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Brides: If you want your dream wedding dress, you might have to wait

Despite the delays, the COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be good for the wedding dress business.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When COVID-19 hit, many weddings were postponed, devasting loving couples who wanted to tie the knot. 

Now that there's a vaccine, wedding bells are starting to ring again, which means big business for local wedding dress boutiques, but it also means some brides need to expect delays. 

Bonnie Stroup, 31, has been planning her wedding day since she was a little girl growing up in Charlotte.

"I knew the reception, the church I was always going to have," Stroup shared."I was just waiting for the right man to come along."

The one thing she didn’t plan on was a global pandemic. Despite so many things being up in the air as she planned her dream wedding, the one thing she knew she wouldn't leave to chance was her dress.

"The dress is the most important part, other than marrying my fiancé," Stroup explained. "The dress was my most important part of the whole process for me. I went the week after I got engaged."

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That was almost a year ago, and it’s a good thing she hustled to the shop because just like everything else these days that involves labor and shipping, it's taking longer to get wedding dresses.

Natasha Duff-Cole is the owner Ladies of Lineage, a bridal boutique in the Phillips Place shopping center in the SouthPark area of Charlotte. Duff-Cole said they've had to stop stocking certain designers because of the time constraints. 

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"We never wanted to over promise and under deliver our brides," Duff-Cole said. "We've had to be really on top of our designers and have great communication because obviously everybody has their own constraints whether in shipping or being able to control their own supply chains."

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Duff-Cole said seamstresses are also backed up because there are trying to catch up to the demand of two years worth of brides. Also atypical is more brides are shopping in Charlotte than before.

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"We have brides coming in from other states," Duff-Cole said. "The girls that would typically fly to New York are now staying home or coming from Atlanta, Knoxville and D.C. We're seeing a lot of girls come into Charlotte that aren’t native to Charlotte because those bigger cities, they're either scared to go to or some of the shops have closed that they would regularly go to."

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The influx of regional brides, as well as the pent-up demand, has caused Ladies of Lineage sales to increase. The shop is up 40 percent this year.

"We're loving it, and we're rolling with it," Duff-Cole said.

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing money@wcnc.com.

For those planning a wedding right now, it used to take about four to six months to order your dream dress. But now, it can take up to eight months, so plan accordingly. 

Contact Michelle at mboudin@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.