What's Good for the Goose
For years, men have rented their wedding attire. Now the women are getting their turn. Where do you begin? Start by researching different wedding rental establishments. You can find rental locations in the phone book, through friends or on the internet.
You can save thousands of dollars by going this route, but you'll want to do your homework first. Your wedding dress rental will only be a bargain if the gown fits you well, the establishment offers variety and the price is right.
If the Gown Fits
One important consideration when renting a wedding dress is the fit. Alterations will not be allowed, so you will need to be very careful about your choice. Visit the establishment and ask to try on a variety of gowns to give yourself an idea of what styles and cuts work with your shape.
Don't try to squeeze into a gown that you feel you can't live without, and don't think you can pin and tuck for your big day. Damage to the dress could cost you. Make another properly-fitting choice instead.
Renting Your Accessories
You will probably also be able to rent your veil and perhaps a wedding purse and shoes. Find out whether your rental establishment offers these additions. "White" may look different to one shop owner than to another, so it's always easiest to choose all your pieces at one place. This way you can try them all on together and get the look that's just right for you.
Should You or Shouldn't You?
So is a wedding dress rental the right option for you? There are many reasons a bride might want to rent her dress. A few circumstances where a rental comes in handy include the following:
- Destination wedding: Rather than transporting and possibly damaging dress, you can rent one at your wedding location.
- Practicality: You may be the type who can't bear to buy something you'll only wear once.
- Indecision: If the time is drawing near and you still haven't been able to decide upon a style, you may feel more comfortable spending a little on a rental than a lot on an uncertain purchase.
Not for Everyone
You should also consider the cons of renting a dress. For one thing, you won't be able to pass it on to your daughter (if you and your spouse are planning on children).
Another drawback is sizing. Many brides either gain or lose weight at some point before the wedding. With a rental, you won't be allowed to have alterations made.
Getting a Guarantee
Once you have made the decision to rent and have pinned down the perfect gown, ask the owner to reserve the dress for you. Usually this will mean you must pay either half or, in some cases, all of the rental fee up front. If you have fallen in love with your dress choice, do pay before you leave the shop. You don't want to return to find that another bride-to-be has snatched up "your" dress.
At the same time, don't be pressured. If you're not certain, go home and think about it. There will always be other dresses, and there may be one that suits you even better.
Don't leave the store without a written guarantee that the dress will be available, clean and in good condition twenty-four to forty-eight hours before your wedding. This will give you the peace of mind that renting a dress is designed to do.