If you're having your wedding in Portugal there's a good chance you're flying in from abroad, and a lot of brides are concerned with flying their valuable dress over without damaging or (god forbid) losing it.
Here are a few tips on the best options to ensure that your dress and your partner's outfit get to their destination safe and sound!
1. Keep it as hand luggage
If you're bringing your dress on the plane, don't pack it in the hold, pack it in a hand luggage case or a wedding dress box and carry it on, then you can ensure it's looked after.
If you're flying with Ryanair, due to their recent changes of policy, you'll probably have to purchase Priority Boarding in order to ensure that your suitcase doesn't get packed into the hold, then you can store it in the overhead locker.
You also have the option of purchasing an extra seat and laying your dress out, but I've heard of situations where people have purchased an extra seat, and then for some reason or another, they were not allowed to use the spare seat. I would double-check with whatever airline you're flying with first.
2. Get it packed
If you're picking it up from a wedding dress shop, ask them if they would pack it in your hand-luggage suitcase for you. They will know the best way to make sure it's unlikely to get damaged.
3. Get a wedding dress travel box
Alternatively, you can order a wedding dress travel box online that fits the measurements of carry-on hand luggage *
There are very pretty travel boxes available from 'Empty Box' in the UK starting from £36 (ex. p&p), these look much better in real life than in the photos:
Or cheaper ones can be found on Amazon starting from £15.99 (ex. p&p):
As long as they are acid-free and made specifically for wedding dresses, these boxes can then be used to store your dress for years after your wedding in a way that protects them from yellowing and any accidents.
* Below are the current measurements allowed for carry-on luggage according to different airlines (as of 2018)
Aerlingus: 55cm x 40cm x 24cm, 10kg
Ryanair: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm, 10kg
EasyJet: 56cm x 45cm x 25cm
4. Have your bag shipped to the destination
I personally don't trust having things posted as a full-proof method but some brides have done it and recommend it. With services such as 'Send My Bag' you can send your dresses and suits and track your delivery each step of the way until it's signed for on arrival.
Check it out: http://www.sendmybag.com
5. Pack it yourself
Get about 6 pieces of acid-free tissue paper and lay your wedding dress face-down on top.
Lay the train out flat. Put tissue paper between each fold you make. Fold the train in on itself, lay tissue on top of the whole dress, and then fold and roll the whole dress.
Whether you're packing it in a suitcase or a box, line it with the tissue before placing the dress inside. If you want to use a box, it is not advised to use a regular cardboard box as the acid levels in it can cause yellowing of the dress - use only PH neutral materials that do not contain acid or alkaline and make sure the box is sturdy.
If you pack the dress with a hanger, avoid using a metal hanger to make going through security easier.
The dress will still possibly have some slight creases on arrival but your hotel or wedding planner should be able to offer you a service to take care of that.
6. Get Travel Insurance that covers wedding items
You can take out insurance that covers dresses, suits, and rings with John Lewis or
Debenhams when you travel abroad.
Wedding Insurance in Ireland:
Wedding Insurance offer insurance for those having their wedding abroad. Packages range from €33.99 to €129.99. Their 4-star package being just €95.99 with up to €9000 cover for attire and €6000 for rings. Not to mention cover for a whole range of other things, such as suppliers not showing up or cancellation.
Wedding Insurance in the UK:
John Lewis offers cover from anywhere between £2000 to £100000, depending on the circumstances.
Debenhams offer up to £5000 cover for weddings rings, £5000 for dresses and suits, and £5000 for cancellation cover while having your wedding abroad.
I hope this helped and that you all have safe travels ladies and gents!
If you have any more questions about having your wedding in the Algarve, e-mail myself or Charley at email@example.com
And don't forget to check out our range of stunning vintage photo booths and backdrops for hire ;)