The search for an ecofriendly wedding dress (with a tight budget) was quite an adventure. I considered three options: renting, buying used, or buying a new, ecofriendly dress.
Mr. PN’s brother got married a couple of years ago to a wonderful woman from Brazil. She wore a gorgeous dress that she rented in Brazil for less than $250! Apparently it is quite common for brides in Brazil to rent their dresses.
I know the idea of renting a wedding dress might sound completely crazy, but to me it made perfect sense. I didn’t plan to keep my dress after the wedding (closet space in NYC is too valuable) and I figured I could rent a beautiful dress for much less than it would cost to buy! Men rent tuxes all the time so why can’t I rent my wedding dress? I also figured that living in the largest city in the country I should be able to find plenty of rental options.
Boy was I wrong. A quick search for “wedding gown rental, NYC” turned up a 2005 article from NY Magazine, Something Borrowed. They listed two NYC stores that rent wedding gowns. I tried calling the first store, MyrJan, to schedule an appointment but they never answered the telephone. I decided that I couldn’t rely on a store that couldn’t answer the phone to provide one of the most visible and photographed wedding details.
Side Note: My dress search began last December. I called MyrJan again today and the phone was busy and their website is not working either.
I did schedule an appointment with the second store the article listed, Fancy Wedding Center, near Coney Island in Brooklyn. My FSIL and my bridesmaid accompanied me on the trip. This was the very first place that I went to try on dresses so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The store was tiny and they gave me a book of pictures to look through. I could choose three pictures from the book and try on those dresses (there was nobody else in the store so I have no idea why the appointment was so limited).
I tried on the three dresses but they were a huge disappointment. They were all way too big and the material was scratchy. On top of this the dresses were not a good value for the product (all over $300), did not include alterations and the rental price only covered three days which wouldn’t work for my destination wedding. I left disappointed and discouraged.
Having exhausted the two options in the area I decided that renting my wedding dress was not in my future…
According to the NY Magazine article, Alexandria’s Formal Gown Rental, based in Sacramento, is a great option for renting gowns in Northern California. They have a $249 Bridal Rental Special package that includes: Bridal gown, veil, tiara, shawl/bridal wrap, petticoat,shoes, bridal jewelry and cleaning! In addition to wedding dresses, Alexandria’s Formal Gown Rental also rents dresses for the bridal party and proms.
Am I the only one crazy enough to consider renting my white dress?
Next up, “Plan B: Buyiweng a Previously Loved (aka Used) Wedding Dress”