When I first called my girlfriends announcing my engagement and asking them to stand up for me at my wedding, I was determined not to be a bridezilla. For me that meant finding bridesmaids dresses they could wear again and that cost under $100. Didn't happen. I wasn't into David's Bridal's bridesmaid dresses. I found them to be too conventional and bridesmaidsy. Like really, who out there has ever worn their David's Bridal bridesmaid dress again? My maids eneded up just wearing what they felt comfortable in, which was fine. But I'm secreting obsessed with the idea of fully coordinating my a wedding party without being a total control-freaky, money-sucking bitch about it.
Rent the Runway, has an elegant solution. They have expanded their marketing scope to include weddings. Or rather, I suspect more likely Rent the Runway has responded to market demand by adding a wedding section to their website. Basically your 'maids can rent designer dresses for as little as $50. And they can pick from hundreds of styles. As a member of Rent the Runway, I received an announcement two days ago. Rent the Runway really plays into the emotional fears of brides, namely that the bridesmaids dresses wee will pick will be tacky, ugly, expensive, and elicit responses like, "YIKES!" While I'm not too keen on the emotional manipulation, I can relate to not wanting to embarrass my girls, or otherwise look back at my photos and thing, "YIKES!" Shallow, maybe, but it was a very real concern of mine while planning our wedding. No use denying it.
Priced like David's Bridal, but waaaaay nicer and waaaaay higher quality
The upside is definitely that your gals will wear well-made designer gowns at David's Bridal prices. Most people can quickly pick see when a dress is well-made and of high quality, just like poorly-made, slap-dash crap that falls apart within a day is clearly apparrent. Now I gurentee none of your guests will walk out of your wedding if you opt for poorly made or tacky bridesmaids gowns. But if its all the same to your girls pocketbooks, why not put them in something a bit highter in quality. Besides, the truth of the matter is this: like David's Bridal dresses, your 'maids will not be wearing Rent the Runway dresses again.
The way it works:
- Pick a day for your event, order the dress a day or two before the event to ensure it will arrive on time
- Choose your dress and size
- choose your free backup size
- return the dress for free in the prepaid return shipping envelope
For the Bride
I see so many Rent the Runway possibilities for brides too. Not only can your bridesmaids rent their dresses, but you can rent dresses for your engagement party, bridal shower, and rehearsal dinner. In these dark days of the recession, buying a second dress to change into for dancing has fallen by the wayside, but you can certainly rent a dancing dress Rent the Runway for as little as $50. Sweet!
Hell, you can even rent a designer gown to wear as your bridal gown. Can you imagine wearing a designer wedding gown for $100 bucks! And seriously, you won't wear it again!
The good outweighs the mediocre
So here's a rundown of my likes and dislikes: I like the fact that you can shop by color, length, price, body-type, sleeve, neckline, designer, and style. I also like that Rent the Runway suggests accessories that are also inexpensive to rent but oh so luxe to wear. I love that Rent the Runway sends multiple sizes for free to ensure the perfect fit.
I'm not so impressed with the overall style of bridesmaids dresses. They seem so bridesmaidsy to me. The only difference between many of the bridesmaids dresses on Rent the Runway and David's Bridal are quality, which, I'll admit really makes a difference. So if you're into the traditional bridesmaidsy bridesmaid dress, I would go with the higher quality designer dresses over the chintzy David's dresses. Their pretty much the same price, and we've already established that tour 'maids likely won't wear them again. Otherwise, I suggest you also look at their regular dresses. Their a bit more expensive over all, way cooler IMHO.
The skinny on the pictured dresses
- Top Blush pink dresses, Clockwise from top left: Nicole Miller Keyhole Goddess $100; Alberta Ferretti Dusty Rose Dress $300; Nina Ricci Sweet as Sugar Dress $250; Nina Ricci Pink Clouds Dress $300 (What can I say, I have expensive taste!)
- Top Middle Bridal Party Dresses, Left to right: Lela Rose Floral Couture Dress $150; Lela Rose Sparkle Halter Dress $150;
- Bottom Middle Bridal Gowns, Left to right: Nicole Miller Mermaid Gown $100; Yigal Arouel Open Back Gown $200
- Bottom Purple Dresses, Clockwise from top left: Robert Rodriguez Collection Heavenly Hayley Dress $125; Nicole Miller Breathtaking Becky Gown $100; Nicole Miller Appealing Amanda Gown $100; Robert Rodriguez Collection Precious Polly Dress $125