Travel guru Tammy Levent of Elite Travel
delivers the inside scoop on planning a wedding away from home. Here, she answers the all-important question:
How can I keep my dress looking fresh from the store to my destination wedding?
First, you have to pick the right kind of dress for your location. A ball gown looks out of place on a beach, and you don't want to spend your wedding brushing sand off of a 30-foot train. Keep it simple for easy hanging. I like Brides by Demetrios' Destination Romance
collection—they're beautiful dresses made for brides on the move. I asked Tassos Elias, owner of Brides by Demetrios, for his recommendation on fabrics and designs that travel easily, and he suggests light, flowing, soft materials like chiffon, non-silk taffeta, organza, crepe, and satin charmeuse (which looks like silk, but wrinkles less). He says "the easiest dress design for destination weddings is a modified A-line, with either no train, or a sweep train."
Once you have your dress, the best way to ensure that it arrives safely is to never take your eyes off of it...
Bring it on the plane with you as a carry-on. This is what all of my brides have done and there haven't been any mishaps. The flight attendants will usually lay your dress flat in an overhead compartment or in first class (note: you don't need to fly first class for them to put your dress there), or they will find a place to hang it up. This service has always been free, but the airlines are constantly changing their prices and policies, so call them ahead of time. Don't even think about shipping the dress! Even if you wanted to, your hotel would probably refuse to accept responsibility for receiving it. Checking it with your baggage is risky and pricey, but if you must—pack it in a large plastic-lined box to protect it from water damage. If something does happen to your dress, and it's the airline's fault, you need to make a claim with the airline as soon as you notice the problem. Taking out travel or wedding insurance can offer you extra coverage, however, it's important to do your research and read the fine-print carefully. Once you reach your hotel, have it lightly steamed. (Just be extra careful steaming the dress if it's silk.) However, it's still important to keep an eye on your dress once you've reached your location—dresses can get lost at the dry cleaners too!