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8 important things brides should know about sample and clearance sales

There are several ways of finding your wedding gown for a great bargain. While you can always spend a fortune picking up a brand new gown, it isn’t always necessary. For the budget-savvy bride, who wants a fabulous gown sans the hefty price, sample and clearance sales are your best friend. Sales are also held for bridesmaids, mother-of-bride and flower girl dresses. So, look around and you may find fantastic options to dress your entire wedding party with, at very reasonable prices.

Nevertheless, you need to know all you can about what they involve, so you can make the most of it when the chance comes. Here is a list of eight important things to help you get the most out of your wedding dress shopping experience by choosing to buy it on sale.

1.What are sample sales and clearance sales? How are they different?

Every wedding boutique houses several hundreds of wedding dresses. As with any other shop, these cannot be retained for ever for two reasons: lack of space and changing demand. Wedding fashion, like fashion in general, is always evolving. New designs enter the market every season, and all the wedding boutiques have to carry the latest dresses that most brides come in asking for. With only so much space to house old stock, most bridal boutiques will host sales on a regular basis to sell the ones that belong to previous collections and make way for new dresses.

During sample sales, shops sell off the gowns that were used on the shop floor for trials by the brides who visited them. These will have little to no damage. For the simple reason that they’ve been out of their original packaging and tried on, you can snatch them at a bargain price, which will usually be several hundreds lesser than the original price.

Clearance sales are the other option. Here, the reason remains the same—getting older unsold stock out of the way to make space for new stock. However, these dresses are untouched and in perfect condition. They will still be in the original form they were delivered to the store, and yet be sold at a huge discount. So, if you want a brand new, unused gown for your wedding day at the best price possible, you should consider a clearance sale.

2.Do I just turn up for a sample sale?

This depends on the boutique or shop that is hosting the sale. Your best bet is to call up in advance and find out for yourself. While some shops will simply allow you to walk in and look through what is available and make your choice, others let you do so only by appointment. Certain shops can be thickly crowded and you may have to battle your way through several other bridal parties who are there for the same reason. This reminds me of the Friends episode where Monica had her mind set on a wedding dress, and she decided to find it at a sample sale with her best friends in tow. They were few among the hundreds of other girls who were there to search for the perfect wedding dress at a bargain, and it was quite chaotic, to say the least. So much for a hilarious episode, but it is not too far from the truth. If you aren’t up for all this adventure, it may be a good idea to stay away from the sale on the first day and instead visit on the second or third day. There may be fewer dresses, but you will still have enough to look at, all the same.

3.How can I prepare in advance?

Don’t ever assume that you can walk in to a sample sale and just find a dress. No! You need to know what you want to get beforehand. When you attend the sale, you should already know your dress model number and size, or you will find yourself lost in the midst of hundreds of gowns. Brides who make their way to sales usually visit a bridal salon in advance, try on the samples in store and find out exactly what they want before they go sample shopping. At Best for Bride, our clearance section has hundreds of gowns, but it won’t be easy finding the right fit just by looking at it. Our suggestion is to first fix your appointment with our store, come in and try on the dress and find what size will fit you. Then attend the clearance sale with this detail in hand. This will allow you to pick the right dress with minimum hassle, while making use of the sale.

Before you even decide to attend a sale, make sure you know what dresses and in which sizes will be on sale. Don’t ever expect to find the current year and season’s models, they will still be on the rack. You will more likely find the previous year’s collections on sale. You can always check with the store for information, sometimes they may be able to tell you which designer collections and sizes that are on sale. So, you needn’t go all the way and return empty-handed.

4.Is it a good idea to attend the sample sale all by myself?

This depends on how good you are at finding what you want. Remember that this is a dress that needn’t be too easy to spot among the hundreds of other white wedding gowns there. There may not be too many pieces in the same size either, and you never know if there are other brides who are on the search for precisely the same dress in the same size. It would be much better if you get your friends to pitch in to help. Pull in one or two bridesmaids and the combined effort will most likely help you find the dress faster. Before you go to the store, provide specific instructions on how the dress looks and how they can make out if it is the one. Also show them pictures of the dress that are available on the internet, so they know exactly how it looks. If possible print out the pictures, so they can refer to it when they are at the sale.

5.How good are my chances if I have only a single gown in mind?

Not too good, we would say! If there is another bride who is after the same gown, or worse if someone finds the one you want first and decides to go with it, you will not be able to make use of this golden opportunity. There is a lot of luck involved, as most stores do not have too many samples of the same model. Brides who wish to buy their wedding dress at a sample sale should ideally have at least a few dresses in mind. We suggest you visit a few boutiques in advance, try on several dresses and shortlist a few that you love. This will make it easier for you to find at least one of these dresses at the sale. Remember that you will be competing against many other brides to find one particular dress, your chances are much better if you are open to more options. This article on the Huffington Post tells us that many brides who actually nail a deal at sample sales have been visiting bridal salons for up to six months prior to attending the sale. This way they know what they want, have already learned about what will work and what won’t, and hence are more likely to find it.

