Wedding Dresses/Bride Fashion

Shopping Sample Sale Wedding Dresses? Here’s What You Should Know

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If you’re shopping for a wedding dress or following any of your favorite wedding dress designers, I’m sure you’ve seen the words “sample sale.” But what is a sample wedding dress? And why do sample wedding gowns come along with a discounted price tag?

Shopping for discount wedding dresses doesn’t need to be a discount experience. Avoid making mistakes during your wedding dress purchase and find the best sale wedding dress for your wedding with today’s effortless guide to snagging the best discount on your gown.

To jumpstart your sample wedding dress experience, we’re featuring EWedded and their selection of discounted designer wedding dresses. EWedded is an online marketplace for independent retailers and brands to responsibly sell their inventory. This includes excess wedding dresses, sample wedding gowns, and discontinued dresses all in good to excellent condition.

Here at BM, we’re forever encouraging sustainable wedding practices for couples. EWedded began as a startup, driven by a purpose to make a positive impact in the world. Their online platform provides a more sustainable approach for shops to sell these gowns, and for brides to find their dream wedding dress! This platform for buying and selling provides an opportunity for brands to eliminate wasteful practices and allows for accessibility to luxury gowns that may be otherwise out of budget for brides.

If you or a bride you know is shopping for a sample wedding dress, a sale wedding dress, or looking for the best designer discount on a gown, then here’s what you need to know before saying yes!


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What Are Sample Wedding Dresses?

In short, sample wedding gowns are dresses that are produced to be used as example dresses. These gowns are used in photoshoots for campaigns whenever a designer releases a new collection. Bridal shops order sample gowns, sometimes in a few sizes, for their customers to try on before a bride orders their official wedding dress. Sometimes, sample wedding gowns are in pristine condition, but have an issue with their design. For example, maybe a sample dress was ordered in the wrong lining color or didn’t have the proper customization for a client. Sample wedding dresses may be tried on by a few brides or by many. It truly depends on the journey that specific dress has had. Luckily, places like EWedded disclose the dress condition on their site, as well as where the gown was previously.


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Why Do Designers & Bridal Salons Sell Sample Gowns

One of the main reasons bridal salons sell sample gowns is to make room for new inventory for the newest season. Bridal fashion generally has two seasons, spring and fall. At these times of year, shops need to make space for the new dresses they’ve ordered, often having their own sample sales. Lucky for you, they also sell those dresses to EWedded, making them accessible to brides worldwide. Bridal salons also sell discontinued styles, which are dresses that designers no longer produce. A bridal shop can no longer order discontinued styles for brides, so that sample gown, no matter how new or beloved, must be sold. Designers also sell sample gowns, anything from their fashion show pieces to showroom dresses. They continuously create new styles, with the hopes that the new collections will be a success! That means dresses from previous years have to go.


7 Reasons Why a Sample Wedding Dress Might Be Perfect for You:

  1. You have a shorter timeline before your wedding date.
  2. You have champagne taste, and a smaller budget.
  3. Your dream wedding dress style has been discontinued, so you have to find it preloved or resold.
  4. You have a favorite designer, but their new gowns are out of your price range.
  5. You want to eliminate waste from further production and shipping processes.
  6. You want to save money from your wedding dress to go toward other wedding details, or your honeymoon.
  7. You plan on wearing multiple gowns for your wedding day.
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How Much Are Sample Gowns Discounted?

This may vary based on the gown’s quality, desirability, the designer, and how current or trending that style is. Bridal shops may discount sample dresses from about 20 to 50 percent off. Sites like EWedded give designer gowns a discount from about 50 – 80 percent off the original retail price.


What Sizes Are Sample Wedding Gowns?

Just because a gown is a sample doesn’t mean it’s only available in smaller, runway sizes. Bridal shops carry a full range of dresses and often order a few sizes for their store samples. While each shop may have its own specific selection of dresses, focusing more on mid sizes, or plus sizes, the EWedded site will have a selection of everything from 00 – 26, letting you search specifically by size!

