TAKING YOUR GOWN ON THE ROAD
Whether you’re driving across town or f lying across the country for your wedding, here’s what you need to know about keeping your dress looking its best.
You’ve Got It in the Bag
When you pick up your dress from final alterations, the tailor or bridal boutique will likely have it prepackaged for transport. Karen Jean-Aimée, director of client relations at Madame Paulette, a dry cleaner of fine garments in New York City, says there’s no harm in checking that it’s been done right. Be sure that the bodice and sleeves have been stuffed with acidfree tissue paper to prevent creases in tough-to-reach places, and that the train is loosely folded. “Plastic bags are okay, but make sure you pop a small hole or two to allow airflow,” advises Jean-Aimée. “Delicate fabrics like silk can yellow very quickly and easily.” The whole thing should then be placed inside a breathable cotton garment bag.
If your wedding is within driving distance, Cacky Rivers, owner of Cacky’s Bride + Aid, in Charleston, South Carolina, suggests skipping the garment bag and laying the dress flat on top of a clean sheet in the back of your car for transport. If you feel more comfortable having the dress bagged while you’re driving (visions of stopping short and your gown landing in a heap on the floor?), that’s fine. Just make sure to take it out as soon as you arrive at your destination. “You want to give the dress time to hang and regain its natural shape,” she says. “And don’t forget to take the train down, too.”
Straighten Up and Fly Right
First and foremost, sending your dress with the checked luggage is never an option. A lost dress is the worst-case scenario, but one that smells like jet fuel runs a close second. If your dress needs to fly with you to your destination wedding, you can avoid being forced to check it—or stuff it in an overhead bin—by calling the airline ahead of time and asking to have space reserved for you in an on-board closet, says Jacqueline Weppner, stylist and owner of the bridal-styling company Merci New York. If you just don’t want the stress of transporting your dress yourself, consider professional shipping. For $150 to $650, Madame Paulette packs dresses in a standing bridal box on a sturdy hanger secured to a wooden bar for shipping to domestic destinations; other high-end dry cleaners offer similar services. “We’ll even coordinate with the hotel and make sure that someone is there to sign for the delivery,” says Jean-Aimée.