It’s a fact that weddings are notoriously expensive. According to wedding website Hitched, the average price of a wedding is an eye watering £32k. Alongside catering and a DJ, there’s the hunt for the all-important dress. Often, the dress will cost at least four figures which is a huge amount for something you only wear once. Although there’s a push to “say yes to the dress”, the option of having cash in the bank for an extended honeymoon or special trip with your new spouse could be more appealing.
One way to keep the costs down is by renting your wedding dress. A popular, greener alternative that allows you to keep up with the latest trend and not break the bank. Consider it your “something borrowed”.
We understand it can all be a little confusing, so read on and we'll aim to answer all the questions you might have about renting a dress for your big day.
If you’re looking into renting a wedding dress, there are several options for you to do so. There are platforms that are solely dedicated to renting wedding dresses as well as more general fashion rentals with dedicated ‘bridal’ collections. We’ve listed our favourites below. There may also be local salons and boutiques that offer rentals too.
Take the time to do some research. You’ll want to read customer reviews and gain some information about sizing. It’s best to start looking early to ensure you can get the dress you want on your specific date.
Each rental platform will have different rules and requirements for renting a wedding dress. They generally work in the same way as online shopping; but, after you’re done with the garment, you return it.
It is usually the lender's responsibility to dry clean each item to ensure it’s in great condition for the next rental.
Some retailers allow alterations to the dress, but this may come at an extra charge. The alterations will often only be temporary (such as safety pins) but the dress cannot be fully altered to custom-fit your body.
Temporary alterations are not always available so it will be best to ensure the dress you’ve selected is your style and fitting. Most established brands will follow international sizing guidelines so this should not be too much of an issue.
The price of renting a wedding dress can range from £10-£1000 a day. It’s very dependent on the value of the dress, the designer, alterations, accessories and duration of rental.
There’s a whole host of wedding dress rental services popping up right now.We’re rounded up our top three favourites:
Hurr- From head-to-toe sequin ensembles to silk slip dresses, Hurr have a stunning collection of designer rentals available. They’re the perfect platform for the modern bride to find a dream dress at a fraction of the retail price. You can even see how much CO2 your rental is saving when you shop with them – bonus!
ByRotation- Offering a huge collection of mid-luxury fashion brands, everything is done on an easy-to-use app. They have a great selection of options catering for those on the hunt fora classic dress or something more modern. With over 80,000 people now using the app, renting for your big day has never been easier.
Something Borrowed- This Essex-based dedicated bridal boutique offers a wide variety of gowns. With an at home try-on service, you can try the dress on before committing to the rental.
Whether you’re after a glamorous gown or a vintage-inspired lace, there’s something for everyone. Designer labels such as The Vampires Wife, StellaMcCartney and Jacquemus are all available in a variety of sizes and styles at a fraction of the price.
If designer labels aren’t your thing, independent and unique options are also available as well as some high street brands.
It is also possible to rent shoes, a veil, and other accessories to go with your rented dress. Depending on the retailer, these may even be free or at a discounted price.
Often a wedding dress is worn once and then boxed up and left to live in the attic. Although it holds sentimental value, renting out your wedding dress means you’re giving joy to another bride and your dream dress is given a new lease of life.
You’ll also be helping brides reduce the carbon footprint of their wedding day, and aiding in moving towards a more circular fashion economy. Reducing the number of textiles going to landfill means not only are you helping a future bride, but you’re also helping the planet too.
Lending your wedding dress is easy. Simply visit a trusted clothing rental site (look at our recommendations above) and follow the steps. You’ll need to specify the brand and attach a description and a variety of high-quality images. Make sure they’re showing your dress in its best light to gain more interest. You set the price yourself but, the platform will offer guidance on what they believe you should be charging. Renters can then communicate with you and communicate all the details.
From lipstick stains to drink spills and torn hems, a wedding dress can go through a lot on the big day. Damages are usually handled on a case-by-case basis however, the person borrowing the dress is fully responsible for any damages that may incur. You also have the option of adding a security deposit to some listings, to make sure it's returned in the same condition.
Some services allow the user to take out insurance of the borrowed item to ensure that any repairable damage, such as a broken zip, can be repaired by the team before the dress is returned to you.
If the damage is significant, some rental providers may charge the full amount and possibly more of the total estimated market value of the item.