For many brides, it doesn’t make sense to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a dress that will only be worn for a few hours.
Kristi Sullivan, a certified financial planner and owner of Sullivan Financial Planning, rented her wedding gown over 20 years ago and says she has never regretted not owning the dress.
Because Sullivan and her sister got married nine weeks apart and their dad was paying the full cost of both weddings, she was under a strict budget. Finding the right dress was a challenge for her because she only liked a few — and they were expensive. So Sullivan went to a used bridal store in town, where the owner not only ordered the exact dress that she wanted but also tailored it to fit her.
“I paid 50% less to rent than buy the exact same dress and was the first to wear it,” Sullivan says.
Not everyone will find a wedding dress rental store nearby, but you do have options for renting your gown online. That’s why we’ve researched several online wedding dress rental companies to give you the key details.
If you’re still deciding whether to buy or rent your wedding dress, learning about your top rental options could help you make a final choice — and save money on your dream dress.
Your Wedding Dress Rental Options
Ultimately, we narrowed down our top picks for wedding dress rental companies to five U.S.-based platforms. While you’ll need to keep an open mind if you want a greater selection of wedding attire to choose from, there are enough creative options to appeal to many brides with different visions for their big day.
“The white wedding dress as we know it is a total construct,” says Karen Cleveland, a Toronto-based writer and author of the upcoming book “Holy (!) Matrimony: A Modern Guide to Conscious Coupling.” “We’re sold it as a tradition, when in fact it’s a relatively new thing, historically speaking.”
You’ll find that dress prices can vary a lot by designer and type. Each of the vendors below has dresses for almost any budget, so if you have at least $150 to spend, you’ll walk away with plenty of options.
Rent the Runway
Rent the Runway is a fashion service that allows customers to rent designer clothing and accessories on a one-time basis or via membership. It’s the only rental company on this list that offers a mobile app (available for iPhones) and physical showrooms in multiple cities. However, Rent the Runway’s dresses aren’t conventional wedding gowns, so you’ll need to be flexible with your attire if you choose this vendor.
Headquarters: New York City
Selection: As of March 2020, Rent the Runway provides about 500 options in its bridal category, roughly half of which are white or cream. We found only a handful of floor-length gowns in those colors. But if you want to get married in a different hue or some type of print, you’ll have plenty of options. Tip: Check out the bridesmaid category for additional options.
- 0 to 22 available
- From our research, Rent the Runway has a better selection of dress lengths and sizes than its competitors.
Try-ons: A backup size is included with your one-time rental. You can see how other customers have rated each dress’s fit as well as the photos they’ve posted of themselves. If you choose to go with Rent the Runway’s bride package, you’ll get an at-home try-on opportunity per event.
Rental length: Four or eight days
- $9.95 for standard shipping
- $35 for next-day or Saturday delivery outside of Manhattan, New York
- Free return shipping
Rental price: Rentals in the bridal category can range from $30 for a knee-length dress to $315 for a designer number. Depending on your size, you’ll find hundreds of options under $150.
When you get charged: Immediately after placing your order
Who cleans the dress: Rent the Runway
Good to know: The Rent the Runway Wedding Concierge package starts at $200 for brides. It’s designed for the events surrounding your wedding, like the engagement photo shoot, rehearsal dinner, and honeymoon, but there’s no reason why you can’t use Rent the Runway for your big day. You’ll get two dresses plus accessories, a dedicated concierge, personal styling consultations, and a promotional 20% off for your wedding guests.
Best for: People who are looking for a wide selection of dresses and don’t want to wear a conventional wedding gown
Poshare, a portmanteau of “posh” and “share,” is a platform where customers can rent or buy dresses and accessories from local boutiques, designers, and wholesalers. It offers bridal gowns as well as dresses for bridesmaids, wedding guests, and the mother of the bride. Poshare’s wedding dress selection is plentiful, but if you’re only looking to rent, your bridal gown options will be cut by more than half.
Selection: Poshare carries dresses from hundreds of designers, including Valentino and Gucci. As of March 2020, the bridal category contains over 130 dresses for rent, many of which are unconventional styles. However, if you want to rock your wedding in a long white gown, you still have options to find the perfect dress.
- 00 to 24 available
- The size selection varies by dress, but sizes 0 through 14 are more common.
- The dress you’re eyeing could be available in only one or two sizes.
Try-ons: Poshare generally doesn’t offer try-ons, but some lenders may make an exception with the “local pickup” option. If the garment doesn’t fit, you can notify the lender and return it within 24 hours (as long as the item hasn’t been worn) for an exchange or site credit minus delivery charges, depending on the lender’s policy. Note that you’re required to return the garment on the same day if it was delivered via courier or picked up locally.
Rental length: Four, seven, or 14 days
- Lenders are responsible for all shipping and handling, so the cost will depend on where you’re renting from.
- From our research, we saw that $19.99 was a common shipping fee.
- Poshare recommends that lenders provide customers with a return shipping label for rentals.
Rental price: Wedding dress rentals will cost anywhere from $60 to $800. Depending on your size, Poshare offers nearly 100 bridal options under the $150 price point.
When you get charged: Immediately upon placing your order
Who cleans the dress: The lender
Good to know: Poshare’s “Little White Dress” category has viable options for the occasions that may lead up to your wedding, like the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner. If you’re willing to go outside the box, you can even wear a little white dress to the big day.
