Creatures of Habit

I have always been fascinated by the fact that people always seem to want to shop for certain things at the same time. There isn’t always an obvious reason why this should be and I would love to get to the bottom of the mystery particularly when it comes to brides. I run a bridal shop and as weddings take place throughout the year and dresses take different lengths of time to order you would think that the business would not be seasonal but it is.


Naturally some peaks in shopping generally are predictable. Christmas always induces a rush but that doesn’t entirely explain why the Monday after American Thanksgiving is the busiest online shopping day of the year. Why that day and not any other? It is a busy day even in countries who do not celebrate Thanksgiving so it can’t simply be a case of getting one holiday over with and then focussing on the next. You would think that shopping for Christmas gifts would be spread more evenly.

Bad Weather

Other purchases are seasonal simply because of the weather. You don’t order replacement windows or buy window fitting equipment in the depths of winter unless you have to as the whole exercise is much more pleasant in the summer. You probably wouldn’t have your roof re-tiled either but I digress. It is brides that make me curious.

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Every single year that I have run my bridal shop January has been the busiest month for wedding dress dales and the third weekend of the month always sees the most brides visiting. This trend would be more easy to understand were all the brides that come in marrying in the summer but we see ladies whose weddings are as much as two years in the future. I often wondered if people get Christmas and New Year out of the way and then think damn I haven’t got my wedding dress. Perhaps it is case of having nothing better to do in the cold weather. Some of the brides are certainly coming in because they got engaged at Christmas and can’t wait to look at dresses but in spite of all these reasons I still don’t understand why we have such a mad rush in January.

December on the other hand is the dead zone in bridal. We see very few customers as everyone is
focussing on Christmas and their finances are probably stretched because of the festive season. This year September and October were slow but November has been ridiculously busy. Why? Why did so many brides all decide to buy their dresses in November? I have no idea!

I really can’t fathom how totally unrelated people with different wedding dates, different kinds of weddings and vastly varying budgets all decide to do the same thing at the same time. There are no obvious connections between the lifestyles of these ladies or the way that they think and yet they all act at the same time. Am I missing something here?


Article by Sally Stacey