The phrase "trunk show" can be tossed around quite a bit in the world of wedding dresses, but if you're just starting out on your gown search, let's think of it as a magic word. Trunk shows allow you to view an entire collection by one designer you may not otherwise have the chance to see. And bonus - be granted a pretty solid discount along with it! Read on for the ins and outs of trunk shows and how to reap their many benefits.
Do Your Homework
You've gotten engaged - check that off the list. You may have already secured a venue and maybe even gotten a photographer. Wherever you're at in your planning, it's never too early to start hunting down the perfect dress. Start from the comfort of your own phone! Pinterest and Instagram are great tools to find endless styles, organize dresses you like and trace them back to their original designer.
Something to watch out for: images on Pinterest can often be mislabeled after so much re-pinning, so cross-reference them on the designer's website. Once you've found a few styles you love from a handful of designers, head over to Instagram and give their account a follow to get the full feel for their vibe and aesthetic. It could turn out that you thought you liked boho, but the rest of their collection is a little too non-traditional, so maybe vintage-inspired is more your speed.
Scout the Shows
Start by searching online for bridal boutiques that are near you or near where you'll be shopping. Check if they carry the designers you want and if they have any upcoming trunk shows. Or, you can go straight to the source. Most designers have a list of their stockists and retailers on their website according to location and even post their trunk show schedule. While on their site, do a bit of research on where the brand is based, the price-point, and gown lead-time.
Once you find some to attend, make a booking through the stockists themselves. Keep an eye on Instagram accounts for both parties; trunk shows in the coming weeks will be posted!
Shop + Save
Now that you've made it to the trunk show, you're ready to reap the benefits. This is your chance to view a full collection (and possibly additional new styles) that the boutique may not carry year-round. This may not sound as thrilling if you're based in a major metropolis and the designer's showroom is right down the street, but if you live in smaller town or another country, you have the opportunity to see collections from brands all over the world.
Another great benefit: because you have a trunk show appointment, if you purchase your gown that day, you'll get a discount! These are typically between 10-15% but vary per designer. Think about it - those savings can go right back into the wedding budget.
A major pro of trunk shows is that most, if not all, are attended by a brand representative. Occasionally, the designer themselves may be present to work with brides and this is a simply an unbeatable opportunity to find your dress with help from the people who actually created the gowns. Questions such as the availability of extra fabric or customizations, if rush fees apply, and styling tips can be answered directly from the source!
Trunk shows are getting more and more popular with designers and stockists alike. They're such a win for everyone! Designers get to spread their brand and meet more customers, and brides to get a chance to see a full collection they otherwise wouldn't have. Whether you're a bride on a budget scoping out those discounts, or a hopeless romantic with your heart set a single designer since forever, trunk shows are an amazing way to make dress shopping work for you!
Style Me Pretty Contributor - Goli Parvinian is a bridal enthusiast and masters student living in Melbourne, Australia. Over the past few years, she has worked for bridal brands in her hometown of Chicago, New Zealand and New York City. When not studying or exploring, you can usually find her scrolling Instagram, face-timing her nieces or out on a long run.