Bridal shop owner in Salem says sales are almost back to pre-pandemic

Roanoke Valley News

SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — Bridal shop owners in Salem are saying business is up to 80 percent from what it was pre-pandemic thanks to creativity.

According to Alyce Carlin, the owner of Newfangled Bridal Shop in Salem, “People are definitely feeling more comfortable and venues are opening up and obviously Virginia is opening up, so bigger weddings are happening, but people are still hesitant to make these big plans and put down big deposits.”

As a result, their focus changed.

“Like our flower shop and local deliveries and things like that, so we pivoted into like contactless deliveries. And by working appointment only, we were able to keep under five people in the store at all times,” Carlin said.

Wedding season typically spans from January through May, but last year during peak season, postponements trended heavily.

“They were pivoting away from big weddings at the big venues, they were going smaller, so we started bringing in dresses that were a little more destination style, more courthouse style, that helped pick up business quite a bit,” Carlin shared.

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Justice Blankenship was one bride who had her wedding all planned out and was ready to get married in the dress of her dreams, but the pandemic caused her to move her special day. She had planned to walk down the aisle in June 2020 but instead moved it back two months, tying the knot in last April.

“The weekend that we did get married was supposed to be my bridal shower and so we decided, instead of doing that, let’s just get married, because we couldn’t have more than 10 people,” Blankenship said.

She feared if they waited any longer, they would not be able to have friends or family at the ceremony at all.

Carlin told WFXR News now that ceremonies are getting closer to full-scale, brides are pouring in once again.

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