Lost, wrinkled, stained. All words you DON’T want to hear in the same sentence as the words “wedding dress.” So we’ve got just the ticket for keeping your dress safe and sound throughout your beach wedding travels. Pamela Fuit, owner of FloridaBeachWeddings.com has been in the wedding business for more than 12 years. In addition to planning destination weddings across the state of Florida, she also operated a retail store with her daughter, selling wedding dresses, bridal and wedding accessories. From flight to hotel read Pamela’s tips to learn how to travel with a wedding dress:
Pam’s #1 Rule: Avoid packing your wedding dress in checked luggage.
Don’t let the fate of your wedding dress lie in the hands of baggage handlers. Bags may unintentionally be damaged or lost so play it safe and use a carry on when you travel with a wedding dress (or ship separately).
Carry On/Garment Bag:
You may choose a carry on garment bag or hard shelled overhead luggage. VERY IMPORTANT: check with your airline requirements for sizes and carry on regulations. Don’t assume anything. If you have an over-sized bag or too many bags, you may be forced to gate check. And that goes against Pam’s Rule #1: avoid packing your wedding dress in checked luggage. Try to find out how your airline handles passengers with large-but-delicate items like a wedding dress. You can call them ahead of time to see if they would potentially offer closet space (often at the discretion of the flight attendants on duty). Check out this short YouTube video to get wedding dress carry on packing tips.
*Check with a professional (dress sales people or alteration specialist) to see if your dress will require steaming. You can pick up a travel steamer for around $30.
Don’t forget to include in your suitcase all the accessories you plan on wearing with your dress, such as your veil or headpiece, jewelry, lingerie, and shoes (not required for a beach wedding!)
Professional Fold & Pack:
If you have some extra cash and want to play it really safe, you can always purchase another seat on the plane for your gown. It sounds over the top, but lots of brides do it for peace of mind and wrinkle protection.
However, many couples choosing a destination wedding are on a budget so packing the dress is going to be a necessity. It’s best to pack your dress for shipping as if for preservation: Stuff the bodice, skirt, and sleeves (if you have sleeves) with acid-free tissue paper and place the gown in a tissue-lined archival box. To prevent sharp creases, fold the dress in a Z-shape over crumpled tissue paper.
If you are uncomfortable packing your wedding dress on your own, the same laundry services that offer bridal gown preservation/storage often also offers professional bridal gown packing. The bridal salon where you purchased your dress may also be able to pack it.
You can also purchase a “Destination Wedding Kit” which is a specially designed container to fit into the overhead space above your airline seat. Your Destination Wedding Kit goes through security with you when you board the plane. No need to check your gown with your luggage and worry about it getting lost. It can also be shipped (and insured) separately.
Check with flight attendants to see if there is available closet space to hang your dress. If not, you can place your hard shelled luggage in the overhead bin. If you have a garment bag, kindly ask your seat mates if you could lie your dress on top of the luggage bags in the overheard bins. Flight attendants can likely assist you with this. Southwest, Delta, American and United may have closets but again space may not be available. Unfortunately, JetBlue doesn’t have closets or other hanging space, but your wedding dress can definitely be stored in an overhead compartment.
Arriving early to your gate will allow for a little more flexibility with storage options. As well, purchasing priority boarding may get you a better chance at getting your wedding dress into that coveted closet (if your aircraft has it). Again, do yourself a favor and call your airline in advance.
Car Travel: Upon arriving to your Florida destination wedding city you’ll want to practice the same travel tips in the car as you did on the plane.
Hotel: Hang your dress up immediately. Remove it from the garment bag and hang your dress in a safe, dry place. Often hotels offer on steaming/pressing services so check with front desk. But if they don’t, remember the steamer you packed? The night before you beach wedding give your dress one last steam if required. And now you’re good to go – Pinterest ready!
We hope Pam’s tips were valuable and you are now ready to pack your bags and head to the beach in Florida. Click HERE to book your Destination Beach Wedding today!