Springfield bridal shops booming a year after the pandemic started

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 7:22 AM CDT
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Bridal shops are playing catch-up after the pandemic forced many couples to cancel or postpone their weddings last year. MK Bridal owner Misty Gray has been in the wedding industry for over 20 years. Gray said this past year has been the most hectic one yet.

Gray said temporarily closing their doors last spring left them with a lot of uncertainty. When they re-opened, she noticed a lot of hesitancy from brides not sure if they should buy a dress or not. Gray said as a bridal shop owner it is the worst to see a bride or groom unsure about their big day.

“Telling employees we can’t come to work anymore,” said Gray. “It was also having those conversations with our customers over the phone. We’ve cried with those brides. They were devastated they had to postpone their weddings. It was tough to talk to them.”

Over the past couple of weeks, MK Bridal has noticed a huge increase of business. Not only from couples searching for their dress and tuxedos but for prom season.

“I would say that was a low in my career in weddings. The high has been within the last year. Seeing everyone get so excited has revived the wedding industry I think,” said Gray.

Liz Stoner owns Norman’s Bridal with her mother. The bridal shop opened in the 1980′s. Stoner said when they reopened last May they noticed business slightly back to normal and since then they haven’t stopped.

Stoner said each year they travel to Atlanta to buy dresses for their shop and see the latest trends. In 2020, it was virtual because of the pandemic. This year, they were able to go in person.

“We watched a lot of videos online, days worth of videos to try to purchase what we wanted to fill in our store,” said Stoner. “I’d say that’s very challenging to purchase garments like this without seeing them in person. You can’t see the details or quality. It’s harder to make the right buys.”

Stoner said the summer months tend to be a little slower at her shop, but she thinks there might be another wave of brides who were waiting to plan their wedding until COVID-19 restrictions eased up. Gray also has seen more people coming in now even though they purchased their gowns last year.

“Some of them are shopping for bridesmaid dresses because they never got to last year,” said Gray. “We’re starting fresh with a lot of things there. We’re seeing a lot of bridesmaids coming in to get their measurements because we didn’t seen them for a year.”

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