If you'd rather spend more on your honeymoon budget than a pricey gown, renting is a popular alternative that allows you to save money while still wearing an expensive dress down the aisle. Generally costing at least four figures (sometimes more), the price of a gown sounds even more expensive when you consider that you'll only be wearing it once in your life (unless you get creative and wear your dress again, of course). It's up to you and your partner to prioritize what really means the most for your wedding day.
Fact: Wedding dresses aren't cheap. This generally works in the same way as any other online shopping experience—only you send the garment back after you're done wearing it. When you're thinking about renting a wedding dress, there are a few important things to consider.
Some bridal boutiques offer this option in lieu of buying if you only want the dress for the wedding day. There are also plenty of online wedding rental services with a wide range of styles to choose from. Let's narrow down the decision-making process, shall we?
Pros of Renting a Dress
1. You'll Save Money
This is probably the biggest pro of all and likely what got you considering renting to begin with. You might be able to save on accessories, too. Some wedding dress rental companies provide packages where you can tack on a veil, shoes, and other accessories for a reduced price.
With renting, dresses that were way over budget can suddenly be in the realm of possibility. Because you're only borrowing the dress for a night or two, you just may be able to snag a dress by your dream high-end designer that you'd never be able to afford otherwise.
Renting a dress is a much cheaper option than buying one and often brings wedding dresses that cost four figures down to three instead.
2. You'll Have a Hassle-Free Destination Wedding
With this option, there's no need to worry about packing or wrinkling your dress—and there's no chance of the worst-case scenario: lost luggage. Renting a dress can be very convenient for destination brides, as some destination salons allow you to rent your dress.
3. You Don't Have to Preserve, Store, or Dry Clean It
Dry cleaning for a gown can cost up to $200, so consider those savings a major win. Just send it back, and you're done. Rental companies also typically include dry cleaning with the service. Wedding dress preservation comes at a cost. A lot goes into making sure the delicate fabric of a wedding gown doesn't yellow over time. But with a rental, there's no need to worry about where you'll keep your gown after the big day or how you'll preserve it.
Cons of Renting a Dress
1. You Won't Get the Sentimental Aspects
Renting a dress could also take away from the dress shopping experience with family and friends. If you dream of saying yes to the dress in a room full of your closest loved ones, renting may not be an option for you.
If you want to keep your dress forever and possibly pass it down to the next generation, a rental probably isn't for you. For some brides, an heirloom wedding dress holds memories of a lifetime, and renting a dress takes away the sentimental value.
2. You Could Have Limited Options
If you're ordering online, there's always the chance that the wedding dress of your dreams arrives and looks completely different than in the picture. Luckily, most rental services give you the option to order dresses just to try them on before committing to renting them for the big day, but that comes with a cost. If you're looking for a very specific style or are a picky shopper, renting may not be the best choice.
Not only can style options be more limited, but you may find that certain dresses aren't available on the date you need it. Even if you do find a gown you like, it may not be in your size and you're usually not able to make alterations so it fits you like a glove.
3. You're Responsible For Damages and Fees
You may have to pay extra for shipping, insurance, and late fees if you're running behind. You also risk paying for any damages. From wine spills to lipstick stains, torn hems to busted seams, your wedding dress can go through the wringer on your big day. When renting a dress, fees can quickly add up. While insurance covers minor issues, brides usually are responsible for the cost of the dress if there's any significant damage.