Now, if you do not find the gowns that you shortlisted, you can still see what’s available and make a pick from those. Sample sales allow brides to try on gowns, however the trial rooms will be rushed and very chaotic. So, don’t expect to spend all your time there trying on one gown after another, just like you would if you were at a regular wedding dress appointment. Your decision will have to be made quickly. So, it helps if you already know how you look in a style and can judge whether a dress will work or not without much delay.

6.What if I can’t find my size?

This is a given risk when you go wedding gown shopping at a sale. Unlike the regular wedding shopping experience, where you can ask the boutique to arrange for the dress you like in your size, this is not possible here. You will have to choose from what is available. It makes it all the more difficult if your size is at either end of the spectrum. Another factor is that many shops do not disclose which sizes they will be having at the sample sale, in advance. Nevertheless, you can always call and check in advance.

The good news, however, is that you do not need to find a gown in precisely your size, as this is what alterations can help you with. In fact, almost every wedding dress has to be altered to fit any bride perfectly. All you need to know is what sizes can be altered to fit you. Usually, wedding dresses are chosen in sizes that are bigger than your actual measurements. This allows the extra fabric to be taken out, which is much easier than adding extra inches to an existing size. Nevertheless, there are limitations on the extent to which alterations can be performed on a gown. If you buy one that is too big, all the measurements will be totally off and the entire look may be altered once it is made to fit you. If there are design elements that you love on a gown in the neckline or hemline, but the gown is too big, you may lose these features when it is altered. So, always choose a size closest to your actual measurements or just slightly bigger. Since wedding dresses are sized differently in comparison to other dresses, make sure you know where you are on the size chart before you buy a gown.

7.When can I expect these sales?

Many boutiques run discount sales all year round. For example, at Best for Bride, we have gowns on sale all the time. All you have to do is visit the clearance section on our website, to find out which gowns are covered in the sale. Sample sales on the other hand, are usually held just before the new stock for the current and next season are due for arrival. This is usually between October and February. There are also sales that are regularly held in summer and winter. So, keep your eyes open for advertisements at this time of year. One way to not miss it is to subscribe to news updates or follow the bridal salon on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. This is where boutiques will be posting it first. If there are any surprise offers or fun giveaways, you will know about it this well ahead of time and may even get lucky and find a great deal when you least expect it. You can check with the bridal shop in advance and find out if they have a sale scheduled in the coming months and prepare yourself for it by that time.

8.Will I be able to use these gowns as they are or will they have to be cleaned before my wedding day?

This depends on whether you get your dress at a sample sale or a clearance sale. Clearance gowns are as good as new, and can be used as such. Sample sale gowns have been worn by brides, although for short span of time, and may have picked up dirt and sweat. So, it is better if you can get it cleaned so it is in pristine condition for you to wear on your wedding day.

So, now that you know all you need to about sample and clearance sales, are you going to try your luck at it? To find out what is on offer at our store right now, visit our clearance and discount section by clicking on this link here.  For more wedding related information and dress shopping tips, continue visiting us at Best for Bride.

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5 Tips to help you choose the makeup artist for your wedding

Not all brides are naturally good at applying makeup. Some of us would like to have a professional handle our make-up on the day, so we can have a flawless bridal look. Fortunately, there are many makeup salons and professionals, who can help us dress up and look great on this important day.

Let us look at the various things to remember when choosing such an artist, so we know we entrust the job to the right person.

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1.Begin your search early

Just like with wedding shopping and vendor booking, start looking for your makeup artist early. You have to zero-in on the right person for the job, and make sure she is available on your wedding day. It isn’t necessary that the first candidate you consider would be the right person for the job. You may have to look around and spend time on trials. So, plan at least 3 to 4 months before your wedding day.

2.Start by asking your friends

Almost everything in the world of weddings is simplified when we have references and recommendations. Let this guide you on your search for the perfect makeup artist too. Ask your friends, or check with the other brides who you thought, looked fantastic on their wedding day. Once you are armed with this information, get in touch with the person, and check it out for yourself.

3.Look at advertisements and listings, and check out reviews

If you cannot find a recommendation, look at advertisements in newspapers, magazines or on the internet. If you do not know someone who has personally opted for the service, make sure to look for reviews and feedback on the artist, so you get a fair idea of how efficient they are.

