You’d think this void in the market would be filled by some good old Yankee ingenuity but it hasn’t been. Yes you can certainly rent a gown these days, but try to find a place. According to brides, shops that do rent gowns are scattered thin. Once you do find a shop carrying rentals, most brides I talked with say the selection is paltry and disappointing. Typically the gowns are of the off shore knock-off variety and the service is lousy. In other words, Reem Acra and Vera Wang are nowhere to be seen.

So what about a system for renting gowns something like the guys have for choosing tuxes? The formal wear industry has streamlined the whole process of jumping into a Geoffrey Beane down to the point and click of a mouse. Because places like Selix and After Six are franchised and all carry the same stock, your guy’s best man in Miami can match his groomsmen in Seattle right down to the cuff links. Is this realistic for us though? Do we really want to get as efficient and streamlined as our men folk? I don’t know. A bride is such a pedestaled creature seeking that one-of-a-kind confection; it’s doubtful we’ll ever see bridal wear go this direction.
The beauty of renting (at least in theory) is the price. Rentals start at around $250.00. You return the gown after the big day and save the money that would have gone into it for your honeymoon or down payment on a car. No storing, preserving or worrying about your gown after the festivities are over. Though renting may sound great there are alternatives. You can buy a gown and consign it after the wedding. Okay, so maybe this is not as convenient as simply dropping off the dress from whence it came but definately one of your more practical options. More ideas: Find one on eBay. Go vintage. Here’s a link to a great web site that's getting popular called Once Wed. You can either buy or sell on this site and Emily is recommended by some of the most reputable bridal bloggers out there. Personally, I was impressed with the caliber of gowns I found here.
So back to the original question: Is renting your wedding gown really an option? Maybe. If you can actually find an Amsale in peau de soie for $200-300, with the veil thrown in, you've got yourself a deal.