A Bridal Trunk Show: What you need to know!

wedding dresses on rails

What is a Bridal Trunk Show?

With 58% of brides to be scouring the likes of Pinterest and Insta for bridal gown inspiration (confetti.com), you may have come across a designer or two that you favour. Perhaps you have started shopping for your gown and found the designer you love, but not the right gown? How would you find this designers collection in one place, without having to visit all their stockists? The answer is simple, find your nearest BRIDAL TRUNK SHOW!


Trunk Show: noun- a showing and sale in a retail store of an entire collection of clothing, jewellery, etc., from a designer.

Bridal boutiques select designers to stock in their shops and each time a designer releases a collection, that shop will order a selection of gowns. A boutique, no matter their size, wouldn’t order the entire collection as not all gowns would suit their brides desires. Therefore, the designer will loan the entire collection to their stockist, usually for a weekend for a bridal trunk show.

Did you now that boutiques are limited by the designer to only having one or two of these events per year? This is so they remain a special occasion and not to be missed!

Would a trunk appointment differ to one on a different day?

The short answer to this is it depends on the boutique. Some boutiques may charge for appointments when they normally wouldn’t. Some shops may shorten appointment times due to popular demand. Others may take their normal/ other collections of the shop floor to only focus on this one collection. How a trunk show runs from store to store can differ. If the new collection is being sent, the gowns will be pre-selected. Some designers give the boutiques a chance to request gowns from older collections too. Designers typically send between 10-20 gowns for each trunk show.

Window for trunk show
Our window display for the Hayley Paige Trunk Show using her illustrations.

Trunk Shows at Victoria Elaine Bridal

Here at Victoria Elaine Bridal, we like to create a party vibe during our trunk shows so it is a little different to a normal day. We set up a photo booth in the boutique to get our brides and their tribes in the mood for a fun time! Obviously, there is a larger selection of gowns to try on than our normal collections too.

Bridal Trunk show at Victoria Elaine Bridal
The photo booth in use

We do tend to shorten appointment times to 75 minutes (normally 90). We find on a trunk show, the brides already know they like the designer and focus their search a lot more. They don’t tend to need the full 90 minutes and it means we don’t disappoint as many brides when we get fully booked as we can see more of you!
Sometimes, we will charge for appointments on trunk shows. You may be surprised, but this isn’t to make money! This is to ensure that the brides we book in are committed to attending the event. There is nothing worse than turning away a bride when you have a full diary, only to have someone not arrive for their appointment. If we charge, we do tend to give the bride a gift as a token of appreciation.

Is a bridal trunk show the same as a designer weekend or sample sale?

No, they are not. Let’s deal with designer weekends first. Designer Weekends are very similar to a trunk show. Some English shops may even call a trunk show a designer weekend as trunk show is a term that has come from the U.S.A. The big, exciting difference is the designer of the collection will also attend the event and be involved in appointments if it is a designer weekend. If you follow Hayley Paige, you will often see her advertising New York and L.A. designer weekends as she does attend them in America! I promise I will try and book her for a trunk show if she ever comes over to the U.K.!

Sample sales are something completely different. As a boutique we order our samples for brides to try on. Over a period of time, these could incur small damages or become discontinued. Should this ever happen, a boutique is then able to sell the sample on to a bride. It is also possible that designers can sell unwanted stock to boutiques for their sales. Therefore, if you see a sample sale advertised, it is always worth having a look as you can get a good deal.


Top Tips:

– If you have a favourite bridal designer, look on their website to find out where their trunk shows are being held. It will be worth travelling for.

– Definitely pre-book your appointment. Trunk shows can be booked up weeks in advance, don’t be disappointed by not booking your space.

– Don’t be late to your appointment! Events like this do get fully booked and if you are late, you risk your appointment being shortened r cancelled!

– Listen to your consultant. You may have followed this label, but the consultant would have been trained with the inside knowledge from the designer. If they say their production time is different to other designers, it is. If the sizing is different to what you expected, it could be down to the designer’s size chart or US/European sizing.

– Finally, if you find your dress, and it is a trunk show sample, place your order. The trunk show samples often go from one boutique to another. If the dress you fall for isn’t part of the shops collection, it is unlikely it can be loaned again for some time. Remember, when you know, you know when it comes to your dress.


For information regarding our upcoming trunk shows, use the link below!


To find out when our designers are having trunk shows, click on the links below;

Hayley Paige- https://www.jlmcouture.com/trunk-shows

Eddy K- https://eddyk.com/trunk-shows/

Ellis Bridals- Via Facebook or http://www.ellisbridals.co.uk/retailers/

wedding dresses on rails
Our rails full of bridal gowns for you to try!


Should you wish to book an appointment at Victoria Elaine Bridal, use the link below;


Victoria Elaine Bridal Maidstone


Book Your Appointment

Victoria Elaine Bridal is the boutique to visit for wonderful customer service, luxury gowns and a friendly team on hand to help you find your dream wedding dress. Our ethos is a bride should not be outshone on her wedding day, and our style of gowns reflect this! If you are looking for anything from a sparkly ballgown to a modern, minimalist dress, we are the shop for you! 

And did we mention, we are Kent’s authorised stockist of the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings and Disney Fairy Tale Weddings PLATINUM collections!

For your dream bridal experience to begin at Victoria Elaine Bridal, simply book an appointment with us.

We very much look forward to seeing in the boutique soon!