A family run bridal boutique in Teddington have expressed their excitement about the re-opening of non-essential shops earlier last week.
After a tough year for the bridal industry, and weddings being pushed back, 12 April saw restrictions ease and the go ahead given for wedding planning.
After a full week back to normality, co-owner of The Dress, Sandra Mitchell, expressed how it’s been a bit of a ‘rollercoaster journey’.
She said: “We have been so excited and emotional to open as it has been so difficult and a rollercoaster of a journey.
“When you go on a journey with a bride, we just get so excited for them.
“From picking their dress and coming back for many fittings, it’s like we make a new friend each time.
“We have been so worried if we would have to close down if restrictions continued.
“The first week back has been busy and will be very busy for the next couple of weeks.
“It’s been difficult for brides, when something changes while planning a wedding you have to change lots of things around.”
The Government’s coronavirus measures have meant that wedding ceremonies and receptions can only have up to 15 people, but that’s set to extend to 30 people on 17 May.
The restrictions have forced couples to postpone their weddings throughout the pandemic, resulting in a huge amount of weddings being scheduled for the end of 2021.
Having to postpone weddings has a knock on effect for the bridal and wedding industry.
Sandra explained how you cannot just book a wedding overnight, it takes lots of planning.
She said: “Everybody, brides and the industry, have been watching the roadmap to look out for when restrictions will ease.
“It has been a bit of a juggling act.
“People have been very unsure whether to continue planning and visit bridal shops in case restrictions change suddenly.
“It has been very hard working from home.
“We have done some zoom meetings to show brides some ideas but it hasn’t been the same at all.”
To join in with the community spirit, The Dress have put up flags in the window of the boutique to celebrate the end of lockdown number three and pay their respects to Prince Philip.
The Teddington Together Committee created the idea to hang up Union Jack flags in the windows of shops and restaurants.
Sandra said: “It’s all about the excitement of opening, a bit of morale to say ‘come on Britain’.
“The community spirit has been excellent and it’s good that mostly all shops have survived during the lockdown in Teddington.”
Main image credit to Sandra Mitchell