We recently gave some tips on traveling with your dress via car and plane, but what if you choose to mail your outfit to your destination wedding instead? There's a whole slew of issues that you'll need to address and we're here to lay it all out. Let's talk about how to ship a wedding dress to your destination.
Task someone to pick it up
The biggest note for mailing your dress is to make sure someone trustworthy is on the other end to grab it as soon as it arrives. This means a wedding party member, family member, wedding planner, or someone you know won't drop the ball(gown). And definitely don't send it to your hotel or venue without notifying someone.
Have your designated dress fetcher take it out of the packaging as soon as possible to hang in a clean place, unless you don't know them and don't know how they'll treat it. Then just have them store the box until you can get someone trustworthy to handle it.
Check with the shipping company
Check to make sure your chosen shipping company services your destination on the days you need, especially if you're shipping internationally or to more remote islands. If your venue has a shipping company recommendation, that may be your best bet as they've likely coordinated this kind of shipment before.
Pack your gown carefully
Your dress should come in a waterproof bag and if it doesn’t, have the dress shop get one for you. If your dress shop can pack it for you, let them. They'll make sure it's packed as safely as possible to reduce wrinkling and dirt. But if you have to pack it yourself, use a clean, high-quality garment bag with a clean liner and then choose a sturdy box or suitcase around that (use a box that is rated for 200-lbs-per-square-inch burst strength or the equivalent). Make sure you get a box that is the right size for your dress so that it doesn’t move around too much inside the box. Fill extra space with tightly wadded paper or packing peanuts.
For embellishments, ask what kind of protection it needs. Usually it's an uncoloured acid-free tissue paper.
When folding the dress to fit into the box, use something with a curved edge (something in a cylindrical shape or rolled up tissue paper or clean t-shirt).
Definitely prepare to have it steamed when you get to your destination. Check with the dress store or designer to get the best method for cleaning and steaming. If steaming it yourself, make sure you clean the head of the steamer thoroughly before putting it near your dress and test on another light-colored fabric.
Label the box well
Write “Wedding gown” prominently on the packaging along with the receiver's name and phone number. This will hopefully alert package handlers that the contents are a little more speshy than the usual shipments. Put a duplicate label (with a name and phone number) inside the box, too.
Choose to insure
Don't skip shipping insurance this time. Max it out and try to find a company that will ensure for the full value. U.S. Mail maximum is currently $5,000.
Shell out for the fastest speed
Get that dress to its destination as soon as you can by opting for the fastest shipping method available. It'll likely be treated better and will, of course, move faster through the system.
After the wedding
- Have your plan for getting the dress back home set before the wedding:
- Dry clean the dress the day after the wedding by someone who knows what they're doing. Otherwise ask your dress store or designer advise on the best way to clean off any stains or dirt.
- If you are leaving on a honeymoon right away, ask someone trustworthy to have it cleaned for you. Also ask them to hang it up as soon as it's clean.
- Pack your dress the same way you packed it for its trip to the venue.
- Consider dress preservation services if you really want that dress to last a long time. Totally optional, though!
More dress transport tips: