We're here to help you keep moving forward, no matter what your plans are.

M
Beginner October 2022

What does pandemic dress shopping look like?

maggie, on February 24, 2021 at 9:21 PM Posted in Wedding Attire 0 19
Saved Save
Reply

I've been perusing the internet for dress potentials, but I have no clue what size I would be, what style would look best, etc. In a pre-COVID world, I would just go to a store and try some out, but some stores are appointment only, some you can't try dresses on, some won't even take you if you don't intend on buying right then and there (which I am not, I am too indecisive).

I want to hear from those who have done it - What did wedding dress shopping in the time of a pandemic look like?

19 Comments

Latest activity by Colleen, on March 13, 2021 at 7:27 PM
  • E
    Savvy June 2022
    Elizabeth ·
    • Flag
    It probably depends on your area and the shop. For example, I’m in Mississippi, so our rules are honestly more lax than some other states in the country. For my appointment, my dress shopping experience was amazing as I found a boutique that would give us the entire shop just for my party. We didn’t feel like covid was a factor at all. My best friend also recently bought her wedding dress at DB and it was more strict since it wasn’t private, limited guests, masks required, limited amount of dresses that could be tried on. Just look around and see what bridal shops in your area are doing for their brides. Smiley smile
    • Reply
  • Sarah
    Super August 2021
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    I went in August. I was allowed 2 guests. And each store had a set number of dresses I was allowed to try on. One store was as low as 5 another as high as 10. They have to clean them in between try ons so they limit it. It was still an amazing and fun experience. The ladies at the stores helped with the sizing and pulling dresses. I didn't plan on buying on the spot either. A plus was that there weren't many other people in the store so I didn't feel like strangers were watching me when I came out to show my guests eash dress lol.
    • Reply
  • Stacey
    Super May 2021
    Stacey Online ·
    • Flag

    I found it to be totally normal, except we had to of course wear masks and several stores limited the number of guests who could accompany the bride (I had three). Most bridal boutiques have always been appointment only, even pre-COVID. It’s ensures you have the stylist’s one-on-one attention and ideas. I’ve never heard of a boutique where you have to commit to making a purchase to make an appointment (and if you’re hearing that, run!), nor did I come across any who wouldn’t let me try dresses on (how the heck else would they make a sale?). I felt like I got basically the same experience I would have pre-COVID, with the exception of masks and responsible health & safety measures in place. Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • Eri
    Super October 2020
    Eri ·
    • Flag
    While I bought my dress in 2019, I went back to the shop several times for alterations last year. At this particular shop, you always need an appointment, Covid or not. The only difference was that they imposed a limit of bride + 3-4 people and everyone has to wear a mask.


    Each shop will be different, so just email/call if the policy isn’t apparent on their website.
    • Reply
  • Expert September 2021
    ·
    • Flag

    I think it all depends on where you are! For both of my dress shopping experiences, it looked totally normal & I'm in South Carolina. I did have to make appointments, but have never been even pressured into deciding on anything by any boutique!

    I will say, I assumed my size when I first started to search around online - you definitely don't know your true size unless you have a gown on!

    • Reply
  • M
    Expert June 2021
    Melanie ·
    • Flag

    For me, I went to three shops and dress shopping included having a max of 2 guests with you (you could facetime people if you wanted more opinions), in 2 of the 3 places you couldn't touch the dresses on the rack - the stylist would pull out dresses and you say if you like it or not strictly based on looks and then you could try it on, and obviously masks. Most private shops required appointments pre-covid, so I don't think that's a big deal, but definitely don't go anywhere where you feel pressured to buy a dress that day. I actually liked shopping during covid because shops could only have a limited number of people and I was often the only person shopping, so all the focus was on me and I didn't have to fight for a stylist's attention.

    • Reply
  • Katie
    Rockstar August 2021
    Katie Online ·
    • Flag
    I went dress shopping in July and I had to make an appointment, pick the dresses out online so they could have them ready in the changing room, had to wear a mask the whole time, and was only allowed to have 2 people with me. When I went to the bridal shop they didn't have any of the dresses that I picked out online so I had to pick dresses out at the store. I wasn't allowed to touch the actual dresses I could only touch the hangers, and when I was done looking at them I had to put them off to the side so they knew I touched those dresses. I was able to get sized and try the dresses on, the stylist even helped zip or tie the dress up and clipped up the back for me so I could see how it would look if it fit.
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Rockstar August 2021
    Katie Online ·
    • Flag
    Oh and one more thing I was only allowed to try on a total of 5 dresses. If I wanted to try on more I'd have to make another appointment.
    • Reply
  • Connie
    Savvy March 2022
    Connie ·
    • Flag

    All boutiques in my area require an appointment and only allow 2 guests (I took my mom and a bridesmaid) at a time and an hour max for the appointment. They sanitize the dresses and dressing area between appointment so I felt very safe. Despite the shorter time and smaller entourage, I still really enjoyed the experience and if anything felt like I had more time to think for myself and have a very efficient shopping process! I actually ended up finding my dress at the second boutique, but had also found another potential dress at the first shop. Neither one gave me pressure to make a purchase, but I essentially told the first shop that my dad was the one buying the dress and I couldn't say yes to the dress without him there so we scheduled a follow-up appointment. Since I ended up finding my dress at the second boutique, I ended up cancelling that appointment but it was a great way to give myself some time to think without directly coming across as indecisive.

