How to Transport Your Wedding Gown—No Matter How You’re Traveling

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Now that you’ve picked out the perfect wedding dress, you've got to decide how to get it home and then to your wedding venue, and it’s not always as simple as you might think. From gowns covered in delicate embellishments to those made with fabric that wrinkles easily, to ones that are just plain big (hello, princess dress!), most need to be handled with care when in transit, whether you’re traveling by car, plane, bus, or train.

A few key rules to keep in mind

First and foremost, once the dress is in your hands, don’t let it leave your sight (unless you're handing it off to a trusted seamstress). You may choose to have your bridal salon ship you the dress or you may opt to pick it up from the store, but once you've received it, avoid shipping your gown — it could get damaged, stolen, or lost (yikes).
Whether you pick the dress up at the bridal salon or have them ship it to your home, the designers or consultants will package your dress to protect it from rips, wrinkles, and other damages. Leave it in that packaging! As tempting as it is to try on your dress every other day leading up to the wedding, resist. Your gown will be much safer in the original packaging. Also, make sure to ask if there are any other additional precautions you should take when it comes to storage or transport.
Lastly, consider how much traveling you'll be doing with your gown while shopping. If a dress requires a lot of special care, make sure it won't be overwhelming to deal with when the wedding gets closer.
And finally, here’s our breakdown on how to transport your dress, no matter how you’re traveling.

Transporting The Wedding Gown By Car

Traveling by car with your gown is ideal, simply because you won’t have to work around other people.
No matter what, make sure your dress is protected in a garment bag—otherwise, it’s at risk for stains (you never know what’s lurking on the floor of your car or a cab!). The bridal salon should have given you a bag, but if not, you can either buy one or DIY a makeshift one. Pinning pillowcases, fitted sheets, or large garbage bags around your gown will do the trick in a pinch.
Once your dress is in a bag, hang it on the hooks inside the roof of the car. Drape the skirt over the back seat, keeping it as flat as possible to avoid wrinkling. If you have a car full of passengers (like your shopping crew) or luggage (like your honeymoon bag!) in the back seat and that isn't an option, lay the dress flat in the trunk of the car. Just make sure nothing goes on top of the dress — that’s a recipe for wrinkles and rips!

Transporting The Wedding Gown By Plane

Whether you’re traveling across oceans or just a few states over, taking your dress on a plane can be tricky business.
The first rule of flying with your gown: Do NOT, under any circumstances, check your wedding dress. It could easily be damaged, lost, or, stolen. You’ve heard horror stories about valuables being stolen from suitcases, so don’t even make that an option.
Instead, make your dress your carry-on item. Specific airlines and flights will have different guidelines for transporting your dress. Calling ahead or checking the airline’s website is a good starting point. Give yourself even more time than usual to get through security, too. If the dress won’t fit through the conveyor belt scanner, it may have to be searched manually, which can take longer.
Ideally, you’ll want to bring your dress in its original garment bag. If the flight has a closet in the front, you can hang the dress there. If not, lay it flat in one of the overhead bins. On a crowded flight, there might not be enough space for your gown to have its own bin. In that case, just make sure nobody puts their luggage on top of your dress — make sure it goes on top!
Photo by Rui Silvestre on Unsplash
Photo by Rui Silvestre on Unsplash
Boldly label your garment bag. You never know how many brides-to-be might be on the same flight. A dress mix-up is the last thing you want!
Packing your dress in a suitcase is another option, if possible. That way, you won’t have to worry about not having a good spot to store it on the plane. Just be sure to add layers of tissue paper in the suitcase to avoid wrinkles. A few creases are inevitable, though, so packing a handheld steamer or having your dress professionally steamed after arriving will make sure your dress looks picture perfect!
Still worried? You can actually buy your dress its own plane ticket — it’s been done before! For a couple hundred bucks, you’ll have peace of mind because your dress will be right next to you the whole time.

Transporting The Wedding Gown By Public Transit

If you're taking a short subway or bus ride—whether it's home from the salon or off to the wedding—make sure your dress is well protected and try NOT to travel during rush hour (you know how packed public transport can get). If there's not much flexibility regarding when you ride, consider treating you and your gown to a cab for extra safekeeping. If you're taking a long ride on a bus or train, extra dress protection will be key.
Try to get a seat for you and the dress, and lay it flat if space allows. You can also hang it from one of the overhead poles, but be sure to keep a hand on it the whole time. For long-distance rides, you may be able to store the dress in the overhead bins but avoid train or bus closets, which aren't as secure as they are on an airplane.
While transporting a wedding dress can be tricky, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare! With a little protection and planning, your dress will look absolutely perfect on the big day. Happy traveling!
Kellee Khalil
About The Author
Kellee Khalil is the Founder & CEO of Loverly. She lives in upstate NY with her fiancé and two dogs.
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