Designers always have to make room for the new collections, and so the old stock sometimes gets sent to outlets. Unlike with charity shops, everything is brand new, though perhaps there might also be a few samples that have been tried on in boutiques. Still, they've never been down an aisle.
There's a Littlewoods catalogue outlet near some family, and I did find a Nicholas Millington wedding dress there for £60, which would have been over £200 new. Again, not my taste, but a bargain if it's the kind of thing you're after. I even posed in it for you, here you go:
I went to a bridal outlet recently here in South Wales at the Festival shopping park in Ebbw Vale. To be honest, most of the dresses seemed to be full price (£1000+), but there was a sale rail with some discounted dresses, including a Morilee palest pink tulle gown (£700 down from £1800ish), covered with delicate fabric flowers that was very 1950's Dior and would make a fabulous ball gown. Not my taste for a wedding though.
It takes a bit of detective work to find out what outlets are near where you live, as many of them won't have an online presence. I did have a look on the web to see what outlets I could find on there, so here are the ones that could be worth a look, and they're mainly in the Midlands and the North of the UK:
The North & Midlands
Copplestone's Bridal in Liverpool:
"Copplestones Bridal is the original designer wedding dress outlet based in Liverpool City Centre. Our Bridal Gowns are priced from £99 to £599, with an Exclusive range going up to £899, hugely discounted from RRPs. They are brand new, first quality and sourced directly from the designers and manufacturers. We’ve hundreds of dresses for you to try on, in sizes from 8 to 32, that you can even take home that same day. Our couture quality gowns are handcrafted and designed to be altered for that perfect fit."
Above: New stock added to Copplestone's in mid November
The Wedding Dress & Prom Dress Bridal Factory Outlet in Stockport & Burton-Upon-Trent:
"We have hundreds of wedding dresses in stock in all different sizes by lots of different designers for you to choose from. All gowns at way below RRP. We aim to offer you the widest choice of well known label designer discounted bridal wear."
Bridal Factory Outlet in Northallerton, Yorkshire:
"Our showrooms stock over 1000 discounted off the peg Wedding dresses, Bridesmaids, Prom, and Evening gowns.Providing the Bride to be a designer wedding gown sourced from top designers collections, press samples, cancelled orders and bulk purchases."
Wedding Dress Factory Outlet in Burbage (Leicestershire) and Bolton, and Bromley (Kent):
"Save up to £1500 on a designer wedding dress! There's absolutely no reason to break your budget when choosing the perfect wedding dress. Choose from our comprehensive range of well-known bridal brands and designers and pay up to 75% less than the retail price."
Limelight Occasions Bridal Clearance Sale in Huddersfield, Yorkshire:
"To make way for our latest collections we must reluctantly say goodbye to some of our fabulous designer wedding dresses. These sample dresses are now for sale off the peg with huge discounts. For brides on a budget they are an absolute bargain – a chance to wear famous label bridal gowns such as Stewart Parvin, Charlotte Balbier, Paloma Blanca, Augusta Jones, Essense of Australia and Sophia Tolli at incredibly cheap prices. Off the peg sample wedding dresses are great value for money and perfect if you are arranging your wedding within a limited timescale because they are sold as seen and you take them away that day. Limelight can provide a list of self employed seamstresses who will help you with any alterations needed."
Boutique Bridal Outlet, Cheshire:
"Beautiful bridal gowns, sourced from designers and their official stockists, at prices from £50 to £650. All of our wedding dresses can be taken away the same day and we pride ourselves on our friendly, helpful service."
Perfection Bridal Sale Outlet in Swansea:
"Off the peg designer label wedding gowns at discounted prices. Available to take away. No pre-order."
London & The South
Swoon Bridal in Weybridge, Surrey:
Whether the dress is a sample or a high end Designer preloved one, we can guarantee that it will be considerably cheaper than its original RRP although quality is not compromised. All wedding dresses are available to view at our new boutique in Oatlands Village, Weybridge, Surrey, which is just a 25 minute train journey from London Waterloo. We carry dresses from a HUGE range of designers including Augusta Jones, Maggie Sottero , Justin Alexander and Emma Hunt at prices to suit everyone.
Wedding Dress Factory Outlet in Bromley, Kent (see same chain under Midlands and North)
Thea Bridal Clearance House, Isle of Wight:
"Thea Bridal Clearance House offers brides quality gowns by top designers including Pronovias Maggie Sotterro Sottero Midgeley Alfred Angelo Ellis and many others all at amazing prices All gowns are £395 and under example RRP £1550 our price £395 Many gowns are samples from our shops and others are offered to us at a reasonable price from the manufacturers which have been over orders and as we have a few shops we are privileged to be offered such good prices. So we like to pass this on to our brides. ALL GOWNS ARE NEW and sold as seen We also have great deals on our accessories including 144 inch Cathedral length veils RRP £230 our price £95 Tiaras RRP £69 our price £25.All gowns are sent out and included in the price is a cotton breathable bag ideal for storing whether you for 2 weeks or 2 years."
I hope that's helpful for anyone trying to track down an outlet near them.
Now, it's time to confess...
...I've already bought my dress!!
No sneak peeks, it's top secret. It was a steal, and a complete stroke of luck in that it was the first dress I tried on, and was sourced online. I have some customisation and alterations to do (and will probably be enlisting my friend's Mum to help, she's got skills!), and there are some finishing touches to arrange in terms of accessories, but I have a plan. Mwah ha ha!
I told my Mum that I'd already bought a dress as we were wandering around that outlet in Ebbw Vale. She's a very unfussy person and I could see her eyeing the over-the-top Princessy gowns with distaste as she asked "Do you feel you've made the right choice, seeing these?". I offered to try on a few if she felt she'd missed out on the crying that mums always seem to do on shows like Don't Tell The Bride when they first see their daughter in a wedding dress, but she didn't feel the need.
Do you have any bridal outlets in your area? Have you ever been to one?