What Happens at a Bridal Trunk Show?

For those who are new to the world of weddings, a lot of the terms can be unfamiliar. One often hears of bridal trunk shows, but a lot of brides are not actually so clear on what that means. Will the designer be there? Are the dresses on sale? What does a trunk have to do with it? These are all the answers you need about what goes on at a bridal trunk show.

First things first: there is no trunk. The phrase trunk show actually refers to a traveling collection of wedding gown samples from a specific designer. Once upon a time, they may have traveled by trunk, but these days the gowns come stuffed into giant boxes delivered via Fedex or UPS. By the time that brides arrive to see the wedding gowns, they are hanging up, just like all of the other sample gowns. It is important to realize that the bridal gowns one sees at a trunk show are samples to try on and order from, not dresses which are available to purchase on the spot (which is one thing that may set a bridal trunk show apart from other trunk shows).

Brides get really excited about the idea of meeting their favorite designers, and often wonder if they will be present at the trunk show. The answer is, not usually. At certain big city salons, it would not be unheard of for the designer of the gown collection to be present, but this is not generally the case. The trunk show travels to a different bridal salon around the country every weekend, so the designer could not realistically be there for every event. Typically, a representative from the gown company will be at the show. The nice thing is that the rep will be very familiar with all of the dresses and should also know what kind of changes can be made to customize a gown.

So why attend a bridal trunk show? Actually, there are a number of good reasons to go to one. The gowns in the traveling collection will be the latest samples from the designer’s most recent collection, many of which may not be available to see anywhere else. Selection is another reason; no salon can stock all of the samples from an entire line, so a trunk show will give you the chance to see a lot of your favorite designer’s wedding dresses all in one place. The rep may also throw in special extras for brides who order during a trunk show, such as free pattern changes or a designer’s sketch of the dress.

Which brings us to the next question: is a trunk show a sale? Not exactly, however there are often special incentives to those who order during a trunk show. Sometimes there is a small discount on a gown ordered during the sale (usually 10%), there may be discounts on coordinating accessories like veils, or the rep may be willing to throw in things like train extensions or rush deliveries gratis. Any special offers are available only on the weekend of the event, so come prepared to buy that weekend if you find your dream gown. Clever shoppers will try to schedule an appointment for the first day of the sale, so that if they need a day to think about it, they can make an appointment to re-visit a favorite gown later that weekend.

Since the trunk show gowns will only be in the salon for a couple of days, it is critical to come prepared to make a selection. If you have a special pair of pearl chandelier earrings you intend to wear, bring them to the appointment so you can find a gown with pearl beading which complements your chandelier earrings. If you absolutely cannot make a decision without your mom present, get her there whatever it takes. Do your research so you know what styles interest you before you start trying on gowns. And bring your checkbook, because once the trunk show leaves town, you may not get a second chance to see those particular gowns again.

Bridget Mora writes for Silverland Jewelry about weddings, style, and etiquette. Visit us at http://silverlandjewelry.com/ to see our exclusive collection of handcrafted pearl chandelier earrings. All jewelry orders over receive complimentary shipping.

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