Unless you have shopped for a wedding dress with a friend or are very well versed in the world of fashion, the concept of a trunk show is probably unfamiliar to you. I have many brides ask me what a bridal trunk show is all about – is it a sale? Can I take a dress home that day? Will I meet the designer? This article answers the frequently asked questions about bridal trunk shows, and gives some tips on how to make the most of them.
In a nutshell, a bridal trunk show is when a designer sends a large collection of their wedding dresses to a salon for a limited time (usually a few days). The dresses generally include the newest gowns as well as a few perennial best sellers. Brides often wonder if the dresses at the trunk show can be taken home that day. The answer is no; they are sample dresses just like the ones that are usually in boutiques. Bridal salons have to purchase every sample they carry in their store, so no shop ever carries everything that one gown designer has to offer. The trunk show, therefore, is your best chance to see a huge selection of dresses from your favorite gown designer all in one place.
Another frequently asked question is will the designer be at the trunk show. Is this my chance to actually meet Vera Wang? The answer is that it depends on the salon. If you are shopping at a very large, prestigious big city bridal store, maybe the designer will decide to make an appearance. In most cases, however, the name behind the label will not be at the trunk show. With trunk shows traveling to a new store around the country almost every weekend, the designers would have no time to actually create if they had to go to every event! Most often there will be a representative from the company in attendance, although not always. Some salons actually prefer not to have a company rep come along, because they feel that it allows them to work personally with their brides, without undue pressure to sell from the featured designer.
You may also be wondering if it is worth your while to attend a trunk show. The answer is absolutely! You will get to see dresses that you would otherwise never get to try on. Another really nice thing about trunk shows is that the rep is often authorized to offer special changes at no charge, such as a longer train or a rush delivery. Sometimes you can get a discount (usually around 10%) on dresses ordered during the trunk show, which is a rare offer. Trunk show discounts are usually only valid if you order during the show, so bring your checkbook!
So now that you have decided to go to a trunk show, this is what you need to know to make the most of the opportunity. Go prepared to make a decision. Bring with you your decision making assistants, like your mom or your best friend. If you want to match your dress to a family veil or a special piece of jewelry, bring that along too. It is smart to make your appointment for the first day of the event. That way if you find a dress that you really like, you don’t have to make a snap decision. You can schedule a follow up appointment for the next day to revisit after having a night to sleep on it. Every bride should feel confident in her wedding gown decision, so be sure to allow yourself sufficient time.
Personally, I love trunk shows. They usually have a special air of excitement and are such a wonderful chance to find the gown of your dreams. So put on your pearl necklace, wear your strapless bra, grab your mom, and give a trunk show a try. You might just find the perfect dress for your wedding!