4.Discuss your expectations and ask for a trial

Not all makeup artists work alike. You have to find a person whose style matches your expectations. Only then can you look like you intended to, on your wedding day. Fix an appointment and discuss your expectations. Pay for a trial, as it is really worth the effort. It is better to know in advance, than be disappointed with how you end up looking on the day. Expect to pay a fee for the trial, but it will help you will get a clear idea of how you will look on your big day.

5.Use pictures to convey your idea

There is only so much you can communicate using expressions like “look natural” or “make it subtle”. Your makeup artist needn’t understand what you intend, as each person has a different take on any idea. The better option is to collect pictures off magazines or the internet, on what you want your makeup to be like. Share this with your makeup artist, and she will get a better idea of what you want.

Once you find the right person for the job, make sure that you fix your appointment for the day and stick to the time-line necessary to complete your makeup properly. For the rest of your wedding shopping and all other things bridal, visit us on Best for Bride and we can help you find it all.

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5 Dos and Don’ts of Wedding hair

Bad hair-days are a given evil in our daily lives. So, imagine how your wedding look would go for a toss if your hair decided to act up on the most important day of your life?

You need to look perfect on your wedding, and your hair plays an important role in perfecting your overall bridal look. So, you cannot afford to sit back and just hope it will be alright. So, what do you do?

Fear not, for we are here with help. Follow this list of DO’s and DON’Ts and rest assured, you will be able to tame your mane and sport the fantastic wedding day hair you always dreamed of.

# THE BRIDAL HAIR DO’S

1.Start pampering and caring for your hair months in advance

Invest time and effort for your hair, if you want it to look great in time for your wedding day. Just as you start with a skin care regimen and plan a workout to get in shape six to eight months in advance,

set aside time to care for your hair. Only then will it be able to heal, grow and glow. Simple steps like replacing your old comb with a good quality brush, disentangling knots with care and never brushing wet hair, will make a huge difference over time. Give your hair extra TLC by applying an extra nourishing hair mask suitable for your hair type, once in a week. Find more practical tips on how to take care of your hair on this article at the Feminine women website.

2.Choose a hairstyle that matches your personality, and goes well with your dress

Avoid choosing a or parting your hair in a way that makes you look entirely different from how you normally are. If you do, your guests will be figuring out why you look so different, instead of focusing on how beautiful you look in your bridal attire. The best option is to go with a variation of the hairstyle in which you always look pretty. Also pay close attention to the neckline of your dress, when choosing your hairstyle. You should wear your hair up or let it down, depending on what style complements the neckline of your dress. Here are some ideas

  • Side swept chignons go well with strapless gowns, single-shoulder gowns, bateau necklines and illusion style dresses
  • Top knots and high buns are good choices with high necklines
  • Braided hairstyles are pretty with sweetheart necklines and lace gowns
  • Retro styles and loose hairdo’s are the choice for modern glamorous gowns with plunging V-necklines or halter straps

3.Have a test run before the actual day and nail the perfect hairstyle in advance

Collect pictures of hairstyles that you would like to try before you book your appointment with the hairstylist. You can then discuss all your ideas with her. Make sure you do this well ahead of your wedding day. Be open to her suggestions. Discuss any specific ideas you have, and where pictures are available, use them to help convey a better idea of how you want to look. Once you reach a consensus on the style to try, book a trial where you get to see how it actually looks. If you aren’t satisfied with how this hairstyle looks, you still have time to explore other options. This article on Brides.com  suggests you attempt three different hairstyles for your wedding day, to settle on the best one. You could schedule your trial appointment for the same day as your bridal dress fitting session, as this will allow you to get a good idea of how the two work together.

4.Allow enough time for your hair appointment on your wedding day

You will get a fair idea of how long it will take you to style your wedding hairdo at your trial. When planning your wedding day schedule, make sure you add an extra half-hour, just to be safe. You never know what unexpected hiccups can crop up on the day. So, prepare for it in advance, and all will be well. On this note, don’t forget to cross-check and reconfirm your appointment the day before the wedding, so your hairstylist doesn’t forget.

If you will be changing dresses after the wedding, and also changing your hairdo to go with it, make sure you will have sufficient time for it. Choose styling products that will make this easy. Also, make a list and stash everything you need to get dressed into your tote well in advance, so you don’t forget anything at the last minute.

5.Wear a button down dress while styling your hair on your wedding day

In the normal scenario, you will wear your wedding gown after you finish your hair and makeup. Choosing a front-open or button down dress for your hair appointment will allow you to change into your wedding dress without disturbing your hairstyle. Or, if you are doing your hair by yourself at home, a bath robe works well too. In either case, you should be able to easily get out of without having to touch your hairstyle or ruining it.