    • Reply
  • Ariana
    Beginner February 2016
    Ariana ·
    • Flag
    I went dress shopping in 2020. They were all by appointment only and some places I was the only bride there (which was really fun because I could try on an unlimited amount of dresses!) and others that were large enough had other appointments happening at the same time. I was only allowed to bring 1-2 guests. (Every appointment was done wearing a mask once it became mandatory.) Bringing smaller number of guests actually isn’t so bad (less opinions). When I found my dress it was an amazing experience and I only had one guest with me. They even allowed me to see myself (mask off and I was the only one in the room) in the dress before making the final decision.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar April 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    I went in June & was only allowed 2 others to come in. My daughter & her wife looked through the window. I was allowed to try on as many dresses as I wanted- tried on a total of 7. Really depends on where you live...
    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Legend March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag
    Most bridal shops are appointment only. I just went with my future SIL and I noticed the experience is actually nicer because with fewer guests allowed, it’s not as noisy or chaotic for the bride!
    • Reply
  • L
    Dedicated September 2021
    Lw ·
    • Flag
    I paid $75 to have a private suite to bring 4 people. Everyone wore masks. We stayed in the room the entire time. Overall, it felt relatively safe. I could try on whatever I wanted and wasn’t pressured to buy anything.
    • Reply
  • Catherine
    Dedicated September 2021
    Catherine ·
    • Flag
    I just went at the beginning of February. In Florida where where there are pretty much zero restrictions, but the boutique I went to still took plenty of precautions. I was allowed 4 guests (no more than 5 total including myself - I brought 2 with me and FaceTimed a few others) and we were temp checked at the door. Myself, my two guests, and two employees were the only ones in the building for the entire two hours (not sure if they only do one appointment at a time always, I had the last appointment before they closed, but each group gets their own semi-private area with 3 walls and a mirror + a separate changing area regardless). My consultant handed me the dress through a curtain and once I was ready to get zipped/clipped in, she came in to help. Everyone wore masks but my consultant stepped back 10+ feet away to let me have some time without a mask to see the full picture in the mirror + take photos if I chose. I wasn’t limited in amount of dresses I could try on or anything like that. I’ve never been wedding dress shopping before but it felt like a pretty normal experience except it was completely private (bonus!) and masks were on. We were not offered champagne like I remembered we were when my sister went shopping at the same boutique but that’s really all that stuck out as super different (and I don’t really drink so I didn’t care lol).
    • Reply
  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
    • Flag
    It was inconvenient. I decided to take a risk and order mine online
    • Reply
  • Gabbysitaxo
    Dedicated October 2021
    Gabbysitaxo ·
    • Flag

    I went to Kleinfeld's in NYC back in December 2020. I was only allowed 2 guests. They provided an iPad or the wifi to FaceTime or zoom other people we wanted. They took my temp upon arrival and I had to fill out a questionnaire about my recent travel. Pretty standard stuff. My bridal consultant still helped me into my dress. She kept hand sanitizer that she used after each dress. Also no shoes in the dressing room!

    • Reply
  • Devoted June 2021
    ·
    • Flag

    I went dress shopping last September (NYC) a few months after retail had reopened. I could only bring one person (mom). I had my temp taken upon arrival, and then was told to wash my hands (masks worn at all times). Once that was done, I met my bridal consultant who asked the style of dresses i was interested in or material. I told her my choices and then shared with her a list of dresses I wanted to try on--though I already knew which dress I wanted. I was brought my selections and was told I could not receive help getting into the dresses, which is where my mother's help really came in handy.) Once my dress was on, I was escorted to stand on a podium in front of a mirror to see the gown. They even had a runway for brides to walk and see the dress on many TVs. I tried on maybe 5 dresses but ended up going with the dress I already knew I would buy. I had my measurements taken to have the right size selected and color. My advice, is for you to ask beforehand what the covid restrictions are at the boutiques you wish to visit. Ask how many dresses you are allowed to try on and if shoes can be worn such as heels. At my shopping experience shoes were fine but for my dress pick up they were no longer allowed. Also ask which days are slow days for them. I ended up going on a Friday and there were hardly any other brides there, so my consultant allowed me more liberties due to the extra space and reduced capacity. Try to make a list of materials you are fond of and necklines you like as well as shape. This way if you are limited to a certain amount of dresses then at least you will try on the styles you are interested in. Also make sure to write down what you have tried on (take pics for future reference), in case you choose to visit other boutiques, this will make sure you don't try on the same dresses again and get the most out of your appointments at other stores.

    • Reply
  • JR
    Beginner April 2021
    JR ·
    • Flag

    In San Francisco, I went shopping in the midst of our Shelter in Place back in July 2020 - I had no idea what styles I wanted and I was definitely anxious about what I liked not being a good fit, so I knew I needed to try on more than a few! I just made sure to research shops that allowed dress try ons - honestly it seemed to be the more "champagne experience" bridal shops with the restrictions on number of dresses to try on and appointment fees. I landed on a local shop - it was appointment only, I could bring maximum 2 people, and we were required to wear masks the whole time. It was a great experience and I'm glad I didn't try to wait until things opened up so there was no stress on the timeline. They didn’t limit the amount of dresses I could try on, and the dresses were individually plastic wrapped.

    My advice would be do not worry about the size of the dress and to be open to all styles (yes even the ones that you swore you’d never wear!). My consultant suggested I try on no more than 10-12 dresses per appointment because the options start to feel overwhelming and blend together (she was right). The advice I got was to take pictures of every single dress you try on, and I’m so glad I did - I was able to digest the styles on me later on. And definitely book more than one appointment - I didn't feel pressured to make my final choice since I knew I was coming back, and the second appointment I was more focused on the styles I liked.

    • Reply
  • Colleen
    Beginner June 2023
    Colleen ·
    • Flag
    I had a great time shopping. My entourage was limited to two people and all of us were masked, but other than that, the experience was a lot of fun. Can’t make up my mind though, so I’ll be going back
    • Reply

You voted for . Add a comment 👇

×

Related articles

WeddingWire celebrates love ...and so does everyone on our site! Learn more

Groups

WeddingWire article topics