I’m delighted to welcome the gorgeous weddingdresssamplesale.com to the Budget Bride Company. Specialising in beautiful wedding dresses that are available either as part of boutique sample sales or pre-loved by brides who would like to sell their gowns on, weddingdresssamplesale.com is a fantastic one stop shop for finding the perfect wedding dress on the budget that you have available.
You can find weddingdresssamplesale.com listed in our directory in all UK regions here. I’m now going to hand you over to the site’s founder, Sarah, who is going to let us in on some tips for buying a budget wedding dress.
Champagne tastes on a lemonade budget? The average UK wedding dress costs a whopping £1,746, so it’s not surprising that savvy brides are looking for affordable options.
Wedding Dress Sample Sale has helped hundreds of brides find their perfect designer dress without breaking the budget.Here are my 5 top tips for budget dress success.
1. Know your samples from your counterfeit
Sample, preowned and high street gowns are all better options than counterfeit.
Sample gowns are dresses that have been tried on in bridal shops. They are often in good condition and will not have been previously altered. Expect 50% or more off of retail price. You can track down sample sales at Wedding Dress Sample Sale.
Preowned dresses are dresses that have been worn once by brides on their wedding day. Be sure to check if the dress has been altered or needs a clean and factor that into your budget.
The high street offer some lovely budget options, usually relaxed column or vintage styles. BHS and Monsoon are always worth a look.
Counterfeit dresses are ‘made to measure’ dresses that come directly from a factory, often in China.
Be careful if you are looking on eBay. The dress you see in the picture may not be the one you end up with.
There are loads of horror stories out there, and very few brides get their money back. You don’t want to end up buying twice.
2. Don’t just look online
Online can point you in the right direction, but there are plenty of bargains that never get listed.
Bridal boutiques hold regular on premises sales, so if you see something in the window of your local boutique that’s a bit out of your price range, ask them when they’re having their next sample sale.
Wedding fairs are another great place to find discount gowns. Boutiques and designers will often bring their samples to shows to sell them quickly.
Some of the best UK fairs include Budget Bride Live, Chosen Wedding Fair, Vintage Wedding Fayre and the National Wedding Show.
3. Try before you buy
There is no substitute for trying on a wedding dress.
We don’t wear long dresses every day (well, apart from the odd summer maxi) so it’s hard to imagine what your dress will look like until you’re wearing it.
To make it even more confusing, bridal sizes usually come up smaller than the high street, and vary between designers so a size 14 in one designer might be a high street size 12.
Bridal boutiques are happy for you to come and try sample dresses. They may even offer a returns policy, allowing you to buy online, try the dress at home and return it if it doesn’t fit. Speak to your boutique to find out more.
4. Check for faults before you hand over the cash.
Sample and preowned dresses will come in the sizes they are listed in and once they’re gone, they’re gone!
It’s natural to want to move fast, but do take the time to check the dress over.
Sample gowns are ‘sold as seen’ so if you discover a fault once you’ve taken it home you won’t be able to return it.
I’ve sold hundreds of sample dresses and the majority are in excellent condition. Dust on the hem or small make up marks inside the bodice are to be expected, and can be easily cleaned.
If you are unlucky enough to run into fake tan, faded sequins or large tears then it’s not a bargain after all.
5. Don’t be afraid to negotiate
It never hurts to ask ‘is that your best price?’ The seller can always say no after all.
If a seller can’t take money off of the price of the dress, they may be able to throw in free delivery.
Remember to pay safely, using PayPal for online purchases and cash or debit / credit card for in person payments. Avoid cheques and bank transfers.
I hope you found this blog post helpful. We’ve got lots more advice in our free eBook ‘How to buy your Wedding Dress’ - download it today.
Thank you so much for your advice Sarah! Head to weddingdresssamplesale.com to browse through the options for you today.