As the owner of Sweetheart Bridal I totally understand the dilemma that's facing many of our brides- should you rent your wedding dress? Renting a dress definitely has a couple of perks:
- You don't have to store it in your closet forever wondering what to do with it
- You might save a little bit of money. (More on this later!)
And that's really all I could come up with. Naturally since we only sell dresses from our store we're going to tell you that you should buy your wedding dress BUT hear me out!!!
First of all-your wedding dress is THE most important article of clothing that you will ever wear. Your wedding dress is a 100% reflection of YOU- your Personality, Style, Beauty, and Individuality and while you may not want to tote it around for the rest of your life you will have your wedding pictures FOREVER! I can't stress this enough to my brides- you need to LOVE your dress and be CONFIDENT in it! How you feel in your wedding dress will be obvious in your pictures. If you feel like a million bucks then you will look like a million bucks. Choose a dress that is 100% YOU- not someone else.
I would say that 99.5% of all of our brides need some kind of alterations on their dresses. It's just a fact. Embrace it. That means that once one bride alters her dress to fit her perfectly-it's less likely to fit another bride like it should. Think of your group of girlfriends. Each of you is so unique with your body shapes and builds that it's impossible to share all your clothes. You're going to end up with something too short, too long, too big in the shoulders, or too tight so that by the end of the day you're miserable and can't wait to take it off. That's not how you should feel in your wedding dress.
A few years back we had a girl working for us that had rented her wedding dress and her experience was something that I wish all brides could hear. She rented her dress from a store that would alter the dresses for each bride. She was a size 2. The dress was not. This store took in the side seams INCHES to get it to fit her properly but they had to leave all that fabric in the dress so they could let it out for the next girl who wanted to rent it. By the end of the day her body was completely rubbed raw from all the extra fabric in the seams. She was sore and extremely uncomfortable. Don't let this happen to you. Your wedding dress should be something you want to put on again and again.
Here's a wedding myth for you: Renting a wedding dress is cheaper. I'm sorry, it's not. What most brides don't consider when they're thinking about renting a dress is that they will want to wear it multiple times. Think of renting your dress for bridals/groomals, your wedding day, and again for a second reception. Often by the time you rent the dress and any other accessories you may want it comes to the same price or more than it would be to buy a dress.
Wedding dresses can be expensive-they're supposed to be and let me explain why. There are yards and yards of fabric involved-and usually expensive, very high quality fabric. There are important layers involved in a wedding dress- the lining (the soft part against your body), the crinoline (the built in slip part that gives the dress some shape), the structure (boning, cups, etc. that again give the dress some shape and help everything lay nice), the outside pretty layers (lace, tulle, satin, silk, chiffon, organza, Mikado, etc.), the extra pretty parts (beading, extra lace appliques, hem and boarder laces, buttons, the little details that really give it the WOW factor). Take all of the components of your dress and it's already going to cost some money. Next comes the actually seamstresses that are sewing and beading your wedding dress by hand. They have to get paid. Then we can't forget the designers (all of our designers are in the United States) that put hours and hours into researching upcoming trends and styles to give you the most current look that you want. Top that off with your amazing bridal store and stylists and bam-that's how you come up with the price of your wedding dress.
While dresses can be expensive, we know that not everyone has a dream budget to work with. We work closely with our designers to make sure that we have something in everyone's price range. We have dresses FOR SALE in our store for under $400. These dresses are usually more simple and don't have as much built in structure or layers. We also have dresses for over $2000 that are exquisite in their detail and hand-work and are made special for our store-ensuring that you'll have something unique for your wedding day. In short- we have something for everyone's budget.
This gown is more expensive since it's covered in lace and beading.
Invest in your standards. Since now you're familiar with the background of how your wedding dress came to be-let me tell you that modest dresses are even harder to come by. For the last 11 years, since I've owned Sweetheart Bridal, I have seen 3 major designers either completely go out of business or stop offering modest dresses altogether. Modest prom dresses are even harder to get! Let me put this into perspective for you. The designers and factories have minimums that they need to make in order to keep costs as low as they can be. If the designers don't meet their minimums then the prices go up drastically or the designs get cut altogether. If the designs get cut then we don't have modest dresses to offer you anymore. Supporting the stores that sell modest dresses is the only way to make sure that they will be available in the future. I'll say it again: Invest in your standards.
So if you buy a wedding dress what are you going to do with it when you're done with all your wedding events? You could just leave it in your closet or storage box-take it out and try it on every once in a while. You could bring it in and have it preserved (which is the best long-term storage option. More on that process here). You could do something fun and crazy and take your groom and go paint balling in your wedding clothes and get some super awesome unforgettable pictures. You could save it for generations to come and hope that some future granddaughter will want to wear it. You could also turn it into something useful and meaningful all at the same time. My sister-in-law did the most amazing thing with her wedding dress. She turned it into a baptism dress for her little girl and it was an exact replica of her wedding dress! How cute is this?
I mean, seriously it doesn't get any cuter or more special than this. You could even turn it into a blessing dress for your first born daughter, or if your dress has enough fabric-BOTH!
All in all I hope you consider all your options. Think about how you want to look and feel on your wedding day and what you want to see when you look back on pictures of that day. Think about the investment you're making in modest dresses and in all the people that are working so hard to make modest dresses an option for you and future generations.
I wish you the best of luck with all your wedding plans,