Some wedding dress orders are currently delayed up to six weeks
The coronavirus is not just taking a hit on people’s health and travel, the wedding industry from California to Michigan is also feeling the impact.
“If you have not placed an order for a bridal gown you’re going to want to ASAP,” said Michelle McFarland, owner of The Wedding Shoppe in Berkley.
Brides getting married this year are being warned not to put off ordering their wedding dress. Dress shop owners across the country are reporting a 4-6 week delay in shipments after factories in China were shutting down because employees were becoming sick with the virus.
“Regardless of where a dress is actually made, all of the materials are basically still coming from China. All of the fabric is produced there, the lace, the beading, the appliqué, the zippers and that’s why we’re seeing the delays,” says McFarland.
Due to the Chinese New Year, many factories had already been shut down for weeks. The coronavirus prolonged those closures. With limited air travel and employees not able to work, production came to a halt. Now it’s time to play catch up.
“We’ve been assured by our designers that the factories have been reopened and employees are back and working on the wedding dresses,” McFarland said.
What Does This Mean For Brides?
Many factories are changing their routine, choosing to prioritize dresses based on the date of a wedding, not when the order was received.
“So, the ladies who, maybe put in an order, and are expecting their gowns to arrive around this time but don’t have weddings until December, November or October, they [factories] are going to be pushing those dresses aside to work on weddings happening in April, May, June, July,” says McFarland
The delays have the shop owner urging those planning a wedding to not wait on ordering a dress — even if their wedding isn’t until 2021.
“As of right now, if your wedding is mid-September or sooner we can’t get you a dress, if it has to be made. If your dress has to be made, we can’t risk taking that order for you,” says McFarland
How The Wedding Shoppe is Reassuring Brides
McFarland, who is also the president of the National Bridal Retailers Association, doesn’t want any bride to panic. She & her team are monitoring this situation closely and being as proactive as possible.
“We personally have stopped taking orders for things we aren’t sure we can deliver. We want to be sure that if we promise you we’re going to get you something, we’re going to get it. We’ve turned away bridesmaids orders for weddings that are happening before the end of July because we can’t promise you it’s going to show up,” says McFarland.
McFarland says they have hundreds and hundreds of brand new dresses in the store to choose from. Bottom line, buy your wedding dress as early as possible.