Little Borrowed Dress: Rental Bridesmaid Dresses

Stylish, affordable, and ethical? Easy choice.

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Rental Bridesmaid Dresses from Little Borrowed Dress | A Practical Wedding (4)

I feel like it’s impossible for us to talk about bridesmaids dresses without sitting down and having a little therapy session first. Because, we’ve all been through it, and have the proof hanging in our closets. When it comes to planning your own wedding, bridesmaid dresses can be even more stressful. Because being the thoughtful caring people that you are (hello, yesterday one of you was worried about inconveniencing people by having your wedding too close to Halloween, for goodness sake) you really want to get it RIGHT for your ladies. And figuring out how to get it right is complicated. In those heady early days of wedding blogs, I thought getting it right meant letting people wear what they wanted, and let me tell you: STRESS CITY. Turns out, everyone wanted me to tell them what to wear. And they kinda wanted to wear something matching and cute. And I didn’t want them to have to buy something they’d never wear again, so, deadlock.

Lucky for you, that problem is now solved. Corie, the awesome founder of Little Borrowed Dress, has spent the last few years painstakingly building a business that creates ethical high-quality bridesmaids dresses, and then rents them to your ladies for just $50. I know right? RENTAL BRIDESMAID DRESSES. Where has this idea been our whole lives??

Rental Bridesmaid Dresses from Little Borrowed Dress | A Practical Wedding (3)

The big news today is that Little Borrowed Dress is expanding their color options in 2014. As a small business, LBD has been slowly working toward expanding size and color choices to be able to make the magic happen for even more of you. And their new color choices? Awesome.

Like so many of the small businesses APW is lucky enough to work with, Little Borrowed Dress is committed to amazing customer service, and has worked hard to perfect a process that makes renting your dress pain-free. They say, “A wedding does not leave room for error. The dresses must arrive on time, looking perfect. No exceptions; no mistakes. This is our pledge to you.”

Rental Bridesmaid Dresses from Little Borrowed Dress | A Practical Wedding (2)

The process itself is simple.

  • First, choose your dresses. Since Little Borrowed Dress isn’t one of those sites that requires you to sign up before browsing (because, no thank you), you can tweet or pin or post your favorite dresses and crowdsource your wedding party for opinions. In the meantime, feel free to order a free fabric swatch to make sure you’re getting the color you want.
  • If you’re wondering how Little Borrowed Dress designs look on actual wedding parties? Check out some of the real weddings on the newly redesigned Little Borrowed Dress blog. Plus, these two examples of APWers working LBD’s are pretty hot (you guys have all the style).
  • Next, try it on! (Or don’t!) Little Borrowed Dress has a showroom in NYC and will be doing trunk shows in major US cities next year if you want to try on their dresses. But if you’re not local, don’t worry, because Little Borrowed Dress includes a backup size in every order they send out. (And, if those dresses don’t fit, which they will because you’ll measure yourself, they’ll ship you a third dress super quickly for $25. Seriously. They’ve got this covered.)
  • Then place your reservation online and wait for your dresses to arrive. They’ll be there two weeks before the wedding, professionally cleaned and ready to go!
  • Dance the night away.
  • Drop your dress in the mail using the prepaid envelope provided by Little Borrowed Dress and never think about it again.

Too. Easy. Plus, Little Borrowed Dress designs are created with the express purpose of fittings lots of shapes and sizes, so if you’re worried that your diverse group of ladies aren’t going to look good in these styles, rest assured that the LBD team has worked hard to design dresses that fit like a charm. And because the dresses are made to be a more flexible fit, Little Borrowed Dress is a great option for bridesmaids who are pregnant or might become pregnant during the planning process. (You can see me, pregnant, in a Little Borrowed Dress right here.) Plus, they were even thoughtful enough to design dresses that you can step into, so as to not muss your hair. Right? Thoughtful.

