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Let's Talk About... Our Top Tips for Buying Your Wedding Dress at a Sample Sale!

Welcome back to our weekly blog. This weekend we are hosting our Spring Sample Sale where all of our dresses will be €500 to €1,500. We have already had a few lovely brides say 'yes' to their dream dress earlier today! Our sample sales are very different to a regular bridal appointment so here's everything you need to know about attending one! Please note that every shop has a slightly different format so these rules may not apply to every sample sale you can attend.

What is a sample sale?

Usually when you are shopping for your wedding dress you try a sample of a particular style on and then the shop takes your measurements and orders a new dress in for you. When designers discontinue a line of dresses or notify a shop that they will soon be discontinuing particular styles, the shop will sell the sample dresses for a discount. As mentioned above, every shop has a different format for their sample sales. Some do their sample sales by private appointment only, some will host their sales off site at a hotel or other venue to allow their regular appointments to go on uninterrupted in store and some shops have their sample sales in store as ticketed events like we do. During our sample sales you can come at any time during the day that your ticket is registered for, pick the dresses you want to try and then wait for your turn in the fitting rooms along with the other brides attending. Our sale weekends are some of the most fun times of the year for us as there is a great buzz of activity in the shop with so many brides finding their dream dress.

I've never tried dresses before, should I go to a sample sale?

Sample sales are very busy environments that are best suited to brides who have tried wedding dresses before and know what they like and don't like. We generally don't recommend attending a sample sale if you have never tried dresses before as you will not receive the same level of attention and assistance is typically needed during your first ever outing to a bridal shop. If you have never tried dresses before, it is usually better to book a private appointment as you will have mush. ore time to try dresses on and your consultant will be able to talk you through all the different designers, silhouettes and styles and will be able to recommend dresses to suit your body type, venue and budget.

I might need some time to think about whether I want to buy the dress, can you hold it for me?

Make sure to come prepared to say yes to the dress on the day if you are attending any sample sale as there is limited stock and many brides in attendance. We only have one of each of the dresses and most of the designs are discontinued by the manufacturer by the time they become available for sample sale. Make sure you are prepared to take the dress home on the day as we do not have the storage facilities to store for dresses bought during sales. We provide every bride with a white, foldable, non-transparent dress bag to take the dress home in.

How many people can I bring?

It is advisable to bring a small entourage to any sample sale you attend. At our sales we allow a maximum of two guests per bride. This is to make sure that the shop doesn't get too crowded and to allow a steady flow of people into the store throughout the day. If you want to bring more people, please book a private appointment as you and your entourage will have the whole shop to yourselves and won't have to browse among all the other brides.

Do I need to book in advance?

Our sample sales are ticketed events so it is advisable to book in advance. Some tickets may be available on the door depending on how many are left after online sales have ended but it is better to prebook online to avoid disappointment

What sizes are the samples?

This varies widely between shops. In our store we have dresses from size 6UK-28UK so we do have dresses for the vast majority of brides. In many other shops the majority of samples are size 12-16 and some do not have any dresses below a size 10UK or above a 24UK so make sure to check if your size is available if you are attending a sample sale. Bear in mind that high street sizing is different to bridal sizing and it is advisable to try dresses that are a size or two up from your high street size.

How many dresses can I try?

We allow you to choose three dresses at a time to try on. If you haven't found the one in your first three dresses then you can pick three more out and rejoin the queue for the fitting room.

Will shoes and accessories be on sale too?

We have a selection of shoes, veils and hairpieces at all of our sample sales. This may not be the case in other stores. If you already have accessories picked already such as an heirloom veil or sentimental necklace it can be a good idea to bring them to see how they match with the dresses.

Do sample sale dresses need to be altered?

Almost every wedding dress needs some form of alteration. It's a good idea to budget about 200 to 300 euro for this. We do alterations in house and typically start 6-8 weeks before the wedding. Don't panic if you are a last minute bride as we may be able to start them a little sooner depending on how much work needs to be done on the dress.

How do I store my dress?

Keep your dress in the dress bag and keep it away from direct sunlight and damp environments as this will cause the dress to discolour. It is also advisable to keep the dress away from pets and children who may damage it.

Does my dress need to be cleaned before I start alterations?

Many sample dresses will need to be dry cleaned before the wedding day as they have been tried on many times in store. We do not provide dry cleaning in store but can recommend the services of Gardiner Street Dry Cleaners who are situated nearby. For maximum freshness on the wedding day, it is advisable to dry clean your dress after you have done the alterations as you will be trying it on multiple times during the alterations process and the dress will be handled a lot.

Some tickets are still available so if you haven't registered yet please do so as soon as possible. We look forward to helping every bride say yes to her dream dress at this weekends sale.

- Olwen 🤍

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