Updated: May 5
A sample sale is not the same as a trunk show so let’s get that out of way! Trunk shows are special events where a bridal boutique will invite a designer (usually not located in the area) to show off their collection. It could be anywhere from a weekend or several days long. It’s a fantastic opportunity for brides to try on gowns from a visiting designer and appointments usually book up fast!
Samples sales however are first come, first serve for anyone who wants to get a designer dress at a large discount. The boutique allows you to try them on in the store and typically you don’t have a stylist who’s there assisting you. Sizes will range, and the dresses are usually well taken care of but you may not get something perfect since many women might be trying on the same dress. If it’s your first time trying on gowns it might not be a good idea to make a sample sale your first stop since you must decide to buy on the spot.
Wear nude underwear…preferably a thong and a good strapless bra. You want to have as realistic idea as you can when you try each dress on.
Know what your budget is. Usually the gowns will be organized by price range and this will help you stay within price range. Prices might be reduced from 20-80% but if you choose a newer style it may cost more.
Bring a friend but not your entire crew. Too many opinions and different tastes will become overwhelming and won’t help you.
Have an idea as to what style of dress you want. Keep in mind your body shape, areas you may or may not want to hide or accentuate. Knowing this in advance will help you sift through the dress styles you don’t want and save you time.
Be sure to research the designer to make sure the styles they may offer will suit what you are looking for.
Keep in mind that sample sale dresses can always be altered. Frays and lace can be trimmed and fixed up.
Bring a pair of shoes as close to the height you plan to wear on your wedding day. Hems can be shortened not lengthened.
Be aware of your timeline, while sample sale dresses are there and available, anything you may decide to order can take up to 8 months to be made and shipped
Have cash ready, unlike regular wedding gowns where a deposit is made and the rest settled later- sample sale dresses are expected to be paid for up front.
Have fun and be open to assorted styles of gowns. You may have your heart set on a certain style, but another might suit you just as well. I always say, never judge how a dress looks on the hanger, sometimes once you put it on it surprises you!
Ask your planner to keep an eye out on any sample sales in the area and to let you know so you can get prepped, primed and ready!