Writing 4-5 blog posts on my own a week can be a bit daunting at times, so the lovely and talented Carrie Hayward is stepping in and guest posting today! I bragged about Carrie earlier in the month when we spotlighted her new Disney Wedding Podcast, which you should absolutely check out. Thank you, Carrie, for today’s post! :)
If you’re planning a destination wedding that’s far enough away to require a plane flight, you’re going to have to figure out how to get your wedding gown there. For many brides, the idea of being parted from the gown for even a few minutes is unthinkable. But I can attest that shipping your gown to your hotel is one of the best decisions you will make for your wedding.
Before you clutch your wedding dress to your chest and recoil in horror, hear me out.
Do you really want to lug a 10 lb.–15 lb. dress bag all over the airport? Do you want to stress out about it getting smooshed in the overhead bin—or worse, checked at the last minute because the bins are all full? Or would you rather agonize over whether the flight attendants will let you cram it in the plane’s only closet? Or how about paying hundreds of dollars to buy your dress a seat next to you? And do you then want to do any of the above all over again on the flight home?
Shipping your dress ahead eliminates the hassles of traveling with a bulky wedding gown and frees you to just enjoy the trip. I was lucky enough to be married in a destination wedding hotspot where an enterprising local formalwear dealer offered a dress shipping-and-steaming service with delivery to my hotel. All I had to do was send the dress to the dealer a couple of weeks before the wedding. They delivered it to my room the morning of the wedding, steamed it on-site, picked it up from Bell Services after the wedding, and shipped it back to my house (they also offered a pricey gown-preservation service, but I’m convinced those are scams, so I skipped it). Check with local bridal and tuxedo shops at your destination to see if they offer a similar service.
Alternatively, the new service LugLess will pick up and deliver to your home, office or hotel on a specific day and time. Even if you don’t use them to send the rest of your luggage, this could be a great way to send the wedding gown for just a bit more than you’d pay to check a bag on the plane.
And you can always ship the gown directly to your hotel. Since it will most likely need to be steamed or pressed before the wedding anyway, you can use the smallest box it will fit in—ideally, see if you can get the bridal shop to give you the box your gown came in. As you pack the dress, you might want to include a roll of easy-tear packing tape for boxing it up to send home. Label the box with “Hold For [Your Name]” and your check-in date but not your reservation number. Find out how long the hotel will hold it for you and be sure not to ship it too soon. If you’re lucky, your hotel will have a business center or a package delivery service to help you ship the dress home in the same box. Otherwise, you might have to venture out to a local shipping center.
Yes, shipping your gown means you will have to be separated from it for up to a week. And, yes, everyone knows someone who knows someone with a shipping horror story. But you probably know just as many people with an airline luggage-handling horror story. It’s a gamble either way, so you might as well go the easy route and trust that yours will be one of the millions of packages successfully delivered by the major shipping services every day.
Carrie Hayward is the author of PassPorter’s Disney Weddings & Honeymoons and the host of the Disney Wedding Podcast, a weekly show about planning weddings, honeymoons and other romantic occasions at the Disney parks and resorts. Follow her adventures at Disney Travel Babble and @lurkyloo.