Still haven't said "yes" to the dress of your dreams, but have your gown vision and budget nailed down? Then broaden your shopping horizons and consider the National Bridal Sale Event, where designers and boutiques offer dresses up to 70% off regular price. Sample sales are especially beneficial for brides in a time crunch or with a short engagement since you're buying straight from the rack. Be warned, though—this adventurous endeavor is far from the standard dress shopping experience, so adjust your expectations accordingly. Because so many other brides want to pounce on these gown bargains, brace yourself for crowded showrooms, makeshift fitting rooms, limited sizes, and having to act fast if you find a gown you love.
While sample sales aren't as glamorous as shopping, but at Maplewood Bridal we are committed to making it a memorable experience (you can look for word to champagne and one-on-one attention), you can still walk away with the perfect, ready-to-wear wedding dress and a little extra cash in your pocket. To the get the most out of your dress hunting experience, we are expanding on Nicky's Bridal Talk Podcast. You'll be the most prepared bride-to-be in the whole sample showroom.
1. Do Your Research
Never go into a sample sale blind. "Have an idea of the styles you like beforehand. A sample sale is an opportunity to find your dream dress for less. Dress shop before hand, this way you are going to the sale looking for those specific pieces." Also, investigate specific sample sales beforehand in case you need to sign up for an appointment to shop.
2. Go Dress Shopping Beforehand
"I do not advise a sample sale if it is your first time dress shopping, you should go to a sample sale when you have a better understanding of the styles you like because if you find the 'one,' you will need to say 'yes' and take it home that day." Searching for regular-priced gowns at least once or twice before going bargain shopping. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to revel in the full wedding dress shopping experience.
3. Be Ready to Buy
Most discounted gowns are typically final sale, so be 100% sure before you splurge. You'll also have to act fast, since there's typically only one sample of each style.
4. Choose Your Companion(s) Carefully
Because sample sales tend to get overcrowded, don't bring an entire posse with you. Nicky recommends asking one trustworthy friend or family member to tag along (or be available via FaceTime) as you shop.
5. Know Your Budget, and Stick to It
Ask yourself what you want to spend because the gowns typically go pretty fast so, if you find something, you won’t have time to think about whether you can afford it, also advises budgeting for dry cleaning the gown, in case the hem or train is dirty.
6. Inspect the Gown
Because you're buying inventory that's already been tried on by previous brides (as opposed to ordering a brand new custom gown), some dresses might have a bit of wear and tear. Before you commit, look over the dress for any damages. "They should be in good condition, but they are used, so look over and see if they have any spots.
7. Ask About Hold Policies
Not all sample sales will allow you to put a gown on hold, and some might even require a deposit on the dress if that's the case, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Maplewood Bridal, offers a nonrefundable hold policy if brides make a 15 percent deposit on the wedding dress.
8. Wear the Right Undergarments
Just like standard wedding dress shopping, this should be a given. Stick with nude, seamless underwear to get the gown's full effect. If you have a chest above a C, wear a corset and Shapewear and whatever you want to wear on the big day to get the correct feel.
Nicky's Bridal Talk Podcast is available on anchor.fm/bridaltalk