Bridal Dresses: Rent or Buy?

Here comes the Bride, all dressed in a re-usable gown?

Weddings are often described as a unique time in a woman’s life where she gets to be ‘princess for the day’ with others fulfilling every wish to her command. Gracefully adorned in a beautiful wedding dress that generates jaw drops, whimsical sighs and endless compliments from on-lookers has become a cultural norm as part of the wedding-princess process. What can sometimes get lost in the excitement of delicate stitching, hand-sewn embroidery and layers of fabric is the high cost involved in creating the picture perfect fairy-tale look.

The average couple in Canada spends about $31 000+ on wedding related festivities and events. On average, Canadian brides spend about $1750+ on their gown which often after a few hours of wear end ups in a crisp garment bag at the back of a closest for years to come. With retail mark-ups going at higher than 200%, a wedding dress is more often than not the most expensive piece of clothing a woman will spend money on in her life. The high price of gowns can take up a good chunk of a budget.

bridal dressHow can a bride find the perfect dress at a perfectly reasonable price? Consider renting. Yes, that’s correct, rent your dress. The idea may deter some off the bat – in no fairy tales does the princess wish upon a star for her fairy God Mother to bring her a pre-worn dress however renting has become a more common trend. After examining both sides, the pros of renting seem to far outweigh the cons.

A wedding lasts one day – a marriage lasts forever. Financial stress is listed as a major factor causing marital stress (and/or contributing to divorce). If dress rental can help lessen the financial burden of a wedding on your relationship, it’s worth considering.

Another pro for renting is that for a reduced cost, brides can get higher quality and have more budget-savvy options (including designer duds) to choose from.

The after dress care involved in renting is also much easier – most companies simply require you ship the item back and take care of the cleaning on their end. Returning the item not only saves space in your closet but it supports a sustainable lifestyle through recyclable fashion.

Have a high dress budget? Renting is still a great option to consider. The money you save can be better allocated to your honeymoon attire, post-wedding wardrobe or anything else that will get much more use for a longer period of time.

Not sure where to get started? Check out these websites for simple browsing options to save you big bucks (some have options for Tuxedo rental also):

Bridal & bridal party dresses:

Wedding dresses & accessories:

Bridal & bridal party dresses & accessories: