Every eco-conscious bride knows there’s only one way to secure the dress of your dreams in a sustainable way: through wedding dress rental sites. When it comes to getting married, choosing the perfect dress is one of the most important factors for any bride. Yet buying a bridal gown that you’ll only wear once is likely to be one of the least sustainable purchases you’ll ever make. That’s why forward-thinking brides have hit upon a new way of dressing for their big day: by hiring their gown.
The rental industry is currently taking the fashion world by storm, with rental platforms reporting record levels of users and bookings, so it was only a matter of time until the bridal industry caught on. In 2021, Carrie Symonds made headlines around the world for the beautifully embroidered lace gown she wore to marry Boris Johnson. Created by Greek designer Christos Costarellos, she rented it from My Wardrobe HQ for a fraction of the retail price. Her choice instantly gave the wedding dress rental sector a major boost, with Hurr reporting a 268% surge in bridal rentals immediately after her nuptials.
And who can forget that in 2020, Princess Beatrice walked down the aisle in a vintage Norman Hartnell dress on loan from the Queen, in a thoroughly modern – and sustainable – move. Since then, rental platforms have gone from strength to strength, with more and more apps and sites offering wedding dress rentals. From couture gowns and cult designers to outside-the-box offerings, we’ve rounded up the best places to hire a show-stopping bridal look that doesn’t cost the earth – or the planet.
The Glossary Edit
Wedding Dress Rental Sites
One of the newest arrivals on the wedding dress rental scene, P.S. Rental launched last year as a platform solely dedicated to offering brides luxury wedding dresses and accessories at affordable prices. Founded by entrepreneurs Ella Gaskell and Zoe Graham – who are also the duo behind personal styling platform P.S. Bridal – after they struggled with their own experience of wedding dress shopping, it aims to offer brides a more sustainable and circular option for their big day. As well as offering wedding dresses by big bridal names like Lihi Hod, Halfpenny and Suzanne Neville, they also rent fun party dresses and bridesmaid options. They even offer a red carpet-style reversible alteration service, to make sure each dress fits perfectly.
The peer-to-peer platform – which bills itself as the world’s first social rental fashion app – has seen an increase in brides listing their wedding dresses, bags and shoes by 130% in 2023, which is no surprise given the roster of names in their ‘Something Borrowed’ section. There you’ll find bridal dresses and jumpsuits available to hire from Vivienne Westwood and Simone Rocha to The Vampire’s Wife and Jacquemus. Even the app’s founder, Eshita Kabra-Davies, has listed her own wedding gown on the site. They recently collaborated with Net-a-Porter on a capsule lending collection, bringing brands including Clio Peppiatt and 16Arlington to the platform.
My Wardrobe HQ
This is the fashion insider’s go-to site for hiring elevated event wear. And since a certain Mrs Johnson rented her headline-making wedding dress from them, it’s also landed itself firmly on the bridal map, recording a 600% growth in wedding gown rentals. They stock some of the most sought-after names in the bridal business, including Monique Lhuillier, Kate Halfpenny, Temperley London and Savannah Miller, and have an in-house bridal specialist available to book for a £150 consultation fee. They also offer bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, as well as accessories to complete the look. If you want to try the dresses on in the flesh, head to their pop-up boutique at Harrods
Founded by London-based entrepreneur Coco Baraer Panazza, who hails from a long line of French-Italian seamstresses, Cercle was started as a fashion rental platform for individuals who want to consume less, but access more. That extends to bridal rentals too, with the platform devoting a whole section to wedding dresses. There you’ll find gowns from the likes of Zimmermann, Catherine Deane and Javier Osorio. The rental price includes cleaning, insurance, and delivery fees, and if you find the dress doesn’t fit once it arrives, you have 24 hours to return it and get a full refund.
Hurr has more than 200 bridal styles to choose from, with brands like Cecilie Bahnsen, Galvan and Roksanda available to hire, and operates an inclusive policy when it comes to their wedding dresses, stocking from a size six through to a size 24. Customers can rent items for either four, eight, 16 or 30 days, and there’s a ‘100% no fit guarantee’ for rentals made online, meaning you can send anything back free of charge if it isn’t quite right. If you’d rather shop the looks in person, make a beeline for their pop-up space in Selfridges.
Something Borrowed was born after the founder witnessed first-hand the shocking waste created by the wedding industry and decided to do something about it. Stocking preloved and surplus gowns from top bridal brands including Pronovias, Rewritten and Oui The Label, as well as a range of options for bridesmaids, they offer one-on-one virtual consultations, a home try-on service for up to three dresses at a time and minor (reversible) alterations if something needs tweaking. They also offer to buy back any unwanted wedding dresses or bridesmaid outfits, to ensure they never go to waste.
Front Row London
Dubbed the Net-a-Porter of the rental world, Front Row is London’s first luxury designer rental destination. Their take on bridal fashion is a little more outside the box – think white satin Saint Laurent trouser suits and sharply tailored Victoria Beckham looks rather than frothy meringue gowns. From risqué minis to maxis and jumpsuits, they cater to the modern bride and offer appointments at their private Mayfair showroom with a team of stylists on hand for those looking to try the looks in person before committing to a rental.