Multiple description (MD) coding is a promising alternative for robust transmission of information over non-prioritized and unpredictable networks. In this paper, an effective MD image coding scheme is introduced based on the MD lattice vector quantization (MDLVQ) for the wavelet transformed images. In view of the characteristics of wavelet coefficients in different frequency subbands, MDLVQ is applied in an optimized way, including an appropriate construction of wavelet coefficient vectors, the optimization of MDLVQ encoding parameters such as the choice of sublattice index values and the quantization accuracy for different subbands. More importantly, optimized side decoding is employed to predict lost information based on inter-vector correlation and an alternative transmission way for further reducing side distortion. Experimental results validate the effectiveness of the proposed scheme with better performance than some other tested MD image codecs including that based on optimized MD scalar quantization.