Dress dreams: Wedding gown shopping during COVID-19

Photos courtesy I Do Bridal Couture.

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have driven most aspects of daily life to the screens of computers and phones. And while the creativity that has accompanied this transition has been impressive, for some things, there is just no substitute for real life. According to Ramsey Sims, owner of I Do Bridal Couture, one of those things is wedding dress shopping.

“I believe so strongly in the whole experience,” says Sims. “It’s important for a bride to have her moment.”

When restrictions emerged in March, Sims and her team briefly considered digital appointments but quickly reconsidered. For many brides, the dress shopping experience is not only the first time she tries on gowns, but also the first time she truly feels like a bride. An appointment complete with supportive friends and family, as well as a helpful staff, is a major part of a bride’s planning process, she says. In addition, because the gowns are so different than anything in a normal wardrobe, trying on several options is crucial.

“When brides come in, it’s our job to help guide them,” Sims explains. “Right now while brides are home, it’s great for them to look through Pinterest and get an idea of what they might want, but my advice is never to be stuck on one style. The most important thing to bring to a wedding dress appointment is an openness to the unexpected.”

For brides who are pressed for time, Sims has some good news: designers are waving their rush fees and working overtime to make dreams come true.

“Our designers are doing everything they can,” says Sims, who also notes that she can even work with brides who need something even sooner by selling dresses off the rack. “My biggest priority is to get brides the dresses they really want. No settling.”

I Do Bridal Couture is planning to open for private appointments starting May 1. Until then, brides can view new and current stock by following the store on social media.


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