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How to transport your dress for a destination wedding. Can you bring it as a carry-on, on the plane?

Im having a destination wedding and want to know if anyone has ever had an issue bringing their dress on an airplane? I went for a few bridal appointments and they said the stewardess typically will hold it for you and put it in the cock pit or something and then give it back when you get off the plan. Apparently its customary to give them chocolates for holding the dress. Has anyone ever heard of this??

Re: How to transport your dress for a destination wedding. Can you bring it as a carry-on, on the plane?

  • I would like more information on this as well. I have not been dress shopping yet but I am trying to keep in mind that I am going to have to travel with it and take it on the plane. I want something that is not going to be too big of a hassle.
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  • Would like to have tips on this.....I have 3 dresses :/
  • Yes I brought my dress as a carry on (in the dress bag) from Europe to US and back and then on a cheapo flight within Europe.  It was not problem at all.



  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    I've heard that they flight attendants will usually put in up front somewhere for you (in closet or something)... and I've been on flights with other brides and seen them do that.  I've also seen posts online about people just laying it out flat in the overhead bin (attendants probably would rather hang it up than use up all that bin space) or even buying an extra seat just for the dress (not really necessary).  I've also heard you should make sure you check-in early so you can be one of the first to board, to help ensure they have space for it, just in case coat closets fill up or something.  But, I've never seen anyone have a problem with it... all the airlines are usually very accommodating.

    For mine, when I was looking for plane tickets, it just happened to work out that a first class ticket was only about $100 more than coach on my flight, so I upgraded... figuring that I know they have first class coat closet I can put it in (they would put the dress there even if I had coach ticket, but that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).  Plus, it's my wedding trip, so I deserve a little luxury... especially since I'm travelling alone.  FI is going on a trip with his dad and joining a few days later, but one of us needs to be there a few days early to apply for the marriage license.


  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    And I haven't heard of bring the flight attendants gifts, but it makes sense to bring them something small to show your appreciation.


  • So, I booked first class ticket for this reason. I had my dress and wanted to utilize the hangers that I normally would hang my coat on. The attendants gave me a wrath of crap about it and insisted I could not hang my dress there due to weight concerns. My dress is in my siggy pic- hardly something that weighs more than my winter jacket. They then said that since they could not see what was in the garment bag, they would not permit it. I flipped because I didn't want my FI to see the dress, nor did I want to get it dirty. I won in the end- she decided that she deemed it a wedding gown after all (not sure why?) and let me keep it hanging. When we did our domestic flights in Australia, the attendants GLADLY took the dress and kept it safe in a closet. So, don't count on them helping you, especially a US airline, and don't count on first class. However, I believe that most attendants will be helpful.


  • I'm planning on the carry-on strategy and will try to just be my sweetest and maybe give them a heads up when I'm waiting for the flight... there really doesn't seem to be any other good way to transport the dress, honestly. I know a friend wanted to hang hers, but the airline put it in an overhead bin instead, and it got pretty wrinkled and she had to steam it out a lot, but there are worse things. 

  • Thank you ladies for the feedback.  If anyone else has thoughts, please feel free to comment :)
  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    One option I have for my destination, the place I was looking at having my gown steamed will allow me to ship my dress to them and they will deliver it to my resort.  I have yet to decide if I will ship it or have it fly with me (I think my nerves might get in the way of me shipping it). 

  • Yeah that is what the catering manager at the hotel said too.  That just makes me really nervous
  • Thanks for posting this question!!!  I was worried about the same issue!!!
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  • When going to the Bahamas, my parents had to take the dress for me as their carry on item because Jet Blue doesn't have closets on the plane at all! I believe my parents flew united airlines and were able to get my dress hung in the closet with no problems. 
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  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    I'm getting to my destination 4 days early, so I have plenty of time to get it steamed, if needed.  I plan to set an appointment in advance and I can cancel it if I decide that I don't need steaming. Another option I've heard is to just put it in the bathroom and turn shower on hot.


  • Has anyone flown american airlines previously or known of someone who has and if it has been an issue?  We haven't booked flights yet, but I'm 99% sure we will be flying American.  Thoughts anyone?
  • I wouldn't count on it being able to be hung up.  We had a layover on our flight on the way down, and I didn't want to haul mine through the airport in a garment bag, so I actually rolled it (in the garment bag) and put it in a piece of carry-on luggage.  It was recommended to me by the dress shop, and then I had it steamed once we were there.  

    I'm SO glad I did that because there were two other brides on one of our flights that had to remove it from the first class closet because there wasn't enough room, and they had to shove it in the overhead bins (no space to nicely lay it across).  

    And when we were on a vacation to Mexico this year, we saw a bride-to-be crying on our flight after she was told there was no closet for her to hang the dress.  

