While exciting, planning a destination wedding has its own set of logistical challenges. Whether the destination is over state lines or overseas, one of those obstacles is getting your wedding gown from point A to point B in one piece.
Even if your dress arrives undamaged, there are other things you have to consider – like getting the creases out and whether or not you remembered to pack the right accessories.
Fortunately, you have a few seasoned wedding planners to give you the lowdown on traveling with your wedding gown. Read our time-tested tips below and have peace of mind while you travel.
Plan Ahead Before Traveling with a Wedding Dress
First and foremost, consider how you will get to your destination. By plane? Car? If you’re flying, call the airline and ask about their carry-on policies. Not all aircraft have hanging space, so you may have to lay your dress in an overhead compartment with the understanding that people are going to put their luggage on top of it.
Second, know what fabric your gown is made of so you’ll know whether or not it can be steamed or pressed at the venue. Call ahead and schedule your dress to be professionally steamed/pressed upon arrival.
Third, your gown may come with a garment bag, but it might not be made for travel. If you purchased from a retailer that doesn’t typically work with wedding attire or you didn’t receive a garment bag at all, you can buy a high-quality travel bag online.
Traveling by Plane with a Wedding Gown
If you’re flying to your wedding location, you have a few options for traveling with your gown. Checking it is not one of them. Checking any of your big-day attire is too risky – not only because it might not make it to your destination on time (or at all), but because – have you seen how luggage is handled?
Instead, ask a flight attendant if there’s hanging space. Sometimes they’ll be able to accommodate you by hanging your gown in the closet at the front of the plane. If not, you’ll need to either:
- put it into the garment bag and pack it in a piece of carry-on luggage, which you’ll store in the overhead bin
- lay the dress as flat as possible in the overhead bin (not advisable)
- hold the dress in your lap for the duration of the trip
- buy an extra seat for your dress
In an ideal world, you’ll be able to hang your gown for the full flight. But if things don’t turn out that way, the second best option is to store it safely in the garment bag and carefully pack it in a carry-on case. Also, remember to pack a backup pair of shoes and accessories as carry-ons.
Lastly, pin your contact info (name, phone number, email, destination address) inside the garment bag. It’s unlikely that your garment will make it outside your circle, but you can never be too careful with these things.
Traveling by Car with a Wedding Dress
If possible, we recommend that you drive your dress to your destination and save yourself the stress of lost luggage and creased (or torn) fabric.
Use your backseat or trunk space to lay/hang your gown flat. Keep the gown out of the sun and in a cool space, especially if your garment has beading (they tend to yellow). And don’t travel with it bustled because that will create creases.
And even though your gown is in a garment bag, if it’s inside the car, avoid eating and drinking – especially in a moving vehicle. From spills to rips to unwanted odors permeating the bag, you just don’t know what could happen!
Should You Ship Your Wedding Gown?
In a word – no. Think about how stressful it would be to try and track such an important piece of your wedding day. And what if it doesn’t arrive on time? Besides, once it’s out of your hands, you don’t know how it will be handled.
If you absolutely must ship your gown to your wedding location, buy insurance, add tracking, and make sure there’s a barrier between the dress and the box you’ve packed it in.
Tips for Arrival
As soon as you reach your destination, take your gown out of the bag, let it breathe, and fall naturally. Check every layer of your dress.
It’s important not to hang it from the dress straps but from the hanger straps instead. Loop them around the hanger as many times as needed to take the weight off the dress straps. You’ll want to cut the hanger straps out for the wedding, but don’t throw them away. Pin them back in or set them aside to use again later.
If you already called ahead and scheduled a time for your dress to be pressed or steamed, that’s one less thing to worry about. If not, you’ll need to make arrangements or DIY. If you have a wedding planning team, we’ll ensure your dress is taken care of – along with all the other details – upon arrival!
Traveling with a wedding gown is no small thing. Not only is it an expensive garment, but it’s a special piece of attire for a meaningful day. To lose or damage it during the journey would be heartbreaking. But if you follow these tips, your travel experience will be much easier, and your attire should arrive in tip-top shape!And for an even easier all-around experience, reach out, and let us take care of the details.