Say ‘Rent’ to the Dress

There’s a very old phrase about ‘beg, steal or borrow,’ which means to accomplish something by any means necessary, but today I’m thinking about ‘rent, buy or borrow.’

It’s always exciting to see what brides will be wearing on their wedding day. Usually I have met ‘my’ bride in person beforehand, but, still, we all look a bit different when we’re all dolled up.

Great photo celebrating the dress (Rhinehart Photography)

There’s no doubt – the wedding dress is important. I’ve written about being comfortable in your dress and shoes. I’ve written about matching your expectations to reality. I’ve written about the long, long day you may have ahead of you and how to plan for that. I’ve seen brides in dresses that looked, to me, extremely uncomfortable, and dresses that require assistance just to use the bathroom. But the dress of your dreams is the dress of your dreams.

Recently, upon complimenting a bride her on her dress, I learned something interesting. Being somewhat older she chose not to wear a traditional wedding gown, and wore a perfect cocktail dress, quite exquisite. She confided that she got it through ‘Rent the Runway.’  Wow! What a great idea. After a few clicks, I readily discovered several websites where you can rent gorgeous clothing. While ‘Rent the Runway’ isn’t specific to wedding gowns, ‘Borrowing Magnolia’ certainly is, and there are several more. At ‘Borrowing Magnolia’ you can try on three dresses in your home for $99.

Oscar De La Renta gown $380,000.

I like this idea for lots of reasons, but first and foremost: who wears their wedding gown more than once? The other big incentive is cost; save money and still have the wedding dress of your dreams – that is sweet.

Is your taste beyond your means? Personally I would get a kick out of wearing a true designer garment, but I certainly wouldn’t spend the money on one.

But it’s not only about affordability, what about reducing the hassle of storing or preserving a gown?  And let’s be honest in saying that the gown of today may not be your daughter or granddaughter’s choice. Don’t saddle her with that.

Then there is the borrow option – but not for your dress. I’m thinking of your jewelry! It could add meaning, while saving a great amount of money, to borrow a stunning piece of jewelry from a mother, grandmother, aunt or sister.

You can rent jewelry!

Another quick google found you can rent jewelry as well. We’ve heard how celebrities on the red carpet wear millions of dollars of jewels on loan. We mere commoners can get in on the ‘good stuff’ too, by renting all kinds of accessories including that very high end bling. Websites like ‘Adorn’ and ‘Haute Vault’ rent, and ‘Borrowed Bling’ has a membership program that lets you borrow, once you’ve paid to join.

Do you know what a designer dress sells for?  I hope you’re sitting down. Well known designer Vera Wang’s start at $2,900 and her ‘Luxe’ Collection starts at $6,900.  Designer Dimitra’s gowns range in price from $15,000 to $25,000, and these are not the top designers, either.

However, the average cost of a wedding dress this past year was around $1,350 at local bridal shops. That’s still not chicken-scratch.

Vera Wang at $100,000.

And, of course, this information can apply to anyone, any time. Have a formal event coming up? Maybe now you will consider renting a dress.

Men have been renting tuxedos forever. Ironically I actually advocate the exact opposite for men. Purchasing a great suit or tux is something you can actually use over and over. A wedding gown, not so much.

Go ahead and rent your runway, but it’s your secret. No one needs to know. Rent, buy or borrow and steal the show!


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