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Bridal boom raises prices, delays shipping time

Epiphany Boutique San Luis Obispo
Posted at 1:10 PM, Feb 04, 2022

Following pandemic postponements, elopements and Zoom weddings, couples have high hopes for 2022. As weddings bounce back, couples may need to plan early or risk not getting their outfits in time.

Mariam Ohanyan is the owner of Epiphany Boutique San Luis Obispo on Higuera St. She says the number of weddings this year is climbing.

“I think 2022 has the biggest number of weddings for decades, I think since 1984," Ohanyan told KSBY. "We have about 3 million weddings happening in 2022 and that's just the numbers that people are guessing. I'm sure there is going to be more.”

At boutiques like these, brides can purchase dresses months in advance or buy off the rack.

Ohanyan said she has sold twice as many dresses this year than before the pandemic. She added the pandemic and supply chain delays have impacted prices.

“So the labor cost has gone up because there [are] more people who want to buy and the same amount of people who were working pre-pandemic," she said of her boutique.

Shipping times slowed down by about 300 percent so far this year, so experts recommend getting everything prepared early.

“Everything is a little harder to get right now, and all the components are meeting all over the world and everyone is going through the same process,” Ohanyan said.

Epiphany Boutique allows one group in at a time and cleans between guests to make sure people are safe from COVID-19.

Ohanyan mentioned that quite a few couples eloped or arranged very small ceremonies.

“They last-minute just got engaged. Why not? 'Let's just do a small, intimate ceremony and let's get married in a month,'" she explained.

But a short engagement cuts down on dress options.

"So you have to pick something from the inventory when it comes to [it]. You don't have the nine months to order.”

As for grooms, the advice is the same. Whether they buy or rent their tuxes, Ohanyan advises they choose what the shop has in inventory and allow time for alterations.

“I would just suggest not waiting last minute to see what kind of tuxedo [is available]," Ohanyan said. "With the grooms, just like with the price, they want to look amazing on their wedding day, so start early."