Are you dreaming of wearing a fabulous gown on your wedding day? Does your vision of the perfect strut down the aisle include a perfect designer dress? Then you've surely noticed how those big designer names can come with some even bigger designer price tags.
Whether you're picturing a white floor-length ball gown or a hot pink mini full of embellishments, your dream dress can be super affordable by hopping on the unconventional trend of turning your gown purchase into a rental.
Why You Should Consider Renting
Renting a wedding dress isn't for everyone.
If the idea of passing your wedding dress down like a family heirloom makes you feel sentimental and teary, you should pass on the idea of renting. A perfect option for the minimalist, renting your wedding dress can give you endless access to designer wedding gowns, evening gowns and dresses that may have been out of your budget, worn once and stuck in your closet for who knows how long.
According to a survey by The Knot, the average wedding gown costs between $1,600 and $2,000. If that's a little more than you're wanting or willing to pay, renting can get you the same dresses for sometimes as much as 80% less than the retail cost to purchase.
If you're sold, check out these five wedding dress rental companies that make it easy to save on your dress for the big day without having to sacrifice style.
Rent the Runway is a fashion rental website that allows users to incorporate high-end designers into their wardrobe at a fraction of the price. And while they aren't specifically for wedding gowns, they have plenty of white and non-traditional options that work beautifully for a wedding. This company rocks in terms of options, as you can always buy something you fall in love with and keep pieces as long as you like.
Membership runs as low as $89 each month with an introductory trial month for only $69. This plan allows up to four rental items per month from the "Basic Closet," which doesn't include designers or formal wear. Upgrade to "Full closet access" for $135 a month and get up to 8 items per month. Individual, four-day rentals are available without a membership on most items.
Rent the Runway is a great option for picking up a handful of pieces to wear throughout your wedding weekend. Score a great outfit for the rehearsal dinner, day after brunch and your bachelorette party, all in your first month's subscription service.
Dry cleaning or laundering is not required before the return, which is always a bonus, and Rent the Runway accommodates sizes 00-22.
We love this reversible dress for its versatility and its price tag. Wear forwards for a high neck three-quarter sleeved gown perfect for the ceremony, and turn backward for a high collard dress with a plunging cutout that is perfect for the reception.
This dress retails for $298 and can be rented for as low as $35 for four days.
Much like Rent the Runway, Poshare lets its users rent designer clothes for a fraction of the cost of purchasing. Only in this case, it's for a limited number of days, making this company great for special events like weddings and parties. Once you find an item you want to rent, select the date of your event to ensure timely delivery and add it to your bag. You'll have a chance to choose rent or buy in this section if that's an option.
After you've worn the item, return it to the lender with a shipping label that is almost always conveniently included in the original package.
Even if you're not sold on the idea of renting, check out Poshare for the excellent sales on dresses for purchase.
Dry cleaning is the individual lender's responsibility, so there is no need to clean the items. Garments are available for sizes 00-24.
Our favorite, slightly saucy number is this knockout from Primavera Couture. Bell sleeves, beaded overly, open back and a pooling skirt makes this dress oh-so-dreamy and perfect for a wedding.
This dress retails for $429 and can be rented for $249.
Villageluxe is a website that lets users borrow designer clothes from each other and rent them by the week. Once registered, users can post their own designer closets to be rented.
Currently, Villageluxe requires an invite to join, but they have a link to their waiting list. The company is built on a foundation of sustainability in the high fashion world and seeks to empower its users through sisterhood and community.
Dry cleaning is again the responsibility of the lender, and clothes are available in sizes 00-16
We are head over heels for this blush pink midi dress from Temperley London. A perfect option for the non-traditional bride, this dress paid a nude silk slip and a sheer gown with blue and black embellishments.
This dress retails for $1895 and can be borrowed for $207 per week.
Just as the name says, this company has endless wedding dresses available for rent and purchase. Rentals can be taken for either three or five days, and it's recommended you reserve your dress at least 30 days before the wedding date.
After you wear your dress, package and return it with the prepaid shipping labels and included packing materials. Dry cleaning is handled by the company, so there is no need to have it cleaned before its return. If the dress comes back with any stains that cannot be removed, you will not get back your security deposit.
These sample dresses are sold in US medium or 6, but reversible alterations are allowed on most of the rentals. This includes things like temporary stitching to bring the dress in or to shorten.
This dress from Jiemo Bridal has our hearts aflutter. Romantic lines from poetry are artistically strewn throughout the off-white floor-length tulle-covered ball gown for a feeling of whimsey and fun.
The retail cost of this dress could not be located, but a three-day rental will cost $127
Don't let the name fool you; Borrowing Magnolia is technically a second-hand dress retailer but still deserves a look because the prices are sweet. On average, you'll save about 50% from the retail cost, and the dress is in like-new condition.
Smart filters allow users to shop for their dream dress by size, wedding date, price, sleeve length and even body type and fabric. Once you find what you think will be your perfect fit, you message the seller to ask any questions, get more photos, and then seal the deal with payment.
Since there is no return, cleaning is up to you. Borrowing Magnolia offers sizes 0-18 with limited styles in 18+.
As inventory is constantly changing, our team can't pick one of our favorites and have it available to you. Make sure to check out the sale page for extra savings and stalk their new arrivals sections to get the fresh listings before they are gone.
Rentals For Everybody!
Wedding dresses aren't the only garments in the rental game. Tuxedos are the original rental star, but now you can take care of the whole wedding party from the comfort of your living room. Sites like The Black Tux let users rent designer suits and tuxedos conveniently from the comfort of home. Tuxes are delivered two weeks before the big day, so fit and sizing can be checked and adjusted if needed.
The bridal party can also reap the benefits of rental by using one of these companies for their bridesmaid dresses. This can work especially well when the bride has given free rein on what dress each person will wear with instructions to just stick to one select color or style. Most of these sites allow you to filter your search by any "bride-given criteria" to narrow down your options.
When it comes to weddings, everything is rented. The location, tables, chairs, literally everything is probably rented or included in your location package as a rental. So why do we get so hung up on the sentimental value of a wedding dress?
Fact: Renting your perfect dress won't only save money, it will save you valuable closet space as well. Who actually needs a perfectly preserved dress hanging around the back of their closet? Or, worse, all boxed up in that giant heirloom preservation box, memorializing fashion from a bygone era.
You might as well take advantage of the financial savings, think about the good you're doing for the planet by recycling your designer gown, and enjoy your dream wedding.
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