If we think back to PPT (that’s pre-pandemic times), we did a lot of things that now seem silly: not using hand sanitiser on public transport, paying for a gym membership and, last but not least, buying occasionwear we would only use once. Many people classify their wedding dress as something worth spending on but many others have reevaluated their budget during the pandemic and decided that owning a wedding dress doesn't need to be an integral part of their special day.
This changing of the tides is clear to see in recent data from fashion rental app By Rotation which identifies a 900% increase in rentals for contemporary bridalwear during and after lockdown. On top of this, the number of brides renting from the app is 10x higher than before lockdown, with smaller ceremonies, destination wedding cancellations and short-notice plans contributing to the desire for a rented wedding outfit.
Many rental apps have long stocked shoes and accessories that brides could carry down the aisle but more and more websites now seem to be steering towards wedding dresses, with industry heads pre-empting a desire for laid-back celebrations and easily organised proceedings this summer. Though the system has a way to go in terms of size inclusivity, the range of styles on offer is fairly expansive, meaning there is something to suit every type of bride.
Unlike grooms, who have traditionally rented their tuxedos, and even bridesmaids, who often hire their dresses, a bridal gown has always been seen as something you spend the big bucks on. But with many brides still wanting to have ‘something borrowed’ on their wedding day, one of the most sensible (and pocket-friendly) items you can pick is the wedding dress itself. Plus, even if you don't need to penny-pinch, renting a wedding dress is a lot kinder to the planet than buying something new you'll never wear again.
From Stella McCartney to Monique Lhuillier, take a look through the slideshow ahead to discover some of the best wedding dresses you can rent this season…
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