Your Dream Dress Appointment in 2021

UPDATE AS OF August 2021

Brides can bring their guests at full capacity, which for my shop is 5 plus the bride. Every bride still has access to using the Zoom Wall for their appointment for any guests that can not make it.

Everyone must be double masked surgical under cloth OR a N95/KN95

Everyone must be fully vaccinated and e prepared to show proof.

There is no food or drink allowed and masks must remain on at all times!

I am fully vaccinated but my 3 year old can not be yet. Thank you for your support!

2021 has arrived and sadly we are still in the thick of this pandemic. There is a vaccine now but until we reach over 70% or more vaccinations we need to continue to stay safe for our loved ones. And so I am still nervous as I have a toddler at home and a very high-risk family member.

The fact is that all anyone can do right now is use their best judgment. Since “best judgment” looks a little different to everyone, I know it’s important to explain what changes I am making, and why and I know this won’t be for everyone.

The Experience

I take pride in offering a wedding dress shopping experience like no other. My focus has always been on the individual.

What matters to you?

What makes you happy?

What dress will give you butterflies in, on your wedding day and in your photos for years to come?

That moment when I nail it, and you see yourself in the dress that ticks every box… That moment can be truly magical – I don’t want you to miss out on that special experience.

So you won’t see me in hospital gowns and face shields, taking your temperature before I allow you in the door! These would technically keep me slightly safer but at the expense of the warmth and connection that makes our appointments so special. For me, that price is too high.

Instead, I have made other compromises. And, as with any compromise, not everyone will be happy with it. Some will tell me I have gone too far, others that I haven’t gone far enough…

That’s why my decision process has been led by two questions:

  1. What will keep both my clients and myself as safe as possible?
  2. What compromises can I make to offer the experience I’m used to while keeping the risk acceptably low?

I understand. There is no perfect solution. But I have done my best, and I hope the changes I have made will work for you!

The Science

To keep everyone safe, I am following these evidence-based principles:

Avoid close face-to-face interactions

People are at most risk of transmitting and receiving the virus when face to face. As such, I will be using a combination of social distancing, mask-wearing, and marked areas in the store.

Minimize the number of people in enclosed spaces

The more people in a small space, the higher the risk. This means limiting the number of people in my shop at one time, and also the number of people in a changing room.

Minimize the duration of contact

The longer you are with someone, the longer and higher the exposure rate is. This means changing the appointment structure to an hour.

Sanitize regularly and methodically

The coronavirus is easily killed with soap and good hand hygiene. I have come up with a cleaning routine for my hands, surfaces, and objects between appointments that follow best practices to keep the environment as safe as possible.

I have also included some rescheduling guidance, for anyone who thinks they may be at greater risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19. My guiding principle for this is that I trust you to err on the side of caution, please be honest and reschedule if there is even the slightest cause for concern.

This merits emphasis: I am a small team of just 1 with a family at home. If I develop COVID-19 symptoms, I will be forced to self-isolate, as well as my family, alerting daycare as well and close my store, canceling all appointments for at least 14 days and causing distress to anyone who had appointments with me or contact with my family over the previous week.

I need my clients, to be honest with me and work with me to ensure first and foremost that everyone stays safe, and secondly that I can carry on doing the work I love and keep my family safe.

So please read through all answers and feel free to email me with any further questions you have. I will, as always, do what I can to make your visit the best experience it can be!

Your Dream Bridal_Best Bridal Shop_Boston Bridal_Dress Shopping Appointment_Shop Images (49)

Booking Appointments

I have always been open by appointment only as I meet with only one bride at a time.

The best way to see when I am open is through my online booking calendar. Appointments are limited so book when you can.

When should I schedule my appointment?

If you have a wedding date in 2021 and early 2022, I recommend you book an appointment soon. If your wedding date is later in 2022, now is also great. But if you are looking at a 2023 wedding date, it may be good to wait.

Is there a fee?

Part of the appeal of Dream has always been a private one-to-one appointment in which you truly are the only bride in the boutique being assisted by me. This provides the ability to social distance properly for the safety of our brides and myself.

The number of appointments I am able to offer moving forward has now been reduced in order to facilitate additional cleaning and prep between brides, with additional supplies and processes. It’s really hard meeting with brides who are strangers (at first) and not in my family bubble. I take safety and my time very seriously.

Currently, there is a cancellation fee, only charged if you cancel less than a week, and a service fee, which is only charged after your visit without a dress purchase to cover the costs of PPE and to help me stay open. If you do come back to purchase within 30 days of your visit, the fee is credited towards your purchase.

What is a style questionnaire, and why do I need one?

I normally start each appointment with a chat. What your wedding plans are, what shopping you’ve done, how you met your partner, and so on. I love getting to know my brides, and it makes it easier for me to help you find your dream dress! To limit our exposure to each other I will have you fill out a style questionnaire where it will help me understand you and your vision so I can pre-select your dresses for your visit.

When you book an appointment I will send you a confirmation email with the next steps and important information including a link in it to take the questionnaire.

Safely invite your wedding party via Zoom
Boho bride saying yes to the dress at her bridal dress appointment at Your Dream Bridal in Boston

The Alternative

If sharing this experience with a vulnerable loved one is so important to you that you’re even considering the risk, I gently encourage you to consider pushing back your wedding date. That way you should be able to have the full wedding experience you imagined without the specter of COVID-19 looming over you.

And this is actually what I recommend to anyone who is unhappy with any of the requests I have made in this post but really wants to visit my shop. With no judgment – these are terrible circumstances, and it’s unfair that you should feel pressure to sacrifice the experience you imagined.

But I don’t want anyone to regret any aspect of their wedding planning.

If you think you’ll look back and wish you’d been able to have all your best friends at your appointment, or browse through the collection, or try on dresses without a face covering – consider postponing. Talk it through with your partner, your family, your friends, and of course your wedding vendors. Don’t just get caught up in the planning process. Take a beat to reflect, and consciously decide whether getting married now is what’s really right for you.

If it is, just remember: the right dress will still light you up from the inside.

It will still make your heart jump every time you try it on and see it in photos.

It will still make your loved ones misty-eyed to see you in it.

And I will still do everything in my power to find that dress with you.

We’re all still nervous or if you are like me, scared, right now, doing our best in challenging circumstances. But some things don’t change, and my commitment to you feeling amazing on your wedding day is one of those things. So even though I am nervous and a bit scared, I am also excited to help you feel beautiful and getting to do the work I love. xo, Malinda