Have you always imagined yourself to be Carrie Bradshaw on her wedding day, floating down the aisle in a designer dress that makes you feel like a million dollars? Well now you can, and it won’t cost you the earth. You can stay within your budget, but still wear the designer dress that you had always imagined, thanks to shops offering the option to rent a designer dress.
There are many pros and cons to hiring a wedding dress, beyond the obvious financial aspect. If you’re having an eco-friendly wedding, this is a great way to reuse a garment rather than having a new one specially created from reams of fabric.
- It’s significantly cheaper than buying a new dress. For a designer wedding dress in particular, renting will be a fraction of the cost of purchasing one. This means that you can walk down the aisle in the next big name, without blowing your entire budget.
- It’s quicker. When it comes to ordering a brand new dress, the process takes up to 6 months, as they are created bespoke to suit your body shape. With renting a dress, you don’t have to factor in this time – perfect for last-minute weddings.
- Easy maintenance. Once you’ve worn your stunning gown for your wedding, what do you do with it? Most brides end up getting it cleaned and storing it in the attic for years to come.
With a rental dress, the cost of dry cleaning is often included within the price and as you hand the dress back over you don’t need to worry about finding space for it.
- Choice can often be quite limited. Shops won’t be able to keep in huge stocks of designer wedding dresses, simply sitting there and not adding value to the business. They will be more stocked with newer, seasonal dresses for the bride to be.
- There is less of a shopping experience. Hiring a designer wedding dress isn’t quite the same as trying on lots of dresses with your entourage, until you find ‘the one’ – mainly because there will be limited stock. Lots of wedding dress hire companies are online only, which makes things slightly harder.
- You’re responsible for damage to the dress. Dress hire companies will charge you for any marks, tears, or spillages on the designer wedding dress. So, be careful of children running around on the dancefloor, or your relative who is known for enjoying a little red wine. If the dress is returned in too much of a state, you may even end up having to buy the dress as a result, defeating the point of hiring it.
Renting a designer wedding dress isn’t the only way to save money when organising your wedding. There are lots of wedding dress sample sales popping up nowadays, and there is also the option of buying a second-hand dress. After all, you’re the only one who will know.
It’s still a great idea to go to bridal shows to get some wedding dress inspiration, even if you do decide to go down the designer hire route. A top tip from @Denise Conway is don’t try out a designer wedding dress with a full face of makeup, you don’t want to be leaving foundation marks all over it!