You know, we’ll be honest, for friends, family, and wedding people like us, saying [to our COVID-affected bride besties] “you’re still a bride, no matter how you shop for your dress, it’ll still be special and you’ll be beaming on your best day” is kind of a cop out. The situation sucks and nothing about planning during a pandemic is fun times, especially dress shopping. But shop owners, bridal consultants, and fashion experts in the wedding space haven’t been about letting their customers down - one year later, they’re still troubleshooting and making adjustments to their businesses to make both the in and out-of-store experience special and more for their brides to be. Designer Loft Bridal in NYC is still turning out dream yes-to-the-dress experiences and they have a fool-proof formula for doing so: it’s just called being a friend.
What effect has COVID had on brides finding their dresses?
Before we can truly chat about what makes Designer Loft different - and so much better - we first have to think about the shortcomings of a dress quest during a global pandemic.
Brides can’t just wake up and decide they’re ‘getting their dress today!’ Even though booking bridal appointments in advance has always been important and necessary, sometimes the best dress experiences come out of an impromptu bride just saying ‘f*** it, let’s go get my dress today - bride babes, get in, we’re going shopping.’ Unfortunately, that’s not really possible these days…
Brides aren’t able to bring in their whole crew for the big debut, which doesn’t sound awful, but sometimes an encouraging cheering squad is everything.
Brides don’t have the luxury of being able to rifle through every rack to find the one that’s right for them. SO much shopping these days can be done online - we do it every day, totally- but wedding dress shopping is different. It’s a big-deal decision, so having the opportunity to see it in-person, scanning through every silhouette before stumbling upon it and getting instantaneous heart eyes, it’s pretty powerful.
how do they take the sting out of this COVID-shopping thing?
Well, for one, Designer Loft's owner and her staff haven't shied away from acknowledging how difficult these times are; they've also resolved themselves to the fact that brides need NO extra pressure to have it all figured out rn. This is huge btw, because, yes, they’re a business and they need to survive - but NOT at the expense of their customers’ trust.
They’re making things easy. Brides can go shopping however they feel most comfortable and by whatever means are most convenient for them - be it an in-person try-on experience or via a virtual appointment. And this isn’t circumstance-specific, either. You can opt for a virtual appointment if you live far away, you don’t feel safe traveling at present, or you are continuing to quarantine locally.
They’re keeping up with their customization services. At Designer Loft, customer service is everything and a lot of the time, it’s customization service. Liz and her team are willing to go above and beyond to make your dress perfect FOR YOU! If you love a dress, but want to try a different fabric, they can do that - if you are in love with the top of a dress, but want to add more or less tulle or fabric to the skirt, they can do that too. If you want to build up a sleeve, create more coverage, adjust a neckline or add more beading and details - they’ve got you covered!
They’re standing in for the rest of your squad. For now, to abide by the city’s regulations, brides can bring only two additional people to their appointment, at maximum. It’s unfortunate, but to make up for that, the consultants who helm the shopping sessions are absolutely incredible. The boutique prides itself on the level of service, warmth and expertise of its consultants; not only are they a wealth of knowledge regarding fabrication, fits, and the ins and outs of ALL of the designers carried - they truly care so deeply about finding you your perfect dress and making sure they can check one of your worries off the list while you’re planning.
Word of mouth really carries (especially in the midst of this COVID crisis)
"I had a great time shopping for my wedding dress at Designer Loft! The entire process was seamless and even with the COVID restrictions, the team went out of their way to make my session feel special. KT did an amazing job interpreting the few Insta posts and vision I shared with her and pulled some gorgeous dresses that were all within my budget. She was incredibly knowledgeable about possible customizations and alterations that could be made to each dress. I ultimately didn't end up purchasing my dress here, but the customer service and attention to detail were unmatched, everyone at the store contributed to a great experience overall." ~ Kelly T.
“From the minute we walked in, my mom and I were greeted with warmth and the greatest of care! Even in the middle of a pandemic, I was not only able to find the dress for me, I was also able to explore a large selection of gowns and try on ones that fit my taste, all in one appointment! Liz and Jess made me feel beautiful. It was honestly like I was surrounded by my sisters and aunties every step of the way! Thanks to them, I am beyond excited to rock my gorgeous dress this year! I'm so grateful for my experience! You (Designer Loft) made me feel very special.” ~ Fatima
“Amy! Literally wow. Looking for the perfect dress is so exciting, but it can be just as daunting, exhausting and confusing - going from shop to shop and trying on countless dresses and not really knowing what works on you before it's on. What set Amy and my experience at Designer Loft Bridal apart was that she made it fun and ONLY fun! Amy genuinely listened to understand my wedding vision, personal style and budget which then she translated into dress choices. She also gave us all the creative liberty to choose dresses - not once did I feel guilty for wanting to try on more. She was engaging, encouraging and honest throughout. In the age of Covid, where I couldn't have all my friends there at the salon, Amy definitely did feel more like a friend than a bridal salon associate. Can't say enough about how wonderful this experience was... thank you Amy for helping me find such a unique and beautiful dress, and for being the best company during such a special time in my life!” ~ Eunice C.
With additional photography by: @icaimages
If they’re having a trunk show, you can take 10% off
Designer Loft hosts designer trunk shows every weekend featuring gowns from all over the world, including Aire Barcelona, handmade in Spain, Neta Dover of Israel, Rosa Clara, Robert Bullock & more! Currently, they’re offering 10 percent off for ALL gowns from that designer, not just the gowns shipped in for the trunk show period!
This process can be done safely, successfully, and with so many smiles. So, go do it!! Designer Loft is operating on an appointment-only basis to limit the number of folks in the shop at once. Call today to make an appointment and follow them on Instagram to stay up to date on future in-store events, trunk shows and more!
FOLLOW ALONG ON IG TO GET THE LOW DOWN ON DESIGNER LOFT ANY TIME YOU WANT!
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