Wedding dress boutiques are just like any other clothing retailer – they have end of season sales! Buying a wedding dress in the sale means that you can bag yourself an absolute bargain, as gowns are usually discounted by hundreds of pounds!
What you should know about bridal gown sales.
The gowns that are on sale will either be ex-samples or cancelled orders; they are not second hand, faulty or undesirable gowns. Those that have been used as samples might show signs of wear and tear such as loose beads or sticky zips and maybe the occasional stain, but these things are fixable and the discounted price means even after repairing the problems you’ll still have saved yourself a fortune. You really can find a great deal at these sales; we’ve recently reduced a gorgeous full skirted designer gown from just over £1500 to £650!
Know that sales usually only last a day or two so get in there quick to have the widest choice.
There’ll only be a proportion of the shops stock in the sale, and certainly none of the brand new gowns.
Dresses will be one of a kind. Very rarely will a bridal boutique keep stock of more than one of each style.
A sale price will not include things like storage, steaming, cleaning, repairs or alterations. So make sure to factor in these costs and practicalities.
Be prepared to alter a dress to make it how you want. If you’ve fallen for a dress that you wish had straps, don’t despair as these can be added to virtually any dress.
If the dress you like doesn’t fit bear in mind that they can be altered and re-sized. Most gowns can go up two sizes and down by four or five.
Dry-cleaning your purchase will be your responsibility. This can cost from £50 to £100 on average. However, in my experience very few bridal gowns require much more than a gentle spot clean.
Know your rights – you aren’t automatically entitled a refund if you change your mind, only if the item is faulty. But if you buy the dress at a discount having seen the faults and accepted them then you can’t later request a refund based on them. Most of the time the reduced price reflects any wear and tear or damage to the gown, so before you hand over the cash take a few minutes to cast your eye over the gown to inspect it for any problems.
Top tips for shopping in a wedding dress sale!
Be prepared to buy on the day. You’ll be expected to pay in full and take the dress away with you.
Make sure you’ve tried on bridal gowns before and know what you are looking for. If you’ve identified a silhouette that you prefer then limit the trying on to just these types of gowns. Your trying on time is likely to be limited on a sale day, so don’t waste any of it by trying on dresses that are not the style you want or are more money than you are prepared to spend.
Get there early. There is no shame in being first in the queue! It might even be worth asking the shop in question if they have any preview appointments available. Not all shops do this, but some will have the sale stock out and ready a few hours before opening or even the day before.
Bring an empty, clean, double duvet cover. Not all stores provide gown covers. Some include them free of charge, and others might charge around £15 for one, but if you are trying to stick to a budget an empty duvet cover makes the perfect gown transport.
Some sales require communal changes, so don’t be alarmed if the room you are ushered into is already filled with other brides to be. It’s a good idea to wear undies that you are happy to be seen in.
Bring the key decision makers with you. If you absolutely must have your mum with you when you choose your wedding dress then bring her with you, and if she can’t make it, make sure you have her permission to go ahead and purchase without her.
Bear in mind that most gowns will need alteration of some kind to make it fit. For the vast majority of girls I see they need either a nip at the bust or waist and a hem. So try to see past an imperfect fit and imagine how perfect it could be with the help of a seamstress.
Be prepared to lose the dress you love if you walk away. It breaks my heart when I see girls return to the shop the day after sale day to buy the dress they love, as all too often it sold to one of the brides who visited after her. If you love it buy it, unless you’re prepared to lose it. I’ve often heard girls comment that if it’s meant for her it’ll still be there when she comes back – don’t fall into this trap unless you’re ready some sobbing.