Brides are Making Their Wedding Dresses ‘Something Borrowed’ with Gown Rental Services

dressIt’s not uncommon for brides and grooms to rent tents, tables, chairs, and linens for their weddings, no matter where the venue is located. But a new type of rental is taking the wedding industry by storm: rented bridal gowns.

The wedding dress rental business is on the rise according to a report in the New York Post, with businesses in major cities beginning to offer this service.

One business in Los Angeles, One Night Affair, rents by appointment only and has more than 1,500 dresses to choose from. Another, Borrowing Magnolia in Washington, D.C., allows brides to rent high-end dresses from designers such as Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier and Jenny Packham.

So why are more brides choosing this service rather than going the traditional route and buying their gowns?

Many cite the budget for the wedding as an overall concern. Darcy Ryan, a bride-to-be from Richmond, Virginia, explained that she and her fiancé wanted to be able to everyone they wanted on their guest list.

The price of an eye-catching designer wedding gown is another factor: Ryan could buy a strapless Maggie Sottero gown for $1,250… or she could rent it for just $450.

Ryan also raised another argument in favor of bridal dress rentals: “My fiancé is going to rent his tuxedo, so why shouldn’t I do the same thing?”

At Borrowing Magnolia, where Ryan said she planned to rent her dress, brides can order three dresses to try on. While the trial costs $99, if the bride chooses one of those dresses, the fee goes toward the cost.

Rentals range from $400 to $1,920. The dress is sent to the bride 10 days before the wedding and has to be returned by four days after.

The store allows alterations only for certain circumstances, and those changes must be reversible.

One newlywed rented a dress for her Beverly Hills wedding last year from One Night Affair. The gown, a $7,000 strapless with lace and a 4-foot train, cost her just $1,000 to rent.

Another bride, Calli Verducci, also visited the shop and got to wear an $8,000 feather-and-tulle gown for just $1,200 for her wedding.

But do the brides worry about not being able to pass down a gown to their daughters or granddaughters to wear? Many say no.

“I have a lot of family things I could pass down. Nowadays, people aren’t going the traditional route. I was just thinking that the money could have been used somewhere else,” said Verducci.

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