Destination weddings, for all their promised romance and adventure, come with a unique set of challenges. For destination brides, this includes finding the perfect wedding dress. While still taking personal style into account, new factors enter the equation, including location, climate, and travel arrangements.
Before shopping for destination wedding dresses, consider the following:
Destination Wedding Dresses - Location
Choose your location before choosing your destination wedding dress. A beachside ceremony will require something very different than one held at an Italian villa or historical landmark. Do you want to marry barefoot? Does a magnificent aisle dictate a sweeping train? Have your dress tailored to suit the location spot. A simple airy option might better suit an outdoor tropical affair, while a formal gown will suit cathedral-bound nuptials. Check weather and climate details of the country you're heading to. While it may be summer at home, you may be getting married during a cool or rainy season; choose fabrics accordingly. Always check with the venue in advance to ensure that you're aware of any dress-code requirements; some churches will have modesty policies in place and may require covered shoulders.
Some brides also choose the style of their destination wedding dresses to reflect the specific destination. A Grecian column dress worn in Greece, or a corseted gown in a historic castle can add to the cohesive look of your day.
Destination Wedding Dresses - Style and Fabric
Destination wedding dresses typically have sleek silhouettes, often modified A-lines with either no train or a sweeping train, as they travel well and accommodate the popular warm-climate destinations. Lightweight fabrics with some stretch offer comfort and take up less room in your luggage; look for something in chiffon, non-silk taffeta, organza, satin charmeuse or crepe. If you're getting married outdoors, make sure your dress is adequately lined to prevent embarrassing sunshine-induced sheer moments. Many destination wedding dresses play with hemline length; consider cocktail or asymmetrical hems for casual or beach weddings.
Destination Wedding Dresses - Travel
It's important to know how you're going to ensure your destination wedding dress arrives with you at your wedding location. Decide whether you want to ship your dress ahead of you or if you want to carry it on your flight. Shipping the dress works best when there's someone waiting to receive it on the other end; consult with a local planner if you don't have family or friends in that area. Hotels rarely want the responsibility of receiving gowns. Check with the airline before flying with the gown; some may require you to check the dress rather than carry it on, although most will either lay your dress flat in an overhead compartment or hang it in first class. Have a post-travel plan for the dress that includes hanging it up immediately and having either professional services or a steamer ready to de-wrinkle the gown. And as a precaution against things going wrong, be sure to take out travel or wedding insurance on your dress.