So here it is. Insider tips from a former bridal shop employee and a recent sample sale survivor on how to work a bridal gown sample sale and find your dream dress for a steal!
We were inspired by the tales from our summer intern, Ashley, about her experience at the recent sample sale at Hitched and thought we would share her insights as well as real insider tips from one of our assistants, Alison, who also used to work at a bridal salon. Oh, Ashley did find a gorgeous dress for about half off and had fun doing it so sample sales can be worth the effort.
It must be said that the sample sale at Hitched is a civilized and orderly affair (they even had a DJ to make it more fun!) but some sample sales are wild, free-for-alls. Know your temperament and tolerance before you go.
1) Get there early. There will probably be a line out the door before the store opens.
2) Wear underwear. Nice underwear. You will most likely be changing in communal dressing rooms or in an open room with everyone. This is not the time for modesty nor is it the time to go commando.
3) Make friends/be nice to the sales staff. If a girl gives up a dress that you've been eying, they can potentially bring it to you, or point you to dresses similar to the one you like.
4) Be nice to other brides. Pushing and shoving really doesn't do you any good. If you make friends with other girls, you can exchange dresses that you don't like and help each other out. Being a bridezilla is so five minutes ago.
5) Follow the rules.
6) Remember that a dress is a whole lot easier to take in than let out. That said, dresses with lots of embellishment or complicated construction will be harder to tailor. Think about how much work will need to be done to the dress to make it fit properly.
7) If this is an all-day affair, bring water. Eat before you go in case it is hot and crowded. Fainting is no good.
8) Look over every inch of the dress before you buy so you know what you're paying for.
9) Make sure you have the proper payment method. Check before you go.
10) Bring someone (mom or a bridesmaid) to help and keep you company. This may be a good time to bring your most agile bridesmaids.
Hope this helps. Good luck and good (dress) hunting!