The Do’s and Don’t of a Sample Sale

Olia IG 2

By: Jessica Galloway

It will be here before you know it and you want to be prepared! Olia Zavozina is having a sample sale- one day only- August 29th! Gowns will start at $700 and no appointments required. Doors open at 9 AM.

Unsure of a sample sale? Let me ease your mind! Sample Sales can be the perfect way to score your perfect dress for much less- but there are some things you may need to know to prepare yourself before shopping!

DO bring your friend, your mom, your grandmother- the one person that will give you an honest opinion but still stay true to your wants and wishes. It’s important to have someone that can help you choose!

DON’T come to a sale expecting a typical appointment. Sales can be very hustle bustle and although we do provide consultants to help you find the one, it may not be the one-on-one appointment that we can provide any other day.

DO be prepared to find “THE ONE.” A sample sale is the time to purchase. Unlike ordering a gown, when the dress is gone it’s gone. Many of our samples are one of a kind- only made once and will never be made again. For that reason if you fall in love and then leave we can’t guarantee the gown will still be there waiting on you (and more than likely the girl behind you will steal the moment and say yes!) So when shopping a sample sale be ready to buy!

DON’T say no to a sample sale because you don’t think of yourself as a sample size! This is not a typical runway size only sale! Our gowns will range in size from 2-18 and most gowns can be altered.

DO make sure you have looked through pictures, magazines and Pinterest to know somewhat an idea of what you are thinking! No need to know everything but having some sort of idea will help. With the number of gowns available and the limited time you have to look through everything it helps to know what silhouette or style you are most interested in. But don’t worry- if you get here and that changes we are still here to help and guide you in the right direction

DON’T plan on shopping a sample sale if you aren’t prepared to make some concessions. Sample sales are simply that- selling the sample. Gowns are sold on an “as is” condition. Granted, our samples are kept in excellent condition but there may be a few tweaks that are needed in alterations. Don’t let this scare you! Our consultants will be there to let you know what is and isn’t possible.

DO be open-minded! The best piece of advice for any bride-to-be is to always stay open minded. Wedding dresses usually look better on than on the hanger so don’t say no to a dress until you get it on. Most brides come in with one idea and leave with another so don’t be afraid to just try it on!

Now you have just a few pieces of advice to help you make the most of this amazing opportunity. Come ready to find the one- what better way to find your gown than at a discount!

One day only- August 29th. Gowns starting at $700. Doors open at 9:00 am and as they say, “The early bird always gets the worm.”


Brides Magazine: A Wedding Dress We Love

Weddings We Love, Brides Magazine feature of Gigi

Brides Magazine wrote an amazing article about backless gowns.  I was honored Lauren Frankfort picked Gigi to be feature in the editorial as “classic gown with a surprising twist.”  Let me know your favorite blackless gowns in the comments below. To read the full article click the link to Brides, “A Wedding Dress We Love by Olia Zavozina.”


The perfect love song featuring Amanda and Bill

Photo courtesy of Q Avenue Photo
Photo courtesy of Q Avenue Photo

I moved to Nashville in August of 2009, a few weeks before I started grad school at Belmont. Two days after I moved here, I ran into Caroline Cutbirth at Petsmart. We were acquaintances from our hometown in Texas; we grew up at the same church, went to the same high school, but were 4 years apart, and were not really friends. She was with her boyfriend, Michael. She told me that her boyfriend was in this awesome rock band. The band had a show that night, and they invited me. At the time, I knew not a single other soul in Nashville. All of my belongings were still in boxes at my new apartment. So I went. Caroline and Michael let me tag along with them, and we went backstage, where Bill Satcher and I met. He was super shy. We made small talk about Saved by the Bell. I guess somehow I made an impression on him, because a few days later, Caroline’s band had a show at the same venue, and he went because he heard I was going. Even though he was quiet, he was sweet and funny, and very interesting. I knew I had to get to know him more. Over the last few weeks of summer, we went on a few dates to concerts around town, barbeques, and dinners. That was about it. He had my heart. We fell in love pretty fast. Within the first few months I knew he was the one. Almost 6 years later, I still fall more in love with him every day.

