How To Travel With Your Wedding Dress

You’ve spent months looking for that perfect wedding dress. Okay, scratch that. You’ve spent years saving pictures of beautiful wedding dresses in a secret folder, and then you spent months going from one appointment to another to finally find The One. And now you have found it! But, one cloud is hanging over your bridal fashion bliss: you’re having a destination wedding and you’re going to have to travel with your wedding dress!
And while there is nothing better than hopping on a plane to your favorite destination to get married to the love of your life, you are probably now wondering what to do with packing your wedding dress!

You will need to travel with your wedding gown, veil, shoes, and accessories. While shoes and accessories are easy to fit in your luggage, one scary-at-first question remains: HOW WILL I FIT MY WEDDING DRESS & VEIL?!
After all, we’re talking about 150 cm of length on average and, depending on your style, one or several layers of tulle…Not mentioning the fancy delicate fabric and any embellishments on top that you certainly don’t want to damage.
But FEAR NOT, there is a solution, and it’s here! In this article, we share all the tips to help your dress arrive at your destination country in mint condition!

P.S. Don’t forget to share this article with your bridesmaids; their gowns also deserve some love and care!

Photo: Martina Ruffini | Location: Locanda in Tuscany | Planner: Guya Weddings – Charming Events
Photo: Heather Waraksa

Here’s everything you need to know and the tips to travel with your wedding dress:

1- Don’t start by trying to fit your wedding dress in any type of checked luggage

We know the first thing you want to try to do is fit your dress in a suitcase. But please don’t! Even if it is a suitcase that you purchased only to pack your wedding dress in. We have all seen how baggage commonly gets handled in airports, and you don’t want to first risk damaging your dress it if it gets thrown on a watery carousel, for example and second, you certainly want to avoid the risk of it getting lost or delayed and not arrive in time for your wedding (the ultimate wedding nightmare).

2- Call your airline

Call your airline, and call them ahead of time. Your airline is the best place to advise you and offer you the right solutions. Make sure to inquire about the following:

  • Policies on bringing a dress instead of (or even with) a carry-on
  • Carry-on baggage size, weight, and packaging requirements
  • Their procedure for handling delicate and large items
  • Does the plane have any kind of available closet storage
  • Should you speak to someone in particular once you are ready to check-in

Also ask them if they have any tips for you! Each airline has its own policies, procedures and experience, so you never know, they might be able to help you!

3- Check if your wedding dress adheres to overhead luggage requirements

You don’t want to prepare everything and then arrive at the airport to find yourself forced to check in your wedding dress! You now know the requirements and dimensions (Tip no.2), so you can make sure ahead of time that you will be allowed to take it with you on board.

Photo: Stefano Cassaro Photography

4- Opt for a high-quality bridal garment bag

We are not talking about the regular storing bag that comes with your dress. We recommend you go for a garment bag that ideally has all of these features:

  • Large enough to fit your dress without having to even fold it at the bottom
  • Lightweight to make sure you stay within the airline’s weight requirements for carry-on
  • Durable, waterproof fabric and great stitching so that it withstands traveling

5- If you have to fold it, follow these guidelines

Step 1: Carefully turn your dress inside out to protect the outside from dust or any other kind of stain.
Step 2: Lay it on a large flat surface like your bed or floor (super clean floor, obviously).
Step 3: Fold in the sides of the skirt.
Step 4: Loosely roll your dress (insist on loosely), starting with the top. Your top has fewer layers so that it will be best preserved on the inside.
Step 5: Go the extra mile and wrap it in a large plastic bag (you can use 2 or 3 dry cleaning bags, for example).

6- Go for vacant seats

All you have to do is lift that armrest, and lay your dress on the empty seat (obviously in a well-packed garment bag! Tip no.4). Speak to your boarding agent and they will let you know accurately how full your plane now is, and will direct you towards empty seats, or help you with some seat swaps and put these vacant seats to good use.

Photo: Matteo Lomonte Photography | Photo; Moments Lab | Dress: Andrea Sedici | Headpiece : Guinevere Vines

7- Ask for help at check-in

You’ve called your airline, packed your dress according to their requirements, and you are ready to travel. Why not ask for help at the airline check-in counter since you are already there! You might be happy to find out that they can give you the small airplane closet, book for you vacant seats within your eyesight, etc. They might even bump you or your wedding dress to business, where your dress can sit comfortably! Airport staff are courteous and helpful and will surely be understanding when they see a bride with her wedding dress!

8- Label your wedding dress, and label it well!

Make sure you clearly write your full name, destination wedding address details, 2 contact numbers to avoid any roaming issues or unanswered calls, and any other detail you think will help. We really hope you won’t need this, but it is better to be very cautious and think of every detail!

9- Liaise with your destination wedding hotel

Ask your hotel about their dry cleaning services and other good dry cleaners in the area that have the knowhow and material necessary for dry cleaning a dress so that you are ready in case of any issue. By following our tips, you will most likely not need to, but as we already said, better safe than sorry!

10- Don’t forget your steamer!!!

Take with you a portable steamer to handle any little wrinkle that might have traveled with you! It will come in handy anyway on your wedding day for those small little touch-ups. Extra tip? Make sure to properly pack your steamer to avoid any leaks into your luggage.

Photo: Matteo Crescentini Studio

It feels much better now to see all the options and helpful things you can do to make sure traveling with your wedding dress goes smoothly and seamlessly, right? One less thing to worry about!
But if you are still anxious and really need more reassurance, we have one more tip for you (disclaimer: this tip is not for everyone or might not suit all budgets, especially the ones traveling from halfway across the world) but just in case, you can also decide to splurge and buy an extra seat to lay your dress on it!

Want to know more about all things destination wedding related and how to plan your own dream wedding in Italy? WedBoard, your personal destination wedding platform, can provide and match you with the best vendors, inspiration, and tips to plan your dream destination wedding. Stay tuned!

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Feature photo: Stefano Cassaro Photography

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