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Everything You Need to Know About Bridal Sample Sales: The Most Commonly Asked Questions by Brides

Shopping for a wedding gown can be a minefield in and of itself - let alone at a sample sale! If you're looking for a wedding gown and want to attend a sample sale, you'll need to do your research first, ladies! If you arrive unprepared, you will almost certainly leave empty-handed. A bummer we certainly don’t want at hand!

Throughout the year, several bridal salons hold sample sales. It's an excellent way for them to reduce inventory and make space for new gowns. Furthermore, it's also a fantastic way for a bride to save money on her dream designer gown! Sounds about dreamy, doesn’t it?

To help you get ready, we've put together a list of the most commonly asked questions by brides! Hang on, ladies! We’ve got your back!

So, what exactly is wedding dress sample sales?

The term "sample" in the bridal gown industry refers to each wedding gown that is currently hanging on the showroom racks. Each sample wedding gown represents the designs, colors, quality, and structure of a designer's lines and seasons that are currently available. These are the wedding gown samples that brides try on when looking for their wedding gowns.

Designers introduce new wedding gown designs every year in order to keep up with fashion trends. As a result, bridal salons stock these designs in their stores to keep their bridal gown collections up to date.

There is no store big enough to house all of the new and greatest beauties, as well as the past few years' favorites, so it’s always a good idea to try a sample sale!

Who should I bring shopping for a wedding dress?

It's an amazing feeling to try on your wedding gown for the first time and feel it's "the one." However, making the final decision is a huge step, and many brides find it difficult to make a confident decision when there are so many divergent viewpoints in the room.

The people you want to accompany you on your wedding dress shopping trip will make or break the experience. To prevent potential brides from having a nervous breakdown, we've compiled some tips on how to choose who to bring with them while wedding dress shopping.

  • Amiable Family Member

You want someone to help you fasten your buttons, not click them, at a dress appointment. It is beneficial to bring someone who is calming and cautious with their words—who is blunt but in a caring manner.

  • Fashionista Bridesmaid

If you're easily agitated, limit your invitations to three to five people. However, if you want to marry during this pandemic, you should take precautions. We strongly advise against bringing a large group.

You can bring along one of your most chill party members who you think has a strong eye for fashion but can help you choose your wedding dress based on your preference.


What are the Pros & Cons of purchasing a Sample/off-the-rack wedding dress?

There are many advantages and disadvantages to purchasing a wedding gown at a sample sale, but the most important thing to note is that you said yes, and now you need a gown, and it should be the gown of your dreams, of course, duh!

When making the decision you should look at the big picture, which is why we’re here - to help you visualize that BIG PICTURE. :)


1. Budget-friendly

Wedding gowns are pricey and for good reason. They feature delicate embroidery, hand-sewn flowers, one-of-a-kind laces, thick layers of silk, and numerous appliques of crystals, pearls, and other embellishments. A sample sale is your best bet for getting a custom-made haute couture gown for a fraction of the original cost.

2. Hassle-free!

Although standard boutique appointments are better, the journey to getting the dress is long and stressful. The second and third fittings, which include modifications and alterations, cost more money and time than you would think!

Sample sale dresses are ready to wear and need no additional preparation. Simply come in, fit it, and take it!

3. Saves you precious time

Is it a last-minute engagement or a short engagement?

In our current situation (Coronavirus), where all could change at any moment and be put under quarantine or lockdown, the best benefit you can have is to walk out with your dress in hand, safe and comfortable when or how you tie the knot later.


1. Cost of Alterations

While you might be able to find a dress for a reasonable price, keep in mind that the cost of alterations is never reduced, and since this wedding gown was not designed to suit your body, it will almost certainly need more alterations than is normal. It's exciting to find a designer wedding gown for under $1,000, but alterations could cost the same (or more!).

2. Not as good as new

Don’t we all love a fit that is actually in good condition? Right???

One of the lightest downsides to going for a sample sale of dresses is that they are not guaranteed to be in flawless condition. Which is par for the course, if we’re being honest! You could solve this little dilemma by making peace with yourself that what you’re going to get at the sample sale is as perfect as you could possibly get - this view usually works if you really don’t have enough time to go wedding dress shopping!

Or… if it really bugs you to the core, you can make a few refinements to your dress by bringing it to your trusted tailor - we’re talking about the ones you entrust your soul with! While alterations can be costly, as per the previous item, you can get lucrative refinements at a reasonable charge - depends on what needs to be done.

