Top Tips To Success At A Bridal Sample Sale

Sample sale zeerailed

Its that time of year again when all of the wedding dress boutiques have their new collections in and are trying to make space on their rails. In other words you are going to see quite a few sample sales taking place over the next while. So here are my top tips to success at a bridal sample sale.


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. These are the dresses that brides to be have been trying on. You are literally buying the sample dress off the rail as is, in that size and that condition. The dress will most likely not be in perfect condition, it will most definitely 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 usually sold at seriously reduced prices, usually 50%-70% off!! If you are a bride on a budget that sould definitely be incentive enough to give it a go! So if you do decide its for you here are my top tips to help you find your dream dress at a sample sale for a rock bottom price!!




1) Do not attend a sample sale if it is your first shopping trip for your wedding dress! It simply will not be successful. 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. The savvy sample sale customer will have been looking for a dress for a few weeks prior. They will have seen what they like and realise they can’t afford the full price. A sample sale is good for that bride. That said, it is important to be openminded at a sample sale as the selection will be a surprise!

2) Find out if the sample sales are by appointment or if they are open days with a first come first served policy. Either way get in early to get the best choice!!

3) Bring images of the dresses you’re interested in, screenshots are best. This speeds up the process and means you can grab the dresses before anyone else.

4) Be aware of your expectations of the level of service you will receive at a sample sale. Don’t confuse this with a real bridal appointment. Since the gowns are so deeply discounted you can’t expect the level of service you would typically receive at a normal bridal appointment.

5) 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 guest is not reccommended. Bring a friend, mam, sis etc… that is honest and decisive. Afterall purchasing a dress at a sample sale is not a decision that you can sleep on! Brides who bring an entourage to a sample sale, thinking each friend can grab several dresses at a time, end up being frustrated and disappointed, as this will not be the case. It is not like the movies or that episode in Friends when Monica goes shopping for her wedding dress whistles and all! Bear in mind that sample sales can be extremely busy and most boutiques simply will not be able to accomodate you and your entourage.

7) If the dress is too small be realistic!! Will you actually loose weight to fit it? It is better to have it a little big as you can have it taken in to fit you. Most boutiques will either have an in house alterations service or a good relationship with amazing dressmakers who are more than capable of this. So don’t be put off by the sizes. Dont be offended by the sizes either and bear in mind that bridal sizes are smaller than those on the high street.

8) Once again be aware that these dresses are show room samples and may not be in perfect condition. For example they may need to be dry cleaned, have buttons or zips replaced, beading may be loose or missing and they may have small tears or pulls.

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 statutary rights.


Feel free to leave questions in the comments! I hope I have been of some help! HAPPY SHOPPING!!


by Zita Kelly

Fashion stylist, writer and blogger






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