Best for: High-fashion brides who want to make a statement with designer dresses
Lending Luxury, like Poshare and Rent the Runway, doesn’t specialize in wedding dress rentals. Rather, it’s a company that rents designer dresses for all occasions. Lending Luxury’s selection of wedding dresses isn’t wide, but you might still be able to find and rent your dream dress for a fraction of the retail price.
Headquarters: Tampa, Florida
Selection: As of March 2020, you’ll find a little over 30 options in the wedding dress category, or about 40 options if you search for white or ivory dresses across all of Lending Luxury’s inventory. Only a handful are white, floor-length gowns without sequins or other embellishments in a different color. Additionally, from our research, dress sizes are typically limited. If you’re open to broadening your definition of wedding dresses, you’ll have a greater selection to choose from.
Sizes: 0 to 14
Try-ons: Tampa residents or tourists can try on dresses at Lending Luxury’s showroom, which is open from 2-7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday and by appointment on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For other customers, you can contact Lending Luxury via email or phone and return the garment within 24 hours for store credit (minus delivery charges) if it doesn’t fit.
Rental length: Five, 10, or 15 days
- The cost of shipping depends on your location.
- Return shipping is free.
Rental price: Lending Luxury’s wedding dress category has more than 30 rental options ranging from $50 to $140, without accounting for sizing.
When you get charged: Immediately after placing your order
Who cleans the dress: Lending Luxury
Good to know: Lending Luxury’s Facebook page posts promotional codes and offers, so you can score an even deeper discount on your dream dress.
Best for: People who need help narrowing down their choices; Lending Luxury’s virtual stylist can search for dresses based on rental price, body type, style, and more.
Wedding Dress For Rent
Wedding Dress For Rent carries international wedding brands such as the South Korea-based Rose Rosa and the Romania-based Ersa Atelier. It also specializes in traditional Chinese clothing, which is typically worn during the tea ceremony, a cultural wedding tradition. Sizes are limited and the company’s website could be more user-friendly, but it’s a viable option for renting a wedding dress.
Established: 2014 overseas; 2018 in the U.S.
U.S. headquarters: San Francisco
Selection: The company has over 250 wedding dresses for rent as of March 2020.
- From the website, it’s unclear what sizes are available. Many dresses are listed in medium, but their pages ask you to email the company with your measurements.
- In a conversation with Wedding Dress For Rent via Facebook Messenger, we learned that its dresses can be altered to fit sizes 0 through 10.
Try-ons: Wedding Dress For Rent doesn’t have a physical store. However, you can order your dress and try it on well before your wedding, according to our conversation with the company. If the dress that you ordered doesn’t fit, you can exchange it and get a store credit if the new dress is cheaper or pay the difference if it’s more expensive. You won’t need to get a refund and pay the full price for another dress.
Rental length: Three or five days
- Shipping to you is calculated based on your location, according to the company.
- Free return shipping
Rental price: Rentals typically cost 25% of the dress’s retail price and can range from under $50 to more than $5,700. Depending on your size, we found over 20 dresses that cost less than $150 to rent. Note that Wedding Dress For Rent also requires a deposit that the company will keep if you return a damaged dress.
When you get charged: Upon placing your order
Who cleans the dress: Wedding Dress For Rent
Good to know: Wedding Dress for Rent generally allows reversible alterations, such as temporary stitching to shorten the hem. For additional questions, you can contact the company via email or Facebook Messenger; the website doesn’t provide a phone number.
Best for: Smaller brides in search of a wide selection of conventional wedding gowns at all price points
RentmyDress.com is a peer-to-peer platform that allows individuals to sell or rent out their dresses. As such, the selection and sizing can be hit or miss. However, there’s an option to filter all listed dresses by the owner’s height, which could help you save money on alterations down the line.
Selection: You’ll find plenty of wedding gowns on RentmyDress.com — there’s a product category dedicated to brides. However, you won’t be able to filter the rentals from the dresses that are only available to buy. Due to the website’s design, it’s also unclear how many wedding dresses are listed for rent.
- 00 to 32
- We found only three plus-size dresses in the bridal category.
Try-ons: Dress owners set their own return and refund policies, so try-on opportunities are likely on a case-by-case basis or unavailable.
Rental length: Varies by dress, but based on our research, four days is common
- Also varies by dress
- RentmyDress.com provides the option for dress owners to offer free shipping or charge a flat fee, but the company recommends that they pay for return shipping.
Rental price: This platform sets a minimum rental price of $150 and suggests that dress owners list their rentals for no more than one-third of the purchase price. On top of the rental fee, you might be required to pay a security deposit. Customers on a limited budget may find it frustrating that there’s no option to filter dresses by price.
When you get charged: Once you book the dress
Who cleans the dress: It’s ultimately up to the dress owner, though RentMyDress.com highly recommends that owners handle the cleaning process.
Good to know: Using this website is akin to renting a dress from someone on Craigslist. You must take extra steps to avoid getting scammed, such as requesting unique photos to make sure the dress actually exists. The company disclaims responsibility and liability for damages and losses, so your recourse is limited if something goes wrong.
Best for: People who are savvy enough to avoid potential scams and have exhausted their options from bigger wedding dress rental companies
The Bottom Line on Wedding Dress Rentals
Beyond saving money on your big day, there are many benefits to renting your wedding dress. You can access designer brands at more affordable prices, reduce fashion waste, and help keep your closet clutter-free. If you aren’t as particular about the look of your wedding dress, you’ll have many more options at your fingertips. And, if online rental shops don’t offer what you’re looking for, you may be able to find a physical wedding dress rental store near you.
All information is accurate as of March 2020.