The International Bridal Manufacturers Association just announced that United States government is proposing a 25% tariff increase (in addition to the 16% already required on these dresses) on any bridal, formalwear and dress imports from China.

This will not only affect wedding gowns, but also bridesmaids dresses, rehearsal dinner dresses, mother of the bride or groom gowns, guest attire, and prom dresses for 2020.

The 2.5 million weddings that are expected to occur in the United States this year will see massive ramifications, as bridal retailers may not be able to pay this increase on dresses already purchased by brides, bridesmaids, families, etc. And bridal salons, retailers and manufacturers cannot go back and raise prices on orders currently in production or on orders awaiting shipment.

So we’re left with two choices…either the retailers find a way to cover the cost (leaving many in extreme economic hardship), or the customer will be left to cover the cost of this tariff in order to get their wedding dress from U.S. Customs.

How did this happen? As the demand for more elaborate and embellished gowns increased, it became too expensive to produce these types of gowns within the U.S., which have allowed bridal retail business in the U.S. to grow. However, China was able to keep up with the demand, and offer the same quality and fast production the consumers expected.

If this new tariff is imposed, manufacturers will be scrambling to relocate their dress production to a new location outside of China. And they’ll have to do this in time to meet their already tight production schedules.

How will this effect the future of our bridal industry? The cost of wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses, formalwear, etc. will increase dramatically, as well as the wholesale prices—causing an economic crisis on the industry as a whole. Many of the 6,500 independently-owned bridal salons will go out of business, and tens of thousands of people will be out of jobs in the U.S. This will directly reverse the industry growth we’ve seen over the last five years, and effect millions of American families during what should be the happiest moments of their lives.

Already purchased your dress and wondering if this will effect your wedding gown? LLG is putting together a list of bridal retailers that can potentially be effected by these tariffs.

Unfortunately this is not the first instance where LLG has experienced the political climate affecting the wedding industry.

Just three months ago, our client’s wedding invitations were held up in U.S. Customs for over three weeks. We were frantically calling FedEx and Customs to release these items, but the U.S. government imposed additional tariffs on the cost of the goods before they were released—leaving us with delayed RSVPs.

Additionally, one of our clients lost over 35% of her guest count, as her guests were unable to obtain travel visas to come to the United States for her wedding. This cost our client thousands of dollars, as food and beverage minimums still had to be met.

It’s not time to fret just yet. But will this tariff be approved?

LLG will keep you up-to-date…