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Everything Planners Need to Know About Renting Wedding Day Attire

Most of us don’t have the chance to get dressed up very often, but a wedding is the perfect excuse to indulge. The real dilemma is figuring out what you’re going to wear, which raises the important question—to buy or to rent wedding day attire?

We tend to shy away from the idea of renting wedding day attire since it’s an unexplored territory for many of us. Get ready—we’re about to cover everything you need to know about the rental process so that you can confidently help your clients rent attire for the fast approaching wedding day.

Renting vs. Buying

Wedding Day Attire Tuxedos

Is it worth it for your clients to rent their wedding day attire? There are pros and cons that you should consider for each option.

Renting Pros:

  • Inexpensive: Why spend so much of your hard-earned money on something you’ll only be wearing for a few hours? Renting will cost you a fraction of the price and will allow you to wear the designer outfit of your dreams without the sticker shock.
  • Preservation: Once the wedding is over, you simply return the outfit rather than worrying about how to properly store and clean the fabric.
  • Flexible sizes: If your size fluctuates, all you need to do is rent the size that fits you best right now—no need to try and squeeze into something that you bought last year.
  • Declutter: By returning the outfit, you free up closet space for the clothes you’ll actually wear more than once this year!
  • Accessibility: Most rental companies are online and have user-friendly sites which means your outfit is just a click away.

Renting Cons:

  • Alterations: Personalizing or altering rented clothing usually isn’t allowed since the piece is made to fit the most people possible.
  • Ownership: After the wedding, you must part with your attire, which can be hard for some people. You don’t have the opportunity to hold on to the outfit as a keepsake or the chance to pass it down as an heirloom.
  • Deadlines: Make sure you return the outfit in time, otherwise you may be stuck with a late fee.
  • Damages: Depending on the rental agreement, you may be financially responsible for any damages that occur to the clothing while it’s in your possession.

The Options are Endless

Wedding Day Attire Bride and Groom

Rentals are available for everyone: bride, groom, bridesmaids, best man, ring bearer, flower girl, even guests! Once you know who you’re shopping for, the next step is to figure out where you can rent from.

Most local bridal and tailor shops offer gown, tux, or suit rentals; however, a quick Google search can turn up various online rental companies. The online shops offer more variety that you can view from the comfort of your own home.

The Savings

Money is the biggest motivator when it comes to the decision of renting wedding attire. For example, according to Time Magazine American brides will spend an average of $1,357 if they purchase their gowns, whereas, rental gowns begin as low as $75. If you have a larger budget, a designer rental gown still offers amazing savings compared to buying. At a fraction of the cost, you’re able to rent a designer wedding dress for $775-$1650 when the dress’ original price can range from $2,000-$13,000.

The Rules for Rentals

Renting Wedding Attire Happy Bride and Groom

We’re only human, and it’s certainly possible for us to damage an outfit. Accidentally spilling a drink or tearing the fabric could end up resulting in additional repair fees that can cost up to the price of the outfit itself. In order to avoid any anxiety, many companies offer inexpensive insurance policies that would cover these sorts of damages. That being said, if you’re insured and lose the outfit, you would still be charged its original market value.

Commonly, companies will allow you to make reversible alterations, such as a temporary hem, strap adjustments, or side adjustments. Each company has their own policy when it comes to alterations, so be sure to read the fine print to know what you’re agreeing to.

Most rental periods range from 3-7 days, but companies will often allow you to extend this upon request. Mark the agreed-upon return deadline on your calendar to make sure your clients don’t get charged any late fees. The good news is that many companies provide a prepaid envelope with return instructions to keep the process simple. Even better, you’re usually not responsible for cleaning the outfit: simply send it back and avoid the dry cleaning bill. Recently, sites such as Rent the Runway and Borrowing Magnolia have been increasing in popularity thanks to their free returns and cleaning policies.

As a planner, you can now confidently navigate your clients through the process of renting their outfits for the big day. For upscale events, you may even want to consider renting an outfit for yourself—don’t be shy!

Whether your bride wants to rent or buy, be sure to check out our post on picking the perfect wedding dress to make sure she gets the gown of her dreams!

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