Planning a wedding is stressful at the best of times... let alone during a pandemic. With so much uncertainty it can be hard to visit venues, visit suppliers and, of course, go wedding dress shopping. With many bridal shops closed in the highest tier and lead times for dresses uncertain you need to be creative and flexible when finding a wedding dress. Here are my top tips for finding your perfect wedding gown during the pandemic.
In a normal world it is sensible to allow at least 24 weeks for delivery and alterations of made to measure designer dresses, that's about 5 1/2 months (If you've got longer then great, boutiques love 9-12mths as it's less pressure on them) The knock on effect of Coronavirus on wedding dress lead times varies from designer to designer. Many established designers such as Maggie Sottero have a strong supply chain and haven't missed a dress deadline (yet) but that won't be true of all wedding dress suppliers. You also need to factor in the retailer who you are buying your dress through. If they go under your dress could go with them so make sure you have plenty of time to allow for unforeseen hiccups. (yes, that is a picture of me at my dress fitting with a billion pins in my dress).
It may not be as glamorous as going to a bridal shop and trying on lots of dresses, but if your wedding is relatively soon and you are in Tier 4, who knows when those bridal shops will open again. There are lots of options available online from off the peg to made to measure options. The great thing about shopping online is you have loads of choice from traditional gowns and evening wear to beach wedding dresses. If you are buying off the peg lots of retailers have return policies so you can order several dresses and try them on at home. If you are going for a made to measure option make sure you measure yourself accurately and follow the sizing guidelines to the letter.
Do your research
If you are able to get an appointment at a bridal boutique it won't be the relaxed affair we are used to and you won't have the luxury of going back multiple times while dithering over a decision. You need to approach your appointment like is a tactical military exercise. Ring ahead and find out exactly how your appointment will run and to save time when you get there go armed with some wedding dress research on what you do (and don't) like to aid the assistant and get you trying on the right dresses as quickly as possible. You'll only be able to take a small entourage with you (probably just 1 other person) which will actually make things simpler for you as you won't be bombarded with different opinions.
You know the dress you want. You know the size you want. There isn't enough time to get it made before your wedding. Well why not buy a pre-loved gown. It's also be cheaper than buying it new and you should be able to get it immediately. There a few different websites out there so check them all, even the ones in the USA as express delivery will still be faster and cheaper than ordering it directly from the designer.
Many companies have suspended new wedding insurance packages or have excluded Covid-19 cover from new policies. If you have an existing policy in place before March 2020 they will continue to honour your policy. With this in mind you need to weigh up the risks to your dress deposit (and the rest of your wedding) if you don't have existing wedding insurance in place. Make informed and considered choices so you are prepared for any surprises later down the line.
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.