According to Bridebook's 2020 wedding report, the average UK wedding costs an eye-watering £16,005, and the average wedding dress price tag? That'll be £1,193, please. Or more. But the pandemic has shaken up our priorities, and many couples are reconsidering what they're willing to spend on a single day's celebrations.
Did you know, for example, that you can rent a wedding dress, rather than buy one? Sure, some people may see their dress as a sentimental keepsake, but more and more brides are opting to buy one second-hand, or to rent. Cosmopolitan UK spoke to Laurie Thériault-Boivin (LTB), a bride who rented her dress - and loved it.
In this Q&A, Laurie walks us through the process.
What made you decide to rent your dress - was that always the plan?
LTB: No, it was not planned! At the beginning I was looking around to buy something that I could maybe re-wear after the wedding. But I felt like nothing was like really me, really unique or special. At one point I was looking at a specific dress by Sister Jane, and I thought it would be the perfect dress for me, but I thought it was just too expensive to wear it only once. Then I found out that I could rent that exact dress from Rotaro, and it made so much sense. For me it was perfect; because I could have the look of my dream on a budget, and at the same time do something good for the planet, and feel amazing.
Have you ever rented clothing before?
LTB: No, that was my first time ever. I feel like it was an amazing experience. I thought about trying it before, but I thought it would be complicated, I don't know why. I was really surprised how simple it was.
How did you choose a rental platform?
LTB: I think I found out about Rotaro on Instagram. I really loved how they presented the brand. Everything they have really resonated with me, it was like all the pieces they had were a bit of me, So, it was just kind of luck that they had the dress that I really wanted. It was only in their pop up shop, so I went to go see it in store. I went to the shop on Carnaby Street, and that was the only dress I tried on!
How did you know that the dress was "the one?"
LTB: At the beginning of my search, I was looking for something simple that I could wear again, and at some point I realised that, that's not me. I'm not someone who will go with something safe in general. I love colours, I love things that are a bit, like, out of the box. And I always dreamed of those really poufy dresses, but I never knew where to wear a puffy dress. So at some point one of my friends was like, just go for it, just go for a dress that you really, really love, like a big puffy dress, and just have fun with it. And that's how I chose.
Did you have any concerns about needing to alter the dress to fit?
LTB: No, because I was able to try it on at the pop-up shop. But you could order more than one dress, and then only get charged for the one you're going to wear, which also I think is amazing. Because you could order two different sizes, and then just wear the one that suits you.
Some brides choose to keep their dress for sentimental reasons. Was that on your mind?
LTB: To be honest, it was my second wedding, and I did a big wedding several years ago. And at that moment I wanted to have, like, the big dress, and that dress is still somewhere at my parents' place in Canada. And to be honest, [buying] it was not worth it. Because I'm pretty sure that, if I ever decide to have kids in my life, they are not going to want to wear my dress; they're going to want to wear their own dress. I think it's so personal, it's so unique to you, that it's not really a big thing. I think it's more an old way of doing it. And I think things are changing a lot now, and it's not like as important as it was before.
You mentioned that cost was a factor - did you save money by renting?
LTB: Oh my gosh, so much, I think the dress is worth around £200 full price. I paid £30 to rent the dress, with insurance and everything.
What was the rental process like?
LTB: It was really easy. They were super nice, and when I told them that it was for my wedding, they were so happy and sent me the dress a couple of days before it was supposed to arrive, because they wanted to make sure that I would have the dress on time. It was really cool. And then once I was done, the day after the wedding, I just had to put the dress inside the bag that they sent me, and I just had to bring the bag to the post office and that's it. Simple, really simple.
As told to Maddy Alford. Some parts of this interview have been edited for clarity.
Follow Maddy on Instagram.
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