Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: Wedding Party Attire – Rent or Buy?

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A by Jamie Chang Destination Wedding Planner of Mango Muse Events

Q: I’m trying to figure out what my bridesmaids and groomsmen are wearing and I could use some help.  I want to make it affordable for them, but still nice.  Is it better to rent or buy my wedding party attire?

This is such a great question!  So many couples assume they should buy their wedding party attire, but that isn’t always the best option.  So, I’m so glad you are thinking about renting as well.  But, to answer your question I think it’s important we lay out the differences between renting and buying your wedding party attire.

Buying your wedding party attire is great because you have all the choices in the world.  You can buy something from a bridal store or a normal clothing store.  You can go custom or have everyone choose their own outfit.  There are so many options at your disposable from colors to fabrics.  Options can also be the downside though if you have trouble making decisions.  Your wedding party also gets to keep the outfit which can be good or bad just depending on the outfit (hello 27 dresses).

Renting your wedding party attire is great because it’s easy.  No one has to worry about going out and finding their outfit.  You pick something and everyone rents it.  This is particularly easy with suits and tuxes, but you can even do it with bridesmaid dresses now.  You have less choice and options which can be a good thing or a bad thing if you can’t find anything you like.  You also get to return the outfit which means your wedding party doesn’t have to love it.

So, the two main factors I think you’re faced with in your decision is price and options.  If you have something in mind you may not be able to find it for rent.  If you are open to what it could look like, then renting your wedding party attire could be good for you.

From a price perspective, renting will almost always be cheaper than buying.  But, there are a few exceptions to this.  The first is if you’re having your wedding party wear suits/dresses they already own. Then all you’d be doing is buying the accessories on top of that.  The second exception is if you’re getting custom suits/dresses made somewhere affordable like Hong Kong.  The prices are crazy cheap for a custom suit or dress.  And the third exception is if you can find a dress/suit at a normal clothing store on sale.  There are some amazing non-wedding specific outfits that would be lovely at a wedding.

So, what makes sense for you? It depends on what you want and if you can find what you’re looking for.  I applaud you for thinking about the price because being in a wedding party can be quite expensive.  The fact that you’re looking out for your wedding party, is great.  There is no wrong or right answer, do some research and see what makes the most sense for you.

By the way, you can also consider renting your wedding dress or suit as well, not just your wedding party’s.  Or even buying your dress second hand.  There are so many options available now.  Make your decision based on what you want and your budget.

Bridesmaids and bride at a Half Moon Bay wedding by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Strotz Photography)

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