If you're planning a destination wedding, you might be wondering how you're going to travel with your beautiful wedding dress without it getting ruined.
It’s best to plan out the logistics of exactly how you’re going to do it ahead of time, so here are my five expert tips on how to fly with your wedding dress to make it a stress-free experience:
1. When considering whether you should check your dress or bring it as a carry-on, I always recommend that you bring your dress as a carry-on. You’ll feel so much more comfortable being in control of how it’s being handled and knowing exactly where it is throughout the flight. Plus, bringing it as a carry-on eliminates the potential nightmare of losing your dress in the checked bag process because it never leaves your sight!
Most airlines will allow you to fly with your dress as a carry-on, but it’s important that you contact them ahead of time to confirm for sure and clarify their specific policies/requirements.
2. Some planes have an on-board closet that you can hang your wedding dress in (typically used for first class passengers and/or the flight staff’s personal use) - just keep in mind that the airline will not be able to guarantee use of this space in advance as they have to give priority to passengers flying with carry-ons that physically can’t be stowed in the overhead bin space (e.g. wheelchair, walker, etc.).
Getting to the gate early to talk to the gate agent about your dress is a smart move because they might able to help you snag the coveted closet space if it’s available!
3. If there isn’t a closet available on your flight - either because it doesn’t exist or because it’s already full, you may need to store your dress in an overhead bin. If you’re traveling with other people, you can lay your dress flat across the top of their suitcases to reduce wrinkles, and/or you may want to consider purchasing priority boarding so you can be one of the first ones on the plane to stake out adequate space in the overhead bins.
4. Another option you may want to consider, if you want to play it really safe, is purchasing your dress its own ticket. This might sound a bit extravagant, but a lot of brides opt to do this for the peace of mind and wrinkle protection it comes with. Plus, the extra seat entitles you to an additional carry-on bag – bonus!
Alternatively, if buying a ticket for your dress isn’t in the budget and if your flight isn’t full, you can ask if there are any open seats that you can put your dress in. Most flight staff will do their best to accommodate your request as they know this is such an important day in your lives.
5. If you’re planning to travel with your dress in a garment bag, be sure to use a high quality, full length garment bag (not one of the basic plastic ones that your dress may have come in), and again, ensure that it will fit within the airline’s carry-on size requirements.
You’ll want to make sure that it can fit through a security x-ray machine. If it can’t fit, the security officer will need to screen your dress manually, which requires opening the garment bag – you’ll want to allow yourself extra time for this just in case. You can also choose to pack your dress in a carry-on suitcase instead, and there are several good YouTube videos on how to do it to minimize wrinkles.
However you choose to fly with your wedding dress, you’ll definitely want to bring a portable steamer (that you’ve tested on another garment first) and/or contact the resort about steaming services because no matter how careful you are, you’re likely going to want to give it a quick refresh after you arrive in destination to make sure it’s completely wrinkle-free for your big day!
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