Giles Pegasus Gown ($498)
Whatever you choose to wear on your wedding day, it will be something you’ll want to hold onto, treasure, pass on to your (possibly imaginary) future daughter.
Right. Or not. Sure, yes, maybe you can afford/lucked into an heirloom-quality gown. Maybe you’re an emotional person and are going to hang on to that sundress you wore till the day you die. But maybe… you’re just not. Known otherwise as: If men can rent wedding tuxes, why can’t women rent wedding dresses? Or, more precisely, why can’t women rent designer wedding dresses made of SPARKLES?
One of the most charming characteristics of my wedding dress is that it was made out of this fake David’s Bridal taffeta that feels oddly like windpant material. I love it because it speaks to how old we were when we got married (hint: young and broke). But also? That dress has spent almost five years balled up in a David’s Bridal garment bag, unwashed and uncared for. Sure, it’s my wedding dress, but I’m never going to have that movie moment when my daughter takes it out of the closet and marvels at how beautiful and timeless it is. I’m fine with that. (She can have the pleather jacket I bought at Wet Seal to wear over my wedding dress, and which is now hung with care in my closet.) If I had it to do all over again with the same budget? I’d go for broke and rent the fanciest, most expensive designer dress I could find, and take some glamorous ass pictures. I mean, the wedding industry is foisting the princess narrative on us at every turn, so why not just cave and go Cinderella? Glittery and golden, till the stroke of midnight.
For those of you brave enough to go the glass slipper route, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite dresses from Rent The Runway (mostly, because we don’t know of any other awesome rental companies, but tell us if you do). All of them are under $500, and none of them, not one, feels like windpants.
It’s worth noting that Rent The Runway does come with its own challenges. You should have a good idea of your size, and give yourself enough time with your rental to account for fit issues or shipping delays. Also, their plus size selection right now is not awesome (well, save for the sparkly dresses, which are fabulous), but most of their best sellers are available up to a size 16. (And, if you’re going RTR, why not really go for broke and spring for the $20,000 MSRP gown and not the $500 one? Because, LOGIC.)
White & Ivory 1. Purity Gown from Plein Sud ($175) 2. Cold As Ice Gown from Halston Heritage ($110) 3. Snow Mountain Maxi from Yumi Kim ($100) 4. White Out Dress from Mark & James by Badgley Mischka ($100)
Not White 1. Briza Feather Gown from Juan Carlos Obando ($298) 2. Web of Beauty Gown from Bibhu Mohapatra ($400) 3. Jeweled Halo Gown from Badgley Mischka ($125) 4. Florence Gown from Reem Acra ($400)
Sparkly 1. Rolling in the Glitz Gown from Badgley Mischka ($160) 2. Metallic Drizzle Gown from Erin by Erin Fetherston ($115) 3. Award Winner Gown from Badgley Mischka ($150) 4. Silver Sequin Shine Gown from David Meister ($100) 5. Sound the Alarm Gown from Badgley Mischka ($135)
This roundup is not sponsored (we wish), We just aren’t aware of any other fancy gown rental companies besides rtr (and the wedding dress rental stores are…not great). If you have more options for websites or shops that rent wedding dresses or weddingy evening gowns, please leave them in the comments!