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 based in Denver, 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 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 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 day 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 co-author of the upcoming book “The New Wedding Book: A Guide to Ditching All the Rules.” “We’re sold it as a tradition, when in fact it’s a relatively new thing, historically speaking.”
Don’t Miss: The Ultimate Wedding Budget Checklist
You’ll find that dress prices can vary considerably 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 one of two rental companies on this list that offers a mobile app (available for iPhones). 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 January 2021, Rent the Runway provides about 500 options in its bridal category, roughly 200 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
- From our research, Rent the Runway has a better selection of dress lengths and sizes than its competitors.
Try-ons: If you start a membership with Rent the Runway, you may exchange one unwearable shipment for free within the first two months of your plan. You can also see how other customers have rated each dress’s fit as well as the photos they’ve posted of themselves.
Ordering information: Once you settle on a dress, choose a delivery date — one or two days before your wedding is recommended. You may also select a backup size for free to ensure the perfect fit.
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 to $310. Depending on your size, you’ll find hundreds of options for under $150.
When you get charged: Immediately after placing your order
Who cleans the dress: Rent the Runway
Cancellation policy: You can cancel your order at least seven days prior to the scheduled delivery date. Here’s how it works, depending on when you cancel:
- At least 30 days before the delivery date — you’ll be issued a full refund to your card
- At least 14 days in advance — you’ll get store credit for the rental fee instead of a refund
- Fewer than 14 days in advance — you’ll receive store credit for the rental fee but also pay a $9.95 cancellation fee
Good to know: Rent the Runway offers special “wedding concierge” packages and services. You can fill out an online form to learn more.
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 different 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 options will be cut by more than half.
Selection: Poshare carries dresses from hundreds of designers, including Valentino and Gucci. As of January 2021, the bridal category contains over 110 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
- The size selection varies by dress, but sizes 0 through 10 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.
Ordering information: Once you decide on a dress, select the rental length and delivery method — your options are pickup, courier, or shipping — and then the lender will confirm your order within 24 hours.
Rental length: Four, seven, or 14 days
- The fee is typically $6 to $12, but it could be higher.
- Lenders are responsible for all shipping and handling, so the cost will depend on where you’re renting from.
- 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 up to 80 bridal options under the $150 price point.
When you get charged: Immediately upon placing your order
Who cleans the dress: The lender
Cancellation policy: Cancellations are OK if you do it at least 14 days before the scheduled arrival date. However, if the dress has already shipped, then you’re no longer allowed to cancel your order.
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 January 2021, 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 a wedding dress, 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 a different size, another gown of equal or lesser value, or store credit (minus delivery charges) if it doesn’t fit.
Ordering information: After you pick a dress, you can either reserve it for a specific event date or have it shipped immediately. The garment will arrive in one to three business days.
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
Cancellation policy: You may cancel your order at least seven days before the scheduled delivery date. Here’s how Lending Luxury’s policy works, depending on when you cancel:
- At least 21 days in advance — you’ll be issued a refund minus a $10 restocking fee
- Between 20 and seven days prior to the delivery date — you’ll receive store credit minus a $10 restocking fee
- Fewer than seven days in advance — you’ll be charged the full rental fee
- When your dress has already been shipped — you may return the unopened box as long as the postmark date is the same day as when it arrives, or the following day if the package is delivered after 3 p.m.; however, you must pay for return shipping, and you won’t be given store credit if the box has been opened
Good to know: Lending Luxury’s Facebook page occasionally 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 assistant can search for flattering 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 for parents, 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 260 wedding dresses for rent as of January 2021.
- 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, 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.
Ordering information: After adding a dress to your online cart, email or message Wedding Dress For Rent with your wedding date and sizing information (i.e., bust, waist, hip, and hollow-to-hem measurements) for fit adjustments. Delivery times vary depending on the dress, so make sure to check the rental details under each gown’s product information.
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 10 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
Cancellation policy: If you cancel within 24 hours after placing your order, you won’t be charged any fees. There’s a 20% penalty fee if you cancel one month before the rental period.
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 bridal gowns or international wedding brands
Etsy is famous as a platform for creators to sell handcrafted or vintage items, but did you know that you can also rent a bridal gown on there? However, many of the rental listings stipulate that the dresses are available only for photo shoots, and the owners may place other conditions on each garment’s use. That said, you might be able to strike a special deal with the owner if you find your ideal wedding dress on Etsy.
Headquarters: Brooklyn, New York
Selection: As of January 2021, Etsy has a limited selection of about 10 wedding dresses available to rent. A few of these are maternity gowns, which offers some flexibility for a pregnant bride-to-be.
Sizes: Varies by dress, but some gowns are adjustable
Try-ons: Based on our research, try-ons typically aren’t available for Etsy wedding dress rentals.
Ordering information: The checkout process looks similar to standard Etsy purchases, but the dress owner may ask you to include specific information with your order, such as your phone number. You can find the projected delivery timeline under the “estimated arrival” section.
Rental length: Dress owners set their own rental terms — for example, you may be charged in full for a gown if you hold it beyond one week. Be sure to check the description of each dress or clarify with the owner before putting any money down.
- Varies by dress, but we found that some sellers offer free shipping
- You may be responsible for return shipping and tracking costs.
Rental price: As of January 2021, Etsy’s wedding dress rental selection ranges from $50 to $102 in cost.
When you get charged: Once you book the dress, though you might be able to pay in installments
Who cleans the dress: It may be unclear who’s responsible for cleaning, so make sure to message the owner before committing to renting your wedding dress from Etsy. Because the platform doesn’t specialize in rentals, don’t assume that the dress has been cleaned when you receive it, either.
Cancellation policy: Varies by Etsy shop, but you’ll likely receive a full refund if you cancel your order within 24 hours of placing it
Good to know: We found at least one Etsy shop that allows you to rent a custom-made gown, which means you could end up with an affordable dress that’s truly unique. However, keep in mind that many of the wedding dresses for rent on Etsy are intended for photo shoots, so you might need to negotiate individually.
Best for: Brides who are interested in custom details or only need a wedding dress for short events, like an engagement photo shoot or courthouse wedding
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 brick-and-mortar wedding dress rental store near you.
All information is accurate as of January 2021.