HOW TO SHOP FOR A WEDDING DRESS DURING COVID-19

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020 Wedding IDEAS, INSPIRATION AND INSIDER TIPS

Photo by Sophia's Bridal and Tux
Photo by Shelby Laine Photography
Photo by Sophia's Bridal and Tux
Photo by Sophia's Bridal and Tux

HOW TO SHOP FOR A WEDDING DRESS DURING COVID-19

As brides around the world are planning their weddings, they are becoming aware of the new “normal” being implemented as the bridal industry is finding new ways as to how a bride can find her dream gown. With bridal boutiques in the United States and more across the globe starting to open up, the question remains- how do I shop for my wedding dress during Covid-19? 


In the U.S. each state has their own regulations and rules to reopening, so it’s important to know what guidelines each store is offering as they begin to slowly re-open or in some cases, no in person appointments. Virtual wedding dress appointments are a new way stores are offering their services to brides. Using video conference calls, stylists are able to help you find your perfect match one on one or help have your loved ones join in on the fun of finding “The One”. while following new health regulations and rules. From virtual appointments, to in-store appointments, follow us along as we give you the latest scoop on how you can find your dream gown! 


So how do we start finding a wedding dress? 


First things, first, do your research! Find a local bridal boutique near you to see if they’re currently open or not and what kind of appointments are being offered- virtual, in-store, or perhaps both! Next, note how far in advance your appointment needs to be made. Stores typically recommend that brides start shopping at least 10 months prior to their wedding date with intentions of having a 6 month window after placing their order for alterations, measurements, and any last minute details. And if you’re planning on adding custom changes to your wedding dress then note that may add time to the production time and may take longer to arrive based on the changes being made. 


“Any bride that has shopped or tried on gowns, and has found “the one” should be ordering now!” says Mon Amie Bridal Salon CEO, Laurel Mungo in her feature on Green Wedding Shoes. The Southern California bridal store owner urges brides to find their gown as soon as possible, as it leaves room for you to be stress free about your gown coming in on time. 


As some states are still implementing that retail stores be closed during this time, virtual wedding dress appointments have been a great alternative. 


VIRTUAL WEDDING DRESS APPOINTMENTS  

We know that planning a wedding during Covid-19 can be stressful enough, so finding your dream wedding dress should be the last thing you worry about! Having a virtual wedding dress appointment may sound discouraging to some brides, but many stores have found this to be a mutually beneficial solution. Indiana's Premiere Bridal Retailer Sophia’s Bridal and Tux in Indianapolis, Indiana is currently offering this for brides to find their gown and found it to be a great alternative. Instead of worrying about how far ahead to book your appointment or about open availability, virtual appointments are now more accommodating. 


“Virtual appointments are great because they are so flexible! For us, we can accommodate next day appointments,” says the Indiana bridal store owner, Jessica Limeberry. Instead of stressing about booking your appointment weeks in advance and waiting to see gowns, you’re now able to shop right away and in the comfort of your own home! You can book your appointment through email, online, or over the phone. 


She continues and says “It’s actually an awesome option for out of town brides! We can easily video people in from all over and everyone can experience it!” This is perfect for brides that are searching for a specific style that perhaps is not available at their local boutique and is available at another. This offers more options for the bride. And if you were worried about the number of people you wanted to bring to your appointment, ask the bridal store if you are able to add them to the virtual call, that way you can include everyone you want there with you! 


Here’s how a virtual appointment would look like at Sophia’s Bridal and Tux- 

  1.  Start with an introductory phone call from a stylist with questions about your style, price point, wedding aesthetic, etc. 

  2.  From there, your stylist will then pick a variety of gowns to present during your video conference call and will work through your likes and dislikes of each one while also grabbing new styles if needed. 

  3.  From there, you can narrow down 3-5 choices to pick up at curbside to take home and try on. 

  4.  Once you say yes to the dress, contact your stylist to place your order!

With such easy steps, wedding dress shopping will be just as fun and easy as it would be in store so no need to stress about finding your dream gown! 


In-store Wedding Dress Shopping Appointments 

If you are a bride that prefers to see the gown and all its details in person then finding a store that is currently offering in-store appointments is a must for you. With some states allowing stores to slowly open up, new health regulations are also being strictly enforced to ensure safety. 

So what can you expect now with in-store appointments? The Dress Gallery in Wichita, Kansas has given us an inside scoop on some new updates around in their store. 


1. Do your research before coming in 

“Due to our closed, employee-only stock, we don’t allow brides and their entourage to look through gowns; we’re here to do the hard work! We recommend brides search our Pinterest page and save favorites that they’ll love.” This can be a benefit for the bride that isn’t quite sure what she’s looking for yet as well. Searching through a handful of gowns all at once can be overwhelming so relax, enjoy and let your stylists find your perfect match. 


2. Appointments have limited amount of guests 

At Dress Gallery, for the safety of their staff and guests they have limited each appointment to three people maximum. The bride and two guests. Instead of a large amount, they are now allowing the bride to bring only two guests with them during the appointment. But don’t fret! Dress Gallery knows how important it is to have all your loved ones there with you when picking your dream gown, so they’ve created a way to make sure they’re there with you! “We know that you might have many more loved ones who wish they could be there, so we’ve increased the amount of FaceTime/ Zoom calls we do with family! We have iPads available to include all your loved ones,” says Dress Gallery. Guests you bring must also be older than the age of 16 but if you have any one younger you’d like that, just make sure they’re on the video call! The number of guests in each retailer will vary across the country so please check with your local retailer first. 


 3. Brides must wear masks when in private room with consultant 

We know that wearing a mask may not be the cutest accessory to your gown, but for safety purposes a bride must wear one when in the private room with a consultant. She may, however, take it off to view herself once outside the private room where she’ll be able to get the full effect of her bridal dress. Some retailers may require that the bride and their guest(s) also wear a face covering(s). So to be prepared check out your local stores social media or website for important updates to best prepare yourself so you can be ready to find your dream dress!


4. No walk-ins, appointment only

To make sure that everything is kept in order, Dress Gallery has kept their doors open only to those that make an appointment. To let them know that you’ve arrived, you can ring the doorbell outside the door. 



Having all these new guidelines may seem stressful and not quite what you expected when shopping for your wedding dress, but at the end of the day know that this day is what you make of it! Whether it’s a virtual or in-store appointment, there are no rights and wrongs in how you plan for your big day! Celebrate your love and the special moments that come with it in your own unique way, and let the rest unfold! Contact your local Moonlight retailer to see how you can make your wedding gown appointment today!
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