When you see or hear about a wedding gown sample sale, you wonder if it’s right for you. Should I go to the sale, am I going to find anything in my size, what condition are the dresses in? There are lots of things to think about, so we are going to give you some tips when shopping a sample sale because you could find your dream dress for an amazing price!
Q: What is a wedding gown sample sale?
Bridal stores, such as Charlotte’s Weddings, order wedding gowns each season to have sampled in their store for brides to try on. Wedding gown designers often stop making samples or stores need to make room for new inventory, so they have what we call a sample sale. We heavily discount our wedding gown samples to sell to brides off-the-rack, which provides HUGE savings for our brides (perfect for our brides planning their wedding on a budget!) These wedding dresses are also perfect if you have a tight timeline. Special order wedding gowns are taking 8-10 months to arrive so having a ready to wear dress can lessen your stress during wedding planning.
Q: Is it worth buying a sample sale dress?
Yes! It’s perfect for our brides who are looking for a more financially accommodating option for their wedding dress! For example, our gowns at Charlotte’s Weddings range between $1,500-$4,000 but during our sample sale, we have gowns with discounts up to 75% OFF their original price!
Q: Will I have a ton of alterations
Remember you are buying a gown as is that has been used as a try on wedding gown so you’ll have cleaning, repairs and additional alterations that could cost more than the purchase of the gown. Alterations on special order wedding gowns range from $400-$800. You should at least expect to pay that for standard alterations. See some tips on alterations here.
Quick tips for shopping the sale:
- It's helpful to have an idea of your bridal size before the sale. Bridal gowns do run slightly smaller than your standard street size. So, don’t be afraid to go up a size or two because you can always make adjustments in alterations. For example, if you wear a size 12 you may be a 14/16 in bridal. So broaden your horizons, you never know which gown you’re going to fall in love with!
You can check this video on How to Determine Your Size Measuring at Home
- Choose your companions carefully. Most wedding gown sample sales only let each bride bring 1-2 guests. Your group needs to be positive, supportive and knows your style well to help pull gowns for you to try on. Maybe share your vision board with your shopping crew ahead of time so you are all on the same page to finding your dream dress!!
- Wear the right undergarments. Have your SPANX and strapless bra on under your regular clothes. It saves time and will give you a more realistic idea on fit if you love a dress.
- Inspect your gown carefully. All sales are FINAL at these types of sales so make sure you look over your wedding gown before purchasing. Remember that these gowns are sold “as is” so expect to see imperfections.
- Be ready to buy. Stores won’t hold gowns during a sale so if you love something make sure you come prepared to purchase it and take it home. Often times you may find some great accessories on sale as well so keep an eye out for more items on sale you may need to complete your wedding day look!
- Lastly, HAVE FUN!!! It may not be a typical bridal appointment but finding your dream wedding dress with your favorite people for an amazing price is still memorable. Especially when you shop a sale at Charlotte’s Weddings!!