When will weddings be allowed?
As much as we’d love to be able to answer this question and reassure our brides we are unable to at the moment. What we can do whilst we all wait for the answer together is offer our full support and guidance through this time. We are here to look after and work with all of our brides regardless of their situation and timeframe. This blog post will be a guide to any bride who plans to get married over the next year and into 2022. We will discuss everything from micro weddings through to finding your dress during lockdown, providing you with all the advice you need to start your dress journey right now.
For more information on how weddings are working around the UK we would recommend reading this article by the BBC which helps to clarify the wedding guidelines at the moment.
Tips for shopping for your wedding dress during lockdown
Start Planning, Making Mood Boards & Gathering your inspiration
2021 and 2022 are going to be big years for weddings and we are looking set to have a very busy year ahead. If you are yet to find your wedding dress we would advise you to start gathering together as much information and detail as possible about what you may like to wear for your big day. Spend some time on our social channels and start creating mood boards on our Pinterest or saving inspiration on our Instagram. Try your best to bring together your ideas so that when you come to try our dresses we will have a great place to start. Some of you may find this difficult and we understand there is an overwhelming amount of choice out there, we would suggest to start thinking about some simple ideas as a starting point. Ask yourself these questions…
What necklines do you tend to wear day to day and love?
What shape dresses or silhouettes do you feel amazing in? and equally, what shapes do you feel less confident in?
Do you love pattern and texture or do you prefer simpler, cleaner lines?
All of these questions will help you to start forming an idea for what you will like in a wedding dress. For us your dress should be an extension of your own personal, unique style. For example if you love how you look in a boat neckline and prefer a more fitted silhouette on your body, this is a great place to start! You do not need to know all of the details right now but by getting a little head start this will help you greatly when you come to find a dress, potentially with a shorter lead time.
Here’s an example of a mood board we put together for a bride who loves sheer details, v-necks and sleeves. Use a mix of collection images, editorials, real brides and close-up shots of small details you like. For any bride who uses our AH From: Home service we would be more than happy to help put together a mood board with you.
Why not start trying dresses from the comfort of your own home?
A great way to start your dress search now, whilst we are all at home, is to use our AH From: Home service! Have a virtual video consultation with one of our stylists to help work out your style and which dresses we should send to you. The next step is to then send you those dresses straight to your home to try. You can set up some fun video calls with your family and friends in your own time and you also get to spend longer with each dress. The lovely thing about our AH Home service is that you’re not limited to an appointment time, you can really get to know the dresses and have more time to digest your thoughts alongside the support from our team, family and friends.
Once you have tried on your chosen pieces your stylist will arrange another video call to talk to you about your favourites and guide you through the next steps of purchasing your dress remotely, including laying out your fitting timescale. The whole process is kept nice and simple with us arranging delivery and collection for you! A wonderfully fun, relaxed and safe way to find your dress whilst our showroom is closed.
What is it like buying a wedding dress during lockdown?
We have helped many brides around the world find their dress through our AH From: Home service during lockdown, our Real Bride Creina shares some kind words about her experience…
“Once we went into a national lockdown I realised my in-person appointment wasn’t going to be able to go ahead as planned. However, I saw the AH from Home service that was being offered and was immediately intrigued. Together with Andrea, we arranged for four dresses to be sent to my house, the very next day. The dress I was interested in is also available in satin silk but a sample wasn’t available in this material. However, Andrea kindly offered to send me an additional dress in satin silk just so I could get a feel for the material.
I was blown away by this service – not only did I get to try the dresses on at my leisure and still have a consultation with Siobhan meaning I still had the whole ‘in-store’ experience, I also got to have a video call with my family so they were able to be involved in the whole process. It was such a success, I decided to proceed with the dress I first fell in love with in the satin silk material. I couldn’t recommend the AH from Home process or Andrea Hawkes in general more highly!”
We know things are a little different at the moment and we do understand that some of our brides may want to visit us in person but why not start the process whilst our store is closed? There is no commitment to find THE dress but instead a way to gain an insight into what shapes, fabrics and necklines you love. You are then one step ahead when it comes to visiting us in person, this is especially helpful if your wedding is coming up in Summer/Autumn 2021 as we will be working to a shorter timeframe. Our team are here to fully support you along the way so do not be afraid to ask questions.
Where can I get a Dress Fast?
If you need to find a dress quickly we have some great options available for different lead times. We produce all of our dresses in our London Studio and can turn around orders quickly if needed.
If your wedding is coming up very soon and you need a fast option our sample sale is the perfect choice, we have a beautiful selection of high quality, great condition samples that need good homes. We are regularly updating this with dresses, jumpsuits, bridal separates, bridal tops, veils and accessories in multiple sizes. All sample sale dresses will be shipped immediately even during lockdown, if you need some alterations to your outfit our studio will be able to help when it is safe to do so.
