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Bridal Sample Sales: Where to Get The Dress for (Much) Less

Dresses at the Monique Lhuillier sample sale
Dresses at the Monique Lhuillier sample sale

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If you want a designer dress and don't have the cash for one, there's hope: with patience, time and effort, you can score a name-brand gown for much less than the rack price. Below, some of the best bridal sales in LA. Be forewarned, lots of women camp out for these sales, especially the first two.

Vera Wang typically throws a one-day-only bridal sample sale in early December at her boutique at 8445 Melrose Avenue (last year, for instance, it was December 4th). Expect to save 20 to 80% on wedding gowns. Check the Vera Wang blog (specifically, the "events" category) for upcoming sales.

Monique Lhuillier hosts two bridal sample sales per year, one in June or July and one in November or December. Last year, her December sale fell on the exact same day as the Vera Wang sale (pick your sides, ladies!). Unlike Vera, the ML sample sale is usually housed in a big warehouse downtown at 1201 S Grand Avenue. Get a taste of what may be available this time around by checking out these two posts covering past events. Follow the brand on Twitter to be alerted to future sales.

Located at 324 South La Brea Avenue, Glamour Closet is a boutique filled with new designer wedding gowns like Carolina Herrera and Reem Acra, all marked from 25 to 75% off. Many are showroom samples or overstock, the experience is no-frills, they don't take appointments (go on a weekday) and they don't do alterations. Still, if you're on a budget and hell-bent on finding a name-brand gown, you should check here.

If you are a bridal size 4 (normally a size 2) or a size 10 (normally a size 8), you're in luck at Claire Pettibone. The designer, who just dressed Priscilla Chan for her wedding to Mark Zuckerberg, always has a selection of gowns in those sizes hanging at the front of her boutique at 236 South Robertson Boulevard for 25 to 75% off. Those discounts deepen during her bi-annual sample sale (the next is October 12th and 13th). You can walk in during the sale, but they advise making an appointment as fitting rooms are extremely limited.

Jenny Yoo is known for having both spring and fall sample sales where dresses are marked 40 to 80% off. Sign up for their email list at the boutique at 8311 Beverly Boulevard to be alerted when they're discounting.

Temperley London just finished up a big sale, and they might not have another until 2013. Call the store at (323-782-8000) to be added to an email list alerting you to any bridal markdowns.

For a casual or beachy wedding, the BCBG outlet at Desert Hills typically has a few white gowns in stock. Call ahead (951-922-2615) to double-check before you make the drive.

If we've missed any great secret sources, please do let us (and your fellow brides-to-be) know in the comments.
· All Weddings Week Coverage [Racked]