How to Shop a Trunk Show

Whether you visit a blog or stop into a bridal boutique to start searching for your dream wedding dress, you’re likely going to come across an announcement or two for a trunk show. There are actually quite a number of them happening in Philadelphia this month, especially this weekend, that will be great to check out! But what should you know before you shop a show? We’re answering some of the most common questions below!

1.      Why attend? The biggest reason to make an appointment to visit a boutique’s trunk show is to see a very large selection of a designer’s collection (sometimes the entire collection from several seasons). Although a boutique may carry a designer’s line, sometimes they don’t opt to carry every dress. If you love a dress by a designer who will be in town, a trunk show is definitely the opportunity to attend because your chances of trying it on are highly likely.

2.      Is the designer present? Yes and no – the answer to this truly depends on the designer. Some designers travel to their trunk shows particularly if a larger boutique is hosting, but sometimes larger brands send a very knowledgeable sales rep who is well versed in the line’s fits, styles, and silhouettes instead. No matter who attends, you won’t be disappointed!

3.      Are the dresses discounted? These types of events do not necessarily mean a dress will be discounted. The designer or sales rep may be on site to simply meet with brides and offer an expert option. With that said, designers may opt to accommodate alternations or special requests at a lesser rate. If a trunk show discount is being offered, be prepared to purchase because it’s likely only lasting for the duration of the event.

4.      How should I prepare? Philadelphia Weddings and area boutiques, like Lovely Bride, are both great resources for trunk show announcements, so always check their websites and Facebook pages. Also, be sure to browse through a designer’s website before you attend. This way, you’ll already have a feel for the designer’s styles and price points (and maybe a few dresses you know you want to try on!). Finally, check in with the boutique to make an appointment because most shows require you to book a time in advance.

5.      What questions should I ask? There’s no better time to ask questions than when you’re in front of a designer! Inquire about fits, styles, fabrics, possible alternations, and how the dress is made. Make sure to mention where you’re getting married, too. The mention of a venue may cause the designer to suggest a dress you might not have in mind. As with any appointment, try to be as open minded as possible. The dress you have in mind might be wonderful, but the designer may have an even better idea that can be altered to meet your exact specifications.

6.      Is a trunk show the same as a sample sale? The quick answer is no. A designer or sales rep arrives with their collection for a trunk show, and you’ll by vying to purchase a brand new dress that will be shipped to you. A sample sale means you’re purchasing a dress as is off of the rack. Sizes and styles are limited and flaws in the dress are possible because it’s been tried on so many times by other brides. Trunk shows do not always include a discount, as mentioned above, but sample sales usually mean large percentages off.

Are you attending a trunk show? Which designer do you love? Let us know in the comments, or sound off on Facebook!


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The Styled Bride Blog is our way to keep you updated on what’s happening around our studio as well as a place for us to share recent work and inspiration. We hope this is a place for you to get inspired, educated and just have fun!

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