Every girl dreams of walking down the aisle in the dress of her dreams, whether that’s a fairytale ball gown or a show-stopping a-line. But wedding dresses can be expensive, and you probably have a budget to stick to.

So before you start looking for your dream dress, you need to decide whether you want to buy your gown or go down the route of wedding dress hire. Both options have their pros and cons, but regardless of whether you’re renting or buying your dress, you can find one that makes you feel like a million dollars.

Your wedding is one of the biggest days of your life, and, naturally, you want every detail to be perfect. So to help you make the right decision about whether to buy or rent a wedding dress, here are the pros and cons of each.

The Pros of Buying a Wedding Dress

Buying a Wedding Dress Means It’s Yours Forever

Your special day is one you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Buying a wedding dress means you’ll be able to keep it forever. For years to come, you’ll be able to look at your wedding dress and remember your day.

You might also want to keep your wedding dress to pass it down to your daughter or a family member as their “something old” or “something borrowed”. Your dress could become a family tradition; a symbol of happiness and love. Imagine seeing your child, grandchild, and maybe even great-grandchild walk down the aisle in your dress — seeing them smile as you did on your big day.

You Can Make Alterations to the Fit or Style

Once you’ve bought a dress, it’s yours to do whatever you like with. You can adjust the dress so that it fits you perfectly or add style alterations to create a dress that’s completely unique. You don’t have to return your dress, so the alteration options are endless.

After your wedding day, you could make even more drastic alterations and transform your dress into keepsakes. For example, some brides who don’t want to store and maintain their wedding dresses have the fabric turned into cushions or teddy bears.

Whether you want to transform your dress before or after your wedding, buying a dress gives you the freedom to unleash your creativity.

You’ll Have More Dresses to Choose From

When buying a wedding dress, there are literally thousands of dresses for you to choose from. But if you decide on wedding dress hire, your options will be more limited. Unfortunately, there are just not as many wedding dresses for hire as there are for purchase.

With a greater range of dresses on offer, you’ll have more chance of finding a wedding dress that captures your heart instantly.

You Could Sell Your Dress after Your Wedding

If you’re not too fussed about keeping your wedding dress after the big day, you could always sell your dress and make back some of the money you spent on it. Many brides-to-be look for second-hand wedding gowns, as they’re much more affordable than new designer dresses. Selling your dress gives you the chance to help another bride-to-be achieve her perfect day. The money you get for your dress could also help to fund your honeymoon or your future with your husband or wife.

The Cons of Buying a Wedding Dress

Buying a Wedding Dress Is Expensive

Wedding dresses, especially designer ones, can be quite expensive. It’s a big cost for a dress that you’ll likely only ever wear once. This is why lots of brides decide to rent a wedding dress.

However, there are ways to get discounted wedding dresses, for example, by opting for a sample dress. Discounted and sample dresses can often be as affordable as wedding dress hire, but you’ll be able to keep your dress forever as a memento of your day or to pass down to your children or family members.

Wedding Dresses Need to Be Stored and Maintained

Buying a wedding dress means that after your big day, you need to find a place to store it. If you want the material to stay looking new and beautiful, you need to keep it somewhere dry and safe. While you could simply hang it in your wardrobe, it’s better to store it in a wedding dress preservation box.

By properly storing and
preserving your dress
, if you decide to pass it down, sell or donate it later on in life, it will look as good as new.

Before you put your dress into storage, you’ll also need to have it professionally cleaned. Throughout your wedding day, your dress probably got a little dirty — perhaps you spilt a little champagne (we’ve all been there) or the train picked up dust from the floor. To prevent lasting damage, you’ll need to have your dress dry cleaned within a few weeks after your big day.

The Pros of Wedding Dress Hire

Wedding Dress Hire Can Be More Affordable

Hiring a wedding dress often costs less than buying a dress because you’ll only have it for a few days or so before returning it. This gives you the freedom to wear a designer dress that would cost a lot to buy new.

However, before deciding on wedding dress hire, you should take a look at discounted wedding dresses. Again, a sample dress can be just as affordable as renting a dress, but it will be yours to keep.

You Don’t Have to Worry about Maintenance

Renting a wedding dress means that after your big day, all you have to do is take it off and give it back. You don’t have to worry about preserving or cleaning it, and it won’t take up space in your wardrobe.

The Cons of Renting a Wedding Dress

A Rental Dress Doesn’t Have the Same Sentimental Value

When you buy a wedding dress, there’s a certain amount of sentimental value that you attach to it. It’s your dress, for your big day, and it’s something you can look at over the years to relive those special memories.

However, with a hired wedding dress, you won’t have the same sentimental attachment to it. You might also feel worried about damaging or dirtying it.

Renting a Wedding Dress Isn’t Always Cheaper

Wedding dress rental companies often offer designer dresses for hire, which means they can still be very expensive. It’s worth getting an idea of rental prices and then checking out wedding dress sales, discounts or sample dresses. You might be able to purchase the dress of your dreams for a similar price to a hired dress.

It Can Be Hard to Find a Perfect-Fitting Dress

Wedding dress hire companies often only stock certain sizes, so you might be limited in terms of what dresses are available to you. You might come across your dream dress but find that it’s not available to rent in your size. This can make the hunt for the perfect gown difficult.

You Can’t Make Alterations

Often, when you buy a wedding dress, you’ll need to have it altered so that it fits you perfectly. Everyone has a different body shape, and alterations can be made to make sure your dress clings and flows in the right places. You might also want the freedom to add design alterations — perhaps you want to add a bit of lace or a bit more sparkle.

However, you can’t alter rented wedding dresses, as they need to be returned in the same condition. This means that if they don’t fit quite right, you’ll usually have to make do.

You Need to Be Careful of Liability Fees

Your wedding day is going to be full of excitement, celebratory drinks, delicious food and dancing, and accidents can easily happen. You might spill a drink, drop some food or possibly even damage your dress during the excitement.

But when you hire a wedding dress, there will often be liability fees if you damage or dirty the dress. This can add to the cost of your wedding and might cause you to hold back or worry throughout the day.

Why hire a wedding dress when you can buy your dream dress at an affordable price? At Belle Bridal, we offer designer sample wedding dresses for up to 70% off RRP and stock sizes from 8 to 24. Book a free one-hour consultation and Jo and Claire will help you find the perfect dress for your big day.