Bridal Outlet vs. Traditional Models: Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress

Bridal Outlet vs. Traditional Models: Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress

Oct 26, 2023

When it comes to shopping for your dream wedding dress, there are two main paths you can take: the traditional model or the outlet experience. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the choice ultimately depends on your priorities and preferences! In today’s blog, we'll explore the key differences between these two options and highlight the benefits of shopping at Seattle Bridal Rack, where you can discover incredible deals on stunning wedding gowns!


Traditional Models: The Time-Tested Approach




Longer Timelines 

One of the main features of the traditional bridal model is the extended timeline it typically involves. If you choose to go this route, you'll need to start your dress shopping 9-14 months in advance. Bridal boutiques often require orders to be placed many months in advance to ensure you receive your gown on time and that there is enough time to complete the alterations.


Larger Price Tags

Traditional bridal boutiques can often come with hefty price tags. Wedding dresses from these establishments are often made to order and come with a premium price. This can put a significant strain on your wedding budget, but it can also allow you to find a fabulous luxury gown if that's what you're dreaming of! 




Customization options are more readily available in traditional models. You can choose the fabric, design, and even request specific alterations to create the perfect dress.


Our sister flagship store, Samila Bridal & Formal, is a perfect example of the traditional bridal model! At Samila, you'll find a wide range of stunning wedding dresses. This option will allow you a longer timeline to find “the one,” as well as a broader price range. 


Bridal Outlet: A Modern Alternative



Discounted Outlet Prices

Seattle Bridal Rack offers an alternative to the traditional model with its bridal outlet. Here, you can find beautiful wedding gowns at significantly discounted prices. These are often brand-new dresses, overstock, or discontinued styles, making it possible for you to get the dress of your dreams without breaking the bank.


Same Day/Off the Rack

At the bridal outlet, you can often purchase a dress off the rack and take it home the same day. This is a fantastic option for brides with shorter timelines or those who simply can't wait for the long lead times associated with traditional bridal models.


Shorter Timelines

As mentioned, bridal outlets offer a shorter timeline. This is a major advantage if you're planning a wedding on a tight schedule. You won't have to worry about waiting for months to receive your dress.


Sample Sales

Many bridal outlets (like us!) host sample sales. The definition of sample sale has evolved. Originally, as it implies in the name, it’s a sale to get rid of wedding gowns that have been used as samples for the bridal shop to hang in the showroom and take orders on. However these days, the definition has grown to include larger sales and helps rid a store of overstock. This creates space for new gowns to come in. Sample sale events are often 2-3 times a year. The event can often be featured on a bridal shop's “event” page or announced on social media.



A few things to note before you shop sample sales. First, there is a good chance you'll have to wait in line to get in or book an appointment. You also will be limited to the number of people attending the event with you. Wear comfortable clothing as you may have to rummage through the racks, make sure to keep a discerning eye.


Sometimes the merchandise is heavily discounted because of a defect or wear and tear. Sometimes it's because the item is discontinued with the designer or is not performing well in the store. And sometimes it's simply to create room for new inventory!


These purchases are usually final sale, so make sure whatever you buy fits or can be altered. And that you are okay with the normal wear and tear that the dress displays, including checking if the zipper works or if there are holes or tears that can be repaired. At Seattle Bridal Rack, we offer a huge sample sale selection year round!


During the last few years, sample sales have become increasingly popular due to the economic challenges and shorter wedding timelines. Sample sales are a great way to get gently loved wedding gowns for a fraction of the price. While most bridal shops have sample sales in the summer and fall, some stores have them all year long. At SBR, we sell the entire sale collection online all year long (check out our whole collection here). These gowns can be purchased directly online or by purchasing in-store by appointment!



The choice between the traditional bridal model and the bridal outlet experience depends on your priorities. If you're looking for a wide range of customization options and are willing to plan well in advance, a traditional model like Samila Bridal & Formal may be the way to go. However, if you're budget-conscious, need a dress quickly, or just love the idea of snagging a deal, Seattle Bridal Rack's bridal outlet could be your ideal destination! With sample sales and incredible discounts, it's a great place to find your affordable wedding dress without the long wait or the high price tag. Ultimately, the choice is yours, and both models offer their own unique charm and advantages. Book your appointment with us today!