How to Travel with a Wedding Gown
Wedding gowns are not standard clothing items and require some thought and careful preparation before traveling to your wedding whether it is across town or to some island paradise.
I have seen brides carry gowns in every way imaginable. Most keep them in the large protective garment bags they were delivered in.
Before you choose and purchase your gown, you should plan the gown’s design, size and fabric around the location of your wedding venue. Traveling across town any gown can safely travel to your destination. But if your wedding is in another state or in another country airlines, airline handlers, and airline security must be considered. Choosing a fabric that doesn’t wrinkle easily and a design that is more manageable for packing is key. Think about the location and how the design of the gown works with the scenery and time of day for the wedding. A large ballroom gown is not easy to transport and really doesn’t look the part of a daytime island wedding or the rolling hills of Tuscany. Warmer climates call for lighter weight fabric and comfortable gowns.
Traveling by car across country is challenging enough for a destination wedding. So Packing your gown correctly is key. Using your original garment bag, hang your gown up in the car and let the train flow smoothly across the back seat or floor board depending on the size of your gown. Do not place any items on or near the dress for fear of wrinkling or damaging your gown. And by all means keep all food and drinks away from your precious cargo!
Airlines are a major consideration for your destination weddings. Even if flying to another city, similar care must be considered as if you were having your wedding in another country or island. It is not recommended that you check your gown like you do your luggage, but rather see if you can talk with the airlines and hang the gown up in one of the first-class or flight crew closets. Letting your dream gown be checked in like a piece of luggage is a disaster in the making. The gown might be lost, late in arrival, even damaged by conveyor machines or soiled beyond recognition by traveling beverages of other passengers.
Before the days of high security measures, the airlines had many vacant seats and one could actually carry the gown on-board and place in the seat next to you. 911 has forever changed this for us. Today, you may have to purchase an extra ticket for your gown as a traveling companion or use a personal courier to assist with your gown. Talk to your travel planner and wedding planner for more advice and ideas as every location and airline has different needs. And if you are looking for the best wedding photographer for travel, give me a shout. I love traveling despite the security and the many different country requirements placed on photographers. This is another story to be told later!
In the case where I photographed Angie’s wedding in Italy, the wedding planner was able to roll Angie’s gown up and not wrinkle it. Alice helped Angie choose a streamline gown of lace and medium-length train to enable traveling to a foreign country. Alice hand carried the gown on the different planes with her!
Thecla’s wedding a couple of weeks ago in East Tennessee at Whitestone Inn all the guests either drove across country or flew in from Norway for the wedding. A large steamer was waiting for the arrival of all the bridesmaid’s gowns, Thecla’s gown and family wedding attire. In the below photograph you can barely see the large commercial steamer. Her Maggie Sottero gown was unpacked and allowed to hang a couple of days before the wedding giving it a perfect look for the wedding.
A little forethought in choosing the right travel wedding gown and some precautions in packing and travel are a must for a picture perfect wedding gown on one’s very special day!
I hope this article is helpful to you. It is something I have been wanting to write for some time and will probably elaborate more on it another time.
Good travels to you!