FLYING WITH MY WEDDING DRESS! (Plus: My Do’s and Don’ts!)

Friends, the eagle has landed.

Code Ivory.

Flying with my wedding dress from NYC to Ohio was quite the debacle! Here are my tips, plus the saga of it all! #engaged #engagememt #bridetobe #wedding #weddingdress #travel #flying #traveltips #life #gettingmarried

We’ve got eyes on the target.

A big 10-4 Good Buddy.

That’s right, my wedding dress has officially MADE IT to my closet in Ohio!

But boy, was it an adventure getting it here!

Enjoy this video of my adventure, and don’t forget to subscribe! 🙂

Last week, I picked it up in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue. I tried it on – it fit! – and I flew with it back to Ohio! And let’s just say, I’ve got a guardian angel up there who was orchestrating the entire thing, because a lot of things had to go right for this all to work out.

First of all — let’s talk about the fact that this dress is huge and heavy. I mean this garment bag that they packed it up in is twice my length and four times as wide. We’re talking: my Honda Fit could fit inside this garment bag. There was no way this bad boy was going to fit in an overhead.

I was flying Delta — which I had heard was the best for working with you to fly with your wedding dress. I was told that they would typically hang it for you in the first class coat closet. (However, my garment bag was so big that it didn’t fit in the coat closet!)

Flying with my wedding dress from NYC to Ohio was quite the debacle! Here are my tips, plus the saga of it all! #engaged #engagememt #bridetobe #wedding #weddingdress #travel #flying #traveltips #life #gettingmarried

Let me interject here: Steven was a huge help in this whole ordeal. He manned all the other bags, helped maneuver it, got all the doors for me, etc. He wanted to carry the dress for me, because having to carry it at that angle, folded over my arms, was such a trap workout, oh my gosh. But I thought, if God forbid anything bad happened to that dress in transit, I wanted to be the one that was responsible for the damage, not Steven.

Flying with my wedding dress from NYC to Ohio was quite the debacle! Here are my tips, plus the saga of it all! #engaged #engagememt #bridetobe #wedding #weddingdress #travel #flying #traveltips #life #gettingmarried

OK. So I had been in contact with Delta the night before to give them a heads up that I would be carrying on my dress. And they basically said that I would have to put it in an overhead. The thing is, we were traveling on a regional jet…aka the two-and-two seat, tiny planes that don’t have overhead bins larger than a purse could fit in, so everyone plane checks their bags. That plane. AKA…I was going to just pray, and show up and hope that all works out. If push comes to shove, I would just drape the garment bag over myself like a blanket for the 1.5 hour flight.

I figured that this was a situation where it was better to ask for forgiveness than permission…if you know what I mean.

Flying with my wedding dress from NYC to Ohio was quite the debacle! Here are my tips, plus the saga of it all! #engaged #engagememt #bridetobe #wedding #weddingdress #travel #flying #traveltips #life #gettingmarried

So we arrive to the gate an hour before our flight, and I give the gate agent a heads up that we’re traveling with this behemoth of a dress. *Side note, I checked my carry on bag so that I would have absolutely nothing else with me but the dress. I didn’t even have a purse other than a tiny fanny pack. She said she’d talk to the flight attendants.

The gate agent called us over a few minutes later, and though the flight was nearly completely full, she was able to switch our seats to the row directly behind Comfort Plus. And she told us to board first.

When we got on the plane, the first flight attendant that greeted us at the front was very stern — “Well it’s going to have to get stuffed into the overhead bin.” (What? Are you joking?)

The second flight attendant (and guardian angel) saw her coworker giving us a hard time and jumped to the rescue. “Oh guuuurl, congratulations! We’re going to get this dress home, don’t you worry! Come with me!” And she swept us away.

She did a little magic on her phone and told us to sit where there were two open seats directly in front of us. (She had to ask one of the passengers to move across the aisle, to an open row.) And then she lovingly draped the dress over the back of the seat in front of us. And basically was our best friend from then on out.

Flying with my wedding dress from NYC to Ohio was quite the debacle! Here are my tips, plus the saga of it all! #engaged #engagememt #bridetobe #wedding #weddingdress #travel #flying #traveltips #life #gettingmarried

The other flight attendant, when she saw this, came back and un-draped it from the back of the seat, and shoved it into the seat in front of us, and said it couldn’t be over the back for takeoff of landing. (*Eye roll*) (Perhaps Ms. Grouch was going through a divorce, and the sight of a blushing bride with her gown made her want to vomit…who knows.)

