Skipton bridal business booms

Mandy Abramson

A Skipton bridal business owner is predicting a bumper number of weddings for 2022 and 2023 as couples rush to beat the lockdown-blues and tie the knot.

Mandy Abramson, who owns Cinderella’s at High Corn Mill in Skipton, says her own business is booming – not only with rebooked weddings postponed because of the pandemic, but with couples clamouring to say ‘I do’ in 2022 and 2023.

Mandy said: “After a tough 18 months or so, a lot of people have emerged from the pandemic with a ‘life’s too short, so let’s get married’ mentality. The result is a sharp increase in the number of dresses being ordered early for the next two years. I can’t put a fixed number on next year’s brides as I am still taking orders for May onwards, but early indications are looking like almost double the usual level!

“Brides are also coming in with budgets of up to £2,000 for their dress whereas before the pandemic it was around £1,000. We’ve also seen a scramble for off-the-peg dresses as people rush to re-arrange their weddings for this year.”

But it was a very different story for the business last year as around 150 of Mandy’s customers put their orders on hold. She said: “I normally alter around 400 – 450 dresses a year, but last year it was down to about half a dozen.

“This business is normally a very happy one, working with brides and bridesmaids looking forward to their big day – but for the past year-and-a-half we’ve been dealing with people who have been very upset because their wedding had to be postponed.”

After re-opening following the lifting of lockdown this year, the bridal business nationally has struggled with supply issues caused by both the pandemic and Brexit.

“The good thing to come out of that is the way bridal businesses around the country have pulled together in something of a ‘Blitz’ spirit to help each other out,” said Mandy.

“During more than 22 years in business I’ve never seen such camaraderie with bridal shops organising swaps to ensure they can get a dress in the right size for their customers.

“Sadly quite a lot of shops – and suppliers – have gone out of business as a result of all the difficulties, but for those of us who have come through it, business is coming in thick and fast. We are, however, advising brides-to-be to order their dresses a good eight months in advance rather than the usual six because of the delays in deliveries.”

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