After delays due to the pandemic, 2022 is set to be a big year for weddings. Because of supply chain issues, however, wedding dresses can be hard to come by.
Future brides might want to start looking for their perfect dress sooner than they think.
Local business Pritchett Bridal is struggling to keep up with inventory as Chinese New Year approaches. Chinese designers work with Pritchett to supply all their dresses, except in January when celebrations for the New Year begin.
“It’s Chinese New Year. All the industry in China shuts down for six weeks, it’s not just wedding dresses. It’s everything from wedding dresses to a toy and everything in between,” co-owner of Pritchett Bridal Stephanie Vincent said.
Lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a national shipping crisis only further prolong the issue.
“The struggle we are having this year in 2021 is that we have a national shipping crisis, so if I have a bride that comes in today, she can’t get a gown ordered and to Pritchett for five months, so April of 2022 is the soonest her dress can get here,” Vincent said.
“There’s Chinese New Year, COVID kinda pushed back ship dates, and just all the shipping crisis in the United States right now, that’s kinda made it crazy for us,” Pritchett Bridal social media manager Bre Penrod said.
“We’ve really seen shipping times just get so much worse because there’s just not enough manpower in the U.S. especially,” Vincent said.
Finding a wedding dress in Utah makes it even harder as Utah engagements tend to be much shorter than other states, leaving little time to say yes to the dress.
“Standard shipping for a bridal gown is about 16 weeks, however on Utah time, our engagement time is a lot shorter. brides need their dresses within 1-2 months, so most of our dresses do need to be rushed,” store manager Gabby Shupe said.
“We need our dresses really quickly, especially here in Utah County, a lot of our engagements are short time frames, they’re really six, eight weeks,” Vincent said
“One of the first questions we always ask a bride when she comes in is when’s your wedding, because we wanna know if we need to purchase a dress out of the collection that we have if we don’t have enough time to order,” Penrod said.
Despite these problems, Pritchett continues to make brides and their happiness top priority.
“When we run into shipping issues or delays in factories that can get a little crazy, but we always wanna make it work, we want to make our brides happy, so as long as you come in at the right time we can get you a dress in time for your big day,” Shupe said.
So brides-to-be will want to make sure to schedule bridal salon appointments sooner rather than later so they have plenty of time to find the perfect dress.