Whether you've decided to have a destination wedding or you're getting married just down the street, it's important that your wedding dress looks perfect on your big day. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know to ensure your dress holds up until the moment you walk down the aisle.
How You Decide to Transport Your Wedding Dress Will Determine How You Want to Package It.
TSA does allow wedding dresses to be carried through security, but be sure to call your airline to find out how it recommends packaging your gown.
Some airlines offer closets in first class where you can hang your wedding dress in a garment bag.
If the airline does not offer a closet and your wedding dress won't fit into a box that meets carry-on standards, the Fly Away Bride recommends going as far as purchasing your dress its own seat to ensure that it makes it to its destination in pristine condition.
To transport your dress by car, your best bet is packaging it in a box, so it isn't crushed by other luggage. Otherwise, you can place it in a garment bag and drape it across a seat.
Now That You Know Whether You Need to Box Your Dress or Transport It in a Garment Bag, What Is the Best Way to Package It So It Doesn't Wrinkle?
Make sure your dressmaker provides you with a waterproof bag when you pick up your dress. Ideally, he or she will pack your dress for travel, but if you are packing it yourself, ask what material you should use to retain its shape. Usually, they will recommend acid-free, non-dyed tissue paper.
Once you've stuffed your dress with tissue paper or another suitable material, place the dress in a waterproof bag inside the garment bag for added protection.
When packing, this USA Today article recommends folding the train once at the bottom so it fits inside the bag.
Wait until the last minute before packing your dress into a box. Fly Away Bride then recommends using rolled tissue paper (or something in a cylindrical shape) in the folds to avoid creasing.
There are also wedding dress packing kits with instructions and all the information you need to protect your dress, like the one featured in this blog from Wedding Gown Specialists.
What Do You Need to Do When You Get There?
You can bring a handheld steamer, but many of them don't work that well for wedding dresses. Be sure to read reviews before purchasing, and wrap the head of the steamer in a towel to avoid getting water stains on your dress.
Another option is to pay to have your gown professionally pressed upon arrival. This is probably your safest option for a wrinkle-free wedding gown.
The Bathroom Method
If you don't have access to a professional dry cleaner and you don't have a steamer, you can hang your dress in the bathroom — far from any water — and turn on the shower at high heat to create steam in the room. Leave the dress hanging for long enough to lose the wrinkles.
Finally, What Do You Do with Your Dress After the Wedding?
If you're not the type of bride who wants to join the "trash the dress" trend, then you'll want to bring it home in the same condition it arrived in for the wedding. If possible, have it dry-cleaned before you travel. Then package your dress and have it dry-cleaned once more upon your return home.
You can also have it professionally "preserved" by a wedding dress preservation specialist, as shown in this blog from The Knot.
Now that you are all set to take your dress to the wedding, what else do you need to think about bringing? Check out this destination wedding checklist from My Wedding.