You Want That Wedding Dress When?

After months without business, designers and boutique owners have had a hard time turning down work. Stephanie White, the designer and founder of the Los Angeles-based bridal line Odylyne the Ceremony, has made dresses in less than a month. “It’s a lot, but we’re dying for the business,” she said. “You want to help everyone but you can’t.”

For the designer Sareh Nouri, “If I have the fabric, if I have the lace, we don’t say no.” She described the recent situation as “madness,” adding, “We’re happy about that, right?” The deluge of business has allowed her to hire back every staffer laid off in 2020, and even open a flagship store in Short Hills, N.J., in June.

Many brides coming into stores and ateliers are so thrilled to finally celebrate — or so emotionally spent from multiple postponements — that they have been just grateful to find any white dress to wear. “I get the sense that brides are just way less particular overall,” said Marteal Mayer, the founder of Loulette Bride in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “It’s a shift in priorities, completely.” Ms. White felt the same way: “As much as brides want to have that fairy tale, we’ve learned that the most important thing is to share that special day with the people you love, and look as beautiful as you can.”

Among the postponements are the brides who gave birth in the time between their two celebrations. “May 22, we had three brides who were pregnant and married on that date,” said Susan Ruddie Spring, the owner of the alteration service The Wedding Dresser, which operates in Brooklyn and Baltimore. Her team’s typical routine in such a situation is to open all the side seams. Then, she said, “We wait and do all of the work ten days before the wedding.”

Kayleigh Hyde, a speech language pathologist in West Belmar, N.J., postponed her big Catskills wedding by a year but still married David Hyde, who works for the Teamsters union, on her original date, in September 2020, in her mother-in-law’s backyard with just 15 guests. In July, the couple welcomed a baby girl. Ms. Hyde had bought a dress from Loulette Bride originally, rented another Loulette dress for the microwedding, and is now having her first dress entirely altered by Ms. Mayer to become A-line. “I emailed her when I found out I was pregnant like, ‘Can you resell the dress that I bought and I pick a different one?’” she said. Instead, the Loulette designer is just making it work. “I wasn’t going to purposely try to not have a baby just because of one day next year,” Ms. Hyde said.