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Inflation, supply chain shortages impact wedding dress industry

Inflation, supply chain shortages impact wedding dress industry
Posted at 9:49 AM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 11:49:29-04

ERIE, Colo. — Wedding bells are ringing again after the COVID-19 pandemic forced countless couples to postpone their big day.

The Wedding Report, a national trade group, reports nearly 2.5 million weddings are expected to be performed in the U.S. this year, which is a 30% increase over last year.

The demand for wedding dresses surged once couples felt safe to gather again, but the wedding industry is not immune to factors like inflation or increased shipping costs.

“One thing that really hit us was the amount of alterations, so our preferred seamstresses had more than double their regular load that they had to alter," said Patty Westenbroek, the owner of Dani West Bridal Boutique in Erie. “Before we allow somebody to fall in love with a gown, we're going to make sure that we can get that particular gown in within that bride's timeline because we also have to factor in those alterations, which are very important.”

Inflation, supply chain shortages impact wedding dress industry

Westenbroek has owned Dani West Bridal Boutique for more than four years, and said inflation has, unfortunately, forced them to increase their prices.

“We've noticed sometimes that a designer will put out a gown and then shortly after it's been released, they've pulled back and said we cannot meet the potential demand for that particular gown," Westenbroek said. "It's just been kind of unpredictable.”

Tina Caporaso is engaged to Denver7's Danny New, and said she does have a dress in mind for her wedding.

“We're planning for a two year engagement. So, I wasn't going to go look for dresses until next year sometime," Caporaso said. “It definitely does add more stress to an already stressful situation, and it does make me rethink my plan.”

Westenbroek said it's her job to make sure brides are well informed on the time it will take to receive a dress before purchasing it.

“Educating the bride is very important — letting her know about timelines and what she can expect," Westenbroek said. “Come on in quickly, and worry about some of the other details later. The dress is very important.”