Updated: Aug 2, 2020
Who doesn't love FREE samples?! Whether it's food, makeup, clothes, or other goodies, we just LOVE getting fun things for free. It's even better when these things are actually usefull to us- like a gift that keeps on giving. Well I'm about to let you in on a little secret: there are lots of free samples floating around in the wedding world, too. No matter what part you are at in the planning process, there are surely some samples that you could benefit from.
Samples of wedding items are not only fun, but they are extremely useful in planning. They are so helpful in determining color, look, feel, and quality among other things. And they are perfect for putting on your wedding vision board! A lot of samples can even be mailed to you, so right now is the perfect time to order some. So, what samples can you get?
Stores that sell paint (Walmart, Home Depot, etc) will have free color swatches that you can take home. These are perfect to use when deciding on your wedding color palette. That way you can physically see colors next to each other and decide what colors work well together for your wedding. Once you decide on the winning color swatches, you can place them on your vision board and use them as a reference when picking out bridesmaid dresses and other wedding decor to make sure that the colors are all in sync. Ending up with wedding decor that's 50 different shades of red would be a total disaster! Make sure that doesn't happen and pick up your free paint samples to reference.
Sites like Birdy Grey and Kennedy Blue offer free samples of fabric for their bridesmaid dresses throughout the year. When samples are not free, they are $1-$2 each. Kennedy Blue even offers to ship dresses out for you to try on for a low price. David's Bridal offers a deal on 5 or more color swatches as well. Fabric samples help when it's hard to decide which fabric color is closest to your wedding color. A lot of times, the fabric may look different online than it does in person, so having a physical sample to compare to your paint swatches/wedding colors certainly aids in the decision process.
Minted offers a $10 credit towards samples of (almost) any invitations or save-the-dates on their website. Each of the save-the-dates and invitations range from about $1-$3 per piece depending on the piece. You can customize a sample or pick and choose multiple generic ones to view. And the best part? Shipping is free! I love minted because it is a culmination of work from different artists, similar to Etsy. And their samples come in the most adorable little package, along with foil samples, color samples, paper samples, envelope samples, and a sweet personal note. I LOVE a company with great customer service, and Minted really goes above and beyond to make sure that you get exactly what you're looking for. And if you do end up buying your invites through Minted, you get a customizable wedding website for free! They have many designs that are similar to the invites, so you are sure to find one that complements your printed pieces.
Other fabric/color samples that you might want to look into ordering are linen samples for your table linens, overlays (optional) and napkins. There are so many different colors and types/designs of fabric that it can be hard to navigate without seeing anything physically. Do you want satin, burlap, chiffon, crinkled, lace, sequin, velvet, or paisley tablecloths? Order some samples to find out! Don't forget to match the colors to your color swatches.
Cake tasting/ menu tasting are also great (and delicious!) ways to get wedding samples as soon as the stay-at-home order has been lifted. Utilize these to make the most out of your time being engaged and make sure that you pick the food that is the best fit for you and your wedding. You should definitely be picking food (and cake) that you enjoy the flavor and look of- both of which a tasting will help you decide on.
Another HUGE way to find free samples (once the stay-at-home order is lifted) is to attend wedding fairs/bridal shows. There are so many wedding vendors there, ranging from caterers, hotels, photographers and quintets, to officiants and bachelorette party planners. Many of the vendors that you will meet will have some great discounts and freebies for you, on top of the full welcome bag of swag you normally get at the registration table. You can get branded pens, sewing kits, "I do" apparel, champagne flutes, slippers, cookies, and much more that you never thought you needed until now.
Sounds like you might have some samples to start ordering- I won't keep you any longer! For more helpful tips on wedding planning while stuck at home, be sure to read my other blog posts.