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Wedding Dress Season

February 2, 2012, 9:50 PM by Angela Kennecke

Wedding Dress Season
SIOUX FALLS, SD - You may think Christmas comes in December, but for bridal shops, it arrives a little later. We're in the prime of wedding dress season, and this is no small investment for the big day.

Cori Bechtold is like so many brides-to-be right now--she got engaged over Christmas and the next step is to find the perfect dress.

"I didn't know I would be as excited as I am, but I am," Cori Bechtold said.

Brides these days know exactly what they're looking for.

"I like a lot of bling. I wanted a dress that had a lot of sparkles and just something I felt very special in," Bride-To-Be Jennalee Millman said.

"Wedding dress season is usually January, February, March, April-it's a really busy time for us. We are usually by appointment only on the weekends and we have been booked 2-3 weeks in advance," Michele Fenno The French Door Manager said.

As Cori Bechtold tries on dresses, it brings back memories for her mom Peggy.

"32-years-ago I went to The French Door and bought my wedding dress which cost $150," mother Peggy Bechtold said.

While The French Door is still here, almost everything else has changed in the last three decades, including the price.

"Had a pervious daughter marry and her dress was $1,000 and I was just floored that a dress would cost that much, but they do," Peggy Bechtold said.

And the cost isn't headed in the right direction for parents.

"We are seeing an increase overall because China is raising its prices. Their workers are demanding more of an increase, with that in mind-it is increasing our costs in the U.S," Fenno said.

Fenno says that increase is by about $500 a dress, bringing average prices now to $1,500 to $2,000. But it doesn't seem to be hurting sales.

"They are budgets are getting higher, and moms and dads are saying what my little girl wants my little girl gets. Yeah, they're willing to pay it," Fenno said.

Fenno recommends brides order their dress seven to eight months in advance. Because most dresses are made in China, it can take up to five months for it to arrive and then more time is needed for alterations.

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