• JP

Engaged during lockdown? Top Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping in the Covid Era

Recently engaged in the COVID-19 era? Congratulations on your engagement and also for showing the general media that love reigns supreme even in the midst of a pandemic.

Now, I can imagine that wherever you were in the last 3-4 months of quarantine when your life changed and that special moment happened, you are BEYOND excited right?

You have been on Insta, searching for wedding venue's, making boards on Pinterest, and generally daydreaming about you walking down the aisle over and over again. I remember the time well, it's a special time, I can vividly recall every-time I passed a mirror just placing my hand on my face or neck wistfully gazing at the ring, and why not? You should be doing this, being engaged is such a special time! Enjoy it, shout it from the roof tops (or digitally on Insta).

Maybe you have been furloughed, and find you have lots of time to begin planning your wedding and with the announcement in June that Bridal shops can open, YIPPPPEEEEE, with all your nearest & dearest available or much more flexible at this strange time, feeling like you want to go and try on some dresses, naturally, it's the best part of wedding planning (I am biased - for obvious reasons). But, I don't want to burst any engagement bubble, hell no, I am the worlds biggest engagement fan, however, unless you have got engaged and booked your wedding for October through to February 2021, you should NOT be browsing for wedding dresses.Let me elaborate a little further, there are a few reasons why:

  1. COVID...its not essential that you go browsing for a wedding dress, if you haven't even booked a venue, set a date, yada, yada, yada. You are risking exposing yourself, your guests and the staff at the shops to the virus. Enough said about Covid.

  2. My shop personally has been shut for what feels like an eternity, with financially has a HUGH impact, I right now, need serious buyers, brides looking to purchase their wedding dress, I hate to say this, hate it, I don't need time-wasters....eeeeeekkkkkk, there I said it, I am sorry (not sorry) I have a backlog of postponed appointments from the last few months to see, I also have potentially all of my August, September & October Brides who's wedding's maybe going ahead to be seen and fitted, these must take precedence.I simply can't see Brides who fancy a day out.

  3. It is very rare that a bride purchases her gown without a date or a wedding venue. Once you have your date and your venue, you are SO welcome, you will be more than welcome, you will be loved and you will be made to feel special because you are. So I ask/insist that you hold onto that excitement/desire to start shopping for your gown just that little longer, which has it's benefits (more gowns!) until ideally 10-12 months before your confirmed wedding date.

So here's my top tips to make sure you're ready to find your gown and the policies that I personally have in place to ensure you're prepared for an appointment at H&W and have the very best experience.

  • The 'ideal' time to shop is 10-12 months before the wedding and BUY your gown 7-9 months before the wedding. Most of our gowns are handmade and take 4-6 months for production, you will then need 2-3 months for alterations. If you have more than 10-12 months but you're ready to buy then you maybe an exception to the rule. If you have less than 7-9 months, you will still find a gown in time but you do not have time to 'SHOP' you need to make a decision fast to avoid 'rush fees' if you want a new gown, we always have a great selection of sample sale gowns for those on a stricter budget or an even smaller time-frame.

  • All of my gowns are on the website and Insta, shortlist your favourites before you come, email me and we can discuss their suitability, availability prior to your appointment, do your research, H&W is not your average Bridal Boutique, it's an award winning, modern store with carefully selected gowns for their diversity and uniqueness, there is no 'tradition, no satin, no corsets, our Brides get married in chilled venues with relaxed vibes, if this sounds like you and you feel like my Insta is a reflection of you as a person or as a bride, then come on in!

  • Due to H&W's popularity, our appointments are held back to back. We are a very small boutique without a waiting area so if you do arrive early please find a coffee shop on the High Street and await your appointment as we run our appointments privately, we do not allow the next bride into the boutique until the actual time of their appointment, this means; even if you are 5 minutes early please do not arrive until your appointment time.

  • Children at appointments: Babes in arms (non walking) are welcome in the boutique, however we cannot accommodate toddlers and young children. For obvious reasons such as bridal gowns, velvet sofas & dangerous leaning mirrors but also please be reminded that this is your moment to enjoy and children bring distraction (Trust me, I have two of my own).

  • Quality over Quantity: Bring the people who know you and who will help guide you to the dress you feel your best in, not just what they love you in. Remember this is your experience, not theirs, you can always bring opinionated guests to fittings once the dress has been chosen.

  • ** Reminder H&W can only accommodate a maximum of 1 guest plus the Bride during this time**

  • Avoid heavy make up - Bridal Gowns & Foundation are not a good idea.

  • I discourage taking photos of the yourself in the gowns, however, should you wish please note that only photos of your favourite (s) can be taken at the end of the appointment, please remind your guests of this policy, it is not necessary to take photos of every gown nor is it allowed, it is also disruptive during the appointment.

  • The One?! How do I know? Not to worry, don't stress, enjoy the moment, bring supportive friends/family and sleep on it if you need to. I want you to make the right choice, so we have a Retrial Appointment for brides who need to come back.

  • What do I wear? Please wear nude, seamless undergarments, but, don't worry about the bra, likely chances are you will not wear a bra under your dress, so you'll try a few without.

  • What will I fall in love with? Bring your ideas but don't worry if you don't have any! Keep an open mind BUT consider the following before arriving:

- Budget

- Your Venue

- Your Vibe

- Nothing is set in stone and I am here to help guide you to what you love.

  • Please be kindly reminded that we have 48 hour cancellation policy.Our appointments are £25.00 for a Saturday & £15.00 for a weekday, this is refunded off the cost of your gown. This will not be refunded if cancellations are less than 48 hours.

  • We have parking (Hallelujah) outside on the street which is free for an hour (right in front of H&W), a large low cost carpark at the end of the High St and a free huge carpark in Gadebridge Park which is 5 minute pleasant, scenic walk away and it's free.

It's my passion and job to help you find your dream dress, but this can only be achieved when you're emotionally and financially ready to find and buy your gown. Let me know if I can help you?


Love Jemma XO

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Halo & Wren Bridal 85 High Street Hemel Hempstead Herts HP1 3AH