This past Saturday my sister and I went on a little adventure and it only seems fair to share all the details with my lovely readers! BHLDN, the sister brand to Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, carries beautiful, whimsical, and romantic wedding dresses and evening gowns. This past Saturday they had a sample sale in Philadelphia at The Navy Yard. All the dresses were from past seasons, no current dress on the website were there, ranging from $100, $200, and $300.
My sister got engaged in February (yay!) and has been on the hunt for a wedding dress. She fell in love with a BHLDN dress from last season and has been searching high and low for it - including ebay. Thanks to the lovely BHLDN sales rep at the Georgetown Store in DC who told us about the sample sale and confirmed that the dress my sister was after was going to be there. Therefore we cleared our schedules and went up to Philly to find the dress!
Now you all know I'm a planner - I gather facts, I prepare in advance, and always have a game plan. I searched the web to gather some intel on this sample sale however to my surprise there was nada. I figured out a lot of the details on my own and prayed that everything would work out because my sister was extremely nervous she wouldn't get the dress she wanted. Therefore today I'm sharing all the details and tips for all you future brides who may be planning on attending the next BHLDN sample sale! It is totally worth attending the sample sale if you know what you are looking for!
I scored this Tadashi lace gown for $100!
1. Arrive Early: The sample sale was from 9am-12pm. The Navy Yard gates on Saturday open at 7am. We got to the gates at 6:38am and the security guard guessed that we were obviously there for the sample sale and let us in. We got in line and we were roughly the 20th person in line.
2. Know The Rules: The rules of the sample sale are as follow - final sale, credit card only, no returns, a limit of 6 gowns per person, dresses are either $100, $200, or $300. There are no fitting rooms or mirrors therefore bring a sheet/towel, strip, or layer. People in line are let in waves into the sample sale. Luckily since we were first-ish in line we were part of the first wave of people let into the sample sale right at 9am. We left around 10:30ish and there still was a ton of people in line and a good number of dresses left on the rack. However the smaller sizes 2-6 were dresses were slim picking.
3. Bring A Friend or Two: This is definitely a two person mission. I highly discourage you from going alone. First of all it was raining and cold when we were standing in line for the sample sale to start. At some point I stood in line alone and my sister went in the car to warm up. However don't bring just anyone with you to the sample sale! Bring a friend who knows what you want, is a bit aggressive and doesn't shy from crowds, and someone who's opinion you trust. I can't tell you how many brides I saw that brought 4+ people and they were having such a hard time choosing a dress because of all the opinions that were being given. Since there are no mirrors and it is a bit chaotic it may be overwhelming. In addition to opinions you need someone to gather and guard the dresses for you. My sister stayed with the dresses and I went around the sample sale to get a different size or pull other dresses because honestly it's hard to do both since the dresses are heavy and white! I helped her try on the dresses and took pictures since there are no mirrors.
4. Be Patient: When the curtains opened at 9am it was a little crazy. People actually ran and just started to grab dresses. However do not get discouraged because after about 15 minutes dresses started coming back on the racks. Thankfully my sister knew the one dress she wanted and that is the only one she went for. If you find someone that has a dress you want don't be shy to ask if they want to keep it or plan on putting it back on the rack. I got a few dresses from people just by asking and I returned the favor. Take your time and try on a few sizes to make sure you get the one that fits and looks good on you.
5. Social Media: Follow BHLDN on Instagram and Snapchat (bhldnweddings) for insider info. I can't thank the person in charge of BHLDN's Snapchat enough because she gave me such great information. She confirmed that the dress my sister wanted was going to be at the sample sale. She also let me know the Navy Yard gates don't open until 7am therefore I probably shouldn't show up at 5am. The previous BHLDN sample sales were July 11, 2015 and January 25, 2014. I'm sure another one will be in the works - I will be sure to share the news on my blog as soon as they announce.
Have a lovely day!