Renting the Wedding
The groom can return his tux, so why must the bride buy a pricey dress that will likely end up in a box under her bed?
“I think rental is great for brides on a budget who don’t feel the need to keep their gown after the wedding,” says Kate Harrison, founder of greenbrideguide.com and author of “The Green Bride Guide: How to Create an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget” (Sourcebooks, 2008). “It’s also great for women who want to wear a designer label out of their price range.”
That’s right – more and more boutiques across the country — like L.A.’s One Night Affair, Brooklyn’s Fancy Wedding Center or Tampa’s Couture Closet — are offering wedding gown rentals at a fraction of the purchase price. Just make you’re comfortable with any terms, such as cleaning fees, pickup and return dates, or no allowed alterations, says Anne Chertoff, a New York City-based wedding expert and author of “The Wedding Organizer” (russell+hazel, 2008).
Websites like RentTheRunway.com, BagBorrowOrSteal.com, BorrowedBling.com and Adorn.com allow you to rent everything from shower and rehearsal dresses to fine jewelry, wraps and bags. “There’s rarely a sentimental attachment to your wedding-day purse,” Chertoff says.
If you don’t have something in the family or in your closest, renting a beautiful piece of jewelry is a great way to get your something “borrowed,” save some money, go green and look fabulous, says Harrison. And, adds Chertoff, rental is also a great option for bridesmaid dresses if it isn’t important that your girls all wear the same thing.
Not interested in spending $800 to $2,000 or more on something that will get thrown out the day after you say your I Do’s? Lucky for you, companies like SimplyElegantWed.com, RentYourFlowers.com, BudgetWeddings.info are cropping up that offer for high-quality fake flower rentals.
“Silk flowers are particularly good for outdoor weddings in hot climates where real flowers can deteriorate quickly,” Harrison says. “High-end silk flowers look real, and if they are being used over and over, nothing new has to be created.”
A real wedding cake is typically $400 to $3,000 – or more – and is often temperature sensitive. But companies like FakeCakesByCatherine.com and CakeRental.com allow you to rent a durable fake — but gorgeous — tower of tiers for approximately $60-$175; you can include a small tier of real cake for the cutting ceremony and then serve guests from a sheet cake that’s sliced in the back.
“Every bride and groom has their own list of priorities,” Chertoff says. “If you’re not a cake person, you don’t have the money, or you’re creating a dessert buffet (still a hot trend!), then a fake cake is a wonderful option to still keep with tradition and get a great photo-op.”
Chertoff recommends asking about personalization options (such as including sugar flowers or ribbon in your wedding’s colors) or if it’s OK to add your own topper. However, you should also be clear on the return policy and how the cake should be packaged to prevent damage, as well as warn your caterer and venue that the cake shouldn’t be tossed out.