How to Shop a Wedding Dress Sample Sale
Are you dreaming of a perfect designer wedding dress but worried about your budget? Well, a wedding dress sample sale could be the perfect solution!
A sample sale is heaven for a bride on a budget as they offer wedding dresses, often from multiple designers and boutiques, with up to 70% off! This substantial discount applies because these dresses are past season designs, overstocked dresses or ones that have been on the rail for a while.
This doesn’t mean the dresses are unwanted castoffs! It is entirely possible to find your dream dress at a sample sale. Sample sales are especially perfect for brides with limited time before the big day because you can walk away with your dress that day, rather than potentially waiting months for it to be custom made and delivered.
But, these sample sales can be hectic with crowded showrooms, makeshift fitting rooms and limited sizes. You may be sacrificing that dreamy wedding dress shopping experience but it can be well worth it! So, here are our tips and tricks for navigating a wedding dress sample sale.
Do Your Research
Make sure you research what you are looking for before you go! So, you then have an idea of the styles you like beforehand to ease your search. Also, if you know which designers you admire, you can go to the sale looking for specific pieces. Make sure to follow your favourite designers on social media as most will announce upcoming sample sale dates there!
Go Dress Shopping Beforehand
Sample sales can be a bit chaotic so they work best if you have done your research. Therefore, they’re not the best place to experience trying on wedding dresses for the first time! If you make sure to try on some dresses before the sample sale, you can have a proper understanding of what looks good on you rather than just on a model.
It is important to understand the styles you like because you will need to make a decision on that day! So, go to a regular bridal boutique at least once before going bargain shopping.
Be Ready to Buy
Even with all your research, still go to sample sales with an open mind! Sample sales are brilliant for finding that specific dress at a discount but, as with normal wedding dress shopping, you still might find a dress you never expected to love!
But whatever your plan, you must go to the sample sale completely prepared to buy. Most discounted dresses will be a one-day deal and with one sample of each style, once they’re gone, they’re gone. So, these sales are not for brides who love to browse or take time to make up their mind! Be ready to act fast and be decisive, otherwise you could lose your dress!
Stick to Your Budget
Always key with wedding dress shopping, but especially at sample sales! Having a clear idea of your budget will make it much easier to make snap decisions. Don’t forget to calculate any additional dry cleaning and alterations costs!
Know How You Have to Pay
Make sure you know how your particular sample sale approaches payment and alterations before you go. Do you have to pay in full or is there a deposit? Will the boutique arrange for your alterations? Do you have to take the dress away with you on the day? Make sure you know exactly what to expect before you head to the sale.
Keep Alterations in Mind
Alterations are especially important as purchasing a sample dress in a sample size makes it highly likely that you’ll need at least some alterations after you’ve purchased your dress. Don’t forget to only buy a dress if it can be realistically altered to your size as sample dresses are typically a size 8. But, don’t let this put you off! If it’s not the perfect fit but a brilliant discount and almost your dream dress, tailors can work miracles to transform it into your perfect wedding dress. Most importantly, don’t forget to keep alterations in mind when planning your budget!
Inspect the Dress
At a sample sale, the dresses will have been tried on by many brides before you. So, be prepared that your dream dress might not be pristine when you buy it. They could need dry cleaning or mending before they are ready to be worn down the aisle!
Be sure to check the dress for any damages, especially underneath the armpit, the train, the hem, the side seams, and the zipper. Also, be aware of what can and can’t be dry cleaned, for example feathers can’t be dry cleaned, and whether any marks on the dress make it worth the discount. Small marks or tears might be easy to remove or fix, but a fake tan or foundation stain from a previous bride probably won’t be. Best to do this before you try on the dress so you don’t fall in love with a dress that is beyond saving!
Choose Your Entourage Carefully
Bringing an entourage of your closest female relatives and friends to wedding dress boutique appointments is common practice but this simply doesn’t work at sample sales. They are too crowded for you to bring 4+ people with you! Instead, bring one trusted friend or family member for quick and key advice as you shop.
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