Finding your dream wedding dress is something most brides look forward to for years, if not decades. In this exciting moment, you start to picture what it will feel like to walk down the aisle towards the love of your life. But if you’re a bride-to-be during the COVID-19 pandemic, shopping for a wedding dress probably looks a lot different than you pictured—and had hoped.
Brick-and-mortar bridal salons were among the thousands of non-essential businesses that were forced to shut down in order to help flatten the curve and ease the burden on our health care system. As a result, salons had to get creative and do what many other vendors in their industry were and are still doing: having virtual consultations with their clients.
Last year, The Stylish Bride in New York City launched a Virtual Styling program, which set the groundwork for them to be able to work virtually with a bride. “This allows us to keep the momentum going and use this time to get things done,” says founder Julie Sabatino, who is also scheduling appointments with her clients over Zoom. “We have been flexible with changing dates, and thankfully have enough teams of stylists for our on-site service to be able to handle multiple weddings on the same day.”
Tali Gallo of The Bridal Finery in Winter Park, Florida, and her team have also been doing Zoom and FaceTime bridal styling sessions with current and prospective clients. In addition, they’re hosting live videos on Facebook and Instagram displaying their favorite accessories and answering any questions brides might have. “Being a great resource for our brides has always been a top priority and now we are laser focused on how to expand on it,” she says.
Aubrey Silva, co-owner of Grace+White Bridal in Sacramento, California, launched the “Dress Drop” as a way for her store to ship gowns to brides at their home that they could try on and purchase. “We had some success with this, however most brides started putting their weddings on hold all together,” she says. “Planning a wedding with COVID restrictions was not the experience most brides wanted, so they chose to postpone.” As a few months went on, Silva and her team saw a rise in micro weddings and elopements. “Brides and the industry are hopeful that by fall, events will start to resume,” she says.
Written by: Jen Sinrich (Wedding Wire)