Slrhoshi
Savvy March 2022

How to pack a wedding dress

Slrhoshi, on October 14, 2021 at 4:41 AM Posted in Wedding Attire 0 13
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I will be flying from Chicago to Orlando for my wedding which means baggage and needing to pack my wedding dress and get it on a plane. The dress I'm using is a ballgown and I do have a hoop skirt petticoat to fill it out. I do not want to pack the dress into checked luggage cause thanks to my anxiety I have a real fear the airline will lose the dress.


Do I take the chance and pack it in checked baggage which would allow more space for the dress which will mean less folding? Or do I stuff it into a carry on and keep it with me that way?

13 Comments

Latest activity by Susan, on October 18, 2021 at 12:35 PM
  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa Online ·
    • Flag
    Another option is buying a ticket for your dress and setting it on the seat next to you. This is obviously a more expensive option and also depends on the seat next to you still being available, though would guarantee that your dress is in your sight at all times.
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  • Ginny
    Beginner October 2021
    Ginny ·
    • Flag
    I would pack it in a garment bag for carry-on. If it needs to go in an overhead bin, it’ll only be folded once. But often times the flight attendants will allow you to store it in the first class suit closet area.
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  • Cece
    Super November 2022
    Cece Online ·
    • Flag
    Have you done a trial run with a carry-on? I know they have very specific dimensions a carry-on must be, and I question if a hoop skirt would fit into those dimensions. If nothing else, you could put the dress in a garment bag carry-on, and pack the hoop skirt in checked baggage. If there is room, the airline will usually allow you to hang the garment bag in the captain’s closet. Otherwise, you will have to fold it and store it in overhead baggage. The only other options I could think of would be to ship the dress to your destination, but I would think that would be just as (if not more) risky than checked baggage in terms of getting lost or not arriving in time. Or purchasing an additional seat on the plane for your dress.
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  • Cool
    Super July 2020
    Cool ·
    • Flag
    Don’t pack it stowaway, figure out a way to bring it carry on. Others have provided good suggestions. You can buy a seat for your dress, upgrade your tickets to first class so that you can use the closet or cross your fingers that they let you use the closet (likely they will if space is available) with your existing seats.
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  • Samantha
    Dedicated August 2022
    Samantha ·
    • Flag

    We'll be flying to California for ours, and I plan on taking a garment bag as my carry on. The Knot has an article about 5 different major airlines and the best way to take your dress with you, which is what I used as my jumping off point. This is also another great article , thought also pretty brief.

    Essentially, try to pick your airline based on whether or not they have closet space (Southwest and budget airlines tend to not) and ask really nicely when you get to the airport if the flight attendant can hang it for you. If not, place it on top of other carry ons in the overhead bin space, or hope you get lucky and your dress can have a bin to itself. You may also get lucky and not have a full flight and might be able to place your dress in a seat of its own without buying a second ticket!

    One little thing I can't remember which article I read it on: use a garment bag, but also have a plastic dry cleaners bag separating your dress from the garment bag itself just in case.

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  • Melinda
    Dedicated March 2022
    Melinda ·
    • Flag

    I had to fly my ballgown back from Michigan where I purchased it. We flew Delta Airlines, who had me fold it in half and lay it down in the overhead compartment. Their coat closets do not fit ballgowns. If we didn't have preboarding because of the military and the overhead was full I would have had to sit with it on my lap for 5 hours.

    The WORST part was getting through TSA. I requested them to put it through a metal detector instead of on the conveyer for the scanner since I was worried about it getting caught on something. They literally ripped my dress out of my hands and started opening it with dirty gloves on in front on my fiance. I freaked out at them and told them not to touch it, which landed me in a private room with them pulling my whole dress and cathedral veil out of the bag and searching me. They then tossed it back in the bag (literally threw the veil in the bottom of the garment bag in a wad) and tried to hand it back to me. I then had to spend time properly putting it all back together pre flight. I was in tears by the time I was through security.

    Moral of the story: I should have paid to have it shipped to me and HIGHLY recommend shipping it with extra insurance and a signature for delivery if you can.

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  • Cool
    Super July 2020
    Cool ·
    • Flag
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    OP - highly recommend NOT “freaking out on” TSA and you likely won’t have any problems with them. Throw in lots of please and thank yous and let them know it’s your wedding dress. The above post is not at all a normal situation… unless you lose it on TSA lol.
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  • Melinda
    Dedicated March 2022
    Melinda ·
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    I was super polite in the beginning, asking what they needed me to do, etc. it wasn’t until they started pulling my dress out of the bag on the dirty conveyor belt right in front of my fiancé that I lost it.
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  • Cool
    Super July 2020
    Cool ·
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    Well… lesson learned.
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  • Melinda
    Dedicated March 2022
    Melinda ·
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    Yeah, cool thanks 🙄
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  • KYLIE
    Super May 2019
    KYLIE ·
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    Yeah. This is not typical. I flew Delta first class for my wedding (also Orlando!) and they were super accommodating about my huge ball gown. You are not allowed to have anything on your lap during takeoff or landing, so that would never have happened.
    I bought a special garment bag off Amazon that allowed my dress to compress to carryon size and it fit in the overhead. I highly recommend Carolyn Allen steaming services in Orlando. They’ll come to wherever you’re getting married and will steam your gown so no worries about it getting wrinkled during travel. In addition to my dress, they also did my veil and my husband’s tux!
    • Reply
  • KYLIE
    Super May 2019
    KYLIE ·
    • Flag
    Also, TSA was super nice about my gown. The garment bag unbuckled to lie flat and was made of thick, high-quality nylon so I had zero qualms about putting it on the conveyor belt.
    • Reply
  • Susan
    Devoted October 2021
    Susan ·
    • Flag

    I just flew with my dress from South Dakota to New York. I had a massive suitcase, and only had to fold the garment bag containing the dress in half. It came through looking great. My veil, on the other hand, I probably should have taken a bit more care with, but it still was fine. We steamed it well in the bathroom and most of the wrinkles came out.

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