Wednesday, October 4, 2023

COVID-19 Wedding Gown Shopping

This article is part of our Planning a Wedding in a Pandemic: Covid-19 series.

We know it can be a scary time to undertake big projects now, what more with megaevents like your own wedding?!

For the uninitiated, let us give you a glimpse of what is in store for you. In this series, we shall break down what you can expect as you go about sourcing for your wedding vendors in a safe and (still) exciting manner!

We will share insights on what has remained the same since pre-COVID-19, what has changed and what to anticipate as we begin a new form of normalcy.


In our introductory article, we talked about what you can expect when you are going wedding gown shopping with a multi-label designer boutique. Today, we are going in-depth with a local gown designer – Amanda Lee Weddings.

The Wed Mag Classroom

If you’re wondering what’s the difference between the two, we’d say that a multi-label designer boutique carries gowns made by multiple designers worldwide. The boutique serves as an exclusive retailer to these designer labels. They take in your measurement, place in your dress order directly with the designer overseas and follows up on the status closely until your dress arrives safely in your hands.

A local designer, however, takes on a more consultative approach by custom-making a dress for you based on your likes and dislikes. The process will involve drafting of initial designs, discussions on the final look, choosing of fabrics and multiple fittings. You are more actively involved in the dressmaking process as well as the outcome. It helps greatly if you have an idea of what you want as well as a high level of trust in the designer you’ve chosen.

Awarded Best of Singapore on Tatler Weddings for “Best Made to Measure” for multiple years, Amanda Lee Weddings specialises in fashioning wedding gowns that are much like a piece of wearable art. Believing that behind every dress is a special love story, the team’s design philosophy in crafting wedding dresses showcases every bride’s individuality and provides a precise fit.

We got an understanding of how it has been like for them since the outbreak of the pandemic:

What Has Remained the Same?

As per usual standards, photo-taking is still not allowed during the first gown session given that engagement of the designers’ service is not yet confirmed. This is really to protect the integrity of the designers’ work.

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What Are Boutiques Doing Now?

Much like other bridal boutiques, Amanda Lee Weddings adopts safety measures to keep everyone safe. These includes:

  • All visitors are required to do SafeEntry upon arrival
  • If visitors are feeling unwell, they are encouraged to reschedule their appointment
  • All appointments are scheduled for an hour
  • Masks must be worn throughout the appointment
  • Brides can bring along only one companion for the appointment
  • The boutique area is sanitized after each appointment session

We’ve limited the number of pax visiting our boutique at (any)one time. We have staggered appointments so that one couple will not interact with another.

Pearlyn, Amanda Lee Weddings

Indeed, we can foresee brides receiving more exclusive services during this time as they would be the only client at the store during their session.  

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How Has COVID-19 Changed the Trends in Gowns/Dresses?

The clampdown on the number of guests allowed at a wedding has shifted most brides to go for a simpler celebration. This trend is also reflected in their preference for gowns that are less grand and easy to manoeuvre in. For those hoping for a bigger celebration in time to come, the desire for a more elaborate dress is still here to stay.

Amanda Lee Weddings
Photo courtesy of Amanda Lee Weddings

Yes in the near future, (the trend is towards) small budget, and simpler silhouettes and designs for the gowns. In the long term, couples are still hoping to have a grand celebration when the pandemic (hopefully!) dies down, and are looking at more elaborate gown designs (this usually applies to couples whose wedding date is beyond December 2021).

Pearlyn, Amanda Lee Weddings

The uncertainty on how the pandemic situation will evolve remains a major concern for many and at this point, Amanda Lee Weddings does not impose any monetary penalty for wedding date postponement.

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Preparing for Your Gown Consultation and What to Expect

To make the best out of your 1-hour appointment, it is best to have some basic info ready so the design team can provide suitable suggestions and advice. Some information to prepare before you go wedding gown shopping are:

  • Your wedding date(s)
  • Intended scale of the wedding e.g. intimate or elaborate

With an understanding of what you have in mind, the team would propose a suitable outfit or style for you. Flexibility has become a core component of their design process now that the dress has to be able to adapt to last minute changes especially in terms of scale of the wedding.

The upside of having a local designer custom-make your wedding gown is the knowing that timely professional help and advice is always ready to alter and modify the dress according to the changes in your plans.  

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On Sustainability

As we all grew to be more discerning consumers, we’ve become aware of how weddings have far too many one-time use items including a wedding dress. So how does one go about balancing the desire to wear their dream dress while at the same time maintaining their efforts to be more environmentally conscious?

Brides are opting for more of the renting option, be it off-the-rack or bespoke gowns. Some are also playing around with the idea of keeping to just one unique gown but with the possibility to have multiple styles 🙂

Pearlyn, Amanda Lee Weddings

Rent, instead of buy! That is one way many brides choose to do it. Or with a designer in your wedding team, be creative and collaborate with them to explore different ways of wearing one gown throughout the day. After the wedding, you can even consider trimming the train so the gown becomes an evening dress that you can wear to a formal event in the future!  

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With that, you’d probably realize getting a gown from a local designer boutique is very much a personal experience. It is important you find someone you are comfortable with and have complete trust in, or a kind of chemistry if you will, so that he/she can see to it that your dream wedding gown materializes for your big day!

Feature image – Photo courtesy of Amanda Lee Weddings

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