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How To Plan A Wedding During Covid-19 – Dress Shopping

Now that the Scottish Government has published its phased plan for easing lockdown restrictions, we’re turning our thoughts to what the future holds for planning your wedding.

It’s been incredibly tough to give good advice to our readers and our community of small businesses and indie venue owners over these past few weeks. The situation has evolved constantly, and at times dramatically. For many it went from Plan A to B to C, in just a matter of days. Some folks have felt completely stuck – overwhelmed by the responsibility of doing the right thing to protect others, while struggling to get the information they need to make the right decision. Others have found themselves half-heartedly planning a day that they suspect won’t actually happen, or at least not for quite some time.

It’s been a rollercoaster, and our hearts go out to every single one of you who has experienced the grief of hopes and dreams lost.

Although it’s impossible to predict exactly when our “new normal” will begin, the new route map gives practical examples of the change we can expect to see over time. While elopements and intimate weddings may be allowed sooner (with social distancing observed), phase four looks set to be when wedding celebrations, as we have previously known them, will be able to take place once more. Caution is key – the last thing anyone wants is for all the progress that has been made this far to be undone.

With that in mind, we’re turning to our industry experts who have been closely watching the situation unfold in other countries, and researching how we can best move forward here in Scotland. Today we’re discussing how wedding dress shopping is likely to look under the new guidelines, with Mette Baillie, owner of Edinburgh couture bridal studio, Freja Designer Dressmaking.

Any thoughts on when boutiques may be able to reopen here in Scotland?

I think the opening will be under Phase Two. Some people say each phase will take three weeks, but I think the government will not say – it may be we have to let each phase take longer if we have new spikes. But it looks like we are heading into Phase One on the 28th of May. So mid to end of June, at the earliest, is my prediction.

Under the new normal, how is shopping for a wedding dress likely to look?

I think you will have to miss out on the whole bringing your gang along. Shops will most likely not allow anyone other than the bride.

Technology can definitely help. We can FaceTime people – your mum or your bridesmaid – who can’t be at the fitting to see the dress. I have also been video calling brides all through this period. That way we can stay in touch.

I think we will all have to wear face masks. We will have to do vigorous handwashing before appointments (more happy birthday!), and we will only have a couple of appointments per day.

There will be vigorous cleaning between the appointments. I don’t know how it will work for shops where people try on a lot of dresses, if that will be allowed, but I can easily give quarantine to any dress which has been tried on, for 72 hours.

We will consider taking temperature on arrival and also on those of us working here daily.

I also reckon there will be no servings of anything like Prosecco or hot drinks at the appointments.

I am sure as we mover closer, we will be issued with more guidelines on how to do it. But this is what I have thought of so far.

What would you say to brides who are worried about turnaround times?

I would like to say to brides, that the whole wedding industry I am delighted to be part of is amazing and I am sure that any bridal shop will bend over backwards to make your dress and outfit happen on time for you.

On a good note, we have been slightly behind China and Europe, which means they are already ramping up production before the UK is back to opening. I had huge issues with silk stock before the lockdown, because of the Wuhan situation. Many people were unaware at the time, but they are now nearly caught up.

Any other advice to share?

I think to keep your cool. It has been an unprecedented time (I know this word again!). Its easy to say, but I can promise you, we all want to do our upmost to support anyone getting married.

The wedding industry has taken such a big hit, and despite that, every supplier I have been in contact with is doing all they can to re-arrange and bend over backwards to accommodate requests. So please keep your cool, and be reassured we are all doing so much to make it all okay. And it will be okay again.

We completely agree with Mette – your wedding team will do everything they can to support you through this. You are in very kind, capable hands here. x

This photoshoot took place pre lockdown and features dresses from the Bridal By Freja collection and hair accessories by Rene Walrus. Model/Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist – That Rosie Glow. Photos by Jasmin Bauer.