Newly engaged and navigating how to plan your wedding while we're in pandemic recovery? Are you shopping for your wedding dress and worried about delivery times and supply chain delays? This is wedding fashion advice for you! We are giving our expert bridal styling advice so you can learn everything you need to know to properly prepare when it comes to purchasing your wedding dress during the post-pandemic recovery times when many stores and retailers are facing supply chain issues and delays. Brides and those shopping for a wedding dress will learn what you can expect for delivery dates and the situation in bridal dress retail stores.
You may have already read our past bridal fashion advice for ordering your wedding dress, but things are a bit different during this post-pandemic recovery time while supply chains are still affected. These days it seems that everything is behind in production, from cars to your favorite grocery store snacks. You might not think that the wedding industry would be affected as well, but wedding dress manufacturers have been impacted by global supply chain issues and are still in the process of getting back to pre-pandemic times.
As the pandemic is not totally over, and things continue to evolve over time, we wanted to update our brides who are newly engaged and wedding planning during this unknown time. We are sharing our best advice on how to navigate purchasing a wedding dress when there are concerns over delays and shipping in the post-pandemic recovery.
We typically recommend, on average, to allow six to eight months for bridal gown production time. You also want to leave a couple of months before your wedding date for your alteration process. For more information on when to start wedding dress shopping, be sure to check out our advice post on the topic for more detailed information.
However, things have changed and the production times have evolved with the supply chain delays that every industry, not just bridal, are all experiencing. Fabric suppliers and wedding dress manufacturers are all behind schedule. To ensure your wedding dress arrives in time for you to have alterations completed, and not be stressed before your wedding, we highly recommend ordering your wedding dress a minimum of one year before your wedding date.
With production delays and supply chain delays, wedding dresses are taking an average of nine to ten months to create in this environment, so placing your wedding dress order at least a year in advance of your wedding will ensure your wedding dress arrives with plenty of time to spare.
We encourage any bride in the wedding planning process to begin shopping for their wedding dress as soon as possible. When you find your dream wedding dress, don’t delay. Go ahead and place your order as soon as you can so that you aren’t stressed out and wondering if your wedding dress will arrive in enough time before your wedding.
Another reason that brides should begin their wedding dress shopping as early as possible is price increases. Just like inflation has hit many other parts of our lives, wedding dress designers are also having to raise the price of their products as well. The cost of labor and materials is going up, and so it’s only natural that we would see price increases in the wedding industry as well.
If you are a bride shopping for your dream wedding dress, and you happen to find your dream dress, we highly encourage you to not hesitate and just go for it. Do not delay in making your purchase. Get your order in as soon as possible and lock in the cost of your wedding dress. You don’t want to risk coming back to the bridal salon in a few weeks or months only to find that your dream wedding dress is now out of your budget due to price increases.
In addition to price increases and delays in production, there are also issues with shipping wedding dresses in a post-pandemic recovery world. In the past, wedding dress designers have been willing to do rush orders or they have had various bridal dresses in stock that will ship more quickly. This is no longer the case.
It may not be totally impossible to pay more money to place a rush order for a wedding dress. More and more wedding dress designers have already full production schedules and can not fit in any more rush orders.
The bottom line is that production is tight and prices are going up, so the sooner you can get out there and start shopping for your wedding dress and the sooner you can place your order will mean you have a stress-free wedding dress shopping experience.
The last thing to consider when wedding dress shopping during the pandemic recovery is that many wedding dress styles are being discontinued. In the past, we would see wedding dress styles discontinued due to new styles and designs coming out. Now, in the pandemic recovery with supply chain issues, we have discontinued wedding styles because wedding dress designers can’t get the materials they need for certain dresses.
If you are a bride out shopping for your wedding dress and you find a bridal dress style that you love, if you don’t place your order at that time, you risk the dress you love being discontinued. Even if you don’t mind paying extra if the cost of the wedding dress increases as we discussed above when you come back to try on dresses again, you might not be able to order the wedding dress you fell in love with because it is no longer an available style.
For more on what to bring with you to your wedding dress shopping appointment, be sure to check out our advice so you're prepped and ready to go.
Be Ready to Buy
At Lovella, we have heard from many brides that they want to lose weight prior to trying on wedding dresses, or that they are afraid they will change their mind if they purchase their wedding dress so early in the planning process. There are so many different reasons why brides don't want to buy a wedding dress at the moment when they think that they might have found the wedding dress of their dreams, but we really encourage you to go ahead and place your order if you find a bridal dress you love.
In regards to wanting to lose weight before your wedding, you really do have to get your dress sooner rather than later, or else your only option is going to be buying a sample wedding gown. Purchasing a sample wedding gown is not a terrible option, especially if your body dimensions fit the samples that the stores offer. However, if your body dimensions do not fit what the store offers in the sample wedding dress size, you really have no choice but to order the wedding dress in your current size, and then in the alternations process, your dress can be tailored to your body if you do lose weight between now and then.
When it comes to losing weight before your wedding, we like to tell our brides that if you buy the wedding dress that you felt beautiful and confident in when you don't feel and look your best, then it’s only going to get better when you lose weight.
For more on the wedding alterations process and what happens when the wedding dress that you purchased arrives in the store, be sure to check out our advice on the topic.
Do Not Delay
Our advice for wedding dress shopping has always been to be ready to buy. This is even more important in this volatile market and pandemic recovery economy with so many unknown variables. The bridal industry is not isolated from everything else happening in the world and it is a domino effect.
We would hate for any bride to no longer be able to wear her dream wedding dress because it’s now out of budget, discontinued, or unable to arrive in time for her wedding. So don’t delay once you've found a wedding dress that you love. If you are out shopping for wedding dresses and you find the dream dress, say "yes" to the dress. Go ahead and place your order at that moment so you don’t face any disappointment with a wedding dress that is no longer available or is now outside your budget.
Place your wedding dress order early so that you don’t have to stress about your wedding dress’s arrival timeline and you can move on to the next phases of wedding planning. There is much to do with planning a wedding, especially during this time, and we don't want your bridal dress to cause any extra worry or stress.
VIDEO: Pandemic Supply Chain Delays - Wedding Dress Shopping Without Stress
If you are a bride that has just begun their wedding planning process and their search for their dream wedding dress, you won't want to miss this week's advice video discussing all you need to know about wedding dress shopping without stress during supply chain delays.
If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!
About Wedding Fashion Expert
Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.