    Bottom line - think of a back-up plan instead of just assuming you can hang your dress up somewhere. 
  • I am definitely considering a really light weight dress due to these reasons, and because it is probably going to be really hot in Jamaica.
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  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    I am definitely considering a really light weight dress due to these reasons, and because it is probably going to be really hot in Jamaica.

    That was part of my thinking too.  My dress is organza which is cool, lightweight, and doesn't wrinkle very easily.

    I recently saw a post on a different site where a bride said she had to roll up her dress and put it in overhead bin, because she flew Southwest which doesn't have closets. She was worried it would be very wrinkled, but was very surprised that it was in perfect condition afterward.  So, it may be a good idea to look into standard travel tips to avoid wrinkling.  I know I've seen where it's good to tightly roll, instead of fold, clothes to avoid wrinkles.  It makes sense that it would be the same with dress.  I've also seen to fold/roll it up with tissue paper or plastic bags to avoid wrinkling. With the many layers of the dress, it may be a good idea to plan for several layers of tissue, not necessary between each layer though.

    So, it may be a good idea to plan ahead and be prepared to put some of these tricks in action if they don't let you hang it, like already having tissue paper or plastic bags (large trash bags?) layered in the dress.  That way it won't cause as much stress if hanging isn't an option, and would probably be helpful to avoid wrinkles from being squished in a closet too.


  • I would look on the airlines websites. I'm taking jet blue where there are no closets but when we chose our seats I picked seats that weren't around anyone in hopes there will be space for me to lay it across. On the way home I don't really care as long as it gets home!
  • Does anyone know which airlines do or do not have closets?
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    Usually flights with first class seats will have a closet.  Usually the closet is there mainly for first-class use. Generally the "budget" airlines won't have closets available.  It will also vary by airplane size within the airline.  Smaller, local flights usually won't have a closet.

    Here is a list I found of airlines that don't have first class, so therefore probably won't have closets available:

    Southwest, JetBlue, Spirit, Frontier, Virgin, Allegient

    I can't guarantee that these do or don't have closets, but its a place to start.


  • msuprincess04msuprincess04 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    edited February 2014
    I bought a giant ballgown for my beach wedding, and have been worried about this too. Especially since it's a small plane that goes from Atlanta to Cozumel. We have first class tickets, but I don't think there's much of a difference on the small flight. Luckily, I was down there a few months ago, and we were on a flight with another bride who was getting married that weekend. She was hand carrying her dress in a garment bag and had no problems. Her's wasn't quite as big as mine (more like a mermaid from the shape of the bag), but even on the shuttle into the city, everyone was friendly. After the wedding, my planner will arrange to have it shipped home so I don't have to deal with it.

    I also had a difficult time finding a garment bag that would fit my dress. David's Bridal sells them for $10, even if you didn't buy your dress there. So that's worked out well. 
    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
  • No personal experience, but I was on a flight with a bride on her way to her wedding. The flight attendants for our flight offered to put her dress in the first class coat closet up in the front of the plane. Hoping that's an option for mine in May!
  • @ mellie86041 What airline was that?
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its


    Lwaryjas said:
    @ mellie86041 What airline was that?

    I don't think the airline will matter (unless it's one that has a closet versus one that does not.) It's going to be based on what flight crew is working the flight.


  • Call the airline you will be flying on and ask. Most will allow you to, though a few of the "budget" airlines that charge you for everything will not. I am flying Delta for mine, and have received confirmation that they will let me carry it on.
  • So I ended up calling the airline we are flying a month ago and what the rep said to me is if there is space when you get on the plane then you may or may not be able to put it in the closet.  Thankfully my FI has platinum status with the airline we are flying so I hope we do not have issues. 

  • I found a garment bag called the Wally 66 (about $145 on Amazon) that has gotten very good reviews for being able to hold large wedding gowns without wrinkling. It folds into thirds and fits into the overhead compartment. Don't count on being able to hang up your dress in a closet or being able to have it lie flat in the overhead. Airplanes are very crowded and flight attendants may not be able to help you. Although we are flying first class, I plan to buy the Wally 66 since it should be able to hold my Fiancé's suit and my other party dresses.
  • I go on overseas shoots all the time for bridal mags..... The stylists cram all of the dresses into suitcases and load them in the luggage. The assistant travels with a travel steamer and steams them at the other end. No problems so far.

    I don't see how a bag could stop clothes crushing......
  • I called AA this week and the lady told me that they are very good about accommodating a brides dress. I even stressed that I have 3 and she said no problem.
  • @ Divadancer11: Thanks so much for the info, I too am flying american so that calms my nerves hearing that! :)
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