How to Travel With Your Wedding Dress

April 8, 2024 | kailey

Are you dreaming of a romantic wedding in a faraway destination? Perhaps you envision an adventurous winter wedding amidst the Scottish Highlands or a summer cliffside soirée in Italy. Regardless of the location, those planning a destination wedding will inevitably encounter some obstacles along the way—beyond hiring vendors or finding a venue from afar. 

Planning a wedding from hundreds or thousands of miles away comes with its own set of challenges. And one that’s often overlooked is sorting out travel logistics, especially regarding your wedding dress. Shoving your precious gown into a suitcase and hoping for the best isn’t the best strategy. So, if your destination wedding dreams are becoming a reality, here’s how to travel with your wedding dress to ensure that it makes it safely (and in time) for your big day.

Options For Traveling With Your Wedding Dress 

1. Carry-on

Unfortunately, misplaced luggage happens more frequently than one would hope. After spending a lot of time, energy, and money planning your big day, the last thing you want is to be left standing at baggage claim with no suitcase in sight. The only way to avoid this situation altogether is to opt for the carry-on option. 

Before booking your flight, make sure it’s the approved size and that there will be extra room for oversized carry-on pieces, should you need it. Some airlines reserve space in the first-class cabin area to store larger items like wedding dresses or suits. However, rather than assuming this is the case, we highly recommend calling the airline ahead of time to confirm. 

2. Purchase An Extra Ticket 

When it comes to international travel, spending thousands on an extra ticket may not be the most practical solution. However, consider purchasing an additional ticket for your wedding dress for shorter distances where flights are more affordable. If there is room in your budget, this is a great option for those who want to keep their wedding gowns close and spread out, lessening the chances of wrinkles. 

3. Check Your Wedding Dress

We know that lugging around a bulky carry-on item can add unnecessary stress to your travel journey. You’ve already got a lot going on, so we understand carrying your dress on may not be appealing to everyone. For those who prefer not to hassle with transporting their dress by hand, checking your gown is always an option. However, it’s important to note that this is arguably the riskiest way to get it to your destination. In fact, you’ll find that most bridal boutiques do not recommend this. If this is the route you take, be sure to arrive at your destination early in case of baggage troubles, and consider adding an Airtag to the luggage so you can keep track of it. 

4. Ship Your Wedding Dress 

If the thought of traveling with your wedding dress seems daunting, consider shipping it to your destination. Using a reliable shipping service to handle your gown long before your wedding day can relieve any travel concerns. Plus, many shipping companies offer tracking and insurance, so you can be assured your valuable items will be well taken care of if something goes wrong. 

Image by The Drakes. See more of this real wedding here.

Tips on How to Travel With Your Wedding Dress

When it comes to traveling with your wedding dress, there are more options than you might have thought. Regardless of which one you choose, there are still many preventative steps you can take to ensure your gown is fully protected. Here are a few Junebug-approved tips that will help ease any concerns you may have.

1. Call Your Airline Ahead 

If you’re flying to your destination, call your airline ahead of time to discuss your options. They can clarify any confusion and provide all the logistical and pricing information needed. Plus, they may be able to make special arrangements to accommodate your dress.

2. Steam or Press Before Packing

Before packing your dress, make sure it’s clean and wrinkle-free. Consider getting it professionally cleaned, steamed, and pressed to remove any wrinkles or creases. This is an important step for those having a destination wedding because it saves you the hassle of finding these services when you arrive. If you’re worried about wrinkles during traveling, pack a handheld steamer and do a little DIY touch-up on your wedding day. 

3. Invest in a Quality Garment Bag 

If you’re traveling with your wedding dress in hand, invest in a high-quality garment bag designed for wedding dresses. Finding one that is sturdy, made of good material, and has enough space to accommodate the dress without cramming it is key to protecting your gown. Not sure where to start? Consider Wally Bags, which you can have shipped to your doorstep quickly with Amazon.

4. Watch Tutorials on Folding 

Every wedding dress is unique, so the folding strategy will vary depending on the style and material. For those shipping their wedding dresses or packing their gown in a suitcase, we suggest searching for tutorials on the best folding technique tailored to your dress. 

The key is to have tissue paper and cardboard on hand to place between folds to keep your dress safe and sturdy, especially if it has delicate beading.

Image by Hakuna Matata. See more of this real wedding here.

5. Pack in a Waterproof Box  

Using a waterproof box is essential for those shipping their dress or packing it in a suitcase. Remember, in these situations, you won’t have complete control over how your dress is handled. That’s why it’s crucial to set yourself up for success, and a waterproof box provides an extra layer of protection. 

6. Arrive Early 

If you’re planning to pack your wedding dress in a suitcase, aim to arrive at your destination early. As we’ve said, lost luggage is not uncommon. Arriving early gives you the extra time needed to address any potential mishaps or, in the worst-case scenario, arrange for a new last-minute wedding outfit. 

7. Pack an Emergency Kit 

You have to be prepared for anything and everything on your wedding day. That’s why we recommend putting together a fashion emergency kit to save the day if anything needs last-minute touch-ups. Having a sewing kit, instant stain remover, and a handheld steamer can be a lifesaver when you least expect it. 

For those planning a destination wedding, ensuring your wedding dress arrives safely is stressful. But you still want to be prepared for any unexpected emergency that may pop up when you arrive. That’s why having a wedding day emergency kit is so important. Not sure what to include our guide breaks down the must-have items that’ll solve almost every problem under the sun.

Image by MemoryBox Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

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