I rented my wedding dress - and loved it

·5-min read
Photo credit: courtesy of Laurie Thériault-Boivin
Photo credit: courtesy of Laurie Thériault-Boivin

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.

Photo credit: courtesy of Laurie Thériault-Boivin
Photo credit: courtesy of Laurie Thériault-Boivin

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!

Photo credit: courtesy of Laurie Thériault -Boivin
Photo credit: courtesy of Laurie Thériault -Boivin

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.

Photo credit: courtesy of Laurie Thériault-Boivin
Photo credit: courtesy of Laurie Thériault-Boivin

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.

Photo credit: courtesy of Laurie Thériault -Boivin
Photo credit: courtesy of Laurie Thériault -Boivin

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.

Photo credit: courtesy of Laurie Thériault -Boivin
Photo credit: courtesy of Laurie Thériault -Boivin

As told to Maddy Alford. Some parts of this interview have been edited for clarity.

Follow Maddy on Instagram.

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