Future brides planning their wedding day are forced to make some critical decisions in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. If their ceremonies are scheduled for the coming months, will they postpone their dates or cancel the party altogether because social gatherings are limited for the foreseeable future? Will they postpone their honeymoon, stag and hen parties and showers? And what the hell are they going to do with the wedding dress that is in the works – or maybe not decided at all?
Bride industry leaders and fashion designers are pushing for virtual experiences to provide service to their brides during the pandemic. Brandon Maxwell donated three wedding dresses to needy brides. Jewelry company Mociun works with couples to solidify engagement ring and wedding ring designs through FaceTime. Meredith Stoecklein, founder of LEIN Studio, offers virtual advice for brides who go the custom way, sharing sketches and mood boards and even sending fabric samples and embellishments to brides at home. Labels such as Amsale, Azazie, and Adrianna Papell also follow with their "try-before-you-buy" options, including virtual showrooms where brides can shop online, with their bridal shower and clothing patterns sent directly to brides at home for review .
I am in the middle of my own wedding planning process and while my appointment is set to 2021, the vendor calendars are now filling up quickly as people postpone their reception dates. I spent most of my free time looking for florists and band / DJ companies. I am fully aware that couples will postpone their spring / summer 2020 weddings for the following year. I figured I should probably consider trying on a few more wedding dresses and contacted Amsale to get a better feel for what a virtual try-on would look like.
Amsale currently offers the virtual option for bridesmaid dresses and the "Little White Dress" collection. The brand aims to introduce virtual technology across the website and give users the ability to upload a photo and try on a wedding dress. But if a bride chooses to be led by a stylist, it's possible to schedule a zoom appointment – and that's exactly what I did. I submitted an uncomfortable selfie to the Amsale team and leaned back to relax when Margo LaFontaine, Amsale's design director, led me through our zoom conference call and helped me (virtually) try on one dress at a time. It was easy for me to decide which silhouette looked best on my figure thanks to a technical window like the one shown above.
Then Amsale connected me to one of the brand's customers, a woman named Uche Nwosu, who used the virtual service to find her dream dress. Uche did her little trip in white clothes from start to finish, and let's just say I can only hope that she does half as well as she does. Scroll down to see what your dress looked like after receiving IRL and learn more about the approach Amsale is taking to help brides virtually. One thing is certain: technology is more important than ever in the bridal industry.