When the coronavirus hit, Carrie Lish, owner of Blu Rayne Bridal Boutique in Commack, didn’t want brides to get wed to the idea that they couldn’t still be excited about their trip down the aisle.
“The one thing I cannot stress enough is how much we love what we do, and that is helping our brides and letting them know that this is their time and they deserve all great moments, even if they are not what they expected them to be,” says Lish. She wanted brides to continue to be excited about planning their nuptials safely, so she began offering virtual bridal shopping when her brick-and-mortar store temporarily closed as a nonessential business.
Blu Rayne, which opened in January of 2017, carries bridal gowns, veils, headpieces, bridal jewelry and dresses for the mothers of the bride and groom, with prices ranging from about $50 for some jewelry pieces to $3,000 for select gowns. Alterations are also available.
“During the recent atmosphere, our boutique wanted to help our brides adjust to the new normal while maintaining a safe and healthy environment to do so,” Lish, a Smithtown resident, explains. She says that by offering virtual bridal shopping from the store, located at 3 Crooked Hill Road, via Zoom and other virtual platforms, brides can be shown the latest in gowns and anything else they might be interested in from the shop.
And the brides get to do much more than just view their selections. After phone and email conversations between the store staff and the brides, the brides are shown their options on a mannequin.
“Then comes the best option,” Lish says, “at home try-on.” The bride gets to choose up to five gowns to pick up curbside to try on at their home. “We also throw in a veil so they can feel like a bride at home during the try-on session. The at-home try-on lets our brides not only get the chance to shop, but in their home, they can have their special guests around them.” Think, “Say Yes to the Dress.”
Lish says one of her brides was able to sleep on her decision at home — by going to sleep after trying on a gown and then being able to wake up and try it on again, confirming her love for the dress. All payments can be made over the phone with any credit card.
“Another bride got incredibly creative and had her try-on session in her backyard, with grandma and grandpa in attendance along with her friends from around the country on a Zoom call,” Lish notes. “We believe bridal shopping should be stress-free, relaxing and above all else fun.” Even when stores that were temporarily closed can fully open again, Lish says the Blu Rayne virtual shopping and at-home experiences may continue. “If our brides have family members they do not feel would be able to go out, they can host their own private dress shopping at home.”