The team at The Sample Rack has seen a lot of brides walk through their doors. They know what works well during an appointment and what keeps a bride from finding her dream dress. Here are their top tips on how to make the most out of your appointment and ultimately to help you find your dress. 

1- Quality Over Quantity - Limit the number of appointments to 3 a day. Shopping over a weekend with a small group is a good idea but trying to do 5 or 6 appointments in a day will result in everyone being tired and hungry. Plus no one will be able to remember all the dresses you tried on. 

2- Do Your Research - Browse online and on Pinterest to find styles and designers you like before shopping but go into your appointments with an open mind. You can show your stylist the photos you like and tell them how you want to feel in the gown and the theme of the reception.Your consultant knows their inventory and should be able to suggest styles and shapes that will flatter your figure. 

3 -Set a (Realistic) Budget - Sometimes brides set too low or too high of a budget. Wanting to spend under $1000 is possible, but know that the options are limited. On the other hand if you go into an appointment without setting a budget you might quickly overspend. Be sure to keep in mind that alterations costs will also add to the final price. If you love a designer that is out of your price range consider buying a sample dress. 

4- Limit the Opinions - If you need someone’s opinion, take them shopping with you! If your Mom needs to be there when you decide or is paying for the dress, shop with her. However, don't take extra people.Too many opinions are not helpful. Shopping with your bridal party sounds like fun, but it is not the best idea. Instead, have a brunch where you invite everyone over and try on the dress for them to see. 

5- Try Them All - Try on every shape and style before deciding. You may be sure that you don’t want a ball gown or a mermaid shape, but you should at least try on all the options so you don’t wonder later what you would look like in that silhouette. Plus, it will be a fun part of the process to experience all the different options. 

6- Sizing Doesn’t Matter - Bridal sizing is different from street wear and can vary by designer and style. Do not get caught up in what size the gown is that fits you. It is not uncommon for the same bride to fit into gowns that are 4 or 6 different sizes.

7- Comfort is Key - Communicate how you feel during the appointment with your consultant. It is not unusual to get overwhelmed and even panic a bit during a day of gown shopping. Being hungry or tired will affect your appointment as well. Also if you plan on wearing shapewear for your wedding, then wear it to your appointment.

8- Hold the Tissues - Most brides do not cry. It is not necessarily true that you will know the minute you put on a gown that it is the one. In fact, there may be multiple dresses that you love. Go with the gown that makes you feel beautiful, and the one that you cannot wait for everyone at your wedding to see you in. 

9- Stop Shopping Immediately - If you find your dream gown, buy it and stop shopping. Be ready to buy when you schedule appointments. If there is a sample or trunk show opportunity you will need to be ready to pull the trigger. If you are ordering the gown, remember that 6-9 months is not unusual for a lead time and there is even the possibility that the dress will be delivered late due to production delays or because the wrong dress was accidentally ordered. Most importantly, once you commit to a gown don’t keep looking online at other options.

10- Communicate Right Away - If you are going to be late or cannot make your appointment, contact the salon as soon as possible. A consultant has been assigned to you and it’s possible they can help someone else on the waiting list. Do not feel embarrassed to tell the salon that you have an emergency, or you already committed to a dress somewhere else. 

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The Sample Rack is located in Philadelphia, PA. They are a small locally owned and operated business that has been serving the tri-state region since 2007. All of the dresses are off-the-rack samples which means you can walk away with your dream dress the same day! The dresses are marked down from retail prices giving you the best deal on a designer gown. They carry a wide assortment of styles, designers, and sizes. To learn more or to book your appointment go to their website here. 

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