How To Take Your Wedding Dress On A Plane

07/08/2013 |

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You’ve booked your venue, you’ve found ‘the’ dress and your destination wedding planning is well underway. Then someone asks you: ‘How are you going to take your wedding dress on the plane?’ Hmmm…..


It can be one of the things that lingers at the bottom of your to-do list (from personal experience!), mainly because you’re really not quite sure how you’re going to transport your pride and joy and because it somehow doesn’t seem quite as important as getting your invites sent out, working out who is going to be happy sitting next to you-know-who at the wedding breakfast and the other 150-or-so ‘urgent’ things that need doing….like, yesterday.


Here to help is a step-by-step guide to ensure that you have done your research, thought this through properly and got your plan of action sorted, so that you can tick this off your (hopefully shortening by the day) list. Result!


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Image: Joie Lala via Ever After Honeymoons


Dress decisions

Not bought your dress yet? Light chiffon dresses are great for warm weather weddings and are lightweight to carry and to pack, plus any little creases your dress might get will drop out pretty easily.

Ask for advice from your bridal shop; with destination weddings now being so popular they may have boxes or carriers for your dress, or extra advice and tips for getting any creases out of your specific dress.


Come fly with me

If you haven’t booked your flights for your wedding yet, consider that it might be worth spending a little bit more money on your flights so that you fly with an airline that is more flexible when it comes to hold and hand luggage allowances.

Once you have your flights booked, speak directly to the airline for their advice in terms of taking your dress on their aircraft as every airline has different policies.


Cabin fever

The safest route is to take your dress in the cabin with you. We wouldn’t recommend putting your dress in the hold just incase your suitcase or luggage is delayed, ends up on the wrong flight or gets lost.

Some airlines will hang your dress bag up in the first class wardrobe if there is space – this is more likely with summer destination weddings when there will be fewer passengers with coats to hang up. There is the risk that the airline might say they are  unable to do this once you board the flight, in which case the air stewards may ask you to put your dress in the overhead bins.


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Image left: Justin and Mary via Inspired By This

Image right: Kristyn Hogan via Perfect Bound


It’s a dress in a box

If your airline can not guarantee that they will be able to hang your dress bag up for you and you are not keen on the idea that you may have to fold it in the overhead bins, check out the hand luggage size allowed on your flight and purchase a dress box.

A dress box which fits to the size specifications allowed will ensure your dress is packaged, easy to carry and you know for definite that you will have no problems taking it on as hand luggage. Do also check if you can take one or two items on as hand luggage as you will most likely want a bag with you as well as your dress – many low-cost airlines have strict rules about having one piece of hand luggage only and that the item you have must fit in their size checker.

Make sure that any wedding dress box you buy comes with white acid free tissue paper. Use the tissue paper to pack and protect the dress and to avoid creases.

Some good dry cleaners sell wedding dress boxes with acid free paper and they may even pack your dress for you. Again, your bridal shop may also have this service or know somewhere locally.

You can also order destination wedding dress boxes online. We like ‘Dress in a box’ as the website has video instructions on how to pack your dress along with lots of pretty box style options.

Buying a box to transport your dress is a good investment too as you can use it to store your wedding dress away properly after your wedding.


Hotel help

Contact the hotel you will be staying at for your destination wedding and ask them if they have a steamer which you can use if you do get any creases in your dress. Do not get a steamer too close to your dress or any beading – use a steamer slowly and carefully.

On arrival, check your dress over and then hang it in its protective bag to let any small creases fall out and to ensure it doesn’t get knocked or marked before the big day.

Plan where you will hang your dress; it is likely you won’t want it hanging in your room where your future husband can take a sneaky peak!

You can always turn the shower on hot in your hotel bathroom, close the door until the room becomes steamy and use the steam in the bathroom to aid in any creases dropping out of your dress. Make sure you hang the dress in a clean, dry area of the bathroom!


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Image: Gypsy Westwood via You Mean The World To Me


Personal story!

I got married in Ibiza and we booked our flights with British Airways rather than a low-cost airline, it was worth it and the staff were really helpful. I could take my normal piece of hand luggage and carry my dress on the flight simply in its protective bag. As I boarded the plane the air stewardess offered to hang my dress bag up for me in the first class wardrobe.

I had contacted British Airways before flying and although they could tell me that my flight had a first class wardrobe, they couldn’t guarantee that they would be able to hang my dress bag up. I decided that if the worst came to the worst, I would gently fold the dress bag and put it in the overhead bins, it was just good knowing that with British Airways I could carry my dress on the plane without any problems.

If you are unsure, or you are going on a long haul flight where you’d be concerned about folding your dress in the overhead bins for a longer period, I’d recommend buying a wedding dress box, then you know you are within the airline restrictions and your dress is properly packaged and protected and that it is with you in the cabin – which is the main thing!

On arrival at the hotel in Ibiza, I hung my dress straight up and due to having four days before the wedding day (and as my dress was made from silk and chiffon), any small creases dropped out by the big day.


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Image: Gypsy Westwood via You Mean The World To Me


Has this helped you to plan how you’ll take your dress on a plane?

If you have any questions or need any further help, please leave a message in the comments box.


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