Would you rent your wedding dress?

Would you rent your wedding dress?

Written by Naomi May

Would you say ‘I do’ in a dress that wasn’t entirely ‘something new?’       

It would appear that bridal fashion’s latest love-in is breathing new meaning into the olde tradition of something old, something new, something blue and something borrowed.

While fashion’s rental industry is booming – it’s expected to be worth £2.3 billion by 2029 – it’s not just party dresses and cult Instagram PJs that are taking the services by storm; instead, users are turning to fashion rental companies to borrow a dress for their big days.

Following hot on the heels of Carrie Symonds, who wore a rented Christos Costarellos dress from My Wardrobe HQ for her wedding to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in June, brands have seen a spike in interest of bridal rentals. Symonds’ rental service of choice launched its bridal options in July 2020 and has seen a 720% increase in wedding dress hires since, while Hurr Collective – which has a long-standing partnership with Selfridges – noted a 268% spike in bridal rentals, following Symonds’ nuptials.  

Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson on their wedding day.

Given that the average bride spends approximately £1,321 on her average wedding dress, according to research, the frugal fashion move makes sense. After all, Symonds’ dress would’ve cost £2,870 to buy, but came in at a purse-friendly £45 to rent for the day.  

“Clothing rental allows customers whose aspirations exceed their income to access high fashion at affordable prices, all the while contributing to the circular economy,” says Victoria Prew, the founder of Hurr, which has, since May, noted a 200% growth in its website traffic and a 150% increase in rentals on this time last year. “Our goal is to slow down fast fashion through rentals by enforcing a change in consumer behaviour, through new shopping habits that remove the need to wear-it-once items.”

It’s not just renting wedding dresses that has soared; second-hand wedding dresses are also enjoying a steady ascent, trends indicating by Princess Beatrice’s gown, which she borrowed from her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and Molly Whitehall, who found her One at William Vintage (and which is now available to rent for £350 per day on By Rotation). 

So if your nuptials are back on and you’re on the hunt to find The One (wedding dress, that is), then these fashion rental brands might just be for you. 

My Wardrobe HQ

Symonds’ go-to My Wardrobe HQ, which stocks 269 dresses which vary in daily hire cost up to £500, stocks everything from high-end favourite Halfpenny London to Dr. Jill Biden’s favourite, Oscar de la Renta. It was reported that Symonds chose from a trio of dresses for her big day; just one look at the bridal section of My Wardrobe HQ’s site, which is brimming with beautiful bridal options, and it’s not hard to see why.

SHOP HERE

By Rotation 

By Rotation noted a 900% increase in bridal rentals since the first lockdown last year and it’s not hard to see why in between its virtual rails chocka-block with Cecilie Bahnsen, Molly Goddard and Rixo. In fact, it’s a bride-to-be’s fashion dream and with over 80,000 people now using the app, renting for your big day has never been easier.

SHOP HERE

Rotaro

For a rental company whose vision is clear as crystal, look no further than Rotaro, whose whip-smart edits and curations are in part thanks to its co-founder Georgie Hyatt’s former career of trend forecasting. The result is an on-the-money and hand-picked selection of the buzziest wares in the realm of fashion and, while the brand doesn’t have a designated bridal selection, for the low-key bride, there’s options aplenty courtesy of Jacquemus, Rotate and The Line by K. On your marks, get set, go…

SHOP HERE 

Onloan

Do you dream of donning Shrimps’ other-worldly ruffled dresses for your big day? You might well be in the right place then, for Onloan’s curation of It brands might not be bride-specific but they sure as hell promise to deck you out in a cool and covetable dress of the times. If Shrimps isn’t quite to your bridal tastes, could you be tempted by Molly Goddard? Swayed by Maggie Marilyn? You get the picture. Onloan also has an ongoing partnership with Mother of Pearl too which, as luck would have it, may well be the perfect place to rent a reception-ready second dress for your big day from.

SHOP HERE

Front Row London

Ruled out ever wearing a razor-sharp snow-white Victoria Beckham suit or fitted mini to your wedding? Think again, as Front Row London, which has been dubbed ‘The Net-a-Porter of rentals’ provides just that. From minis to midis to maxis to suits and jumpsuits, Front Row London has everything a modern bride looking to modernise their look could ever wish for. 

SHOP HERE

Images: courtesy of brands.

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