After surviving the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans apparently heard wedding bells. As reported in her Substack After School blog Casey Lewis notes the “bridal market swiftly rebounded post-pandemic, and 2022 was a record year for weddings in the U.S., with an estimated 2.6 million couples getting married.”
But that doesn’t mean the industry isn’t changing. Lewis points to the Vogue Business newsletter, which says, “A new wave of emerging fashion brands and bridalwear startups have seized the opportunity for non-traditional, modern bridalwear.” (Could that be a factor in David’s Bridal’s recent bankruptcy filing?)
Expanding the opportunity, Vogue Business says weddings have evolved as well, as “today’s brides shop for an entire wardrobe, from multiple wedding day looks to bachelorette party wear, to night-before and next day brunch outfits.” And it adds, “Fashion brands are rushing to seize the opportunity.”
This retreat from buying traditional wedding gowns is not exactly a new phenomenon. Back in 2019, Vogue Business reported that while the $2.4 billion bridal store market was shrinking, direct-to-consumer brands were snapping up market share by “wooing brides with inclusive sizing and customizable dresses that cost a fraction of off-the-rack designer gowns.”
If you’re considering getting into the bridal business, note that according to Axios, one of the complaints about David’s Bridal was that it is “somewhat impersonal.” So do what entrepreneurs do best—connect with your customers and offer them a personalized, more intimate experience.