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Wedding gowns: Rent vs. buy? A guide for brides

It’s already March – can you believe it? That means that the 2011 wedding season is right around the corner. And if you haven’t already found your dream dress, it’s about time you get started!

Aside from taking wedding and pre-wedding photos, Ora also sells and rents wedding gowns, as well as a small selection of evening gowns and traditional dresses. Some brides come in knowing that they want to rent, while others are on the fence – still, others are adamant that they want to keep their wedding gowns for sentimental reasons.

Here are some tips we have to share with any brides as to what to expect, and how to decide whether or not you want to rent or buy your wedding gown.

Why you should rent:

  • It’s cost effective. You aren’t just saving on the cost of the dress – don’t forget about alterations and dry-cleaning, which can add up to $500 extra to the cost of purchasing a gown. For most companies (including ORA) that rent out gowns, those costs are included. Weddings are expensive affairs and costs can quickly add up – know upfront what you need to pay, it’s as easy as that.
  • What are you going to do with your wedding gown anyway? Sure, it’s a romantic notion to want to keep the dress to pass it down to your daughter. But think of it this way: if your mom didn’t pass on her dress to you, chances are, no matter how beautiful you think your gown is, you will do the same.
  • It’s good for the environment. Renting a dress is not only good for your budget and your closet space, it’s also good for the environment. For a dress you’ll only wear once, it does take a lot of resources to produce. So you should either keep it or throw it away – what a waste!
  • We’ll help you accessorize. When you rent from us, you have the option of renting our bridal accessories as well – we have a wide selection of veils, tiaras, necklaces and headpieces.

    Why you should purchase:

  • More styles to choose from. We update our stock quite frequently many times throughout the year for both rentals and saleable gowns – however, we do have limited space and will not always have the particular style you love. If there’s a dress you love from a certain designer that we carry and you know that it’s your dress, we can get it in for you, if you purchase it.
  • These days, a wedding gown doesn’t have to remain a wedding gown after your wedding day. If you’re practical but still want to keep your wedding gown as a little reminder of your big day, there are ways to work with that. We’ve heard of people cutting and dyeing their gowns to turn them into cocktail dresses.
  • It should be the dress you’ll remember for the rest of your life – for such an important occasion, there’s no reason you should have to give that up for your budget or practical reasons. This is your dress, and you’ll be the only one wearing it. Sure feels good, doesn’t it?
  • Sell it. Plenty of brides decide to go this route, whether or not they knew for sure before purchasing their gown. Buying it leaves the option open to keep it, alter it, or to sell it afterwards.

    There’s no right or wrong answer – it all depends on you. Having said that, if you’re planning on purchasing your wedding gown, then you probably already know that there is usually a 6 month lead time, so its most likely too late to go that route if you’re getting married this summer, but if you know you are going to be renting, then you’re right on time. Pending upon availability, you can rent a wedding gown and have it altered by us within a week if you needed to (true story – it’s actually happened to us!).

    We are getting the newest 2011 styles (wedding gowns and evening dresses) at the end of March/early April. If you are one of our brides, make sure to book an appointment with us then to make sure you get your first choice. And if you’re interested in viewing our selection of gowns, make sure to let us know and we will set up a date and time for you. If you’re still on the fence between renting and buying, but don’t worry, we can help you with that too.

    Watch out for Part 2 of this post, where we let you in on some tips for choosing the perfect wedding gown, including 2011 trends, tips for dressing your body type, and the answer to the eternal question: White or ivory?

    Email us at info@orawedding.com
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