Ok, so I got the call today that my dress was in! The place I went is a little boutique and only open by appointment. So between the owner's schedule and mine (going out of town for 10 days for vacation) and needing to either pickup or pay the balance within 10 days, only tonight worked to actually go pick it up. No one could go with me so I went by myself.
I got there and tried on the dress. I noticed the same couple things about the dress that I noticed with the sample -- the appliques weren't totally "tacked" down on the hip and the train was all wrinkly but the skirt wasn't at all. I mentioned both of these things to the owner, and she assured me "Oh, that's how they are done - everyone's body is different so they don't tack down the ends so they don't pull funny. You can have whoever does your alterations tack them down." And then for the train she just they steam them after the alterations are all done. I just thought it was weird the skirt was nearly flawless but the train was seriously wrinkled.
So I didn't think a lot of it all until I got home and realized there were no tags on it, and then I started to wonder if she sold me the sample and was trying to pass it off as a new gown. Do wedding dresses come with tags?? Like on the outside? This has the size/designer/care tag on the inside like it should, but no hangtag on the outside. Obviously it will be an uncomfortable conversation to "accuse" her of selling me the sample, but I ordered a new dress for a reason, and I just get the feeling it's not all on the up and up.