With the world stuck in quarantine because of the coronavirus pandemic, many couples have had to face tough decisions like postponing their wedding. But there are other things that are starting to be of concern to couples who have weddings planned for later in the year or for next year, like how the quarantine affects wedding dress shopping.
With wedding dress shops closed, it may seem like you have to put all your plans on hold until the quarantine ends. But while you can’t go into a store and shop traditionally, there are options for you to start your search while we’re all isolated at home.
I’ve compiled a list of bridal shops around the country that are offering online virtual appointments, so that you can start the search for your wedding dress from the comfort of your couch.
If you’re really not sure what kind of wedding dress you want, start with the search yourself on Pinterest. Figure out what silhouettes and fabrics you’re drawn to. Do you like a lot of lace? Sleeves? Pin the dresses that catch your eye. Once you have a few things pinned, you should be able to get a sense for what look you’re going for. Some bridal stylists will want to take a look at your Pinterest board to get a sense for what you like, so they can recommend dresses that will best suit you.
In a bridal store, you’d have the luxury of someone measuring you. Now, you’ll have to take your own measurements. Don’t worry! All you need is a flexible measuring tape that will lay flat, that you can use to measure yourself. A standard carpentry measuring tape won’t lay flat, so you won’t get accurate measurements from that.
You can’t rely on your usual sizing, since bridal gown sizing is different than the normal clothes sizing that you’re used to. (Go figure – when has anything about women’s clothing sizes made sense?) You may find that you’re 1-3 sizes larger for a wedding dress, so definitely take your measurements to know if you’re ordering the right size. If you’re in-between sizes, don’t worry. It’s common to need alterations.
You may have had your heart set on getting your friends all together and drinking champagne while trying on wedding dresses. But you can recreate this experience while quarantined in a different way. Set up a time with your friends and family to connect on Zoom or Facetime. You can all pop bottles of champagne, you can try on dresses and they can give you feedback on what they like and don’t like, and you can virtually spend time together.
This list is broken up by location for shops that have a physical presence, in case you had your heart set on a specific store, or want to support your local businesses. But since the options are mostly all virtual, you can opt to select almost any of the following stores for your online wedding dress search!
Physical Locations: Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, LA, Miami, NYC, Philly, Phoenix, Rochester, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, DC
For Lovely Bride’s virtual appointments, you’ll create a wishlist, book an appointment to chat with a stylist about your wedding vision, and narrow down to 1 dress. They’ll either ship you the dress to try on, or book you a priority appointment for when they re-open to try it on then. If you purchase virtually, they’ll book you a “celebration appointment” to party with your friends in the store once they re-open. Any bride who does buy during a virtual appointment will get a 10% discount.
No physical locations
Grace + Ivory is an online bridal brand that makes custom wedding dresses. All of their designs are under $2,000 and a portion of every dress purchase goes to programs helping women and girls in need. Their try-at-home program lets you order sample dresses to try on at home, giving you 3 days with the dresses.
Physical locations: LA and NYC
Floravere is offering try-at-home boxes and virtual appointments. To get started, take their Bride Box questionnaire to get matched with a Floravere Stylist and select your styles. Sample gowns will be shipped to you at home and when you’re done, you can ship them back. Shipping is free both ways and proceeds from sales are being donated to Feeding America.
Physical Locations: Nashville, Seattle, San Diego. Note: The Dress Theory is offering complimentary virtual appointments to proceed in-person appointments when they re-open.
You can meet with a stylist on the phone and they can help you curate a selection of wedding dresses that match your style. Once they open back up, they’ll schedule an appointment for you to try on those dresses that you chose together.
Physical location: Jacksonville, FL. Note: Shipping fees may apply.
The One Boutique is offering virtual stylings and then will ship dresses to you. Schedule a FaceTime or Zoom consultation with one of their bridal stylists who will guide you through available dresses in their inventory, then select up to 5 styles for shipping to your home. They’ll connect with you again during your at-home try on session to answer questions.
Physical Locations: Chicago, San Diego, Dallas, NYC, LA. Note: they are not offering a try-at-home program.
Grace Loves Lace is offering 1:1 virtual styling consultations where a stylist will help walk you through the options and guide you to choosing your wedding dress.
Physical locations: LA and San Francisco
Lace & Liberty is offering a Home Try-On program. If you know what you want, you can order anything from their collection directly to be shipped to you to try on. If you’re not sure what you want, you can schedule a call with their design team. They can send you a curate Try-On box based on your style and preference with 1-2 dresses and/or 1 skirt + 1-2 tops, and they’ll include fabric and color swatches so that you can see different options.
Physical Location: NYC. Note: They are not offering a try-at-home option. You will have to go into the store when they re-open.
Schone Bride is offering virtual appointments. You can schedule an appointment with a stylist to discuss the looks you like, and then when the store opens back up you can go in to try them on. Email the store manager Jaclyn to schedule your virtual appointment.
Reem Acra recently announced through Instagram that they are offering virtual appointments. Email email@example.com to schedule a virtual appointment.
Physical Location: Anoka, MN. Note: Shipping fees may apply outside their radius.
Xandy’s bridal in MN is offering virtual appointments and will ship dresses for you to try on at home. Through Zoom, a stylist will walk you through the inventory and give you recommendations. You’ll select a few dresses to try on at home, and you can either pick them up curbside or have them shipped to you.
Physical Locations: Glendale, Illinois. Note: If you’re outside a 20 mile radius, you will pay a one-time shipping fee.
You can book a virtual appointment with a bridal stylist and try on dresses at home with Here Comes the Bride Boutique. First, you’ll connect with a stylist and you can send over your Pinterest board. During the virtual appointment, they’ll have a preselected set of dresses for you to view, and you can pick more styles during the consultation, ultimately narrowing down 1-5 dresses to try on at home.
Physical location: Washington DC
You can schedule a virtual appointment with the Bridal Room with a bridal stylist who can guide you through their inventory and styles. After the virtual consultation appointment, you can select 2-3 dresses to try on at home. You can pick up the dresses curb-side at the retail location or contact the shop for delivery options.
Physical location: Alexandria, VA. Note: shipping fees apply if you are not available for curb-side pickup.
Schedule a virtual consultation online with Ellie’s Bridal Boutique and send over your inspiration or Pinterest board to your stylist. During your appointment, the stylist will walk you through their inventory and help you find your wedding dress. You can pick up to 3 styles to try on at home.
Physical Location: Carmichael, CA. Note: Shipping fees may apply outside their radius.
Sign up for an appointment on Bride to Be’s website, and they will send over a digital inventory catalog for you to browse ahead of your call. You can send over your Pinterest board or any other inspiration you have. You’ll have an intro consultation call where you can meet your stylist, and then a second call where your stylist will walk you through a curated selection of gowns, chosen just for you. You can select 1-3 wedding dresses to try on at home and then ship back.
Are you a wedding dress shop owner that is offering virtual appointments and wants to be added to this list? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.