I bet you’ve been dreaming of your wedding dress since you were a little girl. And now that you’re all grown up, its time to hunt for that perfect gown. Buying a gown you’ll love is no easy task – in fact, many brides say they’ve tried on over 20 gowns in the quest to find the perfect one.
After months of hunting, saving, making alterations, and countless fittings, your dream dress is finally ready.
According to data from The Wedding Report, the average wedding dress costs about $1,250. If you think that seems like a lot to spend, remember that Kate Middleton’s dress was rumored to cost over $430,000!
Still, with the investment of time and money you’ve made in your dress, you want to make sure you’re keeping it safe.
These days, 1 in every 4 weddings is a destination wedding. That means you’re going to need to know how to properly pack and fold a wedding dress to travel to your destination. Even if you’re getting married locally, you still have to transport your dress.
How to Pack & Fold a Wedding Dress
Learning the best way to pack and fold a wedding dress may give you more peace of mind, even if you’re traveling short distances. Plus, after the ceremony is over, you’ll need to know how to safely store your wedding dress. We’re giving you the scoop on everything you need to know about how to safely and carefully transport your wedding gown!
1. Find The Right Garment Bag
This is the essential first step in learning how to pack and fold a wedding dress. Even if your bridal gown store gave you a garment bag when you purchased your dress, you still need to make sure it’s secure enough to do the job well. For more details, see our post on the Best Bridal Garment Bags.
A quality garment bag should be made of thick plastic or other strong material. The flimsy ones you get in most retail stores won’t cut it when it comes to your wedding dress.
Make sure your bag is long enough to cover every part of your dress, and that it fully zips closed, from top to bottom.
Don’t knot your garment bag, which could make the bottom of your dress fall out and get dirty.
Look for a garment bag that includes zipper pockets for all your bridal accessories, veil or headpiece. After all, wouldn’t it be easier to store everything you need for your wedding day look in one place?
We love this pocketed garment bag option, with handy pockets for your jewelry and shoes.
2. Fold The Dress In The Bag Correctly
After you’ve selected your ideal garment bag, it’s time to learn how to actually fold the wedding dress inside the bag itself. To start, always keep your gown on its hanger!
Then, follow these steps:
- Put the top of your dress inside the bag. Pull the top, c-shaped part of the hanger through the opening at the top of your bag (this makes hanging it up a snap, wherever you are.)
- Keep the bottom half/train of your wedding dress outside the bag for now.
- Carefully fold the right and left sides of the bottom of your wedding dress towards the waistline, in the center.
- Once the left and right bottom sides are folded, start to slowly roll your train up, making sure the folds stay in place as you roll.
- Stop rolling when you can fit your train comfortably in the garment bag.
- Zip up your garment bag slowly, so you don’t snag the fabric. A good idea is to run your finger along the inside of the zipper as you pull up.
Always make sure that you keep your garment bag with your wedding dress hanging for as long as possible. It should be one of the last things you pack!
Also, you need to watch your dress’s exposure to sunlight.
If you’re traveling in a car, you may want to cover the window where the dress is hanging to avoid discoloration.
Pro Tip: Not all fabrics will show wrinkles in the same way, or as easily as others. For example, if your dress has a lot of lacework, wrinkles won’t form as easily. Still, always take the time to properly pack and fold a wedding dress.
3. How To Fold The Garment Bag
You don’t just need to know how to pack and fold a wedding dress – you also have to make sure you’re folding the garment back correctly! If possible, we highly suggest carrying your wedding dress with you on an airplane or leaving it hanging in the car if you’re making a cross-country drive.
However, we understand that sometimes that’s not always an option. So, if you need to fold your garment bag and put it in your suitcase, here’s what to do:
- Gently fold the garment bag either in half or in a trifold. Usually, garment bags will have snap enclosures to make sure they stay closed.
- Don’t crease the folds, or make them too tight. Instead, keep things as loose as you can!
- Be aware that no matter how much you duct tape your lids, things can spill in your suitcase.
- Avoid putting anything on top of your wedding dress in your suitcase, especially if it’s a more structured piece.
We suggest turning your wedding dress inside out before you put it in the garment bag it if you’re planning on putting it in a suitcase. Also, you may want to wrap an additional piece of plastic around your garment back, for extra protection.
Finally, we all know that baggage inspection is something even brides can’t avoid. Consider putting in a note to TSA agents, asking them to carefully repack your bag if they’ve had to go through it.
You’re A Wedding Dress Packing Expert!
Learning how to pack and fold a wedding dress isn’t as hard as it might seem.
Looking for more tips on how safely travel with your dress? Need advice on how to find that perfect dress? Have the dream dress, but still looking for your dream honeymoon destination?