A bridal sample sale is definitely a great way for savvy brides to get the most from their money when buying their wedding dress. Sample sale wedding dresses are those which have been used for fashion shows, photo shoots, window displays and ex-shop samples.

Beautiful wedding dress by Suzanne Neville

Here’s a list of pointers which will help you get the most when buying a wedding dress from a bridal sample sale…

Aim High

Go to a top quality boutique who will have designers you could not normally afford. These are the real bargains where discounts on high quality, individually cut gowns in luxurious fabrics really are a steal. The better the dress, the better the overall look of the wedding.

Dress Condition

There are three key things to look for to gauge the condition of a sample wedding dress:

  1. Look underneath the arms for discolouration.
  2. Lift up the hem and look underneath for dirt or the level of dirt. It may not be 100% clean, but this will indicate how much wear it’s had.
  3. Check for marks and pulls – some marks it will be possible to remove and you can trim lace pulls. Remember that tiny marks or pulls will go unnoticed in the overall picture of how you look. Your guests won’t be holding a magnifying glass up to you!

The Fit

If a sample dress fits, or nearly fits, grab it! Don’t hesitate as fit is SO important. Generally, if a dress needs more than one and a half sizes of readjustment think carefully. Does the boutique have the fitting expertise to keep the proportions right?

Be Ready to Buy

Most importantly, make sure you have finances in place so that should you find your dream dress you are in a position to purchase it immediately. Shops will not keep it for you. Buying from a bridal sample sale is a first come, first served, first pay system.


Once you’ve purchased your gown, be sure to allow time for fittings and alterations. Don’t leave it to the last minute as these alterations take time and skill – they should not be rushed. Also, don’t forget to take your bridal shoes and underwear to each fitting.

Guest post by Carina Baverstock of Carina Baverstock Couture

Image of Beautiful wedding dress by Suzanne Neville

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