Wedding Wednesday: Dress Shopping for a Destination Wedding


When you’re getting married somewhere other than at home, you suddenly realize that you can get everything from anywhere, including suits for the guys, dresses for your bridesmaids, and even your own gown. But just because you can make an excuse to take a trip doesn’t always mean it makes the most sense. After all, if you have to ship a giant fluffy gown across the country, or go back 4 times for alterations, it’s probably not worth it to buy your dress on vacation, right?

So, once we jumped into planning, one of the questions that popped up for me early on was…

Where do you Buy Your Wedding Dress if You’re Doing Destination?

As it turns out, wherever you want! (Within reason.)

I knew I wanted to pick a dress from BHLDN, since they are all gorgeous, easy to shop for online, and pretty affordable (for a wedding dress, that is). I started looking at their locations, and they didn’t have a location in Minneapolis, but Seattle sounded fun, so with a little research, I decided to buy my dress out there. After a stressed morning (I was so nervous) and only an hour shopping, I knew my dress right when I saw it!

The point is, if you have alterations done elsewhere, you can shop at home, at your destination, or wherever you want, and have the dress shipped to you. Some shops have you get alterations there, though, so be sure you double check by calling them ahead of time unless you want to schedule a few more trips to the bridal store.


Getting Alterations

Once you get your dress, you have the opportunity to get alterations. I have seen brides that clearly didn’t alter their gown (or perhaps just had a terrible tailor) and let me just say: you need to have your gown altered. Bridal gowns are not designed to fit every single body, so whoever is ordering your gown will have ordered the size that matches up with your largest measurement (i.e, if you have a large bust, they will order the one that fits your bust) but that means it won’t fit perfectly elsewhere. Do yourself a favor and have it altered to fit you. Not only will you look great, but you’ll feel amazing (have you ever had a dress that fit you perfectly? it’s amazing).

If you’re having a destination wedding, you’ll want to have your gown altered at home. Since you’ll need multiple trips over the course of a few months to get the perfect fit, you’ll want to pick a place that’s conveniently located near home, and then bring your dress along when you’re heading to your wedding.

Transporting Your Wedding Gown

Obviously, you need to get the dress to the actual destination if you’re planning a destination wedding. There are a couple of options: you can drive it if you live close enough, or you can stuff it in a suitcase (at your own risk!), or sometimes if you call ahead certain airlines will let you use the captain’s closet for your dress.

Whatever you do, be sure you hang up your gown right when you arrive at the hotel, to let it relax and breathe a bit. Arrange to have a professional steam or press your gown to ensure it looks perfect and wrinkle-free for your big day.

And that’s it! One of the biggest decisions for your big day doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated. Just relax, and try not to put too much pressure on yourself while trying on dresses. You’ll know the right one when you see it!

Happy shopping!


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