Trunk Show Tips

Advice from five top East Bay bridal shops for finding your dream dress.

By Allyson Wiley

Planning a wedding can be stressful—but finding your dress doesn’t have to be. Thankfully, most bridal shops host trunk shows, where designers present their latest collections and offer discounts. Here are expert tips for tackling a trunk show like a pro.


Tip: Know what to expect

“Find out which shows are the right ones for you. Are the designs to your taste—or are they way off budget, even with a discount? Are they too formal or informal? What sizes will be offered?” —Clara Petit, co-owner, The Wedding Party, Berkeley, (510) 420-1338,




Tip: Communicate with the Shop

“If you’re looking for a certain dress, call the salon and let your consultant know. She can make sure the dress will be at the trunk show and you won’t be disappointed.” —Patti Fontana Sagrafena, sales lead, La Soie Bridal, Walnut Creek, (925) 933-9988,


Tip: Shop around first

“Designers send in anywhere from 10 to 30 dresses that are not normally carried at that salon, so chances are high that you are going to find your dress if you already know what you’re looking for.” —Dawn Silva Rigney, co-owner, Kinsley James Couture Bridal, Walnut Creek, (925) 330-9228,


Tip: Select your entourage wisely

“Limit the number of guests that join you to just those whose opinion you value. Sometimes, having too large of a party can cloud your ability to make a decision.” —Victoria Hansen, owner, Lace and Bustle Bridal, Lafayette, (925) 298-4100,


Tip: Be prepared to buy

“Sometimes at trunk shows, brides aren’t prepared to buy their dress right then, and when the dress moves to another store the next week, brides are disappointed. So if there’s a dress you really like, take advantage of that at the show.” —Jaime Zile, owner, J’aime Bridal, Pleasanton, (925) 846-8459,