Active since 1987, the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists (AWGS) is a Canadian not-for-profit trade association with members in eight countries and would like to attract UK drycleaners to join its ranks. Members are certified to ensure that wedding gowns and heirloom textiles of all kinds are cleaned according to established museum standards and preserved in archival-quality materials.
Brides benefit from the personal, interactive service offered by Certified Wedding Gown SpecialistsTM in local communities, but the guarantee is truly an international warranty because each member honours the guarantee of every other member no matter where in the world they may be.
ABSOLOUTELY FABULOUS: Sally Lorensen Conant, AWGS executive director, at the Clean Show in Atlanta, is pictured (centre) with AWGS’ newest members, Dominador R Asis III, president of Absolute Laundry and Dry Cleaners, and his wife Zaida. They are located in Manila in the Philippines.
Lorensen said: “Every day brides tell me they do not want to take their gowns to an ordinary cleaner. Membership in the Association, when you become a Certified Wedding Gown SpecialistTM, sets you apart from all other cleaners. Members also enjoy the annual meetings held in a different city each year.”
The unique guarantee, which includes pressing gowns at no charge when they are to be used again, as well as the quality of the wedding chests are arguably the best anywhere in the world. Both are compelling marketing tools because brides can trust members to care properly for their gowns. The preservations are ‘green’, too, because AWGS offsets all carbon emissions with donations to Carbonfund.org for reforestation projects worldwide
Two powerful sites, WeddingGownSpecialists.com and WeddingGownSpecialists.net.au link to members, and members also benefit from trademarked logos, special formulas for cleaning and restoration, the AWGS Google group, other promotions such as care labels in designer gowns that recommend AWGS members, and partnerships with wedding media including TheKnot.com, WeddingWire.com, PolkaDotBride.com, EasyWeddings.com.au, ModernWedding.com.au, and PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com
Together with these and other leading wedding websites, AWGS also sponsors the US National Bridal Summer Event held annually the third Saturday in July by hundreds of bridal shops in the US, Canada, and Mexico. The Association has also taken a leading role in a national awareness campaign designed to encourage brides to shop in bridal salons rather than online.
The Association's MuseumCareTM ZeroCarbonTM preservations are endorsed by the Association of Bridal Consultants, the professional organisation dedicated to wedding professionals worldwide.