Is Covid-19 getting in the way of your wedding dress search? Let’s go digital shopping!
Shopping for your wedding dress is one of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning process. The dream for many brides is the whole boutique experience, surround by your bridesmaids whilst you try on dress after dress until finally, you find “The One!”. So obviously, the thought of missing out thanks to the lockdown can be quite disheartening.
Even pre-Covid, there could have been many reasons why you might have struggled to visit the boutique you really want, from it either being too far away or due to personal time constraints.
Luckily, many boutiques have introduced virtual appointments to help brides shop for their wedding dress all from the comfort of their home.
To make the process and smooth as possible, it’s necessary to do some homework first!
Carry Out Your Research
To make your wedding dress shopping as efficient and enjoyable as possible, you should start looking for inspiration across Instagram and Pinterest. Looking through a wide variety of pictures from both designers and real weddings should help you get a feel for the style you like.
Next, based on your Pinterest or inspiration board, you should start to decide the ‘must-have’s of your wedding dress such as whether it should have long sleeves, a high neckline etc.
Book Your Virtual Appointment
Contact bridal boutiques and designers and ask if they offer virtual appointments. Once you’ve got the appointment in your diary, make sure you block out the whole afternoon, just as you would with an in-person appointment. Wedding dress shopping can be daunting, even when done from your own sofa, and so don’t be afraid to let the store or designer know your worries and insecurities as this can impact the way they approach your search.
You should also make them aware if you’re planning to have your ceremony as soon as lockdown is eased. Typically, the turnaround time for a wedding dress can be around 4 to 6 months, so if time is not on your side, they may advise considering an ex-sample or second-hand wedding dress.
If you know exactly what you’re after, and you’re happy to buy a wedding dress following a digital consultation, then straight off-the-rack could be the right option for you.
If you were planning on getting married this year, it’s likely that you may not already have your dress and the current time of year is when you would have started your dress shopping.
A few bridal shops are, therefore advertising their high-end samples for sale on their Instagram and Facebook pages, giving you the chance to grab a bargain. If you’ve seen a sample online that you like the look of, ask if they can send a sample of the fabric by post. As internet shoppers will know, what you see on screen may not necessarily look the same or feel as comfortable as you expected when you have the fabric in front of you.
Ask to Try on a Sample
Not all boutiques will offer this service, but some may be willing to loan samples to you to try on at home, particularly if you’re due to marry in 6-12 months and are yet to choose a dress. And there’s no harm in asking your local bridal boutique whether you could arrange a contactless drop-off or pick-up.
You should expect businesses offering this service will be steaming and cleaning garments in between brides to ensure that the service is as risk-free as possible. Dresses will also be packaged in a way that protects them, so make sure you carefully follow the instructions when you send the gown back, washing your hands thoroughly before and after touching the packaging.
It’s important to remember that wedding dress samples will come in whatever size is currently available and so you won’t be able to see exactly how it would sit on you. But seeing the dress in-real-life and trying it on with the help of a few bulldog clips will help you to get an idea of whether or not the gown suits you or not. You’ll also be able to feel the dress’s weight and see the fabric up-close, which should help make you confident in your decision.
When the dress or sample arrives, make sure you tell your other-half not to disturb you. Choose a room with plenty of natural light and set up a full-length mirror if possible. Dig out some shoes with a heel or a similar height to those you are planning on wearing. Next, make sure you’ve removed any makeup or lipstick before touching the fabric to avoid any marks or stains.
Trying on your wedding dress is still a great experience so perhaps ask your mum or bridesmaid to join you for the big reveal over Zoom.
Discuss Alterations and Customisation
If you’ve found your dream dress but want to add customisations such as straps or sashes, make sure you discuss this with the boutique or designer first. It’s most likely you’ll be able to make these alterations but make sure you check what’s possible and how much it might cost before ordering.