Although the bulk of outdoor Oregon weddings have not yet begun, winter lovebirds are still heading out to beachy climates to get married. The question of how to pack your wedding gown comes up a lot!
Always check with your airline first for specific packing restrictions. Here are some tips from one of our gown specialists:
"You will not be able to use the standard length bridal gown bag as carry on luggage. It is too long, and too easily torn. Place your gown inside an FAA-approved garment bag instead. For instance, US Airways states that wedding gowns must be in garment bags no longer than 54" long. You are then expected to fold that bag in half to fit it into the overhead compartment. If you are lucky, the flight attendant might allow you to hang the garment bag in the first class closet (cross your fingers that your flight attendant has a soft spot for brides). But don't count on it.
It is not only your wedding gown that you should make plans for - your accessories are also very important. Pack your shoes, headpiece/veil/or tiara, and other accoutrements into a carry-on bag. With all the limitations these days, you may have to ask your partner to take your bag as their one carry-on item (remember, you also have the garment bag). Another option is to pack your gown and accessories together into one carry-on bag. I know it is terrible to think of cramming your beloved dress into a tiny bag, but you will need to have it professionally pressed when you arrive at your destination anyway. Be sure to keep your wedding jewelry in your purse."
If you have a wedding planner or coordinator, you could ask them to make arrangements to have your gown pressed or steamed (the seamstress will look at each item's fabric type, and decide the best way). In Portland, we do this through our partners at The Bridal Loft. If you are heading straight to your wedding location from the airport, your destination wedding planner or coordinator should offer the service of meeting you on your arrival day at the airport and getting the bridal gown, bridesmaids gowns, tuxedos or suits from you at that time and taking them to be pressed or steamed.