Are you a 2020 bride searching for your wedding dress during COVID-19?

To the bride who is thinking that it’s too late to find their wedding dress, or that they have to shop during this time when they feel maybe they should wait a bit but feel like they can’t, for their 2020 wedding – between shipping delays, lockdowns, quarantines, and production timeline. Guess what? No matter what anyone else says, it’s never too late! The standard in bridal is that you need at least 9 months to find, receive and alter your dress. Well yes, but that is driven on the majority of wedding designer brands being made in large scale factories overseas. But there are so many amazing designers that manufacture on a smaller scale. That means more custom options for a better fit and look plus getting a dress in as little as 30 days! In short, you have options.

Image result for bride in meditation
Take 3 deep breaths. It will all be ok!

Before I go any further, I want to address your wedding day as a whole. For that, please read this amazing post done by Always Your Events. And I agree and tell my brides this all the time. It’s all about you and your special person. That is what the entire day is about so if things need to change a bit, it will still be amazing because of the two of you and your love story.

Remember that above all else your wedding is meant to unite you and your fiancé. Even if your wedding looks a little different than you intended, the heart of it all remains the same. Keep your story as the focus and keep the wedding revolving around your story. Let me be entirely honest with you during this time — your wedding will not be magical because you had it on a particular date, or because the weather was perfect, or because you had the peonies you love or the bridesmaids dresses you like most. When you worry about how your wedding will look, know this: your will wedding will be magical because the celebration tells your story and because despite a dark time in the world your love is a light and brings the joy we all desperately are craving.

Keri, Always Your Events

I am looking at your options based on your budget. If you have any questions feel free to contact me anytime! I am here for you.

Dress budget above $3000

Smaller designers like Jesus Peiro of Spain, Rebecca Schoneveld of New York and Lea-Ann Belter of Toronto can customize your dress to special measurements if needed, modify necklines and skirts and deliver your dress in 30 days or even 6 weeks if needed. This is also a great option for a bride that knows what she wants and can’t find it exactly and can visualize a change, or for a very petite bride or large bust bride – so those special measurements can be done to help the dress fit you better, aiding in alterations and time.

All brides including those with a dress budget under $3000.

This is where I say being open-minded really comes into play. You have so many options depending on how you look at dress shopping. And this applies when a designer doesn’t have a rush option, inventory of the dress or a short shipping window.

  1. Off the Rack – This means you can buy a shop sample and take it home with you the same day! Almost every bridal store has a sale rack with amazing dresses ready to sell. These gowns are at times new, they may have been discontinued or just a style that wasn’t everyone’s favorite. And the best part is, it’s on sale! Usually for at least 20-30% up to 85% off retail sometimes. The only part is, typically they are usually in bridal sizes 8-12 (street size 6-10) unless its a shop known for its plus-size selection. So keep this in mind, if it zips – you can always let it out by size if it’s too tight or takes it in up to two sizes. But use the guidance from the shop to help you. I do have a few racks full are great gowns ready to sell and you can check out them out here.
  2. Shop online and try at home – Some stores have a program where you can buy and try on sample/off the rack gowns at home and ship them back. They offer almost a mini experience paired with a virtual stylist to help you at home. Check out a few shop friends of mine: The White Dress by The Shore and Luxe Redux.
  3. Buy online and be able to return – Now bridal shops, where the majority are small businesses, are restricted to accept returns because the designer will not take the return and we are not able to stock inventory like department stores. Our business is based on special ordering a dress for you. But there are online shops that offer a return policy as part of their policies or they are department stores/big chains that stock inventory. For example, The Last Minute Bride sells designer gowns that are sample gowns from other shops and you are able to return your order within a certain time frame.
    * Note about shopping online. If it’s too good to be true, it is. Make sure the website has a real address in the USA and there is a phone number you can call and talk to a real person.
  4. Think beyond a wedding dress – There are some gorgeous dresses that are ivory and not a “wedding dress” especially this time of year. Just check out your favorite online shops and search under evening gown.

What if you found a dress but the store can’t get it for you in time?

Then ask these questions:
1. Can you buy the sample you are in? Especially if it zipped up and almost fits – not too big but not too small.
2. See what other shops in the area carry the same designer and see if they will sell their sample.
3. I am apart of 2 large bridal shop owner groups nationally and can always reach out to see if anyone has their sample for sale. Just message me.

Now what about time for alterations?

I would say that even if you haven’t found a dress yet, it’s never too late to line up your seamstress. Contact who you want to use and let them know your wedding date and that you are still searching for your dress. This way you have them secured for when you do 🙂

I hope this helped. Just remember, to stay calm – whatever you wear and however and when you say “I do” it will be perfect because you have each other. Trust your stylist and shop that they are doing everything they can to help you with your dress. Trust your wedding vendors that are proactively going the extra mile to make sure you have the perfect day. We all need to do our part to stay healthy and calm with grace. And remember we are all human, trying to do our best.

Stay well. xo Malinda