Should You Rent Your Wedding Dress? Pros & Cons to Help You Decide

Updated 11/10/19

Photo by Stoffer Photography

Fact: Wedding dresses aren't cheap. Generally costing at least four figures (sometimes more), the price of a gown sounds even more expensive when you consider that you'll only be wearing it once in your life (unless you get creative, of course). At this point, a bride might wonder — is it worth the cost? Should I rent a dress instead? Well, bride-to-be, there are both pros and cons to that idea. Let's narrow down the decision-making process, shall we?

Pro: It Will Probably Cost Less

This is probably the biggest pro of them all, and probably what made you consider renting a wedding dress to begin with. With renting, dresses that were way over budget can suddenly be in the realm of possibility. Renting a dress is a much cheaper option than buying one and often brings wedding dresses that cost four figures into three instead.

Pro: You Might Get Some Extras

If you rent a gown, you may get more bang for your buck. Some wedding dress rental companies provide packages where you can tack on a veil, shoes, and other accessories for a reduced price.

Pro: There's No Need to Clean

After wearing your perfectly white gown all night, chances are it'll be a little dirty. But luckily, cleaning is typically included with a wedding dress rental. Dry cleaning for a gown can cost up to $200, so consider that savings a win.

Pro: You Don't Have to Preserve or Store

As with dry cleaning, wedding dress preservation comes at a cost. A lot goes into making sure the delicate fabric of a wedding gown doesn't yellow over time. But with rental, there's no need to worry about where you'll keep your gown after the big day or how you'll preserve it. Send it back, and you're done!

Pro: You Can Go Designer

Because you're only borrowing the dress for a night or two, you just may be able to snag a dress by your dream high-end designer that you'd never be able to afford otherwise.

Pro: You'll Have a Hassle-Free Destination Wedding

Renting a dress can be very convenient for destination brides, as some destination salons allow you to rent your dress. With this option, there's no need to worry about packing or wrinkling your dress – and there's no chance of the worst case scenario: lost luggage.

Con: You Could Have Limited Options

If you're looking for a very specific style or are a picky shopper, renting may not be the best choice. Not only can gown options be more limited, but you may find that certain dresses aren't available on the date you need it.

Con: You May Face Size Constraints

Even if you do find a gown you like, it may not be in your size and you're usually not able to make alterations so it fits you like a glove.

Con: You're Responsible for Damages

Accidents happen. From wine spills to lipstick stains, torn hems to busted seams, your wedding dress can go through the ringer on your big day. While insurance covers minor issues, brides usually are responsible for the cost of the dress if there's any significant damage.

Con: You Have to Order it Online

This is always a risky bet. What if the wedding dress of your dreams arrives and looks completely different than in the picture? Luckily, most rental services give you the option to order dresses just to try them on before committing to rent them for the big day, but that comes with a cost.

Con: You Might Have to Pay Extra Fees

When renting a dress, the fees can really add up. You may have to pay extra for shipping, insurance, and late fees if you're running behind.

Con: There's No Heirloom Option

If you want to keep your dress forever and possibly pass it down to the next generation, rental probably isn't for you. For some brides, a wedding dress holds memories of a lifetime and renting a dress takes away the sentimental value.

Con: You Miss Some of the Shopping Experience

If you dream of saying yes to the dress in a room full of your closest loved ones, you won't get that same magical experience renting a dress online.

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