But just to recap - sample sale dresses are definitely not new. Hope we made it crystal clear!

But hey, we do not necessarily mean that all sample sale dresses need a touch-up, okay? There are tons of these pretty little things that are just perfect the way they are! Keep an eye out!

Are sample sales worth it?

Personally? We think off-the-rack sales are indeed worth it!

Bear in mind, though, that sample sale shopping is not a traditional bridal experience due to the steep discounts. A sample sale purchase does not include a quotation for alterations (due to restrictions with time).

It can be stressful, but finding your dream gown for a fraction of the price is like winning the wedding lottery! Consider this a step in the wedding gown shopping process; it's just one of a few appointments you'll have, and you never know, if the fairy of dresses permits, you might find the one!

Bring an open mind, your gear, and be prepared to shop ‘til you drop! (Or in this case, ‘til you find the best one!)

Should I really get one?

Are you able to make fast decisions? Since each dress is limited to one, fast decision-making is essential since sample sale dresses cannot be held.

Are you between the sizes of 4 and 10 on the street and of average height? Many of these dresses will need to be changed, but they will work better in these sizes. Is there a dress that you simply must try on or own? The sample sale has a variety of lovely dresses, making it ideal for those who aren't looking for something custom-made (all dresses are still unique, though).

What should I anticipate on sample sales?

1. The ‘first-come-first-served’ policy applies

Off-the-rack appointments are an hour long and run on a first-come, first-served basis, unlike your typical bridal appointment. Brides have 60 minutes to browse at gowns, pull them on, and try them on.

Holds are unable to be made and will not be made. So if you have the extra time, you can try searching on the internet to know what kind of dress you prefer. It will be a great help to save you time in choosing your gown. Right?

And… if you need more time, boutiques are more than happy to schedule a second appointment! How’s that?

2. Dress Appropriately

Make sure you have the right tools i.e the appropriate attire so you can get the best out of your experience!

Since sample sales are final sales, you can see your dress as close to perfect as possible. Make sure you're dressed suitably (strapless bra, Spanx, nude panties, etc.) and that you're wearing suitable footwear. It is much easier if you wear something that you can easily put any garments over!

On the other hand, the shoes don’t have to be the same shoes you'll be wearing on your wedding day, but they should be identical (heel height, closed or open-toe). Remember, a hem can still be shortened, but Cinderella's fairy godmother will be needed to lengthen it!

3. Maintain your composure and go shopping!

The most important rule to remember during Sample Sale is to maintain your composure. Of course, you want to find the perfect gown at the perfect price, but don't forget to have fun while you're doing it!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Now, onto the crucial questions that have been probably sitting in your head for quite some time now! Let’s see what we can do. ;)

1. Has the dress been worn by other brides?

Nope. The dresses are shop samples!

2. Are fittings, repairs, and dry cleaning included when purchasing?

Apparently, no. Sample sale dresses are sold as seen. But you will definitely get your money’s worth, for sure!

3. Are the dresses brand new?

Nope! They are used as store samples. :)

4. Can the dress be altered?

As we mentioned a few paragraphs ago, alterations are possible BUT they come at a cost. You can make your dress smaller and adjust it to make it a little larger, etc. sometimes defects cannot be avoided during sample sales, but they’re normally fixable. So yep, no sweats at all!

5. What are the usual sizes of dresses?

The sizes range from US6-10. But keep in mind that you can definitely make some changes to fit you perfectly! :)

6. Can you keep/hold a particular sample sale dress for me if I happen to need more time to decide?

Unfortunately, sample sale dresses are sold briskly! If you have set your eyes and heart onto a certain dress, you must get it immediately as these dresses can’t be kept from anyone or for one person. It’s a bummer, but that’s when you know how valuable these dresses are!

7. Can you give me a price range? And what are the payment options?

Good question! The price ranges from around $698-$2094 and there is only one payment option: CASH in full upon purchase.

Last Hurrah!

When it comes to shopping for sample sales, we can offer the most valuable advice to keep an open mind when weighing your choices! Gowns will look completely different on you than they will on the hanger, so don't be afraid to put one on that isn't in the package!

Have a good time doing it, best of luck, and may the sample sale odds still be on your side!

While you’re here, let us help you with your dream wedding gown - click the button below to set an appointment or just talk about anything under the sun! Don’t worry, we’re friendly!;)


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