TUCSON, Ariz. — It is wedding season, but that experience has changed for many brides because of COVID-19.
That includes how they select that perfect dress for the big day.
"We're just trying to still give them a great experience even though there's so many restrictions or limitations that we work with," said Cynthia Magallanes owner of Free Ever After Bridal. "But we want to make sure they're safe and that we're safe."
That wedding dress shopping experience at Free Ever After Bridal now means by appointment only, no walk-ins.
But owner Cynthia Magallanes says the upside is that brides now get private appointments.
They no longer share the space with another bride.
Think "Say Yes to the Dress."
But there is a downside.
"Usually brides love to bring a large group of friends and family. Right now we are just minimizing that to two additional guests besides the bride. So just a total of three people and our staff are in the shop."
Her staff is following safety and social distancing guidelines, including wearing masks.
They ask, but don't require the bride and her party to wear masks.
Cynthia says they have already helped several brides say yes to the perfect dress since re-opening.
"Our inventory is based on donated dresses," said Magallanes. "We've gotten donations from brides all over the world at times. They just ship us their dresses, because they know what we do."
Selling those donated dresses helps Free Ever After support a pair of local non-profits, who help survivors of sexual exploitation.
Something they couldn't during the closure.