How to Pack a Wedding Dress for Travel

So you are getting married abroad? You may now be wondering about that all important wedding gown and how best to take it with you to your wedding destination. This article is based on industry knowledge and first hand tales of brides that we have dealt with over the years.

Specialist wedding gown cleaning is often carried out on dresses prior to going away to your wedding destination. Sometimes, brides will buy a secondhand dress and have it cleaned first. If this is you then it is probably easier to have a professional wedding dress cleaning company box it up for you in a wedding travel box. This type of box is most suitable for travel with your dress and also is made from PH neutral card and contains acid free tissue. The whole purpose of this box is that your gown will stay with you at all times on-board the aircraft.

If you have purchased a brand new dress from a wedding gown shop then using the same type of box is your best option also. The wedding gown shop should be more than happy to pack your dress for you.

After all alterations have been carried out and you have had your final fitting at the bridal store, ask them to pack the dress for you. In a box you supply to them or they may be able to sell you a wedding travel box directly.

There are several on-line companies that sell travel boxes but please always ask for PH Neutral card (heavy) and acid free tissue for packaging the dress. Please note that in general the cheaper boxes also do not have a thick corded carrying handle but a plastic handle that pushes into the box thus making it unsuitable to store your dress in afterwards.

If you have purchased the dress and have it at home then it is recommended using a wedding dress travel box and packing the wedding dress yourself.

Step 1. Layer the acid free tissue in the bottom of the box and then around the edges.

Step 2. Try to estimate the number of folds required to get the dress into the box with the bodice facing upwards on the last fold.

Step 3. Lay the train in the bottom of the box then place tissue over and tuck in tightly at the sides

Step 4. Fold the dress over and press down firmly now lay more tissue over this folded layer tucking in tightly at the sides.

Step 5. Finally fold the dress with the bodice facing to the top of the box again pressing down firmly and again place tissue over and tuck firmly into the sides.

Step 6. Now don’t forget the Veil and tiara if you have one… then place the lid on and securely using the drawer string.

Tips:

- Don’t try to pack the hoops and under skirt into the travel box.

- Don’t panic if your dress looks squashed – most wedding destinations will have steamers to steam the wedding dress on arrival.

- Always check with your airline the maximum size of hand luggage allowed on board the aircraft.

- Wedding dress travel boxes come in many sizes and colors.

- Unpack your wedding dress as soon as possible to avoid bad creases setting in.

- Some airlines do allow the wedding dress on board in the cabin in the gown bag hanging compartment but check with your airline!

- DO NOT put your precious dress in your suit case – It may not arrive with you and liquids can ruin and damage your dress if they leak in the hold of the aircraft.

- If you MUST put the wedding dress into a suitcase and into the hold of the aircraft then please make sure you cover the whole dress with a strong water tight plastic bag.

Most Wedding Travel Boxes come with a cord handle instead of ribbon and lace that holds the lid in place as you carry. These sturdy boxes protect the dress from any untoward accidents whilst traveling, and can be used after the day for storing the wedding dress in.

The standard size wedding dress travel box dimensions are as follows:

Wedding Travel Maxi: 35 x 55 x 20 cm (deep) – The Travel Maxi provides the maximum space allowed in the overhead lockers, to fit within the hand luggage dimensions requested by major airlines. Please check with your airline. The depth allows for a fuller skirt and veil.

Flying with Thomas Cook? Thomas Cook has restricted hand luggage of 42 x 27 x 22 cm, which is not the ideal shape for a wedding dress, but there is a Wedding Travel Slim Box that is especially for Thomas Cook flights.

Paul Robinson 25 years in the wedding dress cleaning and preservation industry says – Always use common sense when transporting your dress anywhere, if you require cleaning you could visit GownClean or if alterations are required then try Robinson & York. Both these companies are excellent.

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