Planning a wedding is an exercise in logistics, even more so if you are planning a destination wedding. If you are having a beach resort wedding in Kauai, you’ve made an excellent choice. The scenic backdrop is sure to add to your romantic event, but getting yourself and your gown to the wedding venue can seem like a bit of a nightmare, especially if you’re traveling from far away for the event. Don’t worry, what seems impossible is very simple, as long as you follow a few steps ahead of time.

Picking the Right Gown

Before you have to think about sending your dress halfway across the globe, or carrying it through a crowded airport, you will want to pick the right dress for your travel needs and your chosen venue. Tammy Lavent, a travel expert, suggests picking a gown that is less bulky than a traditional wedding gown. Not only is a ball gown challenging to travel with, but it will look odd at a beachy wedding. An A-line gown without a train is the easiest to pack and fly with.

It is also essential to pick a material that can stand up to a long-haul flight. Avoid fabrics that wrinkle or have a tough time when confined to a small space. Chiffon, non-silk taffeta and charmeuse work best, as they are more forgiving and less likely to develop wrinkles during the flight.

Getting it to the Destination

Once you have your gown in hand, you’ll need to figure out the logistics of getting it from one location to another. Wedding experts suggest bringing the dress with you on your flight. Many resorts will not accept responsibility for a shipment, and a dress is more likely to get lost in the mail than on a trip from New York to Hawaii. To ensure your dress arrives safely carry it onto the flight with you.

You may want to call your airline ahead of time to ask for the protocol on such an item. Many airlines can accommodate a hanging item in first class for free, even if you are not flying first class. A flight attendant can help you lay the item flat in the overhead compartment if hanging it is not an option. Calling ahead, however, will help you prepare for the process, and will alert the attendants that you will be traveling with an item that needs special care. Giving the airlines a heads up will make the entire process go smoothly.

If you absolutely must check your wedding gown, be sure to place it in a sturdy box with archival tissue paper. You can ask your bridal shop to pack it for you if you are planning on traveling with it as checked luggage. Ensure the box is safely taped to prevent water damage or dirt and dust from entering the box. Checking a wedding dress is not ideal, but may be necessary in some cases, or for exceptionally large gowns. Again, it is best to call your airline and check their policies before deciding. The airline can explain their policies so that you can make an informed decision.

Once You Arrive at the Venue

Once you arrive at your wedding venue, you’ll want to check your dress for any damage or issues incurred during the flight. The next step is to have it professionally steamed to remove any wrinkles that the dress may have. While many fabrics are resistant to wrinkling, it is unlikely a dress will make it through a long flight completely unscathed. Your venue should be able to recommend a trusted dry cleaner in the area. Do double check with the cleaner to ensure they have experience working with your material, and that the dress is staying on-site rather than being sent out for cleaning.