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.

Martha Stewart Weddings - - THE PLANNER - TEXT BY HAN­NAH MORRILL

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.

Drive Safely

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.

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