AS more Aussie couples head overseas to get hitched, brides are going to great lengths to ensure their frock arrives safely and in perfect condition.
From carrying on their wedding dress as “hand luggage” to booking an extra seat on the plane for the gown, brides-to-be are not leaving anything to chance.
Others ship their frocks to the wedding venue ahead of time or have it escorted, rather than run the risk of a suitcase going astray on the flight over.
Claudio Saita from Tokio Marine, underwriters for World2Cover travel insurance, said most policies provided only $1000 cover per item for luggage, which left quite a shortfall if a wedding dress was lost or damaged.
“Twenty-eight per cent of brides spend over $2500 on the all important wedding dress,” said Mr Saita.
“Is it any wonder brides don’t want to let it out of their sight when travelling?”
Sydney’s Anna Ross opted to keep her $3000 silk frock close as she travelled between three continents to celebrate her wedding to Timothy Matuszewicz.
The first ceremony was in Koh Samui, Thailand, followed by her home village of Nigg in Scotland before a final celebration in Sydney.
“Luckily I had quite a light dress, so I put it over my arm and carried it on to the flight as hand luggage,” said Ms Ross.
“The airlines (AirAsia and Etihad) were quite accommodating, hanging it up for me on the plane.”
Jenny Perumal of Sydney had her bridesmaid Bira Kawooya escort her frock from England to Australia, after tracking it all the way to Ireland.
“I had tried it on (in Sydney) but then another girl bought it and took it to Ireland for her wedding,” said Ms Perumal.
“Then she changed her mind about wearing it and contacted the bridal shop. They called me, and I got in touch with her and organised to get it back.
“I knew my bridesmaid wouldn’t let anything happen to it after all that.”
Wedding dress designer Jennifer Gifford of Brisbane, said she advised brides planning an overseas ceremony to carry on their gown or send it via registered post.
“I would never put a wedding dress in check-in luggage. You just hear too many stories of luggage going missing on flights,” said Ms Gifford.
“If it gets there with a few crumples, at least it’s there.”
Peter Trends Bridal manager Monique Boersma said the problem with putting a wedding dress in a suitcase was the amount of space needed.
“If you’re prepared to pay for an extra suitcase that is fine but carry on is usually the best way to transport a wedding gown,” said Ms Boersma.
“Some airlines will hang it up for you. Qantas and Singapore Airlines are good but if it’s Jetstar forget it. It’s going in the overhead locker.”
She said another benefit of taking a gown overseas for a wedding was the Tourist Refund Scheme.
“Brides can get back the GST component of the dress which for a $3000 frock is $300,” Ms Boersma said.