Flying with my wedding dress from NYC to Ohio was quite the debacle! Here are my tips, plus the saga of it all! #engaged #engagememt #bridetobe #wedding #weddingdress #travel #flying #traveltips #life #gettingmarried

Anywho…we are incredibly blessed that we were able to get it home — that we had that flight attendant, that there were two seats open on our full flight, that we were flying Delta, and that it arrived unscathed!

Flying with my wedding dress from NYC to Ohio was quite the debacle! Here are my tips, plus the saga of it all! #engaged #engagememt #bridetobe #wedding #weddingdress #travel #flying #traveltips #life #gettingmarried

SO. What did I learn?


1.) Tell your bridal boutique that you’re flying with it as a carry-on so that they can stuff the bodice with tissue paper, double garment-bag it, and pack it using extra protection.

2.) Get TSA pre-check if at all possible. The scariest part of the whole day was watching them shove it through the X-Ray machine. Omg — they had to do it twice and I was beside myself. Steven had to be my eyes — I couldn’t watch!

3.) Delta is by far the best when it comes to traveling with a wedding dress. They are accommodating, and they even have a section on their website about wedding dresses. Imagine if I was flying Frontier? Or Spirit?? I shudder to think…

4.) Check ALL your other bags so that the only thing you are carrying is your wedding dress. A) You will need both arms for the job, and B) that way they can’t “getcha” on a technicality that you already have a carry on and a personal item and a dress.

5.) Wear clothes that you can move in, but also look nice and professional. A) You will get so many people saying “congratulations” to you. And B) You don’t want to look like a bum when you’re talking to the airline representatives. Remember when people used to dress up to fly? So do they. So look like someone they’d like to do a favor for or bend the rules for.

6.) Gratitude is everything. They’re bending the rules, so smile, have patience, be respectful and say thank you!

7.) Lastly…and this one is tough to swallow: buy a seat for your gown. I was not thinking that I would pick up my dress this trip. I was planning on having a separate trip in May out to pick up my dress, but it came in early! (It was made in Israel). So at the last minute I decided to pick up my dress on this pre-planned trip to NYC.

Had I had the foresight, I would have purchased a separate seat for my gown. My trip back only worked by a stroke of luck — or divine intervention, however you want to see it. But had things not worked out exactly how they did, I simply don’t know how it would have worked out. SO if you want to save yourself the stress and the uncertainty and risk…I would go ahead and buy a seat for your dress, as ridiculous as that is.

So there you have it — my tips for flying with a wedding dress! It was stressful, it was risky, but we got it done!

We’re officially one step closer to our Big Day!

Thanks for hearing out my saga! And please enjoy the video to go along with it! (And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel! It’s a free way to support this blog! Thank you!)

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15 responses to “FLYING WITH MY WEDDING DRESS! (Plus: My Do’s and Don’ts!)”

  1. I saw the video on Instagram, you lucked out so well, Caralyn! I love your smile in that first photo, so beautiful. God bless you guys! ❤️🙏🏻

    • Thank you Kenneth! Me too! We definitely got lucky with everything that had to “go right” to get it home! i’m positive we had some help from “Upstairs!” Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you Alice! Yes, it definitely has!!! Thanks for sharing in the joy with us! Hugs and love xox

  2. Travelled the skies for about forty years and found it does not necessarily depend on an airline when service is concerned for most are comparable for overall service, but individuals who serve you on the flight can make it a reasonable pleasurable experience or the flight from hell.

  3. Wow! Who knew it would be so stressful. But I’m glad it all worked out, despite miss grouchy pants 😜 God bless the accommodating people who went out of their way to help you out!

  4. God bless that accommodating flight attendant! And good for you for trying to make excuses for Ms. Grouch! Glad it all worked out. Sure glad you had Steven with you.

  5. 🥳 it’s getting real. I remember when I had to take a bus to my town after picking up my wedding ring. The ring had to me resized & got back earlier so I was paranoid about having to use a bus while carrying it. My then fiance suggested that I put it on and I did 😂

  6. Awesome Carolyn. Lots of great advice about gratefulness even for those of us not traveling with a wedding dress. We have done a lot of flying these last few years and lack of thoughtfulness makes these overpacked flights stress filled adventures to say the least. Many blessings on your wedding!

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