Wedding Dress Trunk Shows: How to Get the Gown You Want

Photo: Johnny MillerPhoto: Johnny MillerThe Dos and Don'ts of Trunk Shows
Not to be confused with sample sales, which offer discounted dresses from past seasons, a trunk show is a preview of one designer's new collection. Learn about them through designers' websites, but before you head out, read through these expert tips to guarantee you get the most out of it.

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Make an Appointment
Trunk shows usually don't welcome walk-ins, and they book up quickly. Call ahead to get a slot.

Don't Expect a Bargain
Some designers offer incentives such as 15 percent off or free alterations. The catch? You have to buy on the spot, and it's almost always a final sale.

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Ask for What You Want
The designer is often present, so you can voice your likes and dislikes. "Want to add sleeves or a sash? Just ask," says Mark Ingram, owner of Mark Ingram Atelier, in New York City. "They'll let you know what's possible, and they may offer to make the changes at no cost."

Don't Make it Your First Stop
"Trunk shows are for the bride who has done her research and knows she wants a dress from a specific designer," Ingram says. If you haven't seen what's out there, you run the risk of buying something nonrefundable and then finding something you like better down the road.

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