Are you a bride on a budget? Looking for a quick way to try on as many wedding dresses as possible without the lengthy waiting times or booking fees of a bridal fitting appointment? Need a dress as soon as possible?
Then a sample sale may be just what you need to find the wedding dress of your dreams! Unlike a designer sample sale, a wedding sample sale occurs when a store marks down its sample dresses for a direct-off-the-rack, deeply discounted price point. This means a bride can take home the dress that day instead of waiting for a special order to arrive.
Unlike a bridal fitting, sample sales can sometimes be chaotic and crowded, involving much less of the one-on-one personalization and pampering of a typical fitting. While it may not be right for every bride, sample sales are typically a great way to save huge amounts of money and time.
However, there are a few things you should be prepared for before fully committing to a sample sale, like our own upcoming sale on August 11th through the 13th, so let’s go over some of the best tips so that you can make the most of it!
1. Know What You’re Getting Into
Not all sample sales are made equal— in fact, some can range from civilized, intimate one-on-one bookings to a frenzied free-for-all with little to no room to try on dresses.
For our own upcoming sample sale, we highly recommend booking an appointment via our website to keep the chaos to a minimum!
Additionally, some sample sales will accept credit cards while others will be cash only, so it’s critical to understand exactly what to expect before arriving. Call ahead so that you know what to prepare for but always plan to arrive early. Have questions about what to expect from the Poinsett Bride sale? One of our staff members would love to walk you through the process so that you know exactly what to expect!
2. Do Your Homework
Because of the often chaotic nature of sample sales, it’s best to come equipped with a plan— that means researching what types of dresses you want to sample and knowing which designer’s style you like. That way, you can hone in on exactly what dresses you want to try on in order to snatch them up before anyone else.
If you haven’t already, we’d highly recommend browsing our website’s catalog of dresses to check out which designer styles you prefer!
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Buy a Dress in a Larger Size
Most sample sizes run large. That’s because, with only one or two sample sizes in each store, the gown has to be big enough to fit a variety of body types and still leave enough room for alterations. This also means that it’s normal for a sample dress to run large— don’t let that stop you from buying it. A good sewist should be able to take a dress in up to at least three sizes. Nevertheless, it’s important to brace yourself for the shock of sample dresses looking a little less than ideal when you initially try them on.
And remember, we provide in-house alterations, so be sure to ask about booking an appointment after you find the perfect sample gown!
4. Inspect the Gown for Damage
Because sample gowns are the in-store gowns that brides-to-be try on during a fitting, many will have minor or slight imperfections due to normal wear and tear. However, it’s best to ensure there aren’t any irreparable damages before making what will likely be a non-returnable purchase. Always look for things like major fabric tears or stains before cashing out.
5. Check the Guest Limit
Because sample sales are often crowded, it’s best to check with the store before bringing more than 1 or 2 guests. Many stores will limit guests due to guest capacity restrictions, so it’s probably not the time to come with your entire girl squad. Additionally, if your sample sale is appointment-only, then more guests may be allowed, but it’s still crucial to check with the store first.
6. Plan for Alterations
As we mentioned above, sample sale dresses often run large, so you’ll want to make plans for alterations. If your store has in-house alterations, it’s a great time to check on booking an appointment and checking out prices. Just remember that you always want to buy up in size— a dress that’s too small is almost impossible to be altered.
7. Dress for Success
Depending on the type of sample sale you’ll be attending, there may be time or space to try on your dress in a fitting room. Wearing something body-hugging and thin, such as leggings and a body suit, is the perfect option for simply slipping into a dress without needing privacy.
8. Arrive Early
It is true what they say— the early bird catches the best bridal gown in the boutique! Plan to arrive as early as possible, especially if you have a specific dress in mind. There will typically only be one of each style, so once it’s purchased, it’s truly gone!
9. When In Doubt, Toss it Out
If you’re second-guessing whether a dress at the sample sale is truly “the one,” it’s probably a good indicator that it’s time to keep looking for greener pastures. Because wedding dresses are a one-time purchase, most wedding boutiques, especially wedding boutique sample sales, have an “all sales are final” policy. So make sure you don’t have any doubts or find yourself second-guessing your decision before making that final purchase!
Remember, the most important thing, above all, is to have fun. Nothing beats a great bargain, but nothing also beats having fun on the way to finding that bargain. Don’t worry yourself sick over whether or not you’ll find the perfect gown at the perfect price— try to relax and enjoy the ride. Because honestly, wedding dresses are kind of like men, and there’s plenty of fish in the sea to go around!
And for the best wedding dress bargains in town, don’t forget to book an appointment for our upcoming bridal sample sale from August 11th through August 13th. You won’t want to miss out on these steals and deals— time slots fill up fast, so book yours now to score the best bargains!