Rather than paying thousands of dollars for a gown you will wear just once, consider renting a wedding dress that you can feel great in while saving money. A rental is a great option for brides who want a stunning dress without the stunning price tag.
Gown Rental Pros and Cons
Many women are interested in the rental option for their gowns. In addition to buying a wedding dress, most brides have to contend with preserving and storing the wedding dress. With a rented dress, all you have to do is choose the dress, wear it, and return in within the allotted time period. You don't even have to worry about the dry cleaning.
A rental is a great option if money, maintenance, destination location or space is an issue.
- Money: With a dress rental, you'll be spending a lot less money. Many expensive designer wedding dresses will rent for only a couple of hundred dollars. In fact, many rental businesses offer packages that include veil, shoes and jewelry. Use the money saved for other wedding aspects, the honeymoon or even as part of a down payment on your future house.
- Maintenance: The last thing any bride wants to worry about upon returning home from her honeymoon is cleaning and preserving her wedding dress. With a rented dress, this is the least of your worries. Once you're through with the dress, you can return it. The cleaning is handled by the rental business.
- Destination weddings: Renting a destination wedding dress will save you from having to lug a heavy suit bag on a plane. Many places famous for destination weddings, such as Las Vegas or Hawaii, have many wedding rental shops to choose from.
- Space: If you have limited storage space, a rental helps to eliminate the issue of where to store your wedding dress.
While renting a dress may sound like a great idea, keep these potential issues in mind:
- Selection: The selection for a rental dress is often smaller than at typical dress shops, and the available designs may be several season or even years old.
- Size: In many cases you won't be able to make alterations and can only choose a gown in your size. If the dress of your dreams doesn't fit properly, you'll have to find a different one. If the rental location does offer alterations, it's usually a separate charge.
- Care: While you won't have to pay for dry cleaning, you will have to take special care with the gown. If you cause damage to the dress, you may be expected to pay for the repairs. If the dress is damaged beyond repair, you'll have to purchase it outright.
- Impersonal: If you go for a wedding dress rental, you lose the ability to be able to save your dress and pass it on to someone special.
Renting a Dress
Many brides-to-be start their dress rental search in their hometown and surrounding areas. Sometimes local bridal salons offer this service or a store specializing in rentals is available in the area. Costume shops are another place to try for a wedding gown rental. Start your search at one of these rental shops that is nearest to your wedding location, or look for similar shops in your area:
- The Frock Shop in Chicago, Illinois, offers brides a wide selection of gowns through their storage facility, which is currently by appointment only. If you want The Frock Shop to ship a dress to you in one of the 50 states outside the Chicago area, contact them for more details.
- Unforgettable Rentals in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a one-stop shop for brides and grooms who need to rent wedding attire. In addition to attire, a large selection of rental accessories are also available.
- Borrowing Magnolia in Georgia, has close to 1,500 bridal gowns available for rental via their online shop.
- Fancy Wedding Center Ltd. in Brooklyn, New York, is a great place to find both Mori Lee and Mary's Bridal gowns.
Tips for Choosing a Rental Gown
Follow these wedding dress tips for choosing a rental gown:
- Try the gown on for fit. If it isn't a perfect fit, find out if minor alterations are available through the rental shop. Most will do small alterations, but do not allow any outside of their store.
- Inspect the dress for any rips, tears or imperfections. While most dresses are cleaned and repaired after weddings, some may still have small stains or tiny tears. Make sure you document these if you choose to rent the gown.
- Read the fine print of the rental contract. Some places will allow you to keep the gown for several days after the wedding, while others require you return the gown within 24 hours. Additionally, others will require a non-refundable deposit, even if you cancel your order.
- Make sure you find out what additional items are included in the rental. A few shops might include a petticoat and veil, while others may charge a small fee for renting these items.
Choosing wedding dress rental instead of buying a one-time-wear gown is an economical decision that can help a couple trim their wedding budget without trimming their special day. Brides will look stunning in any gown on their wedding day, no matter what they cost or where they are from.