Ten Ways to Rent the Wedding for the Bride on a Budget
"A big wedding is a waste. I'd rather spend the money on a vacation or a down payment on a house." Sounds reasonable, right? Then you got engaged.
Small turns into intimate and intimate turns into a good size and suddenly, your distant cousin calls to ask where she should get her hair done. How did this happen? Take a deep breath. There's an app for that.
Today, we vacation in other people's homes, ride with strangers and order everything we need with just a swipe. We sample fitness classes, borrow designer handbags and rent the runway so we never have to leave the house, drive ourselves or own anything. The wedding industry is slowly getting on board with the sharing economy, offering brides the benefits of hosting a lavish wedding without the burdens. Thanks to these start-ups, you don't have to limit yourself to renting the runway. You can rent the whole damn day, giving a brand new meaning to that "something borrowed" tradition your mom won't stop talking about.
The Concept: Find your fit, select your style and try it on at home. If it's a winner, you can rent it for up to 85% off the retail price. Dresses arrive four weeks before your wedding day and basic alterations are allowed.
The Catch: Each try on comes with a fee ($40 for the first dress and $29 per additional style). If you suffer from bridal FOMO, choose your gown first and then see if it's available. Set up a dress alert to receive a notification when it hits their inventory list.
The Concept: Think Tinder, but instead of matching with a shirtless banker with "wanderlust," you match with another bride whose flower mantra aligns with yours. You can opt for an "Event A" wedding and share your dream floral plan with a nearby bride, or take a more passive "Event B" approach to receive a refurbished batch of gently used flowers. Either way, you get professionally designed flora for a fraction of the cost.
The Catch: Bloomerent is only available in select cities, but is rapidly expanding. Check out the full list HERE.
The Concept: The Airbnb of event venues. Splacer is an online hub connecting under-utilized spaces to event organizers.
The Catch: Besides searching and booking, most of the interaction occurs directly with the venue so pricing will vary. Yet, exclusive access to untraditional locations presents multiple opportunities for saving.
The Concept: Perfectly polished wedding cakes without the cake. Stuff the bottom tier with a few twinkies for the obligatory slice & smash photo, but the rest is all faux. Wheel it on back and serve your guests a piece of Entenmann's best. They'll have no idea.
The Catch: These towering desserts sure do look pretty, but they take a bit of effort to set up and send back. However, with a price tag starting as low as $1.50/slice, these foam and fondant creations are worth the elbow grease.
The Concept: A one-stop shop for bridesmaid dress selection, each available for rent at less than $100/dress. The online service features top bridal designers like Monique Lhuillier, Amsale, Donna Morgan and Jenny Yoo, which typically retail between $200-$500.
The Catch: You get what you get and you don't get upset. Dresses are delivered two weeks prior to your wedding date and alterations are not permitted. Rentals come with a backup size in case one of your besties overestimates the results of her crash diet.
The Concept: Easy, breezy, online tuxedo rentals without the creepy shop owner measuring your guy's inseam. Grooms can choose the look, share with their groomsmen and track their progress. Tuxedos retail at $1,200, but can be rented at prices starting at $150.
The Catch: Rentals are limited to full ensembles (jackets and pants) so your best man's dress shorts idea is a no-go. (You're welcome.)
The Concept: On-demand beauty services for the entire bridal party. Choose from bohemian, elegant, whimsical, glamorous or customize a unique look for the day.
The Catch: Bridal services are only available in select cities and inquiries must be sent directly through the Glamsquad website.
The Concept: If you can't buy 'em, join 'em. As a member, you can borrow and keep designer jewels until you're ready to swap out for something new. And the gang's all here (Chanel, Celine, Hermes, Oscar and more). Monthly plans start at $29.99 for one piece at a time.
The Catch: Switch is brand new and is testing out their business model so memberships are limited.
The Concept: Choose it. Rock It. Return It. In that order. Bridal accessories (veils, sashes, hairpieces, clutches, etc.) for 20% off the retail price.
The Catch: Trying on is not a thing so if you're not sure how that feathered headpiece will look with your dress, purchase the "Send Before You Spend" box, which gives you three options to test.
The Concept: Signage, linens, furniture, vintage suitcases...you get the picture. Unearthed Vintage provides that dreamy, "Am I in a music video?" look you've been seeing all over your feed. Choose one of their styled groupings or work with a stylist to bring your vision to life.
The Catch: Unearthed Vintage is local to Miami, FL, but there are plenty of boutique rental companies across the country. Send us a NOTE and we can help you source someone in your wedding location.