By Felicia Zammit-McMann
Photo by AELPhoto.com
I don’t know about you, but my favorite part of every wedding is seeing the bride in her dress for the first time. There’s so much anticipation building up to that moment as all eyes (and cameras) are on the bride. It’s like Cinderella entering the royal ball.
No matter how beautiful a bride looks on her wed- ding day, two big questions always come up. The first is “Why spend so much money on a dress I’ll only wear once?” Price is always a variable, but you have options… good options, too!
You can rent your wedding gown. Hey, grooms rent their tuxedos, so why can’t brides rent their dresses? More and more companies are picking up on this idea, and there are several across the country that allow you to rent your gown. You essentially shop their website and choose dresses that you like based on size and style. Once they are sent to you, you try them on at home, choose the one you like, rent it for a fraction of the retail price and then return it. Easy, right? An added bonus to renting your gown: consider it your “something borrowed.”
You can explore consignment shops for wedding dresses. This may take a little time, as wedding gowns are not your average consignment or thrift-store find. While they may be challenging to find, you can certainly get some great deals. With consignment dresses, though, look over your dress carefully for rips, tears, holes, stains, etc. The plus with a consignment dress? It’s your “some- thing old.”
If you want a dress to keep, you can reuse a family heirloom dress or you can shop for dresses made with sustainable fabrics. There are tons of high-end designers who have chosen to protect the planet first when it comes to making the most important dress a woman will ever wear. Some also offer vegan-friendly fabric as well.
If you do purchase a dress, the second question usually is “What will I do with my dress after my wedding?” You have op- tions here, too!
Preserve it, in a green way. Most bridal salons will offer you a preservation package you can purchase with your gown, but do your homework before preserving to make sure the method is truly green, eco-friendly and free of chemicals.
Donate it. In addition to traditional donation places, you can also donate your gown to organizations that provide wedding clothes for terminally ill brides or grooms, to organizations that offer free gowns to military brides, or to organizations that make “Angel Gowns,” burial garments for babies who have unfortunately passed away before being brought home. Just one donated gown can make 12–20 “Angel Gowns.”
Sell it. Just like you can purchase a wedding gown at a consignment shop, you can sell it back to one; the same companies that rent gowns buy them as well. Shop around to make sure you are getting the best resale value.
We’d love to hear about your dress and its eco-friendly story. Email us at Felicia@weddingconnectionshv.com. █