(Fashion)

Rent The Runway Is The Only Way I’m Surviving Bridesmaid Duties This Year

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The three most expensive things I’ve ever done? Go to college, move to New York, and be a bridesmaid. As any former ‘maid will tell you, it’s not just the bachelorette party and bridal shower hosting duties that’ll put a dent in your credit card. It’s the outfits you need for these and other wedding events that’ll really run up the bill. Fortunately for me (and my ability to pay for my NYC apartment), Rent the Runway is allowing me to be the chicest bridesmaid I can be — sans the huge price tag.

Why Rent The Runway Is A Gift To Bridesmaids Everywhere

With 2022 being the year that several of my friends decided to get married, I was in desperate need of bachelorette party looks, bridal shower dresses, and rehearsal dinner outfits, and it was Rent The Runway to the rescue.

In addition to their one-time, special occasion rentals most are familiar with, the company also offers membership plans that allow you to rent four or more items a month and swap them out whenever you want. With their lowest-priced plan clocking in at just $69 per month, you’re getting access to constant newness and your dream designer wardrobe at a fraction of the price.

So what does this mean for my 27 Dresses-inspired life? It means that I don’t have to waste hundreds of dollars on wedding-related outfits I’m only going to want to be photographed in once. Buy less, wear more — and catch the bouquet while doing it.

With zero commitment (you can pause or cancel your membership at any time) and easy returns (prepaid shipping labels and free dry cleaning is always included), I had to give it a go.

My New Bridesmaid Wardrobe

After signing up for their 8-items-per-month plan, I was asked for my sizes and any outfit dealbreakers, such as plunging necklines or micro-mini lengths, so the site could create a curated closet full of items it thinks I’ll love — a nifty feature that only gets better as you begin to rate items and leave reviews.

With all the membership plans, you have access to all of Rent the Runway’s fashion-forward pieces and high-end labels. Even as someone with a background in fashion writing and trendspotting, I was impressed with the over 750+ designer brands available on the site as I began to browse. From Marchesa Notte and their frothy tulle frocks to FARM Rio (one of my personal faves) and their super saturated rainbow-hued pieces, the options are truly stellar.

From sultry night-out looks to cocktail dresses to more casual wardrobe essentials like trendy tops and jeans, RTR has it all. And if you’re ever lucky enough to be in the wedding of a cool-girl bride who’s easygoing enough to encourage her bridal party to choose their own bridesmaid dresses, they have you covered there, too, with countless formalwear options and gorgeous gowns.

But my present order of business was to pack my suitcase for an upcoming bachelorette party set in sunny Florida: A zesty mini dress in an on-theme citrus print fit the bill for daytime activities, as did a pair of quintessential heart-shaped sunnies.

Also on the itinerary is a night-out where the dress code requires an all-black ‘fit (with the bride in white, of course). For this, I selected a RtA bustier-inspired crop top and sleek skirt from AFRM, complete with unexpected cutouts at the waist. Corsetcore bachelorette style.

And with my first four items chosen, I was ready to confirm my order and pack my suitcase.

The Hautely Ever After

The very next day my items arrived at my door, perfectly dry-cleaned and in a reusable garment bag that I can use to mail back the designer goodies. But one of the best parts is that there’s no given return date. I can keep the items for as long as I wish. And, when I am ready for something new (a rehearsal dinner dress, perhaps), I just let RTR know which items I’m returning and start building my next shipment.

Rent, return, repeat — something I can really say “I do” to.