When I was engaged, I attended a bridal trunk show with a coworker of mine who was also getting married. We had a blast trying on gorgeous dresses, most of which we could never afford. While I went away empty handed, my friend found her dream dress at the show. What are bridal trunk shows? What are the advantages and disadvantages of attending a show? How can brides locate bridal trunk shows in their area?
What are Bridal Trunk Shows?
Bridal trunk shows are traveling collections of wedding gowns by a specific designer. Think of them like mini fashion shows. The wedding dresses travel from one bridal boutique to the next, usually staying in one location for a weekend. Wedding dress designers or company representatives visit bridal boutiques along with the collection, where they showcase their entire line of dresses for eager brides, assist brides in trying on dresses, answer questions and offer suggestions. Brides schedule appointments to privately view and try on dresses during a bridal trunk show. Lucky brides even get personalized on site service from the designer themselves.
So why should you attend a bridal trunk show?
Wider Selection of Dresses
Not happy with the relatively few styles your local bridal shop carries, but too short on time and money to travel to look for a dress? A trunk show offers brides the chance to see and try on all the dresses in a particular line by their favorite designers. Sure you can go online to find a dress not carried by your local shop, but wedding dresses need to be tried on. Trunk shows offer the convenience of the Internet with the personalized service of your local salon.
Preview Dresses Before They Hit Boutiques
Want to get your hands on a designer’s latest wedding dress styles? Bridal trunk shows contain the newest dresses from a designer. Often, you will find dresses that have not yet been released to the public or are not yet available in stores.
Find a One-of-a-Kind Wedding Dress
Don’t want to end up looking like every bride in town? Bridal trunk shows offer brides access to samples and one-of-a-kind dresses that may not appear in stores, catalogues or on websites. Many times, samples in the show are one of a kind. Trunk shows are the perfect place for the bride who wants to stand out and be different to find her dream dress.
Access to Regional Wedding Dress Styles
If you’re an Atlanta bride the dresses you see at your local bridal salon are very different from those in Boston or Dallas. Wedding dresses are regional, meaning different styles are popular in different parts of the country. Bridal trunk shows allow you to see popular styles from other regions of the country that you wouldn’t normally have access to.
Opportunity to Talk to the Designer
The opportunity to talk to the wedding dress designer at a bridal trunk show should not be missed. Often, designers are more open to special requests or changes you would like made to the dress when you interact with them in person.
While bridal trunk shows should definitely not be viewed as sale events, often bridal salons will offer discounts on a show designer’s dresses if purchased that day. If you already have that perfect gown picked out, attending that designer’s show could be a great way to save some cash.
Snag Some Free Swag
Although you shouldn’t count on it, many times you can snag some fabulous extras at a bridal trunk show. Freebies may include pattern changes to dresses, extra buttons or fabric added, shoes, veils and selected jewelry.
Disadvantages of Attending Bridal Trunk Shows
There are a few things to consider when attending trunk shows. Bridal trunk shows are not discount events. The dresses are usually not marked down, clearanced or discounted. Be prepared to pay full price for the dress you want. Many times brides can get good discounts at trunk shows by buying a dress that day. Because of the limited time and high demand, you need to be quick to act if you find your perfect dress at a trunk show. There’s no time for mulling over your decision. Trunk shows usually book up quickly, so you will need to hurry up to reserve your spot if you want to attend a show.
How to Locate Bridal Trunk Shows
There are many different ways brides can locate bridal trunk shows. When you get engaged, sign up to be on the mailing list at all your local bridal salons. This will ensure that you get early notice of any upcoming shows. Early notice is important because it will ensure that you can reserve you spot at the show. Search the Internet for designers that interest you. Usually designers will post info for upcoming shows on their website. You can also call around to bridal shops to see if they are hosting any shows. Other great ways to locate bridal trunk shows include attending bridal expos, reading bridal magazines and websites such as Brides and word of mouth.