First and foremost, congratulations on your engagement! Even on our darkest days, love always prevails, and we are giddy excited for the two of you as you embark on your biggest adventure yet!

As the World opens back up, we know wedding planning will look different, and we are here to help you navigate through this new normal concerning wedding dress shopping. Here is A Bride’s Guide to Finding a Wedding Dress Post Pandemic:

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1. Let It Go

As a bride-to-be, we are sure that you’ve heard it the last few months, but allow us to remind you to let it go. LET IT GO! The heartbreak, the stress, the ups and downs... As hard as it may seem, challenge yourself to put it all behind you and take one step forward at a time. Know that you are exactly where you need to be in this very moment and what you have is more than enough. This is your love story. And at the end of the day, no matter what we face, you get to marry your best friend in the dress of your dreams soon. It’s the most beautiful adventure in the world, and not even a pandemic can take that away from you and your forever person.

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2. Set a Wedding Date & Confirm Any Changes With Your Local Vendor Team

Although we are always happy to bring you closer to “the one”, we do recommend having a date set before dress shopping post pandemic. Whether you are newly engaged or have had to unfortunately reschedule your big day, having a date confirmed with your venue and vendors will assist us in finding you the perfect wedding gown just in time for you to walk down the aisle - stress free!

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3. Understand Timing & the Effects of COVID-19 on the Bridal Industry

Before diving into your wedding dress shopping experience, let’s talk details! It is important to not only establish a timeline and budget, but to educate yourself on the logistics and process behind finding your wedding dress. Especially in light of our current crisis! Unfortunately, like most aspects of our lives, the Corona Virus has had an affect on the bridal industry. However, don’t panic - we are here to guide you through with answers, solutions and a little light.

As far as standard timing goes, our made-to-order wedding gowns take 5-7 months on average to receive from a designer. With an additional 2-3 months for alterations, the entire process can take up to 10 months to a year. However, post pandemic, we recommend taking extra precaution and allowing yourself more time than usual if your heart is set on ordering a new, couture gown in your size.

Minor delays have occured on a case by case scenario due to health and safety regulations enforced worldwide. However, we have been beyond impressed with the commitment and dedication of our partnered designers. Our team is taking everything day by day. regardless, rest assured that we have great relationships with our designers and are in close communication with them daily. If any delays on your wedding dress were to arise, we would communicate the changes transparently and work with you on developing a plan for moving forward.

Above all, know that whether your wedding is in just a few short months or more than a year out, we promise to do everything we can to help you curate a bridal look that makes you feel like the most confident and beautiful version of you!

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4. Schedule Your Bridal Appointment

Let’s get to our favorite part - shopping! Click here to book your Bridal Appointment in our studio today!

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5. Gather Inspiration

With a more focused appointment, we are prompting our brides to gather and share wedding dress inspiration with us beforehand. From the best silhouette for your body type to dress designers and the smallest of details in-between, our stylists will ensure that we are curating a selection of wedding gowns for you that fit within your budget, personal aesthetic and overall vision. Upon booking an appointment, you will be guided through this process. So what are you waiting for! Be inspired! Scroll through our Instagram account, check out our website and curl up with your favorite wedding magazines tonight!

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6. Be Prepared & Do Your Research

Now that it’s official.. it’s time to  prep for saying, “Yes!”

We would love for you to be as prepared as possible for your Bridal Appointment as the structure of our appointments will look slightly different post pandemic. Below is a snapshot of what to expect at your First Bridal Appointment moving forward:

  • At this time, to maintain social distancing, only one guest is allowed to join you at your appointment. This is per the government’s regulations. If more guests come along, we will unfortunately have to cancel the appointment. We are more than happy to assist with Facetiming friends and family as we know this is an important moment to share with loved ones.
  • All customers and staff are expected to wear masks at all times. We prefer that you bring your own with you. However, we are happy to provide you and your guest with one if needed.
  • Our first bridal appointments will be temporarily shortened to 1 hour and 15 minutes to allow time for staff to thoroughly clean between each appointment, and to minimize the amount of people in the studio at one time. Our alterations fittings will last one hour.
  • We are not allowing brides and guests to go through the dress racks in order to maintain social distancing. For first bridal appointments, we will send you a questionnaire beforehand so that your stylists can have dresses ready for you. From there based on your feedback, she will pull more gowns.
  • We do ask that you arrive at the time of your appointment and NOT early. This again will assist us in limiting the amount of people in our studio.
  • As always, we do ask if you or your guest have been showing an symptoms (sore throat, fever, etc.) that you rescheduled.

Emma & Grace is adhering to all CDC guidelines regarding the CoronaVirus. The health and safety of our staff, brides and community is top priority.

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7. Consider “Off the Rack” Options & Give a Sample Gown a Home

If you are a thrifty bride who is on the hunt for a lovely gown at a discounted price Or you have a tight turnaround, shopping our sample sale gowns may be a perfect option for you moving forward. Our sample sale gowns are a collection of couture wedding gowns that are sold off the rack at a discounted price. These sample wedding dresses have been tried on by bride’s in our studio, but now need a forever home!

We love this option for our brides not only because they are getting a beautiful dress at a great price during a pandemic, but because they can speed up and control the process while still rocking a one-of-a-kind wedding gown down the aisle. The benefit of purchasing a sample wedding dress is that you can skip the wait and worry with a designer and head straight into alterations and cleaning (if necessary) just in time to make a statement for your upcoming wedding.

Due to the love they have received (and for good reason!), several gowns are slightly damaged or dirty from normal wear and tear, but are discounted accordingly.

Click here to shop online today or chat with your stylist at the beginning of your appointment.

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8. Celebrate & Enjoy the Process

You’re getting married!!! Must we say it again! This is your time to revel in excitement, celebrate your love and have fun! Don’t get lost in the details or the stress behind it all. Lean into the people surrounding you and be present in the moment. We will take it from here!

Photo credit: Kaylee Chelsea Photography, Justyna E. Butler, Sweet Justice Photography, Karra Leigh Photography, Gracie Marie Photo, Cassie Madden.

Tags: Advice