Wednesday, March 14, 2012

TSA Says Yes to the Dress

Bride in wedding dress holding boquet of flowers.
I know from experience that planning a wedding can be a stressful time for a bride, especially if you’re getting married away from home.  It can be really stressful if you’re jetting off for a destination wedding and don’t want to let your precious wedding dress out of your sight for fear it could get lost or damaged.  As anyone will tell you, getting all the information ahead of time and being prepared can reduce your stress.

As the trend of destination weddings grow, more women are dealing with the conundrum of shipping their dress to the place they’ll getting married or taking it on the plane with them.  Like many other items we are frequently asked about, this issue involves both TSA and the airline.

Brides-to-be can definitely bring their wedding dress through a security checkpoint.  Ideally, the dress can lay flat in its garment bag or other packaging and fit through the X-ray machine.  If it can’t, our officers can screen the dress manually, but this will require opening the garment bag.  Rest assured that our officers will use gloves for the alternate screening to avoid damaging the dress.  

We strongly advise brides to contact their airline to ask about taking their wedding dress on the plane.  While some aircraft have closets in first class that can hold the dress, others may not, which could cause challenges in storing the dress above the seat.  Airlines will also count the dress as a carry-on item, so be sure to learn about your airline’s carry-on policies to avoid having to check any items at the gate.

While working on this post, I reached out to some of our customer service managers in various airports to ask them what other questions brides frequently ask.  Their  tips include:  if you’re taking a special cake knife to cut the cake, please ship it or put it in your checked bag.  Wired bouquets are allowed through the checkpoint, along with rice, birdseed, sand and candy coated almonds.  If you’re taking gifts for your bridal party, it’s best to wrap them when you get to your destination in case they require additional screening.  Pack all of your jewelry in your carry-on bag – don’t put it in checked bags.  And take your marriage license with you in the event you booked your plane tickets in your married name but haven’t updated your driver’s license.  

If any other issues arise while preparing to fly to a destination wedding, brides-to-be can call or email TSA’s Contact Center at 1-866-289-9673 or at TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov.  

TSA Blog Team     
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