• JP

New beginnings and opening H&W with the new norm

I have had nearly three months at home, and boy am I missing my shop! I have cherished my time at home with my little family and feel incredibly privileged and lucky that my husband was able to continue to work full time carrying out an ongoing important contract at Luton & Dunstable hospital. It's been an invaluable time and has allowed me to remember what is most important in life and that is family, love and health. With that in mind, I will be opening H&W back up again in July with some changes to our appointments and procedures. Of which I will detail below but first;

What a time to be a alive, and what a time to be getting married, I have been continuing conversations with my current brides and supporting them through this strange and disappointing time, I wish I could do so much more for all of my present H&W brides, but I can reassure you that your gowns are safe with me and I know the wedding, your love and marriage will be worth the wait and you will be having one hell of a party when the time comes. All of my current brides your constantly on my mind and I remain here for you, whenever you need me.

Now onto the subject in hand, bridal appointments in the time of COVID-19, I have had so many lovely emails saying 'Now that non-essential shops can open on the 15th of June, please can I make an appointment for the 15th of June e.t.c', now it's wonderful to be at the top of the list for so many brides to visit BUT, the guidelines for opening in my particular industry are incredibly vague, I wouldn't consider the one-to-one, almost naked intimacy of a bridal appointment on par with say popping into Topshop, I am in the changing room with you, helping you into the gowns, clamping the dress to make it fit, adjusting the gowns and most two hour appointments we will get through seven to ten gowns. So this present a whole different level of consideration and research for me to prepare how to create a safe environment for you and myself. So here is how I am preparing to re-open:

Brides will be strictly limiting guests to Bride plus one guest, this will be for the foreseeable future and most likely indefinite as we learn to possibly live alongside this virus.

Guests will be required to use hand sanitiser on arrival,and offered a facemask and gloves.

Staff will be wearing PPE throughout the appointment.

The boutique will be cleaned thoroughly and appropriately before, between and after appointments.

Bride and staff wearing gloves will be allowed to handle the gowns, not guests.

Guest must remain seated throughout the appointment.

Refreshments for the time being will not be offered, however, guest may bring their own and take away with them once finished.

If brides prefer they are able to put the gowns on by themselves, and I will assist with the 'doing up' only.

This is not exhausted and I will be updating my policies and procedures as we go along, learning more about what is required to continue to ensure health and safety.

One big change for Halo & Wren is that we will be limiting appointments, once we open we will have been closed for four months, this, of course has created a back log of appointments, H&W will be prioritising Brides who were originally booked in in the lockdown period, and then allocating Brides on the wait list. This creates a demand and shortage of appointments, plus our new COVID-19 responsibilities of cleaning before, between and after appointments means we have had to limit the amount of Bridal appointments we will allow in one day, typically on a Saturday we would have seen between 6-9 brides from 8.30am -18.30, now we will be a maximum of four appointments on a Saturday and two appointments on a weekday.

This limited availability has repercussions for brides interested in booking an appointment with us, we now kindly ask that Brides only book an appointment if they are ready to buy their gown with us, we are not open for browsing appointments, or for brides simply 'seeing whats out there', it's incredibly important for us to limit our intimate contact with brides and will not unnecessarily put our staff, yourselves at risk. H&W ask that you have researched which gowns and designers you're interested in and only visit H&W with the right intentions, we're an exceptional boutique as you can see from our reviews and now will only accept bridal bookings with Brides who are prepared emotionally and financially to purchase their gown.

As always H&W will remain a relaxed and chilled shopping experience with no pressure only advice and care to help you find your dream gown, we have always charged for our appointments and will continue to refund this off the cost of your gown, however, our retrial appointments will now be charged and this will not be refunded off the cost of the gown, unfortunately, this has had to be introduced after Brides were visiting on several occasions before purchasing or not their gown, we now need to limit the contact and amount of visits. I remain positive that COVID-19 will be beaten and we can return to our normality as we once have known but for now I must implement these changes for everyone's protection. I am always open to discussion, so please feel free to talk to me if you have any questions or require any further information.

I so look forward to meeting you all (safely) I will be open from the 1st of July for appointments, and I have been reiterating through email and socials that if you want to try the new Jane Hill Gowns and Alena Leena gowns then please do wait until the end of August or beginning of September as I have not been given a date for their arrival in August.

These gowns are on the website and socials for you to view. See you sooooooon! AGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH I am so excited to get back to Halo & Wren.

Jemma XO

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