WEDDING dresses are piling up at bridal shops as couples cancel their big days amid the coronavirus crisis.

As the wedding season draws to a close, the industry is thought to have lost almost £5 billion during the pandemic.

Dressmaker Roxi Goldstein runs Atelier Gold Bridal studio in St James’s Street, Brighton.

Among her customers, there have been 15 wedding cancellations, and she is now holding on to 15 made-to-measure wedding dresses.

The ivory, pale blue, and pink gowns with French lace and fine silk have been hanging in a secure storage space for months.

Roxi has never had to look after so many.

“It’s really sad,” she said. “I got to know all my customers so well. I met their mums, their grandmas, their best friends – everyone is so disappointed.”

Most of her clients have delayed tying the knot until next year. When their wedding days eventually come around, the dresses will all need adjusting.

Roxi expects she will have to offer an extra fitting free of charge because the brides’ weights and shapes will have changed so much.

She feels sorry for couples who have had to delay their dreams.

She said: “A lot of people getting married had big plans ahead, like buying a house, or trying for a baby. Now, they’ve had to put their lives on hold.”

And some couples may have to wait more than one year for their big day. So many couples have booked their wedding dates for 2021, some are having to wait two years before they can schedule a service.

There are those who have decided to press ahead, though. In July, The Argus bumped into a bride who was about to get married in the city’s first official wedding ceremony since lockdown saw a ban on services.

At Roxi’s studio, a few brides still come in for fittings. They wear masks, and can book slots in advance.

“Everybody’s been so understanding,” she said. “I found it hard at the beginning, but I’ve got used to it. We’re still not really open – there’s so little work, but if people want to come for an appointment, they can.”

Roxi has been in the business for eight years, and never seen times as hard as these.

“It’s very worrying,” she said. “The high street is going to take a lot of damage.”

But she is holding out hope for next year.

“I’m hoping this lost business is really just postponed,”she said. “I’m being optimistic. There’s the potential for it to be doubly busy next year. But this year’s been totally ruined.”