Victoria Prew, founder of rental platform Hurr, explains: “Weddings are the ultimate ‘wear once’ occasion. So, why buy?” Whether it’s due to unexpected changes, or the pandemic has inspired you to simplify your wedding, more brides seem to be after something a bit lower key. “Most HURR brides are saving their statement dress for a wedding celebration later this year and are opting for something more casual, contemporary and relaxed for a smaller ceremony this summer.”
Eshita Kabra-Davies, founder of the By Rotation app, agrees: “It’s a wonderful way to make your something borrowed more sustainable, and it might even mean you can even afford to have multiple outfit changes. It's lovely to wear a dress someone else has lived their happiest moments in and continue to make good memories with it rather than having it sit at the back of the wardrobe gathering dust.”
What’s out there?
Whether you’re after something really traditional or more modern, there’s a rental style to suit you. Online platform MyWardrobe HQ is the place to find classic wedding dresses, with a range of brands including Marchesa, De La Renta, Galia Lahav, Monique Lhullier, Lihi Hod and more, while platforms like Hurr, By Rotation and Rotaro offer more contemporary styles. As Eshita puts it: “Modern brides aren’t all opting for the classic big white dress. Instead, they prefer a more pared back and minimal look, often picking pieces from non-bridal collections. With up-and-coming designers such as Jacquemus and Shrimps creating pieces which are more versatile and hold more appeal for the modern bride, consumer demand has shifted from conventional brands to high-fashion.”
Is it always a cheaper option?
MyWardrobe HQ’s styles start from around £9 a day for a minimum of four days, with some of the biggest and best brands only hovering around the £100 a day mark. For something more contemporary, you’re looking at £100-£200 for a four-day rental – giving you ample spare budget.
What should you consider before making the decision to rent?
The happy news is that many of our favourite online rental platforms now have a bricks and mortar presence – HURR has a Selfridges pop up, By Rotation are currently at Westfield London Shepherd’s Bush and have a Marylebone studio too, and MyWardrobe HQ are currently residing at Harrod’s. That means you can try it on in advance and determine which option is best. Alternatively, try renting a style you love for a few days in advance of the wedding to take photos, try it on with your shoes, and generally get acclimatised to it.
Here, one bride tells us her rental story…
"I loved being able to rent my dress for our little town hall wedding. We originally planned to have our wedding in Italy over summer, but we had to cancel and rethink. I never wanted to wear anything traditional and was hoping to find something second hand. I love Cecilie Bahnsen and came across By Rotation about three weeks before the big day. It was such a brilliant idea to be able to rent something so special – I wore this floaty piece with some Cecilie Bahnsen sandals and custom earrings designed by my sister. Our day was perfect — so simple but beautiful and intimate, with just a handful of family and friends there with us – and hopefully we can still do our bigger celebration with everyone in Italy later this summer." – Elise Santangelino
Tatiana has put her wedding dress on By Rotation…
“If By Rotation existed at the time of my wedding, I would have certainly hired my dress. A wedding dress has to be one of the most expensive dresses you’ll ever buy, and you are likely to only wear it once. Also, instead of spending countless hours on choosing a dress, renting means you can focus on planning the rest of your wedding – believe me, there is so much to think about. And of course, you can still make your outfit feel personal with your hair, make up, accessories, and the usual something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” – Tatiana, lawyer, dress RRP £10,000, rental from £1,000 per day.