Earlier this year, Carrie Symonds shocked the nation when she wore a £45-a-day bridal rental to say “I do” to PM Boris Johnson.
According to Jane Shepherdson CBE, Chair of dress rental site MyWardrobe HQ (MWHQ), the brand has seen a 720% increase in bridal hires since launching their bridal wear collection in July 2020. Yet as a rising trend within the wedding industry, choosing something old and preloved to walk down the aisle in is no new thing.
Here we take a closer look at the pros and cons of wedding dress hires so you can decide whether renting your wedding gown is right for you.
It’s much (much) cheaper to rent…
Your wedding budget will certainly thank you for renting your wedding dress instead of buying it. Carrie Symonds’ wedding dress after all would have cost her a whopping £2,830 if she’d have bought it but, instead, she parted with just £45 to wear the designer number.
By renting, you’ll have access to designer wedding dresses that you may have only dreamed of wearing!
…But beware of additional fees
Some bridal hire companies charge extra for shipping and late fees so make sure you’re clued up on any additional costs and factor these into your budget.
There’s also the very real prospect that your rental dress may become damaged. Most companies charge an additional fee for insurance to cover this cost.
It’s great for the planet and your schedule
Those looking to plan an eco-friendlier wedding can use wedding dress hire to their advantage. By renting a second-hand dress, your choice has zero additional impact on the environment.
There’s less time to wait when renting instead of buying too. Unlike purchasing a new bridal gown, you won’t have to wait a long time for your dress to be made and altered. You simply choose your dress, order, wear and return.
You don’t get the full bridal experience
Picking your wedding dress online may sound straightforward but it’s not the process most brides long for.
The vast majority of brides enjoy and even relish the wedding dress shopping experience. Visiting a bridal boutique can often be a bonding experience for the wider bridal party as well as a milestone moment for the mother of the bride and the bride’s closest loved ones.
Most bridal rental companies don’t allow you to try on the dress ahead of time. You also can’t have the dress altered, which can make achieving the perfect fit you deserve on your wedding day rather difficult.
No need to worry about aftercare
Storing your wedding dress can be difficult, and couples face extra expenses for dry cleaning post-wedding too. When renting a wedding dress however there are no such worries as Metro details:
“One positive of renting a wedding dress is that you don’t have to worry about dry cleaning it after the big day, or preserving it as the months go on. Rental companies usually include dry cleaning with the service – so just send it back when you’re done. However, if you get a little rowdy and haphazard on your special day – and cause damage to the dress as a result – you’ll have to pay for any stains or tears.”
You can’t keep your dress or pass it on
Passing on your wedding gown is one thing many brides want to do, but with renting, this is simply not an option.
That new feeling is also something you won’t experience with a bridal hire. Many brides may have worn the wedding dress before you, and whilst most bridal wear rental companies set high standards for the conditions of their hires, it doesn’t compare to a brand new dress.
There are many reasons for and against renting a wedding gown. Choosing the option that best suits you, your wedding and your budget will ensure you have the day of your dreams in a dress you adore.