’s and mother’s wedding dresses for services so she could surprise her family by incorporating gowns from three generations into her wedding celebration. “It was just so satisfying to be able to help her. That must have been amazing,” says Greg. “We’ve got all kinds of stories.”