As a bride to be, you’ve likely come across ads on Instagram or Facebook for your local bridal boutique’s big sample sale.
Everyone loves a deal, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting the same for your wedding dress – that’s just more wiggle room in the budget for cake pops, flower crowns, and party favors, right?
Let’s start with the basics, why do boutiques put sample gowns on sale? Often, it is because the gown is from a collection that is being discontinued by the designer, which means the boutique will not be able to order new gowns for brides.
Pro tip: If you find a sample gown you love, but really want it new. Ask the boutique to reach out to the designer and see if there is a gown in stock left in your size. You may not snag your dream dress at as much of a discount, but may be in luck with getting a new gown at a deal.
Other times, it’s the boutique’s way of making room for new lines or collections. To free up some gold hangers for the new beauties we plan to purchase at New York’s Bridal Market in October, Southern Protocol Bridal has two racks stocked with lovely sample gowns at up to 70% off. (Pssst, if you’d like to see these gowns for yourself, book your appointment here.)
Pro tip: Do a little Googling on when the bridal markets happen each year and mark your calendar – our boutique follows the fall and spring market in New York, for example. To make room for new beauties, many boutiques clean out some older collections a couple weeks before with sample sales, so you can stay ahead of the curve.
While shopping sample gowns, it’s important to keep in mind which alterations are relatively inexpensive, and those hidden pitfalls that will eat up any money you saved on your discount dress. Minor frays at the seams or a little foundation smudge on the neckline is a relatively cheap win to clean and fix, for example. However, a bad lipstick stain or prominent rip in intricate lace may mean a dress is doomed.
Pro tip: Keep in mind, sample sales don’t mean customizing your gown is off the table. If you have a vision, work with the boutique manager to see if a sample piece will give you the foundation to create your dream dress at a better price point. Never hurts to ask the question, and you may be surprised that the solution is more affordable than you think.
Every bride deserves to feel like a queen for her wedding day, but that doesn’t always demand paying top dollar for the dream dress. If you would like to see our lovely Designer Exclusives for yourself, we invite you to book your appointment with us online.
But hurry! These deals won’t last long.