New bridal boutique keeps it special despite pandemic
Although the pandemic has canceled many public events and celebrations, there is still hope and a reason to celebrate for blushing brides in the Merced area.
A new, modern and very spacious bridal shop has just opened in town. Elizabeth’s Bridal, co-owned by sisters Patty and Ratsamy Singh, is currently finishing renovations at its location, 1220 W. 13th St in Merced.
Ditching the typical “big wedding” has become the norm as social distancing restrictions remain intact. Nonetheless, it has not stopped couples from eloping by themselves or creating a small gathering of close family members. And the wedding dress remains one of the main attractions.
“Without the dress is there really a wedding?” Ratsamy Singh explained. “What we are learning with COVID is that brides are still getting married. All it takes is the bride, their man, and the dress — and then they go and elope. Even though they can’t have their 400-guest wedding, they can still have their dress and celebrate their special moment. That’s ultimately what’s important to them.”
The staple white dress has become the one telling sign of a wedding and the process in finding the perfect dress is a cultural phenomenon that spans through all cultures and ages. Girls dream of their wedding day, picking a dress, and saying “I do.”
“It is such a rewarding experience,” Patty Singh said. “We love it. When we are helping our brides find their dress with their family, it is such an emotional experience.”
The culture of finding the right dress involves bringing moms, sisters, aunts, and close girlfriends to help the bride choose. The intimate experience, to many, is more than a purchase. The saying, “Say yes to the dress!” has even become a popular phrase, persuading the bride to find the perfect dress.
“We cater to all brides,” Singh continued. “Any size, any style, any price range — we got it.”
The sisters note that style is personality driven. Their boutique is open to catering to all brides, no matter the personality.
The all-inclusive feel of the shop is something new to Merced, the owners said.
“Merced doesn’t have another [dedicated] bridal shop,” Patty Singh explained. “This is definitely something that Merced needs. Before we came here, the biggest stores to go for bridal shopping were in Modesto or Fresno.”
Keeping the shop local to Merced not only allows brides to save on drive time outside of the city, but it also provides the owners an opportunity to provide a personal experience for the brides, making the relationship between the customer and the Singh sisters even more special.
“I love Merced, the potential I see in Merced, and how well it can be,” Patty Singh said. “I just love it. People love to support local businesses here. I know driving an hour or two hours away is not for everyone and not everyone is able to do that. If we can save a few brides from having to go out of their way, we’re going to be there for them.”
The bridal boutique offers customers a personal and welcoming experience as the sisters were born and raised in Merced County.
A year ago, the boutique was running out of the sisters’ home, and now — an entire year later — they are happy to be finishing the last of the renovations in their new space.
“After restrictions die down, we hope to have fashion shows here,” Patty Singh said. “We have the space to create a runway and show our dresses. It’s definitely something you don’t get here in Merced.”
Elizabeth’s Bridal is open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Call the boutique at (209) 580-4663 to make an appointment.