The worst things that could happen at your wedding? 1) Getting jilted at the altar. 2) Losing and/or ruining your gown in transit. We can help you with the latter, guys: According to our friend Jennifer Brisman, wedding planner extraordinaire, this is the safest, savviest protocol for getting your gown on that airplane and, ultimately, up the aisle.
Step 1: Call Your Airline
As the first order of business, Brisman recommends calling your carrier's customer service line, where an agent can look up your plane model and see what kind of upright storage options it has in-cabin. "Most jets do have a closet at the front of the plane, and an agent will be able to make a note of your needs in your profile, which will ideally make things more seamless day-of," she says. If no closet is available, there's always the option of laying it flat in an overhead cabin. Calling ahead, says Brisman, is essential to managing expectations.
Step: Prep Your Dress
"Before you get on that plane, make sure your dress is steamed, hung on a paper dress form and stuffed with acid-free tissue paper. Then you'll want it covered in a plastic slip and, finally, zipped up in a nylon waterproof garment bag,” insists Brisman. Sound like, erm, a lot to handle on your own? "Bring your gown to your local tailor or dry cleaner and have them handle for you."
Step 3: Get to the Airport Early
The most important step, of course, is to get to the airport early so you can make your appeal in person with plenty of time to play with. Godspeed.
Bonus Step: Bring a Box
For all you major worrywarts, Brisman has a backup plan: "Now, if it were me handling for a client, I would get a box the length of the dress (Uline or UPS has them) and bring it to the airport, just in case." If for any reason your airline is unable to accommodate your dress in the cabin, you'll have extra protection, should they need to gate-check it or have an agent put it in another special section on the plane.