While the world scrambles to combat the spread of coronavirus, many bridal brands are playing a part in the efforts. From fashion designers to bridal retailers to wedding stationery brands, we compiled all the ways companies are giving back during the crisis.
Whether you find yourself working from home indefinitely, navigating the stress of postponing your wedding or dealing with social distancing, everyone's lives have been uprooted by this catastrophe. But there's a silver lining to these challenging times: Brands stepping up to help those in need.
Wedding dress designers are utilizing their sewing skills to make masks for healthcare workers. Retailers are offering free gowns to brides working on the frontlines of the pandemic. And others are gifting a portion of their proceeds to relief efforts that need it most.
Below, 15 brands giving back to brides, communities and the world in the wake of COVID-19.
Barcelona-based luxury bridal brand Pronovias has been giving back to brides since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak by donating wedding dresses to engaged Chinese nurses and doctors. Now, the retailer is expanding its efforts worldwide, giving hospital-employed brides-to-be working on the front lines free wedding gowns.
"Donating our wedding dresses to wonderful women is the least we can do to bring happiness and joy to their wedding day, making them look and feel their best," said Pronovias CEO Amandine Ohayon in a statement. She also stressed how "grateful [we are] for these heroines in hospitals around the world putting their own life at risk to save others´ lives relentlessly."
And these hospital employees aren't limited to just doctors and nurses but include janitors, cafeteria staff and other personnel as well. All brides who assisted during this pandemic will be eligible for a free gown until August 31, 2020.
Sara Blakely, founder and CEO of Spanx, is taking an unconventional approach: offering brides-to-be to borrow her wedding dress. She announced the opportunity on Instagram, revealing that she had loaned her gown to two other brides before.
"Calling all brides to be...do you want to borrow my wedding dress from me," she captioned the post. "I have already loaned it out twice...once to a good friend and once to a girl I just met."
She continued, "My heart is breaking for all the brides out there having to cancel and postpone their special day so I thought why not offer my dress to more amazing women! Hoping this will possibly help ease someone’s plans during this time. So if you’re a size 4 or 6 and want to borrow my wedding dress, comment below."
The gown features a strapless lace bodice and tulle tea-length skirt.
Popular wedding stationery brand Artifact Uprising has also found a way to support couples forced to postpone their wedding due to Coronavirus. For customers who have already printed their wedding materials with the company (whether it was invitations, day-of paper or a guest book, to name a few) and have since changed their wedding date, Artifact Uprising will replace those items at no cost.
Not an existing customer? The brand is also offering new clients $50 towards reprinting day-of wedding needs, including save the dates, invitations, escort cards and guest books.
Naeem Khan is joining a list of fashion designers who have offered to sew surgical masks for healthcare professionals in response to the mask shortage. Khan, who designs both ready-to-wear and bridal collections, shared his plan on Instagram and is currently waiting for government approval.
"My team is ready to start sewing CDC approved masks from medically approved fabrics from their isolated homes," he wrote on Instagram.
Sézane, a Parisian fashion brand, is using it's newest collection to support French hospitals. Ten percent of the proceeds from the Ceremony collection, which features traditional French embroidered gowns, hand-woven bags, versatile heels, and even engagement and wedding rings, will be donated to an emergency aid fund designed to support French hospitals.
Founder Morgane Sézalory said, "We feel that doing everything to preserve the jobs, the morale and the future of our Sézane teammates, as well as the hundreds of employees of our partners, is both a priority and a duty."
The Ceremony collection is exclusively online and delivery is available in the U.S.
Washington D.C.-based bridal boutique Carine's Bridal Atelier is also making masks for healthcare workers and is asking for funds and supplies. "The team at Carine's Bridal is sewing and delivering face masks to help with the shortage that is upon us during this pandemic, but we need your help," they wrote on Instagram. "If you can donate funds or fabric (drop off at our store) we will be able to make more for our local hospitals. Please join us in the fight against COVID-19."
The boutique has also set up a GoFundMe campaign.
Online wedding website Zola is assisting couples forced to postpone their weddings with free change the date cards for those who have already purchased Zola wedding stationery. However, these cards will be free with all future save the dates and wedding invitations, should another catastrophic circumstance like this arise again.
The change the date collection offers both physical cards to send in the mail as well as digital templates for email and social media promotion.
Brandon Maxwell, Gigi Burris, Eva Fehren, Micaela Erlanger and Margaux
Fashion designer Brandon Maxwell has teamed up with milliner Gigi Burris, jewelry designer Eva Fehren, celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger and shoe brand Margaux to gift wedding outfits to three brides in need. Maxwell will supply the gowns; Burris, the veils; Fehren, wedding bands; Erlanger, a one-hour virtual bridal styling session; and Margaux, a custom pair of bridal shoes.
