Buying vs Renting Your Wedding Gown: The Pros and Cons

For every bride, a beautiful wedding dress is a top priority. It’s the one thing we’ve imagined wearing since we learned what weddings were. And as such, it has to live up to our wildest imaginations by being the most eye-catching item in the room. But wedding dresses aren’t cheap. And more often than not, the price to pay for a gown sounds even more expensive when you consider you’ll only be wearing it just once in your lifetime. At this point, the question now becomes: to rent or to buy? Well, there are both pros and cons to these options and we’re here to help you explore them.

Buying a dress


Limitless options

There are a lot of stores that sell beautiful bridal gowns. Certain rentals only allow you to rent from a pre-selected range of gowns. But when you’re buying your own gown, you have a lot of options to choose from and you also get to enjoy the shopping experience of trying on as many dresses as you want. And once you buy the dress, you can alter it to your heart’s content. You might want to make size adjustments or add some more detail to your dress, and since the dress is yours you can add and remove details at will. Your creativity options are wide open.


No damage costs

If your dress gets ruined from spilt red wine or food stains, you won’t have to worry about costs. Obviously, no one wants this kind of thing to happen on their big day, but at least you know that you don’t have to be on edge all the time, wondering how much you’ll have to pay after you return the dress in less than a perfect state.

Lend or resell to a bride-to-be

With the spring up of pre-owned and rental companies like WedDresser, you can always list your gown, lend or sell it to a bride-to-be and recoup some of your original cost. This is a great way to share your gown with other brides and make some passive income without any sweat.


It’s expensive

Wedding dresses are not cheap! Especially when they’re made by renowned bridal designers. Carefully consider whether your budget can allow for that sort of expense or not.

It’s not a regular dress

Bridal gowns can’t be worn to tea parties and social events. They serve just one purpose and usually just sit closets years after they’ve served their use. Sure, it could be seen as an heirloom piece to be handed down to a daughter or niece someday, but in order to even live that long it requires maintenance and care; which brings us to the next con:

Dress maintenance costs money

Wedding dresses can’t just be packed away to gather dust. Nor can they simply be thrown into washing machines. Maintaining a wedding dress requires meticulous care and attention to detail.

Renting a dress



This is obviously the biggest advantage of renting your wedding dress. You’d be paying considerably less for your dress than you would if you bought it, allowing you to allocate the money to other parts of your wedding that need financing. Moreover, with a bridal dress rental, you can wear a dress that might be beyond your financial capacity if you were to buy it.

No Storage Headache

Maintaining a wedding dress comes at a cost. A lot actually goes into making sure the delicate fabric of a wedding gown doesn’t get ruined. Most wedding dresses require a good amount of space for storage and preservation. There’s no need to worry about where you’ll keep your gown after the big day or how you’ll preserve it when you rent it. Just send it back in good condition and you’re done!

Designer options

It’s true that your choice in designer dresses would be limited but there are a lot of wedding rentals with great options (ahem, You just might be able to snag a dress by your dream high-end designer that you’d never be able to afford otherwise.

Added extras

Some wedding dress rental companies provide packages where you can get your wedding veil, accessories or shoes, as well. The overall discount in a package deal can bring your costs down even. This is in comparison to bridal boutiques where you have to usually purchase them separately.


No heirloom factor

You definitely can’t hand it down to your daughters and granddaughters (assuming that’s still a thing when they’re getting married). For some brides, a wedding dress has sentimental value. It’s something they’ll want to keep forever as a reminder of their big day. Yes, there are photos, but nothing beats being able to take your dress out on a whim to examine and relive the moment while holding your dress.

You’re responsible for damages

Quick tip: when you rent your dress, carefully check the dress. Examine the seams and stitches of the dress you’re planning to rent to ensure that it has no damages. You should probably take photos of its condition, as proof. Check to see if there are any other marks or spots on the dress, take note of them and report it to the rental service so that they won’t charge you if you got the dress in a less than stellar condition.

That being said, accidents do happen. From wine spills to lipstick stains and torn hems, your wedding dress can go through the wringer on your big day. You’re going to be responsible for the cost of the dress if there’s any significant damage (or loss or theft). And, obviously, if you end up having to buy the dress anyway, it pretty much defeated the point of renting the dress, to begin with. Be extra careful.

Limited options

The options available among rental dresses aren’t as broad and might be dated. If you’re looking for a specific style or are a picky shopper, renting may not be the best choice. Not only are gown options more limited, but the places offering them aren’t as common as those offering buyable gowns.


Your wedding gown shouldn’t be a liability and it also shouldn’t be on the list of things to worry about when you should be dancing away to your heart’s content. So make your choice based on what option brings you peace of mind and contentment. You should feel like a queen on your special day, but more importantly, you should be happy.

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