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Traveling and Emergency Bridal Gown Tips

Shores Fine Dry Cleaning knows that the last thing brides want to worry about are issues with their wedding gowns, particularly when traveling with them. So here's our best advice for you—and your gown—so that your special day goes off without a hitch.

Traveling & Emergency Bridal Gown Care

Traveling out of town for your big day?

Arrived at your destination and find a crease down the front of your gown?

Ready to walk down the aisle only to discover a makeup stain?

Call Shores Fine Dry Cleaning: 1-844-MY-1-GOWN or download our free wedding gown cleaning guide

Destination Weddings

For starters, for brides who travel with their gowns, Shores offers a destination wedding kit called The Treasure Pak.

  • It's specially designed to fit in the overhead space above the seats on airplanes.
  • It does not need to be checked with luggage that can get lost during plane changes since it will go through security with you.
  • The kit comes with an acid-free container, acid-free paper for packing, instructions, a stain-stick for wedding day emergencies and a sturdy shipping carton.
  • The carton has a handle for easy carrying on and off the plane.

As an added bonus, The Treasure Pak includes a coupon worth $35 towards the cost of cleaning and preserving your gown post-wedding day.

Secure your Treasure Pak by ordering today!

Packing at Home

If you choose to package your gown at home, we recommend you use a large bag long enough for the gown to stretch out while traveling. If you do not have a bag, stuff the bodice with as much tissue as possible and buffer the folds of the gown's skirt with still more tissue. Use one large sheet (fitted sheet works best) to cover the front of the gown and another one to cover the back and then pin the sheets together.

If you are preparing to ship your gown use a large box about one-third of the length of the front of your gown.

  1. Line the box with tissue and lay the gown over it—face down.
  2. Make sure you have the gown centered in the box and that the part that is face down is spread flat so there are no creases or folds.
  3. Beginning at the side seams, fold the skirt lengthwise over bunched tissue until the skirt is no wider than the box.
  4. Then add more tissue and fold the bottom of skirt into the box.
  5. Fold the top of the gown over into the box. The top of the gown will now be facing up.
  6. Use more tissue to stuff the bodice and cushion anything else such as bows or sleeves that should be protected. The dress should not move in the box even when shaken

How to Travel With Your Gown

Whether you are traveling down the road or around the world, Shores Fine Dry Cleaning wants your gown to arrive in pristine condition! Here's how to be prepared:

If Traveling By Car

Most gown shops will offer to steam and stuff your gown to travel when you purchase it as part of their package. If not, we recommend a delicate pressing of your gown by our Shores professionals. Afterwards, we will protect your gown by placing it in a custom cut garment bag and use a bust form and tissue to help the gown keep its shape while on the road. Once properly packaged, your gown should need no more than a simple wrinkle rescue(below) after the ride. TIP: Hang the gown so the bodice is facing the door - the bust form and tissue will protect it from wrinkling.

If Traveling By Air

Some airlines still allow you to hang your gown in the forward storage closets (you will need to confirm this when purchasing your tickets). However, with changing regulations and flight plans this option may not always be available. Our Treasure Pak will make air travel a breeze. But if you'd rather ship your gown, Shores can prepare your gown for shipment for an additional fee. We'll press your gown, package it with acid-free tissue and secure it in a specially designed container. TIP: If not shipping or using The Treasure Pak, you'll need to check your gown with your other luggage to abide by most airlines' rules - so be sure to package it in a large box or place it in an extra suitcase.

If Traveling By Water

The same advice applies to traveling by sea as by car. You'll be able to carry your gown on with you - and most cruise ships have a pressing service.

Wrinkle Rescue

The easiest solution to the wrinkle problem is to have your gown professionally pressed at your destination. Shores will press your gown for free if we will be preserving the gown after the wedding. If your wedding is out of town, call 800-501-5005 to locate a wedding gown specialist near where you will be.

For fixing pesky wrinkles on your own, try one of two approaches:

  • Hang your gown in a bathroom, turn the shower water on hot and shut the door. Many wrinkles will simply "relax" after the room fills up with steam.
  • Invest in a portable hand steamer. It's likely something you'll use again and again. TIP: Guard against spotting water-sensitive fabrics by wrapping the head of the steamer in a small towel.

Handling Emergencies

While you're aiming for a flawless day, emergencies can happen. But with some advance preparation, you'll be able to handle anything!

  • Bring safety pins - Broken bustle loops, torn straps or broken zippers can usually be handled with safety pins. We don't recommend sticky tape or staples (for risk of ruining the fabric) unless a last resort.
  • Handle spills and stains appropriately - Know your wedding gown fabric; stains are more easily removed from synthetic fibers, such as polyester, than natural fibers like silk. TIP: Unless the stain is large and noticeable, leave it alone.
  • Order our Perfect Day Emergency Care Kit. It includes pins, needles and thread, solvent, scissors, buttons and blotting towels.

Stain Guidelines

Synthetic gowns (polyester) vs. Natural fibers (silk) - Again, it is always best to leave all stains to a professional regardless of the fiber content of your gown. But if the stain is major it is easier to remove from a synthetic fiber than a natural one, as naturals fibers tend to absorb more of the stain. If trying to remove a water-soluble stain (coffee, mud, blood, tea) from your gown, dab the spot gently with cool water, club soda and air dry. Do not rub.

Silk, rayon and rayon velvets - these are all water-sensitive fabrics and may develop permanent water spots if you try to clean them.

Camouflaging spots - by using something "white" and harmless, such as baking soda, cornstarch or baby powder you can sometimes mask a stain.

Grease, lipstick and makeup - can only be dissolved through use of a solvent like lighter fluid, which can also discolor fabrics. Test an unseen area before using - but as mentioned earlier, Shores recommends leaving these stains alone.