Although the Value Village dress did not work out, this budget bride was not giving up the fight for an affordable wedding dress. What perfect timing, then, that a little birdy told me about a sample sale at the Toronto bridal boutique, Sash and Bustle. This little birdy just happens to be my amazing wedding photographer, Fiona Chiu. Since she shares excellent taste with yours truly (I mean, we booked her for a reason!), I had to make my way there and explore the selection.
Taking advantage of a spate of good weather, I meandered along Queen Street East until I arrived at the boutique. It was definitely not hard to miss, as other eager brides & co. were lined up at the door, waiting to be let in. Since I went on a Thursday afternoon, however, I am sure the line was nowhere near as long as it would have been on a weekend. I was definitely a rare commodity that day – I think there was only one other bride there who came unaccompanied.
As soon as I walked in the door, I was impressed. The space was bright and airy, there was a lovely brick accent wall, and there were snacks at the door – definitely the way to my heart. Stylistically speaking, I was already sold. Sash and Bustle had a beautiful array of dresses that were light, airy, and ethereal – exactly what I was hoping to find. I did not get a picture of the full collection, but Sash and Bustle took a beautiful shot highlighting some of their selection:
I was worried that it would be really frenetic, but since they controlled the number of people allowed in at once, it was very organized. Instantly, a few dresses caught my eye, and I knew I had to move fast. Unfortunately, I was not fast enough! There were quite a few dresses that I wanted to try on, but I was too slow and a few other entourages nabbed them first.
I did not walk away with a dress, but it was a great experience, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. At the end of the day, I could not justify spending close to $1000-$1500 on a dress that needed so much altering, not my dream style, and not in the best condition.
Things I learned shopping at a sample sale:
- Get there early. The closer you are to the beginning of the line, the better your selection
- Go on an off day if possible. Since I went on a Thursday afternoon, I think I had a very stress-free experience
- Since you do not get a dedicated sales associate, you definitely need to prepare by having an idea of what you like, so you can grab-and-go
- Odds are, nothing will fit you, so be prepared to get your dress altered (but remember, a dress can only be altered so much before it loses the design integrity)
- Do not wear your rainy-day undies unless you are ready to flaunt them, as you might not get a traditional fitting room.
Have you ever been to a sample sale? What was your experience like?