Why Brides are Embracing Wedding Dress Rentals

Before the pandemic, the average cost of a traditional wedding with all the toppings was close to $25,000. Today, with supply chain issues, wedding vendors have had to up the ante, and today, the same wedding from five years ago now costs nearly $30,000 to pull off.

With that said, brides are growing savvier and more budget-conscious and looking at all possible solutions when it comes to planning the perfect wedding. Everything is on the table, including renting the perfect wedding gown.

No longer does it seem reasonable to spend $2,000 to $5,000 on a wedding dress when it will only be worn once for a period of a few hours at the most. There are so many other possible areas where that money could be useful, considering everything that goes into having the perfect wedding. Wedding services have always included items that you rent or use temporarily: planners, caterers, music (DJ/bands), wedding party favors, wedding and reception supplies, and destination weddings). The wedding dress has always been something the bride holds dear and keeps forever, but not anymore. More and more brides are now opting to rent their wedding dresses for their big day.

Why Wedding Dress Rentals Have Become Popular

If your wedding budget is limited and costs need to be cut. You may want to consider renting your wedding dress instead of purchasing one, as so many more brides are now doing. Here are a few reasons why this trend has caught on so easily.

1. The Cost

Renting a wedding dress for $50 to $600 is a far cry from purchasing one for $2,000 to $5,000. Saving money is probably the biggest reason many brides are now considering renting as the perfect solution for their wedding dresses. Not only could it allow you to wear the dress of your dreams, but it could also make room to dazzle in other areas of your wedding.

2. Preservation

Most wedding dresses are made with delicate fabric that can easily be tarnished if not properly taken care of. Since the bride doesn’t usually get the dress until right before the wedding date, she spends more time caring for and preserving the dress after the big day is over. This can be nerve-racking, especially if space is an issue. This is one less thing to worry about with a rental dress.

3. Hassle-Free

Destination weddings have also become more popular. Renting a dress after your arrival can be more convenient than transporting a wedding dress with you. This prevents you from having to worry about how to pack the dress, getting it wrinkled, or it getting lost during travel.

Challenges With Renting Your Wedding Dress

You should know that renting a wedding dress is not 100% headache-free, but it alleviates much of the headache of buying one. Here are just a few things to remember when renting a wedding dress:

Options could be limited: It may be challenging to find the gown you want in your size, or it may not be available on your wedding date. It may also be difficult to get the dress altered.

Looks can be deceiving: If you order a dress online from a rental store, it may not look as you expected. Some things look better online or in a book than on the person.

Fees and damages: Fees can add up quickly on a rental dress, particularly if you have it shipped or if you have to insure it. Also, there’s the possibility of late fees if it’s not returned on time. Plus, there are additional fees if the dress is damaged while in your care.

Sentimental value is lost: Many brides love holding on to their wedding dress for the sentimental value and memories it adds to their special day. Also, it can be handed down to the next generations. That’s not a possibility with a rental dress.

Tips To Consider Before Renting Your Wedding Dress

Remember to check out the reviews for any wedding rental dress company you consider online. Read what other customers are saying. Even when you find your size, not all brands fit the same, so consider all of that. You may even want to check to see if trying the dress on before renting is possible.

Make sure to utilize filters when searching online. Narrow your search as much as possible by color, length, silhouette, shape, sleeves, body type, and embellishments.

Make sure you confirm how early before the wedding you can rent the dress and how long you’re able to hold on to the dress before returning it. This will help avoid late fees.

Where To Rent Your Wedding Dress

  • Rent the Runway: With over 750 designers to choose from, this is one of the few places where you need to purchase a subscription to rent. The plan runs from $79/month to $149/month for a period of two months. The higher your plan, the more items you can rent (anywhere from 5 to 15 items per month). You can cancel at any time.
  • The Dress Outlet: Rent wedding dresses for as little as $100
  • Borrowing Magnolia: These are previously worn dresses you can rent or purchase at a lesser price.
  • Etsy: You can filter your search to find the perfect dress. You can even search by location in hopes of finding a designer near you. Dresses are made by independent designers who will likely have affordable prices.
  • Look for local vendors that have dress rentals
  • Affordable dresses for purchase can also be found at Lulu’s, Azazie, and JJ’s House, as well as secondhand options at thrift stores or StillWhite. Smart Wallet team member Alice found her wedding dress at Azazie for only $300!

The Bottom Line

Weddings can be extremely expensive, and the wedding dress is one of the most expensive purchases. Unless you’re big on preserving the sentimental value a wedding dress can bring, why not cut the costs to make your wedding more affordable? Men rent their tuxes. Why not consider renting the bride’s dress and bridesmaids’ dresses to keep some money in everyone’s pockets?

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