First things first - What is a sample wedding dress?
Basically - A sample dress is a wedding gown that isn’t made to order but instead is taken off the rack. Most samples are exactly that, store samples that brides try on during their appointments as they search for ‘The One’ (Sometimes they can be brand new dresses so keep your eyes peeled for those hidden gems!)
Not all Brides consider purchasing a sample gown but there's so many benefits to share with you that we think we can convert every savvy shopper.
Buying off the peg saves you heaps and heaps of time so instead of waiting up to 6 months (maybe even longer!) you can take away your dress on the day. No anxious waiting, no pre-wedding nightmares that you’ll hate your dress when 6 months rolls around – It’s all done and dusted in an afternoon.
This is perfect for brides getting hitched at short notice – After all, if a laid back affair in the next few months is right up your street then go for it! We don't think any Bridechilla’s out there should sacrifice their dream dress, right?
Sample dresses are often 30-70% off standard RRP (sometimes even less) These are amazing discounts on a designer wedding dresses – Think the craftsmanship and details of high end designer but at retail prices.
Perfect for Brides on a budget that don’t want to sacrifice their ‘princess for a day’ dreams or even just savvy Brides that know with a huge 50% saving on their dress they can buy an awesome pair of shoes (and still have money to spare!)
Save time and money but don’t sacrifice the once in a lifetime experience of boutique shopping! There’s nothing quite like your own dedicated consultant fawning over the details of your day or an exclusive shopping event with a glass of bubbly in hand.
Low prices shouldn’t mean low expectations when it comes to customer service in store. Sample Sale exclusive days might have different rules in place (shorter appointments, other Brides shopping) but nonetheless it will be a friendly experience with an expert that will make you feel a million dollars (even if you’re only paying 300!)
Sample Dress Checklist:
The benefits of a sample dress are amazing but it’s important to come prepared when you shop too.
Here’s a list of our best advice:
- Sample appointments are for serious brides, brides that are ready to buy a dress, if you still don't know what you're looking for, haven't been shopping before and want to visit more boutiques then this isn't the appointment for you - you'll feel rushed and the consultant won't be able to properly assess what you're looking for in such a short space of time, come along when you're ready to say yes!
- Ask the boutique in advance what dresses will be in the sale, maybe there’s a page on their website you can look at or perhaps some posts on social media (or failing that just take a peek at their normal collection so you know what to expect and whether it’s your style.) Sale specific appointments won’t be a long so it’s likely you can only try 2/3 dresses on in your time slot so make it dresses that count.
- It’s important to go for a dress that fits well or is nearly there – Generally we suggest a gown can be sized down 2 dress sizes and up by 1 dress size but this does vary according to designer, fabric and silhouette and of course depending on your body shape and proportions. Consider how soon your wedding is, it’s not wise to buy a dress two sizes two big if your wedding is 3 weeks away. With that in mind only try on samples in your dress size or 1 up/ 1 down to avoid disappointment.
- Wear and tear is reflected in the price so check your dress before you commit. Sometimes the discount is due to the gown becoming discontinued or the boutique is introducing different designers and so on but always take a look over the dress before you say yes. Much of the damage will be cosmetic and something a seamstress could rectify – Think loose beading etc. But remember in most boutiques sample dresses are sold as seen and non-refundable so make sure you’re happy with it before you buy.
- Sample dresses are always in a standard UK dress size so it's highly likely you'll need some alterations to make it fit perfectly. Ask the boutique if they can recommend a seamstress and make sure you leave lots of time for alterations, just in case.
- Be prepared to part with your cash because sample dresses will need to be paid in full up front and even though you’ll be making an amazing saving you still could be parting with several hundred or even thousands of pounds so come into store with the attitude that if you find your dress today you can pay for it there and then.
- With that in mind remember that there’s only one style of each dress available so if you love it but aren’t feeling ready to say yes another lucky bride could have snapped it up by the time you're 100% ready. Stores won't hold dresses during a sample sale.
- Sample sales are BUSY! So don't be too upset if you can't being along lots of guests to your appointment. There's limited time and space so all your opinionated bridesmaids tagging along might make choosing your special dress even more difficult.
And last but not least - Have Fun! Finding your wedding dress should be the most exciting part of your wedding plans so enjoy Ladies and remember, we're having our biggest ever Spring sale on Saturday 25th May (every dress is included!) so if you want to make some amazing savings on Sophia Tolli, Kenneth Winston, Ella Rosa, Pronovias and Sweetheart dresses keep your eyes peeled for appointment slots - We can't wait to meet you.