Whether you are headed half way around the world or just to the next town, you want your gown to look fresh and unwrinkled for the ceremony. Here are some tips to help you and your gown travel safely!
Traveling by Car
Since most shops protect your gown with a garment bag and stuff it with a bust form plus lots of tissue to keep the gown from being crushed while it is in the bag, the most your gown should need is a quick fix. If you do not have a bag, stuff the bodice with as much tissue as possible and buffer the folds of the gown's skirt with more tissue. Use one large sheet (fitted sheet works best) to cover the front of the gown and another to cover the back and then pin the sheets together.
Hang the gown so the bodice is facing the car door, and the bust form and tissue will protect the bodice from wrinkling. Lay the rest of the gown across the back seat.
Traveling by Ship
Pretty much the same advice applies to water travel because you can carry your gown with you on board. And if you're getting married at sea, most cruise lines offer pressing services!
Traveling by Plane
There was a time when you could carry the gown with you and hang it in a storage cabin. Today most airlines insist you check your gown with your other luggage so unless your gown is very informal you will need a large box or an extra suitcase to protect it. Call your airline for details. Later we'll talk about how to pack it.
Packaging at the Bridal Salon
You could ask the bridal salon to pack the gown for you, but the salon may not have a box that is large enough. Gowns are often shipped to the salon in very small boxes, and pressing out the creases is one of the amenities offered by full-service shops.
Packing at a Gown Specialist
Or you could also ask a professional who specializes in gown cleaning and preservation to prepare your gown for shipping. Janet Davis Cleaners is experienced in packing gowns and has boxes with shipping cartons on hand.
Packing at Home
If you pack the gown yourself, use a large box about one-third the length of the front of your gown.
Line the box with tissue and lay the gown over it – face down. Make sure you have the gown centered in the box and the part that is face down is spread flat so there are no creases or folds.
Beginning at the side seams, fold the skit length-wise over bunched tissue until the skirt is no wider than the box.
Then add more tissue and fold the top of the gown over into the box.
Add still more tissue and fold the top of the gown over into the box. The top of the gown will now be facing up. Think of your gown as you doing the impossible: lying on your stomach with your legs folded over backwards while your head and shoulders are lying on top of your legs – facing up!
Now use still more tissue to stuff the bodice and cushion anything else such as bows or sleeves that should be protected. When you are finished, the dress should not move or “dance,” as the Spanish say, even if you shake the box. Save the dancing for the wedding day!
Quick Fixes for Pesky Wrinkles
Hang your gown on the bathroom door, turn the shower to hot, close the door, and let the shower run until the room is filled with steam, which relaxes most wrinkles.
Invest in a portable hand steamer you can use whenever you travel. Guard against spotting water-sensitive fabrics such as silk by wrapping the head of the steamer in a small towel.
Of course, the easiest solution to the wrinkle problem is to have your gown professionally pressed once you arrive at your destination.
If you need help finding someone, try visiting www.WeddingGownSpecialists.com/locator.htm for a recommendation.
After the Wedding
No need to worry about wrinkles after the wedding, but if you get married on the beach, do let your gown dry out before you pack to go home!
For more information on Janet Davis Cleaners wedding gown services, please visit http://www.janetdaviscleaners.com/ or call 248.543.0340.