One of the challenges for a destination wedding is making sure the wedding gown arrives safe and sound. I was recently asked about what's the best way to protect the beading on a wedding gown when packed in a suitcase.
First of all, I strongly recommend that you carry your wedding dress on the plane with you if you are traveling by air. To carry on the dress, the suitcase you are using must fit in the overhead compartment so be sure to size the suitcase before your flight. If you decide not to carry on your wedding dress, you need to have Plan B ready...what will you do if your luggage does not arrive at the wedding site with you?
A suitcase will work fine to transport a wedding dress. We even offer "carryon" boxes with handles that will work fine...both going to the wedding and returning. You can get these at our shop in Birmingham.
You will want to carefully pack the gown, cushioning each fold with plain white tissue paper. This will help prevent heavy creases that can result when packing the wedding gown in a suitcase. I also recommend waiting until close to leaving to pack the gown. The less time the gown spends packed in the suitcase, the better.
Watch out for the beads on your wedding dress...make sure they don't get caught in the the lid of the suitcase when you close it.
When you arrive at your destination, unpack your gown immediately so the wrinkles will begin to fall out. You most likely will require a wedding gown specialist to steam and/or press the wrinkles out of the gown...so be sure to plan for this after your arrival at your destination. You can always try the steam in the bathroom approach to getting wrinkles out but if that doesn't work, a wedding gown specialist is your best bet.
For a beaded gown, the best way to protect the beads is to place the gown in a cotton or muslin garment bag. If you don't have one, you can always wrap it in a white sheet. These don't take up much space but will help reduce the stress of beading rubbing against the side of the suitcase. Pack it carefully and you AND your wedding dress should arrive in good shape.
We stock muslin garment bags and "carry on" size cases at our shop in Birmingham.