There are a handful of wedding details that I had picked out before anything else; the photographer, the venue, the groom (duh) and the bridesmaid dress. Like any 24-year-old girl, I have an obsession with online shopping and a long time ago, I came across a dress on Rent the Runway that I fell in love with. It was one of those dresses that I would probably never wear because it fell a little far on the “formal” side and I can’t imagine wearing Badgley Mischka on a date to the movies. Alas, I needed someway for this dress to make an appearance in my life.
Then Jon proposed.
I knew the second we started thinking about wedding plans that the dress I had admired for my own closet for so long would be the ones my closest friends would wear on our big day. I contacted Rent the Runway immediately and inquired about their rental process. I know a ton of people who have raved about RTR but I haven’t personally known anyone who has used them for weddings. When I contacted them, they told me that I needed to wait about 4-5 months away from the date and then get in touch again. Okay, no problem, put that on the back burner. January rolls around and I meticulously count the days to which it would be appropriate to email their rep again. Once I started talking to their rep Caitlyn, everything fell into place. She said that their current inventory was running low for that dress and that we would need to wait until March to place our orders… March, ehhhh, 2 months before the wedding? EHHHH??? I tried not to panic and I think I did a good job but quite frankly, knowing my bridesmaids dresses weren’t 100% checked off the list made this Type-A Bride a hot mess.
When March rolls around, Caitlyn assured me that their buying team had secured more of this particular dress and that all of my bride tribe would be good to go on our big day. Their orders were confirmed and I didn’t have to worry about anything else until the week of our wedding.
In all fairness, we got married in the middle of nowhere. If you’ve ever been to Hatteras Island, you know that it’s a long hike from most civilization. We rented a beach house for the bridal party the entire week before the wedding and the dresses were set to arrive at the beach house. It was Wednesday before the wedding and we had not received any tracking or shipping info. In a bit of a bride-zilla-panic-freakout I emailed Caitlyn where she again re-assured me that everything was good to go and that the dresses had been shipped that day.
I can honestly say that Thursday was so stressful waiting for those dresses but by the grace of God all seven boxes showed up at our house just like she promised.
Overall, my Rent the Runway experience for our wedding was a roller coaster. It was stressful not knowing if there would be enough sizes for all of the girls, if said sizes would even fit, how they would get delivered, if anyone would spill something on them the day of, etc. However, looking back at the wedding day I wish I had not wasted a second worrying about anything. It was such a smooth experience.
To sum things up for those who hate reading my rambling paragraphs, here are my pros and cons for using Rent the Runway for bridesmaids dresses.
1. Let’s face it, your bridesmaids probably won’t ever wear your dress again. At least save them some space with the option to RENT their dress.
2. My girls paid $70 for their dresses, I read online that the average for a bridesmaids dress is $125 – do you know how many bottles of Sangria you can buy with those savings?
3. SO MANY OPTIONS! David’s Bridal, Allure, and other bridal sites are so great for bridesmaids dresses but when I was searching, I kept finding the same or similar styles and colors. Rent the Runway has THOUSANDS of dresses to make your wedding truly unique.
4. They send you two sizes, so it’s basically like getting two dresses for the price of one! If your girls find that one of theirs doesn’t fit, there’s likely another size that they can borrow from another bridesmaid!
5. Lastly, who doesn’t lovveeeeee wearing designer clothes? I know I can’t ever afford to own them but I sure do love dressing up!
1. There isn’t a concrete guarantee that they will have enough inventory.. some dresses are more popular than others, so if you have a huge bridal party, I suggest inquiring as early as possible.
2. You can’t exactly go “try them on” at a store. I DO recommend having a girl or two rent the dress before the wedding for size comparison. However, this was mostly avoided since they send you an additional complimentary size.
3. THE WAITING. For impatient Type-A people like me, waiting for these dresses to show up in the middle of nowhere 48 hours before our wedding about drove me insane. Again, this could be avoided with a longer rental period (my girls opted for the 4-Day) --- but still, not having the dresses until a few days before your wedding isn’t for the weary.