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How to Travel With and Transport Your Wedding Dress Safely

Your wedding dress is one of the most important style elements of your big day. It’s the gown yyou’ve had your “say yes” moment with, and needless to say, it’s extremely precious. There’s no point in potentially spending a chunk of your budget on something, only for it to not make it to your venue or destination wedding intact. If you have to travel with your wedding dress or indeed bridesmaid dresses, either by car, train or plane there are certain things you should bear in mind when making travel plans. Luckily, we’re here to help with our guide on how to transport and travel with your wedding dress or bridesmaid dresses with peace of mind, from materials to packing essentials and last-minute wrinkle-removing hacks. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty detail!

Photo by Bodart Studio via One Fab Day

Pre-Trip Planning

You know what they say – fail to plan, plan to fail! After months of careful planning and consideration of your entire day from something borrowed and something blue to ring-bearers, musicians, and overnight bags, it’s important to remember to leave some time to dedicate to the packing process. If you’ve bought your dress from a bridal boutique or bridal designer, they will be the best people to advise you on how best to transport and store your dress. They’ll have knowledge of your individual dress; the fabrics and embellishment, the garment bag you were given, and how the dress hangs over time. So make them your first port of call if you have any questions. We have a great post on how to store your wedding dress at home which you should read too.

What to ask your bridal boutque or designer:

  • How should I store my dress?
  • How should I transport my dress?
  • How should I remove any wrinkles from my gown
  • How should I hang my dress?

How to Pack

Packing up your wedding dress or bridesmaid dress doesn’t have to be the nightmare that you anticipate it will be. Actually, when you’re prepared it can be quick, stress-free, and methodical, following the advice of your bridal boutique. If you want a wrinkle-free gown for the big day, we advise you invest in the appropriate packing essentials to bring with you to avoid last-minute panic.

The Packing Essentials       

Here’s what you absolutely need to pack for wrinkle-free gowns on your wedding day.

  • Padded hanger (s)
  • Garment bag(s)
  • Lint roller
  • Travel iron, or preferably, a steamer
  • A wedding dress and accessories travel box! They’re sturdy and convenient allowing you to flat pack your dess and they’re also accepted as carry-on luggage on airlines – meaning you can place your dress above your head on a flight or train journey. These are also very useful for delicate items like headpieces and your veil. Find them on Etsy!

Photo by Susie Kelly via One Fab Day

Check in with your Venue

Before you start packing, panicking or both, reach out to the venue to ask a few essential questions that could be a packing life-saver. if you’re short on space. Although, we’d be slow to leave anything to chance and would bring our own items every time if possible. But it’s useful to know whether your venue will have a spare.

What to ask your venue:

  • Do you have a good quality iron or steamer?
  • Do you have an ironing board?
  • Is there a wardrobe space suitable to store my wedding gown?
  • Do you have padded hangers

Photo by Ryan Flynn Photography via One Fab Day

Savvy Travel Tips

Lindsay Moynagh, owner of House of Hanna Weddings and Events, has not only worked on countless destination weddings, but also had a destination wedding in Italy with 200 guests herself.  She spoke with us on the One Fab Day Wedding Podcast about her tips and tricks when it came to destination wedding prep. She insists on ensuring your dress is hand-checked if possible once you reach the airport to avoid scrunching and creasing through the scanner. A tidbit she shared was that airlines often have a small closet upfront of their aircraft, so cabin crew may be able to help you store it there if you need to hang it. If not, they will help you lay it flat overhead. Her crucial piece of advice is, “always bring it onboard with you, never ever, ever put it in the hold”. She also warns brides and bridesmaids never check their dresses in, just in case. Always take it in hand luggage. Lost luggage happens more often than people think!

Top tip: Keep your wedding dress laid out flat if you’re travelling via plane, car, ferry, or boat. Once you reach your destination hang it up. Like, immediately!

Photo by Nika + Grega Photography via One Fab Day

Urgent Fixes for Emergencies

If you find yourself with a dress disaster on your hands – fear not! Whether you forgot your iron or your steamer stops working, we’ve got you covered. Here are some go-to tips and tricks for urgent dress or veil de-wrinkling, depending on what type of material your dress or veil is made of.

  • Shower method: Hang your gown in your bathroom and give it some space. Using a lint roller, ensure that there are no particles on your dress. Smooth out any creases on the gown. Make sure that the doors and windows are closed and that the bathroom fan is turned off. Turn on the shower as hot as physically possible to get the room nice and steamy! Stand by to smooth over the wrinkled parts and make sure your dress doesn’t get splashed with water.
  • Wrinkle remover spray: Make a mixture of 1 cup of distilled water, 1 teaspoon of fabric softener, and 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol – your venue may have these things on hand, so it could end up being a saviour. Lightly mist the gown with the mixture using a spray bottle – do not soak your gown. Smooth and pull your gown in a downward motion. Then hang it up to let it dry off.
  • Hairdryer method: Grab a hairdryer and a water spray bottle. Gently spritz your gown with a mist of water. Hold your gown nice and taut, grab your hairdryer, turn it on and hold it at a distance, and smooth over the area, taking away any of the wrinkles in your dress.

Photo by Lily Bungay & Co via One Fab Day

How to Tackle the Material

One of the most crucial things when it comes to preparing for dress wrinkles is understanding the material of your gown. Some materials are significantly more wrinkle-proof. For each material, we recommend you test a small amount of the material before diving in with the whole gown.

  • Tulle: Since Tulle is a netted fabric, it can get some deep creases when it’s folded and packed away. The best method for removing wrinkles from a tulle veil or gown is to use a steamer. Alternatively, the shower method is the best last-minute method for getting rid of creases in tulle.
  • Satin: The best way to remove wrinkles from a satin gown is to use a steamer on a low, steady heat. We have to urge you to take great care with this material so as not to ruin the gown or leave water marks.
  • Silk: This is a stunning material that really needs to have a crisply smooth finish. The best way to achieve that is by using a steamer and, if you’re really stuck, you can use the shower method with the utmost care.
  • Polyester: This is a flexible material to remove wrinkles from. Using a steamer, iron, or the shower method will conveniently remove the creases from your gown.
  • Chiffon: Since chiffon is a super light material, it can crease easily but that means that you can also remove those creases pretty easily too. Using a steamer is the best method to remove wrinkles from this super-delicate fabric or you can use an iron on a low-heat setting.
  • Crepe: Crepe is an extremely delicate material that requires delicate treatment when it comes to wrinkles. Using a steamer gently or an iron on a low heat is the best method for smoothening your crepe wedding gown. However, using the shower method will work for this material too.
  • Lace: When it comes to lace you can either choose to steam your gown or alternatively use an iron on a low heat. Again, using the shower method will work for a lace wedding gown.
  • Organza: An organza gown is usually super lightweight and elegant, so you need to take extra care when removing wrinkles from this gown. We recommend using a steamer very gently or an iron on low heat, ironing the inside of the gown rather than the outside.

Got another question that needs answering? Check out our wedding FAQ page and listen to our full podcast episode on Planning a destination Wedding below.