The Wedding Party
Dressing your wedding party is just as important, and perhaps just as stressful. Gilded Social, an independent retailer in Columbus, Ohio, that focuses on everyone but the bride, created Gilded Boxes, which includes sample dresses, dress clips, a tape measurer, fabric swatches, and an ordering process guide.
“We created an experience that mimics what you do in person as much as possible,” said Tanya R. Hartman, the owner and chief executive of Gilded Social. “Ordinarily the bride comes in to make her selections, then her bridesmaids follow, often as a group, to try them on.”
The program, which started April 1, offers brides a 60- to 90-minute Zoom or FaceTime meeting with Brit Kniceley, the director of sales. She walks shoppers through some of the more than 1,200 options, and pulls specific suggestions, as she gets an understating of what they’re looking for in terms of color, style, designers and price point. You can also preselect dresses from the website before the meeting. After narrowing down your choices, up to 10 sample dresses are sent directly to you. Samples start at $30 for two and go up to $60 for 10. A second virtual meeting happens with Ms. Kniceley when the box arrives.
“We want to be there with you when you try on the dresses, and help you understand how they fit and how you feel in it,” said Ms. Hartman.
Boxes are sent to both brides and their bridal party; each is separately priced. So far, 20 bridal parties have been booked, with multiple boxes going to different members of the group. If regulations and safety permit, “invite a few people from the party over while you’re doing you’re second appointment,” said Ms. Hartman. “That way everyone can try on the dress, since they’ll be wearing it, and it makes for a more authentic experience.”
Once decisions are made and measurements have been taken, the sample dresses are sent back. All ordering is done online. Three to four months later final dresses arrive. Dresses range from $150 to $800.