What is a Bridal Gown Trunk Show?

You’ve heard about bridal gown trunk shows on Insta, FB, and at your fave bridal boutique, but what does a trunk show even mean? Are there trunks?  Are the gowns shown? Do you get to try them on? Do you really need an appointment? What makes them so great for gown shopping?

So many questions!

Here’s the bridal trunk show skinny:

To stock their shops with delectable frocks, boutique owners choose which dresses they’d like to have in store for their specific brides. As such, most bridal boutiques don’t carry the entire collection of Lea-Ann Belter, Astrid & Mercedes, or any one designer’s gowns.

So, how do you get your hands on the dress you’ve been stalking online if it’s not at the shop? Get thee to a trunk show!

the flagship Lea-Ann Belter Toronto bridal boutique 

What’s a trunk show exactly?

Generally, every designer will send their new season of gowns on a tour to visit retailers—these visits are called trunk shows. Sometimes trunk shows feature not just the newest styles but also a selection of gowns from previous seasons; some events may even include accessories.

image via Lea-Ann Belter retailer Something Bleu Bridal‘s Instagram

What makes a trunk show special?

Think of a trunk show as an in-store pop-up shop. Whatever comes in for the trunk show is available for a short period—usually just one weekend! After that, they’re boxed up and shipped off to the next store with a scheduled trunk show.

Because it takes time to fill our retailers’ sample style orders, trunk shows are great for women who fall for just-unveiled collections. In the case of Lea-Ann Belter Bridal and Astrid & Mercedes, each dress is made by hand in Toronto! What you see walking the runway on Insta takes months to reach the shops. If you spot a gown during Bridal Week that makes your heart flutter, your chance to try it on (without a wait) is during a trunk show.

image via Lea-Ann Belter retailer Hi Beautiful Bridal’s  Instagram 

How do trunk show appointments work?

Sometimes the designer or a representative will arrive with the dresses to work with brides, which always makes things super exciting.  When Lea-Ann or Karen, or US rep, join our trunk shows, all kinds of customization goes on, and brides will  receive a sketch of their unique gown. Boutiques will also generally offer incentives (such as 10% off) to purchase a gown during a trunk show event.

Appointments during a trunk show are typically managed the same as they usually are—brides will work one-on-one with a boutique’s stylist to find just the right dress. Unless, of course, the designer or a rep is present, in which case the experience is even more special!

To add to the awesome, boutiques are known to offer champagne, snacks, a goodie bag, or even have some favorite wedding vendors present, so be ready for a good time!


Find a Lea-Ann Belter Bridal or Astrid & Mercedes trunk show near you!