Photo courtesy of Q Avenue Photo
Photo courtesy of Q Avenue Photo

For Christmas this past year, we decided to go see both of our families…my family first in Waco, Texas, then his family in Newberry, South Carolina. About a month before we went to Waco, my parents planned a party to have a bunch of their friends over to listen to some of Bill’s band’s new music and eat chili. About 20 minutes before everyone came over, my dad said he wanted to take some family pictures by the Christmas tree. After a little photo shoot, Bill said he wanted to go get Kona (my Boston Terrier) from the other room so we could take one more picture with her in it. While my dad was snapping a picture of Bill and I with Kona, Bill asked if I saw her new dog tag. I hadn’t noticed. One side said her name. The back side said “The Satchers” with our Nashville address. He said, “Well since she’s going to wear that, I hope you’ll wear this…” and reached into a cabinet behind me to pull out the ring. He got down on one knee in front of the Christmas tree, my parents, and Kona. It was pretty perfect. About 5 minutes later, all of our friends started arriving. My Godparents were the first to arrive, then my best friend, and my sister. It was awesome. I had NO idea.

Engagement Night

Photo courtesy of Q Avenue Photo
Photo courtesy of Q Avenue Photo

We’re having a September wedding in Nashville, with a small ceremony at our chapel and then a larger reception that will just be a big party. We are so excited to have found a great band, amazing food, and a really big dance floor. Our amazing wedding planner, Christina Logan at Christina Logan Design has made the whole process so seamless and easy. Honestly, it has been so fun and stress free. What woman doesn’t want to look at beautiful dresses and flowers? Our “theme” is just natural and ethereal feeling. We have a color palette of grays, taupe, & blush. An ombre sunset. Everything is very organic and delicate. Things that make us comfortable. The Episcopal chapel we are getting married in makes you feel like you are in a forest. It’s stunning.

Photo courtesy of Q Avenue Photo
Photo courtesy of Q Avenue Photo

Finding my gown! Woah! My bridesmaids were all in town for our engagement party. We had appointment that day at another dress shop in town. I don’t want to say much more than it was not a great experience. I left nearly in tears. My sweet friend and soul sister kind of forced me to push through my bad mood, and all of my bridesmaids stubbornly asserted that we not end the day on that note. When my best friend called to ask if y’all could possibly work us in, the dolls at your beautiful store told us to come in 30 minutes. My best friend described the type of dress I loved and what to steer clear of. The girls at Olia pulled dresses for me before I got there. 6 of my 7 bridesmaids were with me. It was the first dress I tried on, and I didn’t try on any others. It was so easy and perfect. Even though the day didn’t start out great, I honestly believe it couldn’t have ended up so perfect if it didn’t happen just as it did. Later that evening, my fiancé’s band ( A Thousand Horses) debuted at the Opry, and then we had our engagement party with friends from near and far. It was a day for the books.

Thank you for such an amazing experience at Olia. My goal of wedding planning has been just to slow down and enjoy it, and y’all definitely helped me to do that by making it such a smooth process.

Photo courtesy of Q Avenue Photo
Photo courtesy of Q Avenue Photo

A latte love story with Savannah and Kramer!


1. We would love to know your love story, how, when, and where did you and your fiance meet? When did you realize he was the one?

We actually met at The Perch. I worked there, and at the time I had a stress fracture in my ankle. So I had to wear this massive boot to work every day. Kramer came in all the time to have coffee and do homework and I thought he was so cute. So I started giving him free coffee. He was oblivious. So then I started giving him free food with his free coffee. He still didn’t really get it. So I had to take some measures into my own hands and I started a conversation with him about homework and school (that’s the trick. Talk to them about school and you reel them right in… Yeah right). So I thought that was it. But then I went to work a few weeks later and wondered where he had been. I honestly thought I’d scared him off. So I talked to my coworker (Jared Foldy FTW) about his absence and mentioned this cute boys name. My coworker knew who he was and suggested that I ‘throw him a bone’ (who says that?). So, I worked up the nerve to facebook message him, and he finally asked me out… to coffee. On our first date, we talked for four hours and probably wouldn’t have ended if the coffee shop hadn’t closed! Needless to say we have crossed from complete strangers to now being engaged and it’s been the most fun year and a half of our lives! And we are pumped to spend the rest of it drinking coffee, laughing, and just hanging out.


2. How did he propose? Did you know he was going to?

Kramer proposed at 10:30 on a Friday morning. TOTALLY wasn’t expecting it. He was supposed to be at work that Friday! He had everything planned out for the weekend, and I had no clue what was happening. Our out of town friends had gotten in the night before, and his plan hinged on me being free Friday morning. Everyone knew that except for me, so I swapped with a coworker for a Friday morning shift.

Coffee shops open so early, I thought surely it didn’t matter. At dinner Thursday night, I mentioned in passing that I would be free at 10am the next morning after work. Everyone in the car got pretty quiet, and I suddenly felt like everyone was mad at me. ‘Great’ I thought. ‘Everyone’s being super weird’. Little did I know I was sending Kramer into a tailspin reworking his whole plan.

