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Wedding and Bridesmaid Dress RentalsSome sources indicate that tuxedo rentals are on their way out. A 2015 Business Insider piece explains that changing trends such as less formal weddings, online tuxedo vendors, and the shrinking gap between renting and purchasing new could be impacting this shift. Yet at the same time, some who desire to wear wedding gowns or outfit their attendants are turning to rental options instead of buying their frocks. Could this be the right move for you? Some information and tips can help you decide.

The Lowdown on Bridal Gown Rental

In a 2014 StyleCaster write-up, contributor Meghan Blalock revealed that Rent the Runway was one of the first to offer rental wedding gowns. The New York company was launched in 2008 by Harvard Business School students Jennifer Hyman and Jenifer Fleiss and first billed itself as a designer rental company supplying work and casual wear. Later, it expanded into bridal gowns and other couture for weddings. Blalock described its initial services as a “wallet-friendly option” for brides interested in cutting costs while still looking fabulous.

Since then, other vendors have broken into the wedding dress rental market, potentially affording you a wide range of possibilities to get a gown that you love. Woman Getting Married contributor Claire Swinarski explains that some brick-and-mortar bridal boutiques have gotten in on the act, so it’s worth phoning around to see if you can go with a local vendor for a rental frock. Meanwhile, Brides contributor Hillary Hoffower mentions a few formalwear rental options for bridesmaids, and mothers of brides. While vendors such as Borrowing Magnolia focus chiefly on bridal gowns, others like One Night Affair also offer cocktail dresses and evening frocks while still more include accessories and jewelry in their lineups.

Tips for a Hassle-Free Rental Experience

In her Brides article, Hoffower also lays out some important pros and cons of renting a wedding dress. Some great benefits of rental can include:

  • Significant cost savings
  • Access to designer fashions at lower prices
  • No need to clean and preserve a dress

At the same time, she cautions readers about a few key considerations to keep in mind. You won’t have your dress as a keepsake, and you could face liability and extra fees from spills, stains, or other types of damage. Additionally, you could find yourself limited by available size options, so your best bet is to choose a provider that offers alteration services and a respectable range of sizes. Finally, you must follow your chosen vendor’s return policies to avoid raking up late fees.

In her Woman Getting Married piece, Swinarski recommends some best rental practices of her own. First, she urges renters to immediately try on the dresses they request and to pay close attention to a vendor’s terms of service, especially its stipulations about what the security deposit covers. Next, Swinarski suggests going shopping as soon as possible, especially if your chosen date falls during popular wedding seasons. Lastly, you should give any dress you receive a close once-over to ensure it’s in good condition, and promptly ship any unacceptable garments back to the company.

Choosing Your Best Formalwear Solutions

Ultimately, weddings are customizable events. While there are some basics that you need to tie the knot, everything else is up to you. Whether your goal is to save money, conserve closet space, throw a more eco-friendly affair, or wear attire that you could never afford on your own, a rental wedding gown may be a perfect solution for you. Shopping with care, reading any fine print, and doing your due diligence in returning your dress will ensure that you’re satisfied with the experience and feel stunning on your special day.

Category: Wedding Planning Ceremonies

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