Our Online Shop and Standard Size collection pieces are also a great option for any bride who needs a dress fairly soon, once our Studio is able to re-open we can make Standard size collection pieces within a few weeks and carry out alterations too.
If you are needing a dress for Spring/Summer 2021 this is considered a shorter turnaround, it is helpful for us to know we are working with you as soon as possible. You can use our AH From: Home service to find your dress now or if you would prefer to wait until our showroom re-opens for a one on one appointment we would advise you to do as much research as you can and get a real feel for what you may like by utilising our website, instagram, real brides and Pinterest.
Can I still use your bespoke service if my wedding is coming up soon?
For any bride who is looking to work with us on a made to measure or bespoke dress we would love to help! Whether you want to have a collection piece made to measure or create a design from a concept you have in mind our team are here to start your journey now. These options require a little more time and communication with our stylists and production team so we would advise to get in contact with us as soon as possible.
Send us over your ideas and let’s start the conversation! We can guide you with our expertise and start the process remotely, once committed to working with us we will be able to send you fabric swatches, sketches and start to plan your fitting schedule. Our made to measure and bespoke service requires around 3-5 visits to our studio, if your wedding is coming up soon be prepared for these visits to be slightly closer together in the lead up to your wedding day.
Best Casual Wedding Dresses for 2021…
Whilst we hope that wedding guest numbers will increase as time goes on, a lot of our brides do not want to wait and are opting for a smaller ceremony, a civil wedding, micro-wedding or just a more relaxed day in general. This often comes hand in hand with a more casual look for the day, whether that be a shorter dress, bridal separates or a jumpsuit we’ve got you covered here at AH!
Short Wedding Dresses
With the rise of smaller civil ceremonies, split events and micro weddings we wanted to create a curated edit of more informal wedding dresses that would be perfect for an intimate affair. This year we have met with so many wonderful brides who have been looking for simple elegant wedding dresses that translate and feel right in a smaller venue with close family and friends. These designs are also the perfect option as an additional dress if you have split your wedding day into two events, either for a legal ceremony or a party dress!
Bridal Jumpsuits & Trousers
A Jumpsuit or trouser option is perfect for any bride who wants a unique and playful look for their wedding day. A chic simple jumpsuit offers a striking bridal look with the added benefit of comfort and ease of wear. Our Hadley & Mila Designs would be perfect. For a less traditional look, our Addison trouser, t-shirt and jacket combination would be a really great choice.
Bridal separates are a great way to create a unique and customised look just for you. You can pair our silk skirts with our silk cami’s, t-shirts or lace overlays. We have a wonderful selection of separate bridal pieces in our in store collection and our sample sale.
How to buy a wedding dress online
Buying a wedding dress through our Online Shop is a great option for any bride who is looking to find and purchase their wedding dress with ease. All of our Online Shop collection pieces are made to order just for you so our team are on hand to help you find the right size and assist with any questions you may have. If you are shopping Online during our opening hours you can chat directly with one of our stylists using our website chat pop-up or you can e-mail us at [email protected]. Our curated selection of online pieces have been chosen as they can be altered in a straightforward way and can be paired with any additional accessories such as tops, veils or capes to complete your look.
It is likely you will need fittings for your dress purchased online, if you are local to us our team would love to help! Just let us know and we can send you our alteration price list alongside some available dates for a fitting with our team. If you are further afield do let us know and we may be able to make a suggestion for a seamstress.
Are sample sale wedding dresses returnable or refundable?
Sample sale dresses are ex shop floor samples, they are the dresses our brides try on when they come into our store. It is always a priority of ours to make sure our samples are kept in lovely condition and that we update our samples regularly online. They have some general wear from being tried on and all prominent marks are noted in the listing. Samples are the perfect way to find an AH dress at a gentle price and they can also be shipped to you straight away!
Our sample sale pieces are normally a non refundable/returnable item but we will accept returns during UK lockdown restrictions from 4th January. Samples can be returned at this time if we receive notice of return within 7 days of receiving samples. This will allow you to try your chosen sample at home for size and shape, if it is not quite right you can return the item to us. We do find it helpful if you have any questions on sizing or the condition of the sample to ask us in advance, we are always happy to check measurements or send additional photos to you if needed! Read our Online Delivery & Returns Information here.
Further support from our team
Our team have been spending this time answering your questions and creating lots of lovely articles for you to read. Here are some more blog posts that you may find helpful at this time.
For any other questions our team are here to help! You can e-mail us at [email protected]
From wedding dress ideas & inspiration to how-to guides and expert know-how. You'll find everything you need in the run up to your big day and beyond on our bridal blog!