Bridesmaids, Jewelry & Accessories, Wedding Dresses

Photo: Nancy Jacob

When I received an invitation for a family friend's black-tie wedding a few months ago, I panicked. I own only one "black-tie appropriate" dress, and I had just worn it to an event where the same family friends were in attendance. So what's a wedding guest to do? I stalled, I browsed online, I even considered wearing a gown I last sported to a college formal eight years ago. And then, a week before the wedding, I remembered Rent the Runway, where you can rent designer dresses from the likes of Herve Leger, Nicole Miller, Catherine Malandrino, and Alberta Ferretti starting at just $50 for a four-day rental. I went on the site and within a few minutes had reserved a gorgeous Robert Rodriguez Black Label gown for the following weekend. The fact that I wasn't 100% sure what size I would be wasn't an issue—the company will loan you two sizes of the same dress for no extra fee. And I threw in a pair of RJ Graziano earrings for an additional 15 bucks. I received the gown on Friday, wore it on Saturday (see photographic evidence—a shot of me with my husband—above), popped it in a mailbox on Sunday (RTR provides a prepaid and addressed envelope for easy shipping), and that was that. For brides, I think the site would be particularly great to rent a rehearsal dinner or bridal shower dress—so many cute options! Visit Rent the Runway for more information, and check out our dress gallery for more gown ideas.—Kim Forrest

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