There’s nothing more exciting than marrying in a romantic destination, however, planning the logistics for a jet-set wedding takes some organisation and research.

While most of the wedding co-ordination can be conducted by phone and email, some things require a personal touch – such as transferring your wedding dress abroad.

The Dos And Don’ts Of Traveling With Your Wedding Dress

When it comes to this precious cargo, you’ll want to undertake due diligence to ensure it arrives as preserved and pristine as the day you bought it. The good news is that it’s entirely do-able, here’s how.

To ship or to fly?

The first question you’ll need to consider is whether you will ship you dress by courier or take it with you by air.

A courier can be an expensive option, and there is some jeopardy in it arriving on time, so early booking is a must. The dress also needs to be expertly packaged and protected in a suitable box that is sturdy and waterproof. Be sure to shop around for different couriers, as policies and prices vary.

Flying with your wedding dress, however, tends to be a more popular option as you can travel with it, so you know where it is at all times. There are a few considerations of you go down this route, let’s get into it…

Booking your flight

Before booking a flight, be sure to look at the detail and the terms of that airline, all airline’s have different policies and costs when it comes to travelling with a wedding dress.

For instance, Easyjet’s current policy requires you to pre-book a ‘large cabin bag’ allowance, or to check the item in as hold luggage. While British Airways also offers the option to carry it as either hand or checked-in luggage – terms and conditions apply, so be sure to check these.

You may want to air on the side of caution when checking-in a wedding dress, as you know – luggage can often get delayed or lost in transit. If you have no choice, then consider flying out a few days ahead of your wedding to buy you time should you need it.

Along with boxing it in a similar way to a courier, you’ll also want to heavily protect your dress against the elements, as cargo holds can be subject to extreme temperatures. Don’t forget to label your package with all your outbound details too.

Should you decide to carry your dress, think about where it will be stored on the flight. This might be the overhead locker, so you’ll want to make sure it’s well protected – we’ll come to this shortly. There’s also a difference in flying short-haul and long haul. Long-haul aircraft tend to have hanging closets on board most fleet, which means you can hang your dress up if there’s space, again speak to the airline about this who can advise depending on the plane for the flight.

Dress etiquette

Once you’re booked on a flight, there’s the small matter of how to carry your dress. First thing’s first, speak to the wedding dress supplier you bought it from. They will be very familiar with transferring dresses abroad, and will be able to offer some helpful insight.

They will know the designer, including the fabrics and materials used, and should be able to advise on what sort of packaging will work best to avoid creases, rips, or ruin. They may also still have the original box, special tissue, or packaging in storage, which will custom fit your dress – so don’t be afraid to ask.

Packging your dress

Now for the most important part – packing your wedding dress.

If you’re packing your dress into a piece of luggage, first hang it straight on the hanger. Next, zip it into the garment bag it came with carefully. This should ideally be water-proof. Laying the dress on the floor, remove the hanger (sadly this can’t come on board), and squash the air out of the package. To condense it down, roll it upwards to prevent creasing. There are a number of helpful YouTube videos to assist with this.

If your dress is highly detailed with lots of gems that could cause snagging, you’ll want to take a slightly different approach. Instead, lie the dress in its garment carrier on the floor. Cover the front entirely in acid-free tissue paper – as much as you feel necessary. Then, zip up the bag, squash out the air, and slowly roll it, before placing it carefully into luggage. Needless to say, your dress should be carried on its own with no other items in the suitcase.

If you’re planning to hold your dress on the flight, rather than put it in a suitcase, you’ll need a sturdy waterproof garment carrier with (plastic) hanger. If your dress is easy enough to fold up, then a compact convertible garment bag is a great storage option. Once again, there’s no harm speaking to your carrier ahead of flying to be clear on guidelines.

Other transport considerations

Of course, it’s not just flying you need to think about. There will be taxi or car transfers at either end of the trip. Book ample cars (or better still vans) to avoid any unnecessary squashes, and where possible pack a hanger to carry them in the car.

If you’re checking into a hotel, inform them in advance that you’re arriving with your wedding dress, so that their team can be prepared for your arrival and quick room transfer where you can then get your dress out and hang it up.

Arriving into your destination

When you arrive abroad, avoid unpacking your dress until you’re at your final destination. Once there, unpack your dress carefully, putting tissues and packaging to one side for your return journey. Open the dress out of the bag and let it breathe for 24 hours.

And finally, give yourself enough time to breathe. Weddings are charged occasions, without the added exhaustion that comes with travel. If you can, try and give yourself a few days between arriving and saying ‘I do’. Your future married self will thank you for it!