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With everyone trying to make their wardrobes more sustainable and practice circular fashion, it’s no surprise that clothing rental platforms have seen a massive spike in recent months.
However you might be surprised to hear that brides are even renting their wedding dresses for the big day. Gone are the days where it was taboo to wear second hand dresses, and it does make since when you know the average wedding dress can cost upwards of £1,000.
In fact, By Rotation founder Eshita says she’s seen an even bigger increase since lockdown began, as people are clearing out their closets.
‘We have seen an increasing number of brides-to-be sign up on the app and make enquiries for their big day,’ she says.
You might worry that it’s too important an item to order before you try, however the app does offer free returns, and once lockdown is over, are planning on opening a studio where they can host fittings between rotators.
Eshita adds, ‘We’ve also seen several brides list their own wedding dresses on the app, including me! It’s pretty common for the groom to rent his tux, but renting a wedding dress seems to be more unconventional even though it would be the perfect something borrowed!’
Plus, there is the idea that you can give your dream dress a new lease of life. I have just decided to rent out my Carolina Herrera beauty, which cost me a small fortune and is still hanging in my closet, not yet taken to the dry cleaner (I’m celebrating my 4th wedding anniversary this month).
I love the idea of it bringing a little joy to some other bride, as it did me. You can rent it out for £375 a day, a fraction of its original £8,000 RRP.
And I’m not the only bride to have come to this decision, judging by the below testimonials.
‘A wedding dress is guaranteed to be the most expensive dress you’ll ever buy and you are hopefully guaranteed to only wear it once. It really doesn’t make sense to buy it. Also instead of spending countless hours on that dress, you should focus on planning the rest of your wedding – there is so much to think about. And of course you can make your outfit very personal with your hair, make up, accessories, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.’ Tatiana, Lawyer. Dress RRP £10,000 Rent from £1000 p/d
‘I first saw my dress pictured in a magazine and said to my best friend that I’d love to wear a dress like that to my wedding, and she said “well why not that one” so off we went to Jenny Packham, and I instantly knew it was the one. It’s a beautifully cut dress, that is so much fun to wear, and this many shimmering sequins can’t fail to make you smile. I love this dress and could never sell it, but I also know that I’ll never wear it again either. It’s time for someone else to shimmer and sparkle up the aisle.’ Louise. Dress RRP £3,500 Rent from £250 p/d
‘My wedding has been hanging in my wardrobe for nearly two years. While I hold sentimental value towards my dress and love it, I’m happy to rent it out for someone to have the opportunity to feel the same way on their special day. Also, if I don’t rent it out, it will just be in my wardrobe!’ Naomi, Associate Director at Bumble.
This certainly ticks the ‘something borrowed’ box for those who still want a traditional aspect to their wedding, but just as alternative wedding dresses are being embraced, so is how to shop for your dress.
Bride-to-be Margarita says, ‘I came to a realisation that I would love to rent a bridal dress or a suit for my big day. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think everyone should do it! At the end of the day, I know I will get to keep the memories, pictures and a little something to pass on to my kids, which doesn’t have to be the dress/suit itself.’