Before I start lets just make it clear exactly what a sample sale is. A wedding dress sample sale is when a bridal boutique sells off their showroom samples. This is usually done twice a year to make some room for the new collections and also to sell on any samples they may have that have been discontinued. These are the dresses that brides-to-be have been trying on you are buying the sample dress off the rail as is, in that size and that condition. I am very proud to say that all of our dresses in our sample sale are in perfect brand new condition, this is not always the case, sale dresses usually need a little work, will at the least need dry cleaning, may need a new zip or buttons, may have some tears and details like beading and sequins may be falling off in places. This may not sound ideal but these dresses are sold at seriously reduced prices, usually up to 50% off sometimes more if the dress is very old or very damaged!! If you are a bride on a budget that should definitely be incentive enough to give it a go! So if you do decide its for you here are my 10 tips for shopping a bridal sample sale to help you find your dream dress for a rock bottom price!!
1) Attending a sample sale if it is your first shopping trip for your wedding dress isn't usually advisable! It is best that brides have an idea of the style and fit they are looking for in their wedding dress before attending a sample sale. This is simply because they can be a little hectic and you don't get the one to one help and attention you would get in your private bridal appointment. If shopping our sample sale is going to be your first shopping trip for your dream dress, please do contact us or use our book online feature as we may be able to fit you in for a helpful private appointment beforehand.
2) Sometimes our sample sales are by appointment and sometimes they are walk in. Either way find out and either book early or arrive early to avoid disappointment.
3) Bring images of the dresses you're interested in, screen shots are best. This speeds up the process and means we can help you find and grab the dresses before anyone else.
4) Be aware of your expectations of the level of service you will receive at a sample sale. If its a walk in sale you can't expect the level of service you would typically receive at a normal private bridal appointment. As walk in sales can be so busy there will typically be little or no one to one time with a sales representative.
5) Likewise at a walk in sample sale there typically will not be enough dressing rooms to go around to every bride at a sample sale. Be prepared to share!!
6) Be very picky about who you bring with you to the sale. Bringing more than one or two guests is not recommended. Bring a friend, mam, sis etc… that is honest and decisive. After all purchasing a dress at a sample sale is not a decision that you can sleep on! Bear in mind that sample sales can be extremely busy with several brides shopping at once and although we always try our best to make your experience special most boutiques simply will not be able to accommodate you and your entourage.
7) Sizing... We have a great relationship with an amazing seamstress and most of our dresses can be taken in or let out up to 2 sizes. So don't be put off by the sizes. Don't be offended by the sizes either and bear in mind that bridal sizes are smaller than those on the high street. Do try on the dress and ask us if it is possible to have it altered to your size we will be able to give you the advise you need.
8) As with any other bridal appointment wear good underwear. Pants and a bra in a nude or white colour will help you see the dresses better on. For the same reason be careful of panty lines they will show through the dresses and make it more difficult to see the fit clearly.
9) There are no refunds available on sample sale dresses. They are sold as seen and taken home on the day. This does not affect your statutory rights.
10) Our sample sales are always cash only events so do your research on our website and don't be afraid to contact us about prices. Its best to come prepared.
I hope this has helped! If you have any more questions please do let me know. You can see our sale dresses here. Happy Shopping xxx