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As if you needed something else to stress about, right? Whether you're tying the knot halfway around the world or only a few states away, figuring out how to get your gown from point A to point B can be quite tricky. To make sure your gown makes it to your destination safely, check out these wedding dress travel tips prior to checking in.
Fly first class or purchase priority boarding
The early bird gets the worm! Or in this case, a better shot at scoring a coveted spot in the front closet of the airplane. Bridal designer Lela Rose urges brides to splurge on priority boarding for this reason alone. "Then tell your seatmates not to let you forget your dress!" While there are no guarantees, most flight attendants will do their best to help you out if they know you're bringing your wedding gown on board. We recommend calling ahead to confirm that your airplane actually has a front closet though, as not all do.
Place your garment bag in the overhead bin
Back in the day, toting your gown in a transparent garment bag caught the attention of flight attendants, and they put it in a closet for you, points out Sally Conant, Executive Director of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists. "Now, you're totally dependent on the good graces of whoever happens to be on duty on a particular plane," she says. Fortunately, if the front closet is full or off limits, you can still fold your garment bag in half to reduce wrinkling and stick it in the overhead bin (granted, your dress isn't huge and poufed that is). Some brides have even lucked out, and with the permission of the passengers around them, were able to lay their dress flat across the carry on luggage in the overhead compartment.
Store it in a carry on bag
Because you really can't afford to have your gown go MIA in checked luggage! If a bride plans on pre-packing her gown and carrying it on board, Conant says it's essential that she find out what size container fits into the overhead bin. "For example, our destination wedding kit fits into the overhead of domestic flights, but international planes often have very small overhead storage areas," she warns.
Purchase a plane ticket for your dress
Yep, you read that right! According to Conant, there are brides who literally buy a seat for their wedding dress to ensure it stays in tip-top shape throughout the flight. If you've got money to spare and want to play it super safe, book your dress a one-way ticket to your wedding destination that way it'll never leave your sight.
See if there are any open seats for it
You may not be willing to buy your dress its own seat, but if your flight isn't full, why not ask if there are any open seats you can put it in (for free of course)? Chances are, someone will either be willing to swap with you so you can sit next to the dress or a nice flight attendant can help move you around to make it work.
Don't forget to pack a portable steamer
Trust us, you'll want one and an adapter too if you're getting married overseas. To guard against water spots, Conant advises putting a towel or SteamerSock (even a cotton sock will do) over the head of your steamer.