Planning a wedding usually means meeting lots of new people for dress try ons, cake tastings, and venue appointments. But what happens when your big day now has to follow new rules of social distancing? Luckily, Elizabeth Johns provides that big city experience of high-end wedding gowns, all while staying in the comfort of Suburban Square.
“Our safety plan for reopening was shared with all employees so they felt safe in returning,” says Melinda Ladyzinski, president and owner of Elizabeth Johns. “And they, in turn, shared with our customers, who also felt safe and happy to be back living their bridal dreams again!”
We had the opportunity to speak with one of these happy customers: Amanda Malamud, who has finally had her dream wedding on August 8! But getting there was no small feat. So we asked her to put the experience in her own words. Keep reading to find out how she pulled it off!
Q: How did you hear about Elizabeth Johns and what made you choose to shop with them for your wedding?
A: Once I got engaged, I started looking for recommendations from my co-workers for vendors and wedding gowns. One of them absolutely raved about Elizabeth Johns and said she wouldn’t recommend anywhere else. After hearing about her positive experience and doing some research on my own, I was in agreement that I couldn’t start anywhere else! The person I spoke to on the phone when I called to schedule was absolutely wonderful, beyond knowledgeable, and thorough which gave me confidence from the start that I was choosing the right place to purchase my wedding gown.
Q: How was your shopping experience with Elizabeth Johns?
A: It was absolutely amazing from the very start. The consultant assigned to my initial appointment, Marina, was fun and energetic and made me feel absolutely beautiful in every gown I put on. She also made saying “yes to the dress” one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made!
Everyone at this salon truly wants the best for each and every bride. The team is flexible, reliable, talented, supportive, and understanding. I purchased my gown in January 2019 and was finally able to wear it on August 8th, 2020. Over the last 19 months, the team at Elizabeth Johns has made me feel more like family than a patron and made me feel so beautiful, ever during a time when being a bride didn’t feel so glamorous. I truly will be forever grateful to these amazing people.
Q: What was it like planning a wedding during a pandemic?
A: To be honest, the entire thing was challenging. It challenged me physically, mentally, and emotionally. Some of the actual planning challenges included finding dates that worked for the venue and all of our vendors when we had to postpone, constantly changing restrictions and recommendations, and the stress of attending a large gathering.
We had a few creative solutions that were helpful in the process. We had originally decided against favors and instead made a donation to a local dog rescue with a plan to give out dog bones made by a friend of ours, but instead decided to have individual hand sanitizers made for each guest. We also created and used a red, yellow, and green wristband system for people to identify their comfort level with proximity and contact with others.
Q: Do you have any advice for other “COVID brides”?
A: Three words: perspective, flexibility, and grace.
Perspective: It has been so important to maintain perspective through this entire process. While it was easy to get wrapped up in the chaos and uncertainty (and I certainly had my moments), remaining focused on the things that truly mattered was very helpful for me. Remember this: At the end of the day, being with the person you’ve chosen to marry is what matters. Your love for one another, your health, and your happiness. The rest is just noise, so block it out. Is your wedding going to be what you’ve always imagined? Probably not. Does that make it any less special or significant? Absolutely not! Try to always think of the big picture.
Flexibility: Even when you think you might break from how flexible you’re being, keep finding new ways to be flexible. Yes, one of the biggest days of your life has been turned upside down, but remember, you are only one person. All of your vendors are dealing with hundreds of people. Being flexible not only keeps you from getting stressed out, but also goes a long way with your vendors. Remember: You get more bees with honey than vinegar!
Grace: In these unprecedented times, grace has been the most difficult thing to have, but I encourage you to give grace to your family and friends who may not be comfortable traveling or attending, your vendors, and to yourself. You are doing the absolute best you can with the lemons life has handed you. No one knows how to operate in this current environment and people are going to continue to make mistakes. Anxieties are high and everyone is dealing with the stress of this situation differently. Be gracious.
It’s wonderful to see Amanda’s big day turn out so beautifully. Congratulations, Amanda, and thank you to the Elizabeth Johns team for working so hard to help brides during these uncertain times! If your special day is approaching, be sure to utilize Elizabeth John’s appointment service. You can rest assured that your safety is being taken seriously, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about in the madness of wedding planning!