How to transport your bridal gown for a wedding abroad

20 Jun 2019

Planning a destination wedding? Here's how to ensure your wedding dress arrives in perfect condition

Image: Jonathan Borba via Unsplash

While an overseas wedding may seem idyllic, travelling abroad to tie the knot can raise many logistical issues. 

Planning a wedding from afar can prove difficult, so a lot of faith will be put in your suppliers to do a professional job. However there are still many aspects that will fall to you, and one - if not the - most important is ensuring that you, your wedding guests and your wedding dress arrive at your chosen destination safe and sound. 

With so much time, effort and money spent to find the dress of your dreams, your bridal gown should be given the care and attention it requires to ensure smooth and seamless transportation. Here are our top tips to make the process as straightforward as possible. 

Packing your dress

Packing your wedding dress properly should be your utmost priority. For this reason, it is advisable to invest in a sturdy travel box that can be bought from a dry-cleaners who specialise in wedding dress preservation or a provider can be recommended by your bridal boutique. They may even be able to pack your dress for you. 

Giselle Hulme, owner of The Empty Box Company, shares her expert advice when it comes to packing your dress: "Use a really sturdy, protective breathable box that will survive any bumps and spillage. Pack the dress with plenty of acid free tissue paper to minimise creasing and prevent discolouration."

If you can fit the box in your suitcase, then it goes without saying that the dress should be packed away from food, toiletries and make-up that could leak. Ideally, the dress should be packed independently of the rest of your luggage. 

Transporting your dress

How you are going to transport your dress should be given some careful consideration. You could ship the dress ahead of your departure date, although this can come with its own risks such as delays, damage and even theft. If you plan to transport the dress yourself, take the box on as hand luggage - checking accepted hand luggage dimensions and weights with your airline well before you leave for the airport. 

As hand luggage, the dress can be stowed in the overhead compartments of the aircraft. Alternatively, you could ask the cabin crew once on board if there are any spare seats on the flight where the dress can be stored for the duration. Some brides even go to the lengths of buying an additional airline seat just for their dress. On-board closets can also be considered if you're travelling on a long-haul flight. Speak to your airline to discuss the options. 

When you arrive

Once you arrive at your wedding destination, remove the dress from its box and hang it up in its garment bag to allow any creases to fall.

If you are staying at a hotel, there may be a pressing service available - just make sure you give the housekeeping staff any necessary care instructions beforehand.

If you're a bride on a budget, take a portable steamer with you or try hanging the dress on the door of a steamy bathroom for 15-20 minutes. Once restored to its former glory, place the dress back in its garment bag and hang in the wardrobe or out of the way in your room so that it remains in perfect condition before the big day. 

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