Tips For Renting A Wedding Dress For An Awesome Special Day

Renting your wedding dress is a great solution to the dress of your dreams without the outrageous price tag. As renting may be nerve-wracking, there are a few tips to keep in mind to streamline the process.

Renting your wedding dress is a great money-saving option for your big day. Before renting, make sure you start your search early, stay realistic about your options, do plenty of research on the boutiques in your area, and read the rental contract in its entirety.

Many brides are becoming more inclined to rent their wedding dresses to save money. After all, wedding dresses are general single-use purchases, so renting is good for the environment and your wallet.

Read on for more tips to rent the perfect dress for your dream day.

Why Rent?

One of the most (if not the most) compelling reason why brides rent is the price.

Renting a dress can cost anywhere from $150- $600. The same dresses would range from $800-5,000 if you were opting to purchase the dress.

Lea opted for a rental and she was very happy with her choice. I remember the day she told me about finding ‘the dress’ and she was over the moon. This gave us a sizeable increase to what was left in our wedding budget

The money that is not spent on your dress can go towards other wedding expenses such as more guests or a dream honeymoon.

If you are having a destination wedding, renting a dress makes it easier for you to travel. You will not have to transport the dress yourself and worry about how it should be packaged and carried.

Many destination wedding locations have great rental options available so you can rent and wear your dress without the worry of transportation.

Some wedding rentals have an option to rent accessories as well. This is especially useful if the accessories you would purchase for your wedding are for one-time wear. Choosing to rent your accessories will save you time and money.

The day after your wedding, you will not have to worry about storing your dress and preserving the material. You simply have to return the dress, giving you one less thing to worry about before jetting off on your honeymoon.

If you do have a used wedding dress however, here are lots of ideas in an article I wrote about how you can put it to good use.

Starting Early

Giving yourself enough time to find the perfect dress is essential when renting.

Renting is a less popular option than buying, so you may have a smaller assortment of dresses to choose from. A smaller selection means you might want to go to multiple boutiques before you find the dress you are really happy with.

You should start looking for your wedding dress a year to eight months in advance of your wedding. If your wedding is in a popular month to get married, such as May or June, consider going even earlier to find your gown.

Be Realistic

Renting a dress comes with many positives but also some downsides.

Be sure you have a realistic mindset going into wedding rentals. Weigh the pros and cons of renting and buying and be sure that renting is what you want to do.


  • Cheaper
  • no storage needed
  • no fitting appointments
  • more money for other things
  • more eco-friendly


  • smaller selection
  • limited to no alterations
  • deposit needed
  • not an heirloom
  • last minute availability

It is important to keep in mind some disadvantages of renting before settling on this option. That way you are prepared and not disappointed when it comes time to rent.

Rental shops will have a smaller selection to choose from so keep in open mind. If there is a very specific type of dress you are looking for you may not find what you want from the rental selection.

Renting a dress means there is no possibility of alterations. Sometimes brides opt for purchasing a cheap wedding dress and then spending the money they saved on alterations.

If you are unconcerned with the dress being tailored to your body, then renting is a great option for you. The rental shop should have a variety of sizes available, so the likelihood of finding a dress that is close to a perfect fit is high.

When renting a dress, you must be extremely careful with its maintenance when it is in your care. Deposits for dresses can range from $300-$500. In order to get your deposit back, your dress must return in mint condition.

Some brides wish to pass their wedding dress onto their children. If this is what you wish to do then you must purchase your dress.

Your rental dress will be available to you around 1-3 days before your wedding. If you are a bride that needs to have everything in order and certain days before your wedding then this may be too stressful for you to opt to rent.

Choose the Right Shop

Mistakes do happen and wedding dress rentals sometimes fall through. To minimize the possibility of your dress suddenly becoming unavailable, do your research before deciding on a store or boutique.

Ask friends or family who have rented before what their experience is. Look at Yelp and Google reviews and be sure to check out each shop’s website.

It is important to choose more than one shop to visit. Three is a great number, but more is alright as well as long as you don’t feel overwhelmed visiting more shops. You should feel comfortable both with the dress you choose and the staff who you are working with.

Before saying yes to the dress make sure to inspect the dress from top to bottom. Enlist your mom or best friend to help you. Are there loose buttons or threads? Any stains? Be sure the dress is perfect before you choose it.

Once you choose your shop and dress you should give them at least two follow up calls before your big day. This will give you peace of mind and ensure that nothing goes wrong before your wedding.

The shop will not mind your calls and they will be hard-pressed to make a goof if you have reminded them of your rental more than once.

Read Your Contract Thoroughly

Your contract should include the details of your dress (size, designer, color, etc.), the date it will arrive, and the dress deposit. Make sure to read your contract from top to bottom and ask a friend to double-check it after you are finished.

If you sign the paper and some information is incorrect it is your fault. If the rental accepts alterations, ensure that this is clearly listed in the contract along with the extra fees that are associated with alterations.

After you sign your contract you will put down a deposit on your dress. Depending on the boutique the deposit will be between fifty and sixty percent of the dress price. You will pay the remaining balance when you receive the dress close to your wedding day.

Renting Your Dress Online

There are many reliable online websites for wedding dress rentals. Online renting can be risky due to sizing but will offer a wider variety of dress options.

Rent the Runway is a popular website for dress rentals that has been running for 11 years.

As the oldest company in the wedding rental industry, this reliable website has helped many satisfied brides. Rent the Runway allows you to choose two sizes to help you find the perfect fit.

You can rent your dress for 4-8 days depending on your needs, with the price increasing as the length of rental increases. For a full-length gown the average price ranges from $40-$800. Rent the Runway also offers jewelry and other bridal accessories from $5-$150.

Vow to Be Chic offers high-end dresses for reasonable prices. This website does not offer full-length gowns, so it is the perfect choice for a bride who wants a shorter dress. After submitting your measurements, a stylist will send two dresses in different sizes to you.

The average length of rental is 10 days, and dresses range from $50-$150. There is also a try-on period included in every rental at no extra cost. Conveniently, the site offers a three-day window of time after the wedding to return while most stores only accept a next-day return. 

Lending Luxury has beautiful dresses for affordable prices. Once you create a free account you can easily save dresses to your favorites list to view later.

The site has dresses in many styles including floor-length, strapless, and ivory. You can refine your search based on price, designer, size, and color.

Lending Luxury dresses range from $50-$150 and offer overnight shipping. The rental time is 5 days, and the dress must be returned the day after your wedding. The site also offers an option to purchase the dress, so if you absolutely fall in love, you can make the decision to buy your gown.

Poshare offers a wide variety of dresses made by famous designers. If you would like a designer dress without the price tag then renting from Poshare is the way to go.

Poshare allows renters to pick up their dress if they live close to a store location. If you do not live in close proximity, they can also ship the dress to you. Poshare does not accept refunds if the dress does not fit well but will exchange the dress for store credit if you ship the dress back within 24 hours.

Dress rentals on Poshare range from $60-$800. Rentals can be up to fourteen days and the bride does not need to pay for return shipping.

If you are looking to save money on your big day, renting your wedding dress is a perfect solution to looking great without breaking your bank.

Phil & Lea Hawes

We are Phil & Lea Hawes and we got married in 2019. We have planned (mainly Lea) two weddings together. The first was a small ceremony in Hong Kong just for us and our parents at a registry office. Our other wedding was a larger family wedding in Taiwan. Having planned two very different types of weddings and dealt with all the demands and hiccups which come with it, we are uniquely qualified as a writing team to give sound advice to other couples embarking on their own wedding journey.

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