Sample Wedding Gown Shopping 101

What does it mean to buy a sample wedding gown?

Woman Shopping Sample Wedding Gowns
Sample wedding dresses are a great way for a bride on a budget to get a fabulous, designer-made gown at an affordable price.

Here at VOWS we specialize in sample and overstock wedding gowns. We call ourselves a bridal outlet and we say that many of our dresses are “off the rack”. All of these terms can get confusing, especially if you aren’t the most savvy shopper or don’t enjoy fashion. We’re here to explain today what a sample wedding gown is and why we’re able to offer such great deals on our gowns.

Sample wedding gowns are different than overstock or consignment wedding gowns. In fact, they are a category all their own. Sample gowns came to be as designers tried to cater to clientele and boutiques through what they called, “a trunk show”. Coined from the idea that a sales representative would literally come to a store, convention or event with a trunk full of dresses from the designers latest collections and women could try on or “sample” the dresses. Now the process is a little more refined and while some designers still have very traditional trunk shows, bridal salons have more access as well. Top notch bridal salons can order samples directly from the designer in order to showcase the latest collections. This is why many bridal salons only carry a few actual dresses on their racks and they usually only have one of each kind of dress. They want to be able to show brides a, “living catalogue” of their wares. They typically order samples of their favorite or whatever dresses they think will sell best to their clientele. They may order as many as ten or as few as two or three dresses from each collection and they would display the dresses in their store. Sample sizes tend to be in the eight to ten range because they want to choose samples that are going to best represent their clientele and that is the most common size range. Brides can come in and try on the dresses. If they don’t fit, staff may pin the dresses or add extra fabric to demonstrate how the dress might look. If a bride likes it, she can order the sample from the designer via the boutique. This is an expensive and sometimes inaccurate process. The boutique acts as a middleman meaning the bride is not only paying the asking price of the designer but also a fee to the boutique for supplying that dress. By selling sample dresses we can cut out the middleman and give you the best deals!