Rental Bridesmaid Dresses from Little Borrowed Dress | A Practical Wedding (2)

With Little Borrowed Dress, you’re not just getting your ladies a good deal on a cheap dress (and saving them closet space), you’re also supporting ethical business practices and garment production. Because sure. You could find some cheap dresses for $50. But unlike those dresses, Little Borrowed Dresses are made in the Garment District in New York City, so you can feel good about supporting a vibrant and important part of US manufacturing. Plus, your bridal brigade isn’t going to wear the dresses and then toss them/shove them in the back of their closets and never look at them again. Nope! Instead, that ethically-made high-quality dress will go right back to LBD, and get worn at another celebration of love. Perfect.

I know, I know. It’s winter. And you’re probably not getting married till the spring. Or the summer. Or the fall. But because Little Borrowed Dress is working with a limited number of dresses, start figuring out what dresses you want to order, and then get going on making your reservation. Let other people be the ones stressing about getting their first-choice colors come summer. APW ladies? You’ll have it in the bag.

Photo: Final photo, Maddie for Eyes and Hart Photography

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit #NASTY

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  • Kate White

    I used Little Borrowed Dress, and it was everything in this post. Easy, worry-free, high quality. The dresses were lovely. The amount of sizes available was really helpful, and some of the styles are great for bustier women. Highly recommended.

    I attached a picture if anyone is curious. We had more than one of every style, except my MOH, who is directly to my left. :)

  • Casey

    I used LBD for my wedding too, and it was awesome! So easy, so affordable, and the dresses looked amazing. I was definitely a little nervous about not seeing them in person until a few weeks before the wedding but I shouldn’t have been, because they were perfect!

  • Melanie

    I’m planning to use LBD for my July wedding! Can’t say enough good things about the process so far; if you live in or near the NYC area, I highly reccommend checking out their showroom. A few bridesmaids and I were able to try on all of the dresses and see the colors in person!

  • Elizabear

    I used LBD in June–they were amazing and helped out one of my girls when she needed a rush order in a different size (than the 2 they send you). Here is a picture!

  • macrain

    I’m considering this more and more for my fall 2014 wedding- it means a lot that LBD has APW’s stamp of approval! I had no idea how hard it would be to find a bridesmaids dress that I would love and my bridesmaids would love for under $200. I have griped about bridesmaids dress costs in the past but back then I had no idea how expensive they truly are and how hard it is to find good ones.
    My bridesmaids and I are going to look at JCrew bridesmaids dresses this weekend, and my bridesmaids that love them really seem to love them, but they start at $250.
    I know that some bridesmaids are more concerned with wearing something they love and wouldn’t mind shelling out a bit extra, while others are more concerned with the price.
    I will definitely be considering this! So excited they have some new colors in store for 2014 as well.

    • Meg Keene

      LBD dress and Corie are great. This isn’t just a out of thin air sponsored post, we’ve been working with them since shortly after the company was founded. Plus, I’ve had drinks with Corie in person and talked about the nuts and bolts of how she does what she does (and for example, that most bridesmaid dresses are not domestically produced and use super cheap fabric and have about a zillion percent markup, of course.)

      Anyway. I’ve worn these dresses, and they are really something you love wearing. Uh, more than most bridesmaids dresses I’ve worn, that’s for surrrrreeeee. Oh god, most bridesmaids dresses. Why.

  • Kay

    Oh my goodness! I was just over at their website and loved it. Still trying to figure out if they have 3 shades of pink (trying to have a trio of pinks)…

    • Casey

      Hi Kay! That is exactly what I did…well sort of pinks and red, and I think there was one more pink shade that no one wore. Here is a photo :)

  • Corie

    @ifitaintkate:disqus – LOVE that your bridesmaids all showed their own style through shoes :) @Elizabear:disqus – the picture of you all in front of the movie sign was awesome! And thank you guys for the kind words – we know renting is a relatively new concept so testimonials are SO helpful!!!

    If you have any questions about renting, fit, etc drop us an email at or give us a ring 888-436-3416. We are here to help :)

  • Jess

    I was a bridesmaid in a wedding that used Little Borrowed Dress this summer and I absolutely loved it! It was great to wear something that made me feel pretty without stressing over spending tons of money getting and altering a dress I wouldn’t re-wear because of the color the bride chose (it looked good, but it’s not my style). I’m almost certain this’ll be the route I go, and highly recommend it!

  • Bryan Johnson

    Wow beautiful Dresses.