Wedding Dress Travel and Name Change Tips for Elopers
Eloping? Is travel a part of that elope idea? Traveling with a wedding dress and coming back with a new name? How do you book tickets? How do you get through airport security? There are many questions that can come up when planning a wedding in different destination, including while eloping. There are many resources you could look into, but let’s take a short breakdown.
Security seems like it could be a problem, while carrying your wedding dress. However, the TSA has no specific rules regarding wedding dresses. Just make sure that it lays flat in the garment bag and that it will fit through the x-ray machine. If it doesn’t, the TSA can manually scan it. However, if the dress will need to be manually screened, you should plan to get to the airport a little earlier than usual to give yourself time. Remember, just because you are eloping doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan ahead.
The next step in the equation is where to put your dress on the plane. Airlines often have plans in place for situations like these. Sometimes planes have closets, and if there is space, the dress can go in there. Overhead bins are also a good spot. Is the one above your head full? See if there is room in another compartment (or ask a flight attendant). Keep in mind that while airlines may want to accommodate you and your dress, they are not always able to find ready space. In that case, the dress can be checked.
But what if you want to keep the dress with you? First, check with your preferred airline beforehand and ask if they have any special rules for traveling with wedding clothes. When getting on the plane, let the passengers and flight attendants know you are traveling with your wedding dress. Often, people are willing to be a little extra careful and help look for storage space if it won’t fit in the bin over your head. If you want to be really cautious, you can even purchase an extra seat for the dress. Another option is to have it shipped (make sure to get tracking and insurance). If you’ve chosen to hire a wedding planner, check with them. Most will accept your dress shipment so you don’t have to worry about the dress traveling by plane at all!
Also keep in mind that many of the hotels will have a steamer that you can borrow or rent that will take care of the few creases that may arise from traveling with your dress.
Once you have everything ready for the plane trip, what about the name change? Also, if you hold any “frequent flyer” membership cards, there might be a delay on processing your name change before you travel. You don’t actually have to worry about that right away. Many countries allow you to travel under your maiden name indefinitely (make sure to double check this with your destination) as long as you are carrying proof of your name progression - such as your marriage certificate.
Enjoy your new Marriage and Congratulations to you both!