Trying to consider buying a wedding dress through a major national pandemic is probably going to be a frustrating. It has completely got in the way of shopping in a conventional way and for those that are getting married in September-November that were due to shop imminently before the lock down, we have some ideas of what this may now look like.
So we are not going to sugar coat the idea that it will be what you had hoped with all your bridal party shopping with you, so here are a few things to consider before you leave the house to go wedding dress shopping, once they have reopened and hopefully make this less of a challenge, at the same time considering the safety of everyone around you.
Once the shops re-open there will be brides to be flocking in to get appointments for a dress and whilst we always suggest that you give yourself plenty of time to shop, your appointment may be restricted by the shop to 1 hour maximum because the chances are, shops will have to sanitise after every client, which means their appointment times will be limited. By giving you a firm slot, this will make it fair to you and lots of other Brides in the same position as you. It's not ideal for you or the shop, but its important that they build in time to sanitise the area for your own safety.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
We normally suggest you give yourself 10-11 months in total. this gives you time for shopping for your perfect dress, then possibly waiting for your designer up to 6 months to make it for you, then building in two seamstress appointments. However, in light of a national pandemic, everything has gone out of the window for what is the norm, to what is not a possibility. So you may have to consider, if you are lucky enough that your wedding date can go ahead on the date planned, that you may have to consider getting an "off the peg" dress. Any good bridal shops with quality dresses do not sell off the peg (unless the dress is discontinued) but many of them are now looking to sell you their stock to make sure that you have a dress for your wedding day.
Whilst it is always nice to know that your dress has been made just for you, its also good to note that these are NOT second hand dresses. They are brand new and merely tried on by brides to be to see if they would like to order it for themselves. With some shops having a range of around 200 dresses, some may have only been tried on 3 or 4 times. Your bridal shop will get it professionally cleaned and tidied up so you really won't know any difference, plus you may be possibly be able to ask for a reduction on price.
MAKE SURE YOU PICK YOUR DRESS SHOPPING BUDDY WISELY !
Now we do always advise that the larger the entourage you have, the more opinions you will receive and that you may never come to a decision. However, it has gone from one extreme to another with that we feel that you may only be restricted to just yourself, OR you may be luck enough to be allowed one guest. So make sure that the person you take will not be too opinionated and someone that you trust their taste so you can make an informed decision sooner than later, but remember ultimately the most important person is YOU!
I had a client a few years back that took her fiancé because that’s whose opinion she trusted the most. Nothing wrong with that! It was something else they shared on their journey together.
Our advice, when you first decide to go bridal shopping put aside what you think you may want and ask the shop if you can just try on each different style of wedding dress so that you can immediately rule out what does not suit you. You will save yourself heaps of time. Once you have tried on the styles you will instinctively know which one you felt the best in and therefore you will have now narrowed down the style of dress.
Then all is left is the fun of choosing which one to pick. So the options could be lace, pockets, a horse hem finish, high neck, low back, embellishments, colour etc. All these variants can be found much easier once you have found your ideal style and will make your shopping experience much more fun and streamlined which is what may be needed at this current time.
SO WHAT ARE SHOPS DOING?
Well we can't answer for everyone, but whilst we started to write this blog we decided to reached out to a local Bridal Shop, Chantilly Lace to see what they are doing about helping brides and spoke with the owner Clorese.
She said that first of all, the safety of her brides to be and her staff are paramount. With that she will be limiting to one hour slots and limiting brides to be with one guest only. So just as I thought earlier, you must pick wisely who you wish to take.
Clorese also said that whilst its not ideal to engage with you, she and her staff will be wearing face shields or masks, plus they have ready washable white cotton gloves for your protection which will be disregarded after each customer and then replaced. In addition to this they will be sanitizing the gowns between visits. This does mean there are less appointments available, but she feels this is imperative to take such action to ensure you and all kept safe.
i am sure that many shops will be carrying out the same processes in order to get themselves back open again for you. However, if you are able to get yourself to Chalkwell in Essex, Chantilly Lace has over 150 gowns in all different styles in stock and are willing to sell off the peg to ensure you get that ultimate bridal frock in time for your special day. Plus she has informed me that she has a a great designer that is UK based that can produce a dress within 6 weeks, and some designers she has that may be able to produce for you in time according to what you pick.
FUN FUN FUN
We know full well that wedding dress shopping should be a fun experience and that you may have had visions of attending with your entire bridal party, but we are confident that you will still find the process exciting during the buying your dress, after all this is all part of your wedding journey and a talking point that will last a lifetime.
We are sure you will agree that you will feel much more confident right now however in buying your dress knowing that your safety is being considered more than your need of some some quality time with your besties, which you will get to enjoy again after the pandemic is over.