"As a company who has been fortunate to play a small part in so many women’s special days, we realize the current crisis and the economic repercussions from it may have already deeply affected you," Maxwell wrote on Instagram. "In times of darkness we must look to the light, and we believe an optimistic moment to look forward to is important."
To apply, brides must send their story and wedding details to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, March 30.
In addition to supporting, brides-to-be, Maxwell and his team are also working to create hospital gowns, masks and gloves for healthcare facilities across the country.
Known for their hundreds of styles of bridesmaids dresses and their impressive roster of notable designers, Brideside responded very quickly to the needs of their brides and launched WSFH (Wedding Shopping from Home) on March 18th. WSFH makes it incredibly easy for brides and bridesmaids to shop for dresses from the comfort of their own home with the help of a virtual stylist.
Simply set up a virtual appointment through the website and stand by for an email from your stylist. Another perk of booking a Brideside virtual stylist is that you have the opportunity to conference in with your bridesmaids and loved ones so that they can join in the fun too. Before your scheduled appointment, a Brideside's stylist will create a mood board and pull imagery of dresses on real brides as a helpful visual–some of the stylists will even try on the dresses for you! "Our mission is to bring peace of mind to women," says Co-Founder Nicole Staple who stresses that they want the WSFH tool to not only be a helpful way to serve their clientele during these unprecedented times but also a fun way for brides to connect to their stylists and to their bridal parties.
Coveted bridal designer and CFDA finalist, Danielle Frankel, is planning weddings from afar and wants to “add a little bit of ease” to these challenging times by offering at-home bridal appointments. A member of the Danielle Frankel team will conference brides in a video chat and answer any and all questions. “Where your home may be, we are here for you through the process of finding your gown” reads a statement issued by the team at Danielle Frankel. You can book your appointment at email@example.com.
In addition to teaming up with Brandon Maxwell to gift wedding outfits to three deserving brides, shoe brand Margaux is also donating a portion of their sales to support healthcare workers.
While bridal designer Sébastien Luke doesn't have professional-grade filter fabrics to produce surgical masks, he found another way to use his talents to give back. Luke and his team are creating "cloth-made masks" and donating them "to our local neighborhoods and medical helpers in the City of Los Angeles." It's an effort to support those in need and fight COVID-19.
Instead of preparing her Spring 2021 bridal collection, Rita Vinieris is taking on a different project: Sewing and donating masks to combat Coronavirus. And, the Canadian designer and her team recently expanded their efforts even further by launching a GoFundMe campaign to purchase 20,000 PPE medical masks. "As a bridal gown designer, I would typically be in NYC this upcoming week to showcase my Spring 2021 collection at New York Bridal Fashion Week. This is not the case this year. There will be no Spring 2021 collection being shown, there will be no weddings happening, there will be no buzzing of people on our streets. This pandemic has put the entire world on pause," Vinieris said in a statement. To date, her team has sewn and donated over 1,000 masks and expects that number to rise to 10,000 in the coming weeks.
Bridal retailed David's Bridal has partnered with craft and fabric retailer JOANN stores to produce non-surgical masks for hospital systems and senior living facilities across the nation. The brands plan to develop and donate 50,000 masks a week—with JOANN providing all the fabric and patterns and David's Bridal alterations specialists doing the sewing. "It's such a privilege to support frontline medical personnel who are so selflessly fighting this pandemic. David's Bridal is actively committed to protecting these heroic individuals and we are deeply grateful for the partnership with JOANN to make this happen," said Jim Marcum, David's Bridal CEO in a statement. "Aside from being able to fulfill thousands of orders every week, at David's we have been looking for ways to leverage our supply chain capabilities to support thousands of frontline workers and local municipalities all over the country in obtaining Personal Protective Equipment. We are honored to do our part in providing protective masks to the medical facilities who are so critically in need at this time."
Anomalie, the only bridal brand that allows brides to fully customize their wedding gowns, launched its Face Mask Project in March. The initiative aims to deliver essential protective equipment to frontline workers. "To further our mission of supporting Anomalie brides and our friends in the healthcare field, we decided to raise money to deliver CDC-certified face masks to essential workers," explains Leslie Voorhees Means, CEO and co-founder of Anomalie. "We tapped into our manufacturing relationships with suppliers who had access to face masks and began distributing them to hospitals in need as quickly as possible. We’re so grateful to all of the people who have supported our mission thus far and hope we can continue to help those on the frontlines of the pandemic.” To date, the brand has raised $31,000 and distributed over 10,000 masks, with more on the way.
The current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by The World Health Organization. As the situation remains fluid, we’ll be sharing tips and stories from industry experts and couples who are experiencing cancellations to give you the most up-to-date advice on how this can impact your wedding.