This is the time of year when destination brides panic. You suddenly realize you have to get your wedding gown to wherever you are going in some kind of wearable condition. So, here are some options.
If you are driving, just be sure you put the bag with your wedding gown on top of your other luggage! Seems pretty obvious, but you never know what your fiancé might do! No doubt your bridal salon has stuffed your gown for travel, and your gown should be fine when you take it out of the bag.
If you are cruising, there will be a service on board that can provide any needed pressing.
But if you are flying, you will have to plan the travel with your gown a little more carefully. It used to be fairly simple–you just asked the flight attendant to hang your gown for you. These days that rarely works. You can call the airline ahead of time to ask about hanging your gown, but it is rare that the airline will promise that service. Even if they do, the attendant on your particular flight may not get the memo and will tell you there is no room to hang it. Then you will be stuck to double up the bag and put it into the overhead–with your fiancé standing guard to be sure no one else comes along and stuffs a suitcase on top of it. Some strategies for flying with your gown:
Expensive but safe: Buy a ticket for your gown. Make sure the security people see you have a boarding pass for the gown so that it passes safely through the scanner.
Reassuring but crinkly: Pack your gown in a carry-on suitcase or a destination wedding kit that fits into the overhead of the airplane. This way the gown goes through security and onto the plane with you. The container protects your gown from other luggage. If you have a large gown or one that crushes easily, you will need to do something about the wrinkles after you get to your destination. The time-honored tradition is to turn on the shower and let the hot water run as long as it takes to fill the bathroom with steam so you can hang your gown in the bathroom and let the wrinkles fall out in the steam. Or if your destination is somewhere in the U.S., you can call ahead to the hotel or to a local gown specialist to arrange for your gown to be pressed.
Self-help option: Travel with a hand steamer, but be sure to put a washcloth or a SteamerSock over the end of the steamer to prevent water spots. Remember to take a plug adapter if you are traveling to a country with a different voltage. American appliances operate on 110 volts, but many other countries have 220-240 voltage systems.
Not so reassuring but less crinkly: Pack your gown in a large container so that you can stuff it with lots and lots of paper to keep it from wrinkling. Then you will have to check your gown as luggage and let it go into the cargo hold rather than on board with you. You may still have a few wrinkles but they will not amount to much.
For tips on how to pack your gown check out Wedding Gown Specialists.