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Tips for Flying With Your Wedding Dress

If you’re getting married abroad this year the chances are you'll be flying. What’s more, the chances are you could be finding it all a bit of a minefield… But don’t stress, or turn into a bridezilla – help is at hand with our useful tips and hints about flying with your wedding dress.

First and foremost, remember, if you are getting married at a popular wedding resort the chances are you won’t be the only bride-to-be on board, which also means your dress won’t be the only one. Therefore, the limited space there is on a flight will be crammed full of more than just your dress. Hanging space is limited, and as much as your dress is the most precious thing to you, it won’t be the only one for the busy air stewards. But with these tips you can ensure you’ve done the most you can to see that your dress arrives safe and well, and you touch down feeling stress-free!

Check The Airline Will Allow a Wedding Dress as Hand Luggage

Don’t assume that just because your dress is your everything, and of course must be with you at all times during your travel, that the airline you’re flying with will let it on as hand luggage. Most airlines, especially those flying long haul to popular wedding destinations, will let you do this and will have a hanging wardrobe for you to use (but it isn’t huge and could be being used by other brides and their dresses). If the airline will not let you carry it on and demand it must be checked in, you might want to reconsider booking with them.

Book an Extra Plane Seat for Your Dress

As crazy as it seems, think about booking an extra seat for your dress. If it’s a large dress it won’t fit in the overhead locker, and it can’t be carried as hand luggage as it will be too big. This way, your dress has plenty of space and it doesn’t leave your sight.

If you go for this option, bear the following in mind:

  • You need to contact the airline you are flying with and explain that you need to book a seat for cabin baggage for a wedding dress
  • It is likely that you will need to provide details of the size of the bag your dress will be placed in
  • Be patient – this request isn’t hugely common so it might take a couple of calls to sort it out but it will get sorted out and your dress will be safe
  • This cabin baggage seat shouldn’t cost the same amount as a regular seat; it should be at a slightly reduced price.

Re-consider Checking in Your Dress

You will be given the option to check in your wedding dress with your luggage. However, while unlikely, there is the possibility that your dress could get lost, or more likely, damaged. Our advice is do not check in your wedding dress.

Bag Your Dress Carefully

Think very carefully about how you bag up your dress. When you buy your dress it is worth asking the dress shop about suitable bags for flying and investing in one. Also, if you have layers, fold acid-free white tissue paper in-between to help avoid creasing. There are many companies that sell hardwearing wedding dress flight boxes – check out:

Some fabrics will travel better than others. Chiffon or charmeuse, for example, travel well as they are less likely to crease and fold up well. Heavier fabrics, like tulle and crinoline, are more likely to crease but, with carefully packing, will be fine.

Keep Your Hand Luggage Light

Remember, that your dress will be extremely heavy – even if it doesn’t feel like it when you pick it up and carry it a short distance from the shop to the car. But lugging it around the airport for a while, and that long walk from the Departure Lounge to the Boarding Gate (which could be up to a mile at Gatwick or Heathrow for example) will make it feel extra heavy.

Try to pack very little else as hand luggage. A small handbag, which can be easily placed over your shoulder, is ideal – large enough to place your passport and travel documents in, your purse and a few toiletries, but light enough not to weigh you down.

Unpack Your Dress As Soon As You Arrive

As soon as you have arrived at your final wedding destination, carefully unpack your dress and hang it up – this will let any creases that have formed to naturally fall out.

Congratulations and enjoy your special day!

To help you get your wedding dress to the airport as easily as possible, book our meet and greet parking service. Then all you need to do on the day of your flight is drive to the airport terminal, remove your dress from the car and walk into the airport terminal.