#THE BRIDAL HAIR DONT’S

1.Experiment with a new cut or color too close to the wedding date

As I’d mentioned earlier, you should be preparing for your wedding day a few months ahead of the wedding. The ideal time to start planning is as soon as you buy your wedding dress. If you plan to try a drastically different haircut or color your hair a brand new shade, make sure you do it as early as possible, so you have time to grow out of it, if it isn’t something you like. The best thing to do is to get the look well in advance, and simply trim, touch up and maintain it during the days leading up to the wedding. This way, you will not be in for any nasty surprises in the hair department, on your big day.

2.Use heat or curling and straightening irons unless absolutely necessary, till your wedding day

Limit the use of heat and hair styling products, as these can take a toll on the natural bounce and beauty of your tresses. Your hair will have to deal with a lot of stress from curling, crimping, setting and straightening on the wedding day itself. So, minimize the damage by subjecting your hair to minimum hair treatments prior to the wedding. We perfectly understand how you will find it necessary to turn on the heat, to look perfect for all those pre-wedding photo opportunities. After all, you want to look great not just on your wedding day, but in all the pictures that make their way into your collection of wedding memories. But too much heat damage will have you stressing over your hair after you tie the knot. So, take it easy with the chemicals and heat. Don’t forget to use a heat resistant spray and give your hair the nourishment it requires, so it can cope. Also do your bit by drinking plenty of water and eating a well-balanced diet that will have your hair in top shape to bear this external damage.

3.Forget about hair accessories when planning your wedding day hairstyle

When you attend your trial hair appointment, make sure you have all your hair accessories for the day with you. This should include your veil, hair pins, combs, clips, hair extensions, flowers and anything else that you intend to wear in your hair, on the actual day. The veil is very important, as where it is placed will greatly impact your overall look. There are stunning hairstyles that work well with veils. So, if you will be wearing a veil, discuss your options with your hairdresser. Similarly, placing hair accessories like headbands at different positions on your crown can alter your look drastically. Sort this out at your trial appointment, rather than wait till your wedding day to find out. Look at pictures you find in magazines and on the internet for inspiration, and also listen to your stylist’s suggestions. Once you nail the final look, take pictures of this hairstyle from all angles, and save it for your reference. This will help clear up any confusion on your wedding day, should it happen. You also don’t want to choose a look that will seem dated five years from now. Go with classic and elegant styles and choose hair accessories that will stand the test of time. Check out this article on how to choose the best headpieces for your wedding day for some ideas to plan your wedding day look.

4.Overdo it; simple can also be stylish

The more you worry about how you will look on your wedding day, the more difficult it will be to find the perfect look. It isn’t necessary to have an elaborate or very complicated hairstyle to look glamorous on your wedding day. Simply polishing up your regular style, or adding a dose of bling with a gorgeous ornament, is all that is sometimes needed to create that impact. To do this easily, we suggest you try to recollect a few occasions when you looked best, and how you wore your hair at the time. Start with something similar and work out a hairstyle with your stylist, so you can enhance it even further. Comfort is also key. If you think you’ll be fiddling with your hair at the altar if you leave it down, go for a style that takes the hair away from your face instead. There are hundreds of great hairstyles that can help you achieve the look you want, while feeling comfortable as well. All you have to do is to figure out which of them will be apt for you.

5.Forget to pack hairspray and other touch-up essentials into your emergency kit, to keep your curls in place throughout the day

It is not just when you walk down the aisle that you ought to look great, it is all through the day. This means you may have to touch up your hair once in a while. Make sure you stash away all the necessary tools for this, in your bridal emergency kit. This includes your hairbrush, a fine comb, hairspray and bobby pins. Make sure you touch up at regular intervals, so you look fresh and your hair is intact in all your wedding pictures. Also, it is only sensible to plan your hairstyle such that it is suitable for the venue and weather. If your ceremony is held outdoors in a breezy location, allowing your locks to naturally fall may not be the best idea. So, think of all these factors when deciding your hairstyle. If you will be changing your hairstyle after the ceremony, for the reception, practice, practice, practice! Only then will it be quick and easy to change from the first style to the second, on the day. Choose suitable styling products so this is easy to achieve.

Finally, remember that your wedding day is not all about how you look, but also about how you feel. Everything you wear or dress up in should only complement the happiness you feel in your soul on the day you marry the man you love. Keep this vision in mind, and everything will be sorted out by itself.

At Best for Bride, we are here to help you realize your vision for the perfect wedding day. Beginning with your wedding dress to your ceremony décor, invitations, wedding cake, party favors, jewelry and accessories, we have everything you require for your big day. For an unbeatable collection of beautiful hair accessories, tiaras and veils, visit us today and make your pick. You can also choose to rent your wedding jewelry and hair accessories from us, at a fraction of their original cost. Book your appointment or drop in at your nearest Best for Bride store, and see your wedding dreams come to reality in no time.

For more wedding tips and advice keep visiting us at Best for Bride.