The Best Way to Ship A Wedding Dress

We often hear from wedding dress sellers that part of the reason they decided to sell their gown was so that someone else could get as much joy from it as they it.  Rather than have the dress sit in the closet for 20 years, they want to share it with another bride now.

This gown recently sold on and is currently enroute to its new owner.

If you are passing your dress to its second bride, here are the three things you should do to ensure that it gets to its new home safely.

  1. Package it properly.
  2. Insure it for the full value (its selling price, not the retail price).
  3. Use a trackable shipping method and require a signature release.

Proper Packaging

  1. Use a sturdy corrugated cardboard box. Boxes are rated according to “burst strength.”  Look for a box that is rated for 200-lbs-per-square-inch burst strength or the equivalent.
 (A reputable wedding dress cleaner is a good source for this).
  2. Make sure you get a box that is the right size for your wedding dress. You want to ensure the dress doesn’t move around too much inside the box.  If the box is too big, fill extra space with tightly wadded kraft paper, peanuts or other materials.
  3. Fold the gown as required and use plastic to cover it (for the unlikely, but possible event, that the box gets wet).
  4. Seal the flaps and seams with strong mailing tape that is a minimum width of two inches.
  5. Place the shipping label on top and avoid putting the label over a seam/closure or on top of the tape. Put a duplicate label (with a phone number) inside the box.

Often (but not always) online sellers ask their buyers to cover the shipping costs.  If you want to get a reliable estimate as to what that cost would be, use any one of these shipping cost calculators.

Here’s to one wedding dress being a part of two amazing weddings. (And two smart brides each paying less).

  1. For all brides looking to ship their gowns definitely do your research first! My story… I spent time use the shipping cost estimator and was accurate with the weight of my dress. However, when I went to ship the dress I found that UPS actually calculates cost by the dimensional weight of the box. The dimensional weight cost me an extra $40!

    So how can you avoid extra cost and learn from my mistakes?:)
    1. Accurately estimate the cost of shipping by using the actual dimension of the box rather than weight of the package alone. You can estimate the dimensions by folding your dress as if you were shipping it and then measure the 3 dimensions HxLxW.
    2. I would also suggest providing your own box. Your bridal salon may be willing to save an old box for you. This can save you $10-20, and you will already have your box dimensions for estimating!
    3. Finally, when shipping, insure the dress for how much you sold it for, not how much you paid for it. Insurance cost goes up based on the value obviously.

    Hope this helps ladies!

  2. Dear senders,
    I was looking for something else but stumbled here.
    Just to help clarify further, couriers and airfreight companies will charge based on volumetric weight of the parcel.This can be calulated by LxBxH cm(of the box) / 5000 = weight in kg.

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