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Coronavirus impacting brides-to-be in Big Bend, South Georgia

Posted at 5:19 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 18:39:46-05

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — Women in the Big Bend and South Georgia are receiving emails from China stating that their wedding dresses won't arrive on time for their big days.

It's an unexpected consequence from coronavirus-related factory shutdowns in China.

Sally Todd, the manager of Unique Boutique, said it's causing a lot of distress.

"They're concern is the fact that they have received emails from China, where they placed their order online, and greatly been disappointed," Todd said. "The emails read we can't get your dress, we can't get started, the factories are shut down and we can't help you."

It isn't only online shops that are impacted. Local prom and bridal shops say some of their gowns come from China and won't be available for the wedding season.

The American Bridal and Prom Industry Association told CNN that nearly 80% of the western-style wedding dresses produced worldwide are made in China.

But Sally Todd is lucky. That's not the case at Unique Boutique in Thomasville.

"I just had a bride just last week," said Todd. "She was lucky enough to get a refund back, so she walked into the store here and, by fate, she found a gown, it fit and made her day."

Sally Todd says all of the boutique's dresses are made in California.

In response to the gown delays, some retailers have started to stack up as the wedding and prom seasons near.

For anyone worried about whether or not their dress will arrive in time, the best thing to do is contact your bridal store directly. There's no telling when the dress shortage will end.