HOW COVID-19 IS AFFECTING DRESS SHOPPING AND THE BRIDAL INDUSTRY
Between cancelled or postponed weddings and bridal shops closing their doors, dress shopping has halted. The bridal industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic this past spring. However, with fewer cases being reported every day, governments allowing bridal boutiques to reopen, and smaller weddings forging ahead – things are looking more and more positive for brides every single day.
With that being said, we will explore all the ways COVID-19 has affected the wedding dress industry. So, you can begin your journey knowing exactly what to expect over the next several months and get you back to dress shopping.
WAYS COVID-19 HAS AFFECTED THE WEDDING DRESS INDUSTRY
When the virus began spreading rapidly around the world back in February and March, manufacturers, including wedding dress designers, had to adapt to COVID-19 health and safety regulations, resulting in delays getting shipments out. Fortunately, though, these delays were minor. Most brides currently shopping for their wedding dress can expect their gown to arrive on time. However, this may not be the case for all designers. Be sure to ask your bridal boutique about any delays that will affect when your dress arrives.
One of the most significant effects COVID-19 had on the wedding industry was the cancellation or postponement of weddings scheduled to take place in 2020 due to restrictions on large gatherings.
While some couples chose to forge ahead with elopements and intimate micro weddings with only their witnesses and immediate family present, others made the tough decision to postpone until the fall of 2020 or push to 2021.
While this was understandably heartbreaking for many couples, the good news is that the Ontario provincial government has slowly begun allowing weddings to take place again, but with some restrictions. We’ll get more into that later.
INNOVATION (VIRTUAL DRESS SHOPPING)
One positive thing out of this pandemic is that many bridal shops and other vendors put their creativity to work. This creativity has kept their businesses afloat and helped brides continue to plan their weddings.
Many bridal boutiques introduced the concept of virtual shopping appointments. Where brides would be shown wedding gowns by a bridal stylist over a virtual chat like FaceTime or Zoom. Once a bride had narrowed down their selections, dresses would be shipped to their home for them to try on.
BRIDAL COLLECTIONS BEING DELAYED
Another side effect of the pandemic is that some bridal designers had to postpone the release of their latest collections. However, this hasn’t been the case with all designers. Be sure to ask your bridal stylist about whether certain styles and collections will be available. Especially if you are looking for a brand new style from a particular designer.
THE OVERALL DRESS SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
For brides that are able to continue dress shopping during the pandemic, the dress shopping experience will look a bit different than pre-COVID-19. Rest assured that your bridal stylist will do everything in their power to make your shopping experience as magical as possible.
Keep in mind that policies vary from shop to shop. Different cities and provinces have their own rules and regulations for retail businesses operating during the pandemic. However, most shops are limiting the size of brides’ entourages and requiring all visitors to wear masks.
Contact your bridal shop to learn more about how they are handling things during the pandemic.
WHERE THINGS ARE AT NOW
Now that Ontario is in Phase Three of the province’s official reopening, businesses are able to conduct business as usual, as long as sanitation and physical distancing protocols are followed and masks are worn (in certain towns and cities). This means that brides planning weddings for late 2020 or 2021 can resume the planning process without hurdles.
Even more good news is that smaller sized weddings are able to proceed again both indoors and outdoors.
For indoor wedding ceremonies and receptions, you can have up to 50 people in attendance, as long as they physically distance and don’t fill up more than 30 percent of your venue’s capacity.
For outdoor weddings, you can have up to 100 people in attendance, as long as they are able to physically distance from one another.
THE SILVER LINING
While these past few months have been challenging for everyone, it’s important to stay positive and focus on what is most important. Marrying the love of your life when the time comes. This pandemic has completely changed the way we go about our day to day lives. One thing that it cannot change is the love you have for one another.
Also keep in mind that delaying nuptials can give you more time to plan and save up. Or, allow you to scale back your wedding in favour of a smaller, more romantic, and intimate affair with only those closest to you. No matter what avenue you choose to take, just know that we won’t let this affect your dress shopping experience. We want you to find your perfect wedding gown and that will never change – pandemic or not.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR APPOINTMENT AT SINDERS
At Sinders, we are closely following the health and safety guidelines set out by the Ontario Provincial government. As such, we require all Sinders staff and visitors to wear masks and keep a distance between each other as much as possible. We are also currently accepting fewer bookings to give us enough time to sanitize the shop in between appointments. We are also not allowing more than 3 party members to accompany brides to their appointments.
However, one thing that will not change is our dedication to making all our brides’ dreams come true. We will always find you the perfect gown to wear down the aisle. Contact us to learn more or book an appointment to start dress shopping with Sinders.