8 Expert Tips for a Wedding Dress Sample Sale


Monica Wang for Kinsley James

Shopping for a wedding dress can be an exciting (and occasionally stressful) time while you’re simultaneously planning a wedding. And if you’re trying to keep your bridal budget to a minimum, there’s no better way to do that than by buying your dress at a wedding dress sample sale. However, for an event where you and plenty of other brides to be will be on the hunt for the dress, you’re going to need some tips.

Bridal sample sales can be exhilarating—finding a dress for a major deal? Yes, please. But they can also be intimidating. How can you navigate through the layers of lace and tulle when there are plenty of others going after the same dress?

To get you prepare for the occasion, we asked Amber Rigney and Dawn Silva-Rigney of Kinsley James to give their best expert tips to know before you go to a sample sale for your gown. Once you have these, you’ll have the best experience and you’ll save some money too. See what they are now.

Know What You're Getting Into

“Sample sales are very different from normal dress appointments; this is for experienced shoppers looking to buy that day,” Dawn says. Make sure you check out the store’s website to get familiar with the designers and styles beforehand and be prepared to know what shape and style you are going for.

Be Early

According to Amber, they will not offer holds on these gowns, so being early for the sale is recommended in order to get the best options.

Make Decisions Ahead of Time

James says that sample sales are fast moving. Most places only allow 40 minutes for each bride, so make sure you’re prepared to be extremely decisive on what you like and dislike.

Limit Your Guests

“We recommend bringing only one to two guests who are most helpful in making your decision. Since it’s such a fast process, there’s no time to show off the dress to multiple guests and ask for various opinions,” she shares. “It’ll be less hectic with fewer people to worry about.”

Make an Appointment for More Options

Only sample sale gowns will be on display, so the two bridal experts suggest making an appointment beforehand to try on all the gowns the brand carries.

Gowns Are Sold As Is

Gowns are sold as is and alterations are not included; however, most places will give you information on local seamstresses and cleaners. Amber informs, “The gown will most likely need to be altered and professionally cleaned before your wedding, but don’t worry, as your overall savings will still be sky-high!”

Ask a Stylist to Help Navigate

According to Dawn, Sample sale gowns are floor models that range from a bridal size 4 to 18. “Keep in mind that it’s harder and more expensive to add material to a dress (length or width) than it is to take it away. This is something that a stylist will help you decide throughout the process.”

Be Ready to Buy

The bridal experts say, “This is the only chance you’ll have to get this type of a deal on a gown. Payments will need to be made in full at time of purchase, and then the dress will be yours.” Check what forms of payment are accepted by the store before going in, as oftentimes checks are not valid.

Now check out our favorite bridal gowns on the market to get an idea of what you’ll be looking for at that upcoming sample sale.

A jumpsuit for the unconventional bride.

Available in sizes 10 to 20.

We certainly can’t complain about this price.

Available in sizes 0 to 12.

This dress is too pretty.

Available in sizes 12 to 24.

So chic.

Available in sizes 0 to 12.

This will look so good as you walk down the aisle.

Available in sizes XS to L.

You deserve to feel like royalty on your wedding day.

Available in sizes 0 to 22.

For the minimalist bride.

Available in sizes P to L.

This is so pretty.

Available in sizes FR 34 to FR 44.

Feathers are big in bridal wear this season.

Available in sizes 0 to 16.

If you love texture, this dress is for you.

Available in sizes 0 to 12.

Monique Lhuillier always has the most breathtaking bridal gowns.

Available in sizes 0 to 12.

If you don’t want to wear a traditional white gown, try a pink blush take instead.

Available in sizes UK 4 to UK 16.

There’s nothing quite as classic as an Oscar de la Renta gown.

Available in sizes 0 to 8.

Wait until you see the back detail.

Available in sizes 0 to 12.

We love these romantic ruffles.

Available in sizes UK 6 to UK 14.

This is not your average wedding dress.

Available in sizes IT 36 to IT 48.

The draping of this fabric is everything.

Available in sizes 16 to 24.

For the bride who loves lace.

Available in sizes 00 to 24.

Whether you choose to get your dress from a wedding dress sample sale or prefer to have a more personalized experience with an appointment, these tips will help you get one step closer to finding the dress that was made for you.