For brides-to-be, picking “the dress” can be the most fun and also stressful part of planning a wedding. Since many people can’t go into physical stores because of coronavirus-related restrictions, brides and wedding shops are trying something new – virtual appointments.
Paige Cuscovitch and her fiancé, John O’Loughlin, are moving forward with their December wedding, hoping the pandemic will have subsided by then.
Cuscovitch said she never imagined she’d try on a wedding dress through a computer.
“I imagined that I’d be going to the salon with my family and my bridesmaids,” she said. Lovely Bride, a New York City-based bridal shop with locations around the country, sent Cuscovitch a measuring tape to work with one of their stylists remotely.
Cuscovitch tried on some dresses and picked a dress that she’s looking forward to wearing on her wedding day. “I’m so excited. It feels like such a weight off my shoulders.”
Like so many businesses, Lovely Bride went online when it had to pause in-person fittings. Founder Lanie List says, “We’ve become online app experts.”
List says clients’ friends and family can still be a part of that shopping entourage virtually. “We take full advantage of technology to make sure everyone can do voting and polling and the fun things that make people laugh during this experience,” she says.
Other companies are doing it too.
“We’re trying to make the experience really fun,” says wedding gown designer Kelly Faetanini. While salons are closed, she’s using her website to sell directly to brides for the first time. “We definitely had to switch gears, revise our processes, our systems, set up new team members,” Faetanini says.
In some cities, dress shops are opening back up for curb-side pickup. Some bridal companies believe virtual appointments could continue, even after the pandemic is over.