How to Travel With Your Wedding Dress

Your wedding dress is likely the most important outfit you’ll ever wear. After spending time and money finding the perfect gown, the last thing you want is for it to get damaged while traveling to your Destination wedding.

With some strategic planning and packing, the perfect storage bag, and a little extra care, you can keep your dress safe and wrinkle-free during your travels, ensuring it arrives at your destination looking as beautiful as the day you found it.

Here are tips for stress-free transport of your wedding gown:

a beautiful bride enjoying a view of her wedding dress
Photo Courtesy of Take it Photo.

Packing and Transporting

When packing and transporting your wedding dress, it’s crucial to ensure its safety and protection throughout your journey. Start by using a good garment bag provided by the retailer or purchase one online if needed. Make sure the hanger straps are on the clothing hanger and loop them around to distribute the weight.

Before carefully placing your gown inside, line the garment bag with acid-free tissue paper. Make sure the dress is completely surrounded by smooth paper rather than laying directly on the bag’s interior fabric, which could snag the dress. The tissue acts as a barrier and absorbs moisture.

Remember to put your personal information on or inside the garment bag in case of accidents or loss.

When traveling by plane, try and always carry your dress as a carry-on item and never check it as a checked bag. Fold it into a small piece of carry-on luggage or hold the garment bag for the entire journey. Ask the flight attendant if they can accommodate hanging the dress in the front closet of the plane. If not, store it in the overhead compartment.

Here’s a visual guide to pack your wedding dress like a pro:

It’s easier than you think, right?!

Choosing the Right Fabrics

When selecting a wedding dress that will need to travel, the fabric is one of the most important considerations. Delicate silks, satins, and chiffons can wrinkle extremely easily and be challenging to steam if crushed. Instead, look for fabrics with some structure that can bounce back from packing, such as denser satins, mikado, or ballgown tulle.

If your heart is set on a lightweight fabric, ask if the dress can be professionally packed in tissue and boxed to travel safely. Avoid heavily beaded dresses as the weight stresses seams over time. Prioritize fabrics that can fold without leaving harsh creases. The last thing you want is to unzip your gown to find it irreparably wrinkled before walking down the aisle.

a beautiful bride posing with her wedding dress
Select the fabrics and styles that best keep the shape of the dress when traveling! Photo Courtesy of 50MM Art Studio.

Looking for ways to save money and still have a perfect wedding? One of our past brides shares her tips on our blog!

Guideline for Flying on Major Airlines

You can easily navigate the guidelines for flying on major airlines with your wedding dress. Each airline has its own specific policies, so it’s important to research and understand them before your trip.

Delta offers two options for transporting wedding attire – either in a standard carry-on suitcase or a garment bag. Delta’s carry-on size restrictions allow protective hard-sided suitcases measuring up to 22 x 14 x 9 inches. As an alternative, a soft-sided garment bag can be brought on board instead of a regular carry-on bag.

amazon carry on lugagge perfect for wedding dresses
Always look for airline-approved luggage. Here are a few options from Amazon.

American Airlines permits wedding gowns as carry-on bags. Pack your dress in either:

  • Standard carry-on suitcase (max size: 22″ x 14″ x 9″)
  • Foldable soft-sided garment bag (max length: 51 inches / 130 cm). Fold longer dresses in half lengthwise to meet requirements.

United Airlines does not have special allowances for wedding dresses – their standard carry-on policies apply. You should be able to bring your gown on board, either folded and packed into a regular carry-on bag (up to 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches) or transported in a garment bag instead of your standard carry-on item. Keep in mind United’s Basic Economy tickets do not include a carry-on allowance, so dresses cannot be brought into the cabin with those fares.

Southwest Airlines allows wedding dresses to be transported as carry-ons in one of two ways. You can fold and pack your gown into a standard carry-on suitcase, which must adhere to maximum dimensions of 24 x 16 x 10 inches. Alternatively, gently roll or tri-fold your dress to fit inside a garment bag with the same size constraints.

These rules can always change. Please remember to consult each airline’s website, app, or customer service prior to travel.

wedding couples first dance in a beautiful ballroom at dreams natura
Wedding dresses with large trains can be a challenge to transport, but they are so beautiful! Photo by Photo Adventure.

Travel Preparation

Pack essential items in your carry-on bag to ensure you’re prepared for unexpected situations while traveling with your wedding dress. It’s important to have everything you need in case of emergencies or mishaps.

Include a sewing kit with needles, thread, and safety pins to handle any wardrobe malfunctions.

Don’t forget to pack stain remover wipes or a small bottle of spot cleaner to tackle any spills or stains that may occur during your journey. It’s also a good idea to have a powerful travel steamer to remove any wrinkles that may appear on your dress.

And of course, don’t forget your wedding day essentials like your shoes, jewelry, and undergarments.

a gorgeous wedding dress at dreams natura resort
Make sure you are covered to avoid any last-minute surprises! Credits to the owner.

Not sure how to get the best wedding pictures? Learn how to with a pro destination wedding photographer.

Preparing the Dress at Destination

To ensure your wedding dress is in perfect condition for your special day, it’s important to properly prepare the dress upon arrival at your destination.

Once you arrive, take the dress out of its garment bag and let it breathe for a while in a large closet space.

If the fabric allows, you can press it with a clean iron or use a steamer to remove any wrinkles. It’s a good idea to test the iron on a clean surface and use a clean ironing board.

If you don’t want to handle the preparation yourself, consider hiring a wedding planner or coordinator who can provide pressing or steaming services.

Additionally, check with your wedding venue to see if they offer any pressing or steaming services that you can take advantage of.

Give your dress ample time to breathe before the wedding day to ensure it looks its best.

a wedding couple posing at the fives beach resort
Following our steps will guarantee your wedding dress arrives untouched at your destination wedding!


In conclusion, with the tips and guidelines provided in this article, you can now confidently travel with a wedding dress and ensure its safe arrival at your destination.

For your peace of mind, remember to pack and transport it carefully, choose the right fabrics, and follow the guidelines of major airlines. By being prepared and taking the necessary precautions, you can fly with your wedding dress on a plane, stress-free!

Share these tips with your bridesmaids and family as they work wonders for any dress and other formal attire. You’ll want to make sure they are wrinkle-free on your big day!

Find our best ideas to WOW your wedding guests, and a few Pinterest ideas for your inspiration board.

Still have not found the perfect resorts for your Destination Wedding? Have a look at our lists of top wedding packages and our top wedding resort in Mexico!

Happy travels and congratulations on your big day!

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