Finding your Dream Dress in the time of Corona:

Asheville, NC based Destination Wedding Photographer delivers Essential Tips for Finding your Dream Wedding Dress during COVID-19.

As COVID rages on around the world, love most definitely has not been cancelled and couples all over the world are still planning their weddings (read: epic celebrations this summer / fall because everyone is extra ready to celebrate!) Millions of small, service based businesses have been forced to close & remarkably, the wedding industry has pivoted quickly in order to do what we do best: offer creative solutions for unexpected circumstances. And of course, that includes wedding dress shopping during COVID-19!

In my research for this post, I was amazed by all of the creative ways that many designers, boutiques and bridal salons are going above and beyond to make finding your dream dress easy, accessible and enjoyable — even now!

Finding your Dream Dress in the time of Corona: Finding your Dream Dress during COVID19 AshevilleWeddingPhoto.com 28 1 Asheville Wedding Photography

Timelines:

The standard in the wedding dress industry is that most gowns take approximately 4-6 months for production and shipping. It is also recommended that you’ll want to allow 1-3 months for alterations. So, in order to keep your options open and your selection expansive without incurring any rush production fees, you’ll want start shopping about 9 months before your wedding. If your wedding is more than 18 months away, or if you’re not engaged yet, it is typically recommend that you hold off. Trends and tastes change, and what you love 18 months before your wedding may be different than what you want 9-12 months before your wedding!

With production and shipping delays along the entire chain from supply to production, shipping and alterations… if you’re thinking that maybe you need to get started pronto, you’d be right! The current recommendation is to purchase your dress 5-7 months ahead of your wedding date and to allow an additional 2-4 months for delivery and alteration.

These production, shipping and alteration timelines are particularly important if you’re planning to get married through the end of 2021.

Finding your Dream Dress in the time of Corona: Finding your Dream Dress during COVID19 AshevilleWeddingPhoto2020 16 1 Asheville Wedding Photography

The Pivot:

Many boutiques are now providing virtual styling appointment sessions!

So, you should 1000% take advantage of all of this extra downtime at home to sit down (via ZOOM) with a bridal stylist, chat about your personal style and gather ideas on what you’re liking! These ladies are super knowledgeable about their store inventory and can provide indispensable suggestions and advice!

Even if you’re not 100% comfortable with making your purchase remotely online, a virtual styling appointment it will give you a much clearer idea of what you’re leaning towards so that when you’re ready for that in-person appointment, you’ll have your top picks ready to go and a clear plan!

Shops offer Virtual Styling Appointments:

(this is certainly not a complete list! If you’ve had your eye on a particular boutique/salon, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to give them a shout to see if this is something they’re offering!)

The Lovely Bride

David’s Bridal

The Dress Theory

Adrianna Papell

Azazie

Amsale

Finding your Dream Dress in the time of Corona: Finding your Dream Dress during COVID19 AshevilleWeddingPhoto.com 5 1 Asheville Wedding Photography

Try on Wedding Dresses at HOME!

Yea, you read that right! Many Dress Boutiques and Salon’s are offering to ship your top picks to your home for you to try on & keep your favorite! 🙂 This is certainly not a complete list, if you don’t see something you love or that’s in your price range, GOOGLE it Girl! I am sure there’s others out there doing this same thing! 🙂

Lace & Liberty

Option 1 
All designs from the Lace & Liberty collection are available for Home Try-On. Order any individual dress or separates using the “Order Try-On At Home” button. $30/Item

Option 2 
Less certain about the style you’re are looking for or have questions? Schedule a call with the Lace & Liberty design team first. A curated Try-On Box including dresses and separates, as well as fabric swatches and more will be sent to you. $45/Box

Option 3 
Know exactly what you want? Schedule a call directly with Lace & Liberty designers. They will work with you to bring your dress vision to life via a personalized sketch!

Grace & Ivory

Grace + Ivory is an online e-commerce bridal brand with roots in Washington, DC and Chicago, and we create beautiful, custom, made-to-measure wedding dresses for the modern bride. As a women-owned shop, we’ve partnered directly with our dressmaker, cutting out layers of distributors and retailers to offer gorgeous dresses without the mark-up (all of our customizable designs are under $2,000). We’re a social enterprise and as our mission is about women supporting women, a portion of every dress purchase goes to programs helping women and girls in need. We’re currently supporting Plan International’s The Girls’ Fund, which has programs around the world focusing on eliminating child marriage, keeping girls in school, girls’ health, and women empowerment.”

“Grace + Ivory’s try-at-home (TAH) program is something I envisioned since starting, so brides have another option when shopping for their wedding dresses. You can try our dresses on in your own home, delivered to your door. We suggest popping some champagne and Facetiming relatives… or don’t! It’s all up to you.”

They have streamlined the TAH ordering process: 

  • You order the sample dress directly off our website, from each specific dress collection page, using the “Try on at home!” buttons.
  • After you click the “Try on at home!” button, you would select your size range, the three days you would have that specific dress, add to cart, and checkout online. 
  • After you’ve ordered, a dedicated bridal stylist will reach out via email to confirm, send tracking information once it ships, and be there for any questions.
  • Once you’ve tried our dresses, mail back the samples within 3 days using the prepaid shipping label. 
  • When you’re ready to move forward, order your wedding dress right off our website! The cost of your try-at-home is credited towards the purchase of your dress, so ensure that you receive a credit code. 

“Our dress pricing is inclusive of dress customization and shipping costs. Once purchased, we follow-up for measurements and custom options and your dress will be crafted and delivered in just 3 to 4 months. We advise that you order 5-6 months before your wedding so we can ensure you have the dress 6-8 weeks before your big day. This is our Grace + Ivory try-at-home experience and we’re excited to have you part of it!”

OH BUT THERE’S MORE…via Brides.com

12 MORE Places to Shop + Try on Wedding Dresses & Bridesmaid Dresses at HOME!!!

Need your Dream Dress NOW?

Shop Previously Worn Gowns!!

(This is also Eco-Conscious!)

  • Last Minute Bride – Pre-Owned Dresses and OMGsh I LOVE this site! 🙂
  • LVD is stocked with previously worn designer wedding dresses and samples in great condition that are available to buy right off the rack.  All of their inventory is online and available to ship out now! 🙂
  • BHLDN (by Anthropologie) Need a dress fast and worried about delays? BHLDN has an entire page of last-minute wedding dresses that are in stock and ready to ship! Each dress has detailed fit information and you can chat with a stylist to help you get the right size. Gowns ship within 24 hours and express and overnight shipments are available (and surprisingly affordable).

Finding your Dream Dress in the time of Corona: Finding your Dream Dress during COVID19 bc4462d7 a36f 4429 90bb f5e0fa1ea4c4 Asheville Wedding Photography

A Note about Bridesmaid’s Dresses:

There’s no need to pause planning during COVID19, especially when it comes to your bridesmaid dresses. Keep the process moving by turning to digital-native brands such as my personal favorite: Baltic Born or  Birdy Grey whose supply chains are optimized for couch-based wedding planning. Unlike most bridal brands that are made-to-order, they hold inventory, so their dresses are in-stock and ready to ship. All of their bridesmaid dresses deliver within 10 days, worldwide!

Have some fun with it! Host a virtual fitting party with all your bridesmaids. Make it festive by sending pretty digital invitations from Paperless Post, and have everyone pop some bubbly for the occasion! It could be a fun way to get the girls together for some bonding while checking bridesmaid dresses off your list of wedding to-do’s!!