So I went to work the next morning and my boss walks in. He’s suddenly mad that I’m there and I have no idea why. Even my mom seemed a little stand-offish in text messages. It was apparently the end of the world/ everyone hate Savannah day. I went home, changed, and headed to our friends house for breakfast. I was starving to death, but praise The Lord I decided to the leave the popcorn in the car! I knocked on the door and Kramer opened it. I was so confused. I sure my face wasn’t very reassuring. The door opened a little wider, and I saw flowers and candles and a huge banner. Then it clicked. I screamed, “ARE YOU PROPOSING RIGHT NOW?!” And then the ugly tears came. He said some very sweet things— which I don’t remember— and I absolutely said yes. After that we went back to his house and cooked bacon for breakfast while we waited to reconnect with our friends.


3. Could you tell us a little about your wedding? Date, location, theme, how far along are you in the planning process?

We’re getting married at The Cordelle on a Sunday. Apparently all of Nashville’s Saturdays in October have been booked since the day I was born. We’re doing a lot of the planning ourselves, and we still have a long way to go. In our head it’s going to be beautiful and not a disaster.


4. Finding your gown, how was your experience? Who came with you to your appointment? And how did you know which gown was the perfect one?

My experience was so great. I came with my maid of honor and my mom. We walked in and immediately felt welcome. They already knew what my budget was and what I was looking for based on some information they asked for before the appointment. It was super helpful because it eliminated a lot of trying on that wasn’t necessary. The second dress I tried on was ‘the one’. I tried on a few others and just loved that second dress. It’s name was Treasure and I decided to put it back on just to double check. As I walked out of the dressing room we blasted ‘treasure’ by Bruno Mars and it was so funny. I danced my way over to the mirror and then everyone teared up and continued to dance. My experience was so much fun. I got to enjoy the people I was with a had a totally stress free environment where we could just let loose and have fun during the process.


Laura and Zach Wedding Wednesday!

Photos by Laurel Pankratz, Eilas Photography
Photos by Laurel Pankratz, Eilas Photography

1. We would love to know your love story, how, when, and where did you and your fiance meet? When did you realize he was the one?

I met Zach my senior year at the University of Florida while on the Beta Theta Pi football road trip to Knoxville, Tennessee. We had many mutual friends and saw each other often in the following months. After graduating, we moved back to our hometowns. A year later, Zach told me he was coming to Jacksonville for the Florida-Georgia football game. I had two tickets and invited him to go with me. We had a great time joking around and laughing about college memories. Zach returned to Philadelphia feeling that he might want something more than friendship. We began talking frequently and eventually planned a trip to Orlando with a few of my friends. I knew when he agreed to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that I was interested in something more too. After a great weekend together, we decided to give dating a shot, despite the distance between us. Over the next six months, we visited each other several times and fell in love.

At the end of my two years with Teach For America, I took a job in Philadelphia to be closer to Zach. A year later, I was accepted to Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville and we made the big move down South. Zach quickly found a job he loved and we settled into a new life with our dog, Gatsby.

After three years of dating (and many hints), Zach asked me to marry him under a beautiful waterfall in Tennessee. I was so shocked that I could only nod my head yes. A few tear-filled moments passed before Zach took my hand from my face and put the ring on. We knew Nashville was the perfect place for our wedding and easily found our dream venue. We are so excited to celebrate our love and commitment with close friends and family!

Photos by Laurel Pankratz, Eilas Photography
Photos by Laurel Pankratz, Eilas Photography

2. Could you tell us a little about your wedding? Date, location, theme, how far along are you in the planning process?

The wedding will take place at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center on March 21, 2015. It will be a very traditional and classic black-tie wedding. It’s only a few days away so, right now we’re just finishing up last minute details!

Photos by Laurel Pankratz, Eilas Photography
Photos by Laurel Pankratz, Eilas Photography

3. Finding your gown, how was your experience? Who came with you to your appointment? And how did you know which gown was the perfect one?

I had my dream dress shopping experience. My maid of honor flew in as well as two of my bridesmaids, mother, future mother-in-law, nana, and two aunts. We had a great time visiting different bridal salons. Before we started, my mother predicted that I would find my dress at Olia Zavozina. It was the last appointment of the weekend. I actually tried on the Tucker dress and loved the lace top. I purchased the Tucker that day but later at home, I found myself second-guessing my choice. I called the next day and the ladies invited me to come back and try on a couple other options. I fell in love with the full skirt and drop waist of the Lauren dress and after a few more changes, ended up with a custom dress that combined the beautiful skirt and details of the Lauren with a lace top inspired by Grace Kelly’s wedding dress. Olia’s mother updated my mother’s veil and my vision was complete.

Photos by Laurel Pankratz, Eilas Photography
Photos by Laurel Pankratz, Eilas Photography