Renting a wedding dress is common practice in South Africa. A bride in the States might struggle to find somewhere to rent a dress, but here at home most of the bridal boutiques have a rental as well as a buying option on most of their dresses. Some boutiques will special order a specific dress for you if you like, or even have a specific one made up for you, but keep in mind that if you are the “first wearer” of a dress then it will be a lot more expensive than if you choose something that is already in store.
Here are some of the pros and cons of renting a wedding dress.
• Cost effective. Even if you have a dress custom made to rent it will still work out cheaper than if you bought the dress right out. This means that you can spend more on other aspects of your wedding, or put a little extra money into the honeymoon.
• Limited responsibility. When renting a dress you won’t have to worry about having it cleaned. A rented dress will be cleaned by the boutique before and after you use it.
• Alterations. If you need any minor alterations done that shouldn’t be a problem. The cost of the alterations is usually incorporated in the rental cost. Some boutiques will even add or change sleeves if need be.
• Accessories. Many rental boutiques also have accessories – veils, headpieces, tiaras etc – that you may also like to make use of as part of the rental.
• Storage. You don’t have to worry about storing and preserving your dress after the wedding.
• You don’t get to keep the dress. If you tend to get a little bit sentimental about these kinds of things then this might prove to be an issue.
• You will literally never be able to wear your dress again. Granted it might be unlikely that you would wear it again anyway, but if you think you might like to take it out and try it on every now and then, perhaps buying is a better option for you.
• Damage liability. In the unlikely event that something truly catastrophic happens to the dress you will be liable for the damage.
• You will never be able to show the dress to your daughter. Even though it isn’t likely that your daughter will want to wear your dress at her own wedding, sharing these kinds of things can be really special and you might regret not being able to take out your wedding dress and show it to your daughter one day.
• You have to return the dress straight after the wedding. This can prove to be an inconvenience especially if you have plans to leave for your honeymoon straight after the ceremony.
Happy Wedding Planning!