New York City and the fashion industry go hand in hand. I mean, NYC hosts some of the most iconic fashion shows in the world. So, there’s no better place for you to find your dream wedding dress than in New York. With a mix of high-end ateliers, the city offers classic bridal salons and up-and-coming designers to suit both the metropolitan and the more traditional brides. But, how have things changed since COVID-19 and safety protocols?
Essentially no businesses were left untouched by the coronavirus pandemic, and the bridal industry was certainly no exception. Canceled and postponed weddings left and right, countless bridal retailers had to close their doors for months at a time. But vendors became creative with how they connected and worked with their couples, many of whom were unsure whether or not their wedding would happen at all, let alone the way they’d imagined.
I’ve put together a list of bridal gown stores in New York City that are implementing impressive safety protocols. Plus, online boutiques for brides who are opting to shop from home! Many stores allow you to search online and have your favorites all ready for you when you arrive in person! Of course, almost all retail stores are working at a reduced capacity and masks are mandatory at all times.
Say Yes to the Dress
You can’t talk about bridal gowns in New York and not start with Kleinfeld (TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” is one of my guilty pleasures). During the first lockdown from March to July, a lot changed at Kleinfeld. The remodel is complete with custom plexiglass dividers at every high-traffic area. One stock room is transformed into a dress sanitizing station to ensure each gown tried on was sanitized between brides. To keep brides, their families, and the Kleinfeld staff safe, they also ask you to arrive with you and only two of your favorite people. They do, however, have available iPads for video chats with off-site friends!
At Bridal Atelier Montclair in New Jersey, all scheduling for in-person shopping happens either by phone or via their website. Appointments are staggered two hours apart to limit foot traffic. Brides wait in the parking lot before coming in to ensure everything has been properly sanitized and steamed. For brides who aren’t comfortable having an in-person experience, this boutique offers virtual appointments and at-home try-ons of up to four gowns.
If you’re leaning toward staying at home and shopping online, I suggest Net-A-Porter. That’s where I got my Helmut Lang pantsuit! Since its inception in 2000, Net-A-Porter is proud to carry more than 800 of the world’s most coveted designer brands, including Gucci, Chloe, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Isabel Marant, Prada, and Stella McCartney. NAP has fabulous customer service, as well as express worldwide shipping to more than 170 countries. On the plus side, returns are easy so buy multiple sizes to try on in the comfort of your own home.
Don’t forget, many of our favorite online stores are also great for bridal shopping. Did you know Anthropologie has an extension called BHLDN? These dresses are gorgeous, and the price point is perfect for your intimate COVID19 wedding! The same goes for Nordstrom and Reformation. Remember, at the end of the day, you have options. Everyone has figured out a way to pivot and ensure you’re safe and taken care of!