There are several ways of finding your wedding dresses for a great bargain. While you can always spend a fortune picking up a brand new gown, it isn't always necessary. For the budget-savvy bride, who wants a fabulous gown sans the hefty price, sample and clearance sales are your best friend. Here is a list of some important things to help you get the most out of your wedding dress shopping experience by choosing to buy it on sale.
1.What are sample sales and clearance sales? How are they different?
Every wedding boutique houses several hundreds of wedding dresses. As with any other shop, these cannot be retained for ever for two reasons: lack of space and changing demand. Wedding fashion, like fashion in general, is always evolving. New designs enter the market every season, and all the wedding boutiques have to carry the latest dresses that most brides come in asking for. With only so much space to house old stock, most bridal boutiques will host sales on a regular basis to sell the ones that belong to previous collections and make way for new dresses.
During sample sales, shops sell off the gowns that were used on the shop floor for trials by the brides who visited them. These will have little to no damage. For the simple reason that they've been out of their original packaging and tried on, you can snatch them at a bargain price, which will usually be several hundreds lesser than the original price.
Clearance sales are the other option. Here, the reason remains the same—getting older unsold stock out of the way to make space for new stock. However, these mermaid wedding dresses are untouched and in perfect condition. They will still be in the original form they were delivered to the store, and yet be sold at a huge discount. So, if you want a brand new, unused gown for your wedding day at the best price possible, you should consider a clearance sale.
2.Do I just turn up for a sample sale?
This depends on the boutique or shop that is hosting the sale. Your best bet is to call up in advance and find out for yourself. While some shops will simply allow you to walk in and look through what is available and make your choice, others let you do so only by appointment. Certain shops can be thickly crowded and you may have to battle your way through several other bridal parties who are there for the same reason. This reminds me of the Friends episode where Monica had her mind set on a wedding dress, and she decided to find it at a sample sale with her best friends in tow. They were few among the hundreds of other girls who were there to search for the perfect wedding dress at a bargain, and it was quite chaotic, to say the least. So much for a hilarious episode, but it is not too far from the truth. If you aren't up for all this adventure, it may be a good idea to stay away from the sale on the first day and instead visit on the second or third day. There may be fewer dresses, but you will still have enough to look at, all the same.
3.How can I prepare in advance?
Don't ever assume that you can walk in to a sample sale and just find a dress. No! You need to know what you want to get beforehand. When you attend the sale, you should already know your dress model number and size, or you will find yourself lost in the midst of hundreds of gowns. Brides who make their way to sales usually visit a bridal salon in advance, try on the samples in store and find out exactly what they want before they go sample shopping. At Best for Bride, our clearance section has hundreds of gowns, but it won't be easy finding the right fit just by looking at it. Our suggestion is to first fix your appointment with our store, come in and try on the dress and find what size will fit you. Then attend the clearance sale with this detail in hand. This will allow you to pick the right dress with minimum hassle, while making use of the sale.
Before you even decide to attend a sale, make sure you know what dresses and in which sizes will be on sale. Don't ever expect to find the current year and season's models, they will still be on the rack. You will more likely find the previous year's collections on sale. You can always check with the store for information, sometimes they may be able to tell you which designer collections and sizes that are on sale. So, you needn't go all the way and return empty-handed.
4.Is it a good idea to attend the sample sale all by myself?
This depends on how good you are at finding what you want. Remember that this is a dress that needn't be too easy to spot among the hundreds of other white a-line wedding dresses there. There may not be too many pieces in the same size either, and you never know if there are other brides who are on the search for precisely the same dress in the same size. It would be much better if you get your friends to pitch in to help. Pull in one or two bridesmaids and the combined effort will most likely help you find the dress faster. Before you go to the store, provide specific instructions on how the dress looks and how they can make out if it is the one. Also show them pictures of the dress that are available on the internet, so they know exactly how it looks. If possible print out the pictures, so they can refer to it when they are at the sale.
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