How to Fly With a Wedding Dress

Destination weddings are all about romance and adventure, but let’s be honest, the logistics and planning can be daunting. One major concern? Your wedding dress! As my own destination wedding in Greece proved (a 16-hour flight followed by a 5-hour ferry ride!), transporting this precious piece across the world can be nerve-wracking. Worrying about lost luggage, wrinkled fabric, or damaged details is not exactly how you want to spend your pre-wedding days. Fear not, brides-to-be! This post will equip you with the knowledge to make smart choices. I am covering how to fly with a wedding dress. I will be going over not only how to choose a wedding dress that travels well, but also how to ensure it arrives at your destination looking perfect. With these tips, you can confidently say “I do” to your dream dress and a stress-free journey to your dream wedding.

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How to Fly With a Wedding Dress

How to Choose a Destination Wedding Dress

Planning for a smooth journey with your wedding dress starts even before you buy it! Choosing a wedding dress with a style and fabric compatible with travel is good to keep in mind when you’re planning for a destination wedding. Don’t worry if you’ve already chosen your dream gown – there are still ways to manage travel.


When traveling, unforeseen circumstances can arise, and your dress might need to be packed away for a while. Opt for wrinkle-resistant fabrics like lace, tulle, satin, or crepe. These will save you time and frustration on your wedding day. Fabrics like chiffon, silk, rayon, organza, and taffeta are more prone to wrinkling, so choose them with caution.


The silhouette of your dress can significantly impact packing ease. Consider styles like A-line, sheath, column, or slip dresses for a more compact fit. While a ball gown might be stunning, it can be bulky when packed. Additionally, if your dress might need to be folded for a short period, opt for styles with minimal beading to avoid snags.

Packing Your Wedding Dress

When it comes to packing your wedding dress, you can opt to travel with your dress as a carry-on or in checked luggage. There are pros and cons to each option.


For me, peace of mind was paramount. Knowing my dress was with me throughout the journey, safely tucked away in a carry-on garment bag, was a stress reliever. This way, there were no worries about lost luggage or baggage handlers potentially mishandling the dress.

An advantage of carry-on is the potential use of an airplane closet. While not guaranteed, some business class cabins offer closets where you can hang your dress during the flight. However, a word of caution: space is limited, so always have a backup plan. Additionally, smaller planes or shorter flights might not have closets at all.

I tackled this challenge by choosing a garment bag that was waterproof, wrinkle-resistant, and folded into a carry-on size when needed. On our main flight, the business class cabin had a closet, and our request to hang our wedding attire there was met with a friendly “yes” from the gate staff. For our shorter connecting flight on a smaller plane, the closet was absent. But, thanks to the clever design of the garment bag, we folded it down and stowed it in the overhead bin. I’ve even seen flights where full-size garment bags were laid flat across the luggage in the overhead bins, although this might be risky in planes with limited overhead space.

Checked Luggage

For ball gowns or dresses with expansive trains, checked baggage might be your best bet. With more space, you can ensure your dress travels comfortably without being squished or folded excessively. Plus, checked baggage offers undeniable convenience – simply hand it over at check-in and reclaim it upon arrival. No need to worry about maneuvering a bulky garment bag through TSA security, finding space in the overhead compartment, or wrestling it through the airport. It’s a “set it and forget it” approach that can take a weight off your shoulders (literally!).

How to Decide Which Way to Travel with Your Dress?

The best way to travel with your wedding dress depends on a few key factors that can impact your peace of mind and the dress’s well-being.

  • Peace of Mind: Are you prone to travel anxiety? If the thought of your dress being lost or delayed fills you with dread, opting for a carry-on can offer a sense of security.
  • Distance Traveled: Longer journeys with multiple connections increase the risk of baggage delays. Consider a carry-on if your trip involves a long haul or multiple flights.
  • Dress Style: Big, bulky, or heavy gowns might be better suited for checked baggage. Carry-on luggage needs to adhere to airline size restrictions.
  • Airline Policies: Every airline has its own rules for baggage size, weight limits, and the number of allowed bags/carry-ons. Check the airline’s policy beforehand to avoid surprises at the airport.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision that ensures your wedding dress arrives safely and stress-free, ready to take center stage on your big day.

After Arriving at Your Destination

Once you arrive at your wedding destination, the first order of business is to free your dress from your suitcase or garment bag. Hang it up immediately to let it breathe and assess any wrinkles. Here’s where your pre-trip research comes in handy! Knowing the best wrinkle-removal method for your dress’s specific fabric can save you time and potential stress.

If you’re bringing your own steamer or iron, remember: a little detective work goes a long way. Double-check the device’s compatibility with the voltage at your destination. We learned this the hard way! Steamer in tow, complete with a voltage adapter and converter, we discovered it still wasn’t compatible with the European voltage. In our case, this resulted in an instantly fried steamer and a last-minute scramble to find a replacement (luckily unnecessary in our case). Moral of the story: a bit of research can save you from a steaming (pun intended) headache!

How to Travel with a Wedding Dress

With a bit of planning and preparation, your wedding dress can arrive at your destination stress-free and in perfect condition! I hope this post helps gives you tips for how to fly with a wedding dress. If you haven’t already bought your wedding dress, keep the style and fabric of the dress in mind as to how compatible it will be with travel. Also, be sure to do research on your airline and how to care for your dress ahead of time!

Be sure to check out my other posts on destination weddings, wedding planning, and honeymoon planning on the blog. I will be posting more on all things wedding-related in the near future!

Thanks for reading! As always, you can find me on Instagram @maddie_deer here, or can follow me on my Facebook page to be alerted of any new posts here. If you want to check out my wedding video, you can do so on Youtube here. Also, a shout-out to Alecca Synclair Photography for all of our beautiful wedding photos (which were included above in this post!).


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