Let’s face it, last year’s national shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect wedding plans. Time will tell if disruptions continue into next year. But one thing is for sure, wedding gown nightmares are going to be with us for awhile.
Here’s the problem: eighty percent of wedding gowns purchased in the U.S. are made in China. China factories were shutdown for awhile due to the coronavirus. China supply lines acknowledge U.S. brides should anticipate delays of at least several weeks or even a month, as you can see in the report from NBC News above.
In a recent Fox Business News interview, Virginia-based photographer Joshua King from ThePhotography.Pro said:
“Brides are also ordering cheap quick dresses from Amazon in situations where their intended dress isn’t ready in time,” King said. “A wedding we photographed on October 2, 2021, both the bride and the groom’s dress and tux did not arrive until the day before they were to be married.”
Steve Lang is the CEO of Mon Cheri Bridals, as well as president of the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association. His company has 45 factories, most of which are located in China. He told brides that there’s no need to panic:
“No one’s gonna go without a dress, no one. I think, right now, it’s a lot of uninformed panic.”
“People are getting upset for I think the wrong reasons. I don’t want to tell any woman that she doesn’t have the right to worry about her wedding gown. But put it in perspective, it’s not like a heart-lung machine that you need that’s not gonna arrive on time.”
Hmm, we’re not sure that last sentence is going to sit well with a lot of anxious brides. Granted, a gown isn’t a life or death product, but it IS a life-affirming product for the most life-affirming day of a person’s life.
If it’s any consolation to jittery brides, a very famous bride from another era experienced the ultimate in wedding gown nightmares.
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier’s wedding dress was destroyed just ten days before her wedding day when the studio it was in flooded. The future First Lady of the United States, better known as Jackie Kennedy, called upon a little-known designer, Ann Lowe, to “whip something together” at the last minute, and the result is the beautiful gown pictured below. The cost? Five-hundred dollars (in 1953 dollars).
So for future brides, a few suggestions:
- Purchase your wedding gown earlier than you planned on. As recently as December, 2019, Harper’s Bazaar Magazine advised brides to purchase their gown 8 months in advance of the wedding date. They suggested a year in advance is too early. Maybe not, in light of conditions on the ground today.
- Don’t purchase a gown based on achieving an unrealistic weight loss by your wedding day.
- Buy a gown off-the-rack and eliminate shipping delays.
- Buy a used gown at a consignment shop.
- Borrow a family member’s or friend’s gown.
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