Annette Levesque had been working with brides for 15 years, but in a variety of ways. She began with Great Expectations Photography and after hearing a common wish among brides she decided to branch out in the bridal business.
“They were spending $500 to $1,000 more by getting their dress out of town because of travel fees, hotels, and you have to go at least two times. You go initially to get it then you go pick it up and then possibly a third time if you get alterations done there. We just felt like there was a need for more of a boutique. We wanted to bring an Austin feel or Dallas feel to San Angelo,” Levesque, owner of Bridal Boutique, said
The Bridal Boutique in San Angelo has been open for about six years. The majority of their clients come from the Concho Valley and Abilene, but they have enjoyed clients from as far away as New York. The Bridal Boutique carries everything wedding related from jewelry and accessories to dresses for the mother-of-the-bride and bridesmaids. Plus, tuxes for the groom and groomsmen.
The ongoing situation regarding COVID-19 has created some major issues for the bridal industry because many of the regulations began at the same time wedding season went into full swing.
“March, April, and May are our biggest months because we have a lot of weddings and we have prom. A lot of the weddings, they will reschedule. Some are having small, little ceremonies so they’re not getting as many tuxes or doing it quite as fancy or as elaborate, so things have hit us hard in that regard,” Levesque said.
However, Levesque says there’s something that’s even more devastating.
“It’s been hard watching our brides get upset because they can’t get married on the day they chose, they have to reschedule, we’ve had some crying on the phone and that’s broken our hearts but they have been able to reschedule and get new dates — but it’s heartbreaking” Levesque said.
The other major formal event that her business is centered around is prom.
“As far as proms go, they will not be rescheduled so we’ve just lost all that business completely. Prom is huge so to lose that has been rough. We’ve heard but we haven’t had anyone approach us yet about doing backyard proms or private proms but I think that would be a great idea for these kids, because they’re never going to get the proms experience opportunity back if they’re a senior. But we also lose the tuxes and dresses business with the proms so that’s been our hardest hit” Levesque acknowledged.
Despite the hard business hits and blows that kept coming earlier this spring, Levesque says she’ll continue to fight for her business and her brides offering these words of advice.
“You will still get through this, you’ll still get married and that’s what matters, that’s what counts. The dresses are still coming in, that’s one of our biggest questions about ship dates because most dresses do come from China. They are still coming in and coming in on time” Levesque confirmed.
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