For many people, wedding planning is a stressful undertaking, even at the best of times.
You need to have a particularly high tolerance to stressful situations to be able to cope with the impact of a global pandemic in the midst of your wedding plans. It will almost certainly diminish your resilience and optimism.
Let’s face it. There are very few aspects of our lives which have not yet been impacted by Covid-19. The experience of shopping has certainly changed for everyone over the last three months.
No matter what stage of the wedding planning process you are at; whether you are shopping for your wedding gown or need to book fittings for a dress you have already purchased, you will find some interesting and helpful insights here in this article.
Although developments appear to be unfolding every single day, the new norm of isolation and social distancing combined with the uncertainty and inconvenience brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic presents numerous challenges for the wedding industry. Almost every wedding scheduled to take place in the UK this Summer has now been postponed or will be significantly reduced in size, in order to meet restrictions imposed by the Government.
For Brides to be who are preparing for their wedding amidst the impact of the global pandemic, wedding dress shopping and fittings need to be in person and are usually up close and personal.
WHEN BRIDAL BOUTIQUES RE-OPEN, WILL IT BE BUSINESS AS USUAL?
As a knock on effect of the lockdown, Bridal boutiques anticipate being unusually busy this Summer. Their doors may currently be closed but behind the scenes, teams are problem solving, fine tuning their approach to appointments and fittings and identifying creative ways to safeguard their staff and customers. They want to help you to find your dream gown whilst following guidelines.
For most Brides, shopping for a wedding dress is an incredibly pleasurable thing to do. Even though wedding dress shopping right now might not turn out to be quite the experience you have envisaged in your dreams, it is still possible to enjoy it whilst staying safe.
WEDDNG DRESS SHOPPING IN THE MIDST OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC
- A lot of boutiques who carry stock have upped the ante on social media recently, enabling you to browse more styles on line. Use the time you are spending at home to plan ahead. Research styles and pricing. Use the time to decide what you really want.
- Most wedding dresses are made to order. They are produced when an order is confirmed and a deposit is paid. It usually takes around six months to complete the process. It is advisable to start shopping no later than eight months prior to your wedding.
- It will no longer be possible to walk into a boutique. All consultations and fittings will be on a strictly by appointment only basis for the foreseeable future.
- Expect to have an initial consultation via telephone. At the very least the boutique should manage your expectations and aim to gain an insight into what you believe you are looking for.
- Whilst striving to deliver an excellent service, interpersonal contact between customers and staff during appointments may be limited.
- Increased sanitising and rigorous cleaning efforts will be maintained in all areas of a boutique.
- You will be asked to limit your entourage. Most boutiques do have WiFi though, enabling you to check in with friends and family whilst shopping – social distance style – via video chat.
- If you are at all worried about safety and hygiene when it comes to trying on dresses it may be advantageous to limit the number you actually try on.
I recently had the pleasure of catching up with one of the North of England’s leading authorities on Bridal attire, Anita Massarella who designs and manufactures Haute Couture wedding gowns from her work room within her stylish boutique in Yorkshire.
Haute Couture is exclusive. Each wedding gown is individually designed and produced only for you, using the most luxurious fabrics together with bespoke accessories. Often, the process associated with creating a Haute Couture wedding gown is time consuming, not only due to the options and choices involved, but the fact that elements are sourced from across the globe; silks and lace from Europe, combined with zips and embellishments from Asia.
“We strive to be at the forefront of innovation, creativity and design and pour our hearts and souls into the dresses we create.
The lockdown has given us the opportunity to stop and start again. To re-set. Whatever our clients want, we are ready to deliver.
Our customers are Brides, Bridesmaids and Mothers of Brides. We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent service to them. Because their experience is so important to us, we have reached out to them and asked them how comfortable they feel about visiting the boutique. In doing so we have assured them that the boutique has been rigorously deep cleaned. There is ample space to allow for social distancing and of course we will supply hand sanitiser and will all be washing our hands frequently. We will not insist they wear masks or gloves but we will if they ask us to. It was great to sound them out.
We care so much about each customer. After all, what we do is so personal for them. And although no two dresses we produce are ever the same, we work very hard to ensure the service we deliver is always of a consistently high standard. It is lovely to know these feelings are mutual. We have been so inspired by the support we have received from so many of our clients throughout this challenging time.
In the past few weeks I’ve had time to do some things I have always talked about doing. I am particularly excited about launching this year’s Winter collection.
We are returning with a renewed perspective and alongside our Couture and Designer gowns, we are introducing an archive sale consisting of all the stock that is currently in our archive. We are excited about this because it makes us more accessible.”
I am incredibly proud to work alongside other wedding industry professionals such as Anita, who share my ethos in terms of looking after clients and offering an outstanding customer experience. Their helpful and flexible approach makes navigating these uncertain times easier for me and my clients. If you are encountering any difficulties or wedding planning related stress, I would like to offer an hour of my time to any couple in need of advice or guidance. This offer comes with absolutely no obligation and is entirely free of charge. Whatever stage of the wedding planning process you are at and whatever you choose to devote the time to is up to you. I am happy to share my wedding planning knowledge and experience with couples who would appreciate some support during these challenging times.
You are welcome to call me on 07561 107888 or e-mail email@example.com.