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What You Should Know About Wedding Dress Sizing

Bridal sizing does not reflect the same measurements or size number as the clothing in your closet. Yes, that means even if you are a street size ten, your bridal dress size is going to vary drastically. We have two suggestions for you to make the most accurate purchase without trying on a dress. First, consult the individual designer’s size chart. Most modern dress designers include a size chart on their website. Sites like EWedded also include the dress measurements for each gown listed. To find your best size, you will want to choose the dress that most accurately matches your measurements, accommodating your largest measurement. That means if your bust and waist measurements fall into a size ten, but your hip measurement is landing you into a size twelve, you will most likely want to size up to accommodate your largest measurement and order the size twelve.

For an easy guide, consult EWedded’s quick visual guide on how to get the perfect measurements.


How Many Sizes Different from Your Street Size Can You Buy & Alter?

A good rule of thumb is to order within two dress sizes larger than your measurements. And if at all possible, we strongly discourage you from ordering a dress that is too small. There are a few exceptions that might work for ordering a dress that is measuring just a smidge small. The dress is super stretchy (pieces like Grace Loves Lace or other soft lace gowns.) The dress will fit in the hips and is really close to fitting in the waist/back/bust. Sometimes, a seamstress can construct a corset-style back, depending on the dress and your desired amount of support and structure.

An excellent stylist tip that I still use to this day – contact a seamstress before you buy. If you are unsure about alterations, send a picture of the dress you are interested in, with an explanation of what you will need taken in or adjusted. An experienced seamstress should be able to visualize a fabric and determine if it’s possible to alter it in the way you will need without compromising the style. And very often, seamstresses have worked with certain dresses or designers many times before!


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What to Expect with Alterations

Count on spending a few hundred dollars for alterations. This means that even standard alterations like hemming the gown and adjusting the straps can range in price depending on the fabric, lace, beading, and design of your gown. If you are wanting to add detailed customizations, add sleeves, remove layers, etc. that is all an added cost.

Stylist Tip: not sure where to find a seamstress? Contact your closest bridal shop and ask for their list of recommended seamstresses! Often, salons do not use in-house alterations and can point you in a good direction.


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How to Customize a Sample Wedding Dress

Here are many customizations I’ve seen work out well for brides wanting to personalize a sample wedding dress:

  • Add a belt, or create a belt from leftover fabric from the dress
  • Removing or shortening sleeves
  • Design an off-the-shoulder moment with leftover lace or tulle
  • Shortening a dress length or reducing a train
  • Adding extra layers of tulle underneath for a fuller skirt
  • Add a lace topper to a sleeveless or spaghetti strap wedding dress
  • Create a slit to a gown for a sexier moment (and to show off some killer heels!)
  • Add additional applique or lace for more coverage across the bustline
  • Utilize leftover applique and laces to add to your veil for a perfect match


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The Ease of Shopping Online for Sample Gowns

Have we all seen the Friends episode where Monica fights for her wedding dress at a sample sale? It’s a dramatic example, but traditional in-person sample sales do tend to be shorter appointments, with more brides, less space to think, and sometimes, even a lack of fitting rooms. Shopping online for a sample dress provides you the opportunity to go over the details at your own pace. You can reach out to your friends, go over the sizing, message your seamstress, or consult your budget before making a decision. Shopping at a site like EWedded is going to provide a much more relaxed approach to finding that amazing designer dress for a dream price tag. To better serve you and for added peace of mind, EWedded will be rolling out a try-before-you-buy program by the end of the year. This service will allow you to try on one to two gowns for a small fee before you make a full-price financial commitment.

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Essential Info

To start shopping for your sample wedding dress at a discount visit the EWedded website.

EWedded sells dreamy designer wedding gowns and other wedding essentials for affordable prices.

Be sure to follow EWedded on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to see their newest arrivals and for more wedding inspiration.

This post is made in partnership with EWedded.

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