Planes, Trains & Automobiles
.... is a hilarious movie and if you're too young to remember it, find and watch it. It's pee your pants good, with a tender ending that will remind you that kindness and family are two of the foundations of life.
Meanwhile - the purpose of this blog is to address something that we often forget about as purveyors of wedding dresses - until it comes up at some random time: traveling with your wedding gown.
For a car trip, this isn't too too much heavy lifting, so to speak. You find the right garment bag and make sure that there is room to lay or hang the gown so that it will receive the least amount of exposure, abuse to the fabric, bending or folding.
But if your wedding is in another state or country, do you fly with it or ship it?
It's hard to imagine spending the time, heart, and money on a gown and then entrusting it to a carrier - no offense to carriers! But if this is something you feel comfortable with, do your homework, pay the extra for insurance, keep your tracking number close and make sure that the recipient on the arrival side (a best friend or trusted family member) is there and will bird dog the situation.
If you decide to fly with your gown - here are some seriously good ideas from our friends at Brides.com.
The Big 4 if you're flying
Good Idea 1
Talk to your airline
You'll know if they have any special instructions for passengers traveling with bulky and delicate items. They may have information that will help you know how to pack, when to board and what to expect.
Good Idea 2
Pack your gown with care in a garment bag.
"Most wedding dresses have trains and many have lots of fabric, so gathering up your wedding dress neatly into a garment bag isn't necessarily an intuitive task. Here's how to pack up your wedding dress properly and avoid getting wrinkles in your dress during the flight. First, stick the hanger of the dress through the top of the garment bag and hang it up high so you can work with the wedding dress. Then, take the left side of the gown and the right side of the gown and fold them into each other toward the center. From there, take the bottom of the train and roll it up until the fabric is contained within the garment bag. Once inside, it's time to zip it up — carefully. Whenever you zip up a garment bag with delicate fabric inside, make sure to place a finger on the other side of the zipper as you guide it up so that the dress doesn't get caught in its tongs."
Good Idea 3
Consider buying your gown a seat on the flight.
Now, not everyone can afford this, so look into priority boarding and chatting with your seat-mates as well. People love to be a part of a plan and will more than likely not only be excited for you, but will help you to place your gown in the over head flat, or find a spot in the hanging priority bins at the front of the plane. THIS is just the occasion to ask for special treatment - just do it with kindness and humility. No one likes an entitled pain in the rump - i.e. bridezilla.
Good Idea 4 - this may be the most important one...
Purchase and take with you a good portable steamer.
You will need it. Period. To protect against water stains, get the little sock that goes over it too. If you're getting married overseas, you'll already have thought of this, but..... pack an adaptor for the electrical outlets. Theirs are not like ours.
Common Sense when Traveling with Your Gown
Finally, use your head.
- If your gown has a shaped bodice, stuff it with tissue or a form that will help it keep its shape.
- Assign someone you trust to help you pack it in the garment bag and be "on dress duty" for the entirety of the event, including getting it home in great shape if you've taken off on your honeymoon. Loving reminder: the person who does this deserves special treatment and a special thank you or gift.
- Ask for tips along the way. Boutiques like BT will have definite Dos and Don'ts to share; the airline will provide help if you let them know in advance and even when boarding; the wedding location will have a concierge who knows local places for last minute needs and finally - let your bridesmaids know that you trust them, but need them to have your back.
Purchase and pack a travel garment steamer.
Pack your gown in a protective, expandable garment bag.
Assign someone to help you with packing, tracking, unpacking and getting your dress "day ready" and home safely.
Get tips along the way from people who've done this before.
Specific, Helpful Links about traveling with your gown:
from Martha Stewart Weddings
from Wedding Wire
Store owner, Kelly has been in the bridal industry since 2000, when at the ripe old age of 20 she opened her first little store front on a wing and a prayer. She is a certified wedding planner (no, she does not plan weddings), and everything she knows about bridal and formal wear has come from, gut instinct, trial and error, and watching LOTS of What Not to Wear.