Despite economic uncertainty and inflation, weddings must still go on, and brides and grooms still need to find a way to pay for all those wedding essentials even while their finances remain tight.
The soaring costs of various wedding essentials, from bridal dresses to fine jewelry and venue rentals, have prompted an innovative shift in wedding planning strategies. But it’s not just the essentials that are now rentable; even the nice-to-haves, such as flowers, are becoming a rentable option.
However, opting for rentals doesn’t necessitate a sense of frugality. It can genuinely evoke a sense of tradition.
Introducing the resurgence of the timeless concept of “something borrowed” as a key theme for upcoming weddings. This trend has not only assisted couples in budget management but has also played a role in promoting sustainable and environmentally conscious wedding practices.
As many as 61% of couples scheduled to tie the knot this year have stated that the economy has already influenced their wedding arrangements, prompting them to become more resourceful in the face of escalating expenses, according to a study conducted by wedding planning website The Knot.
The expense of weddings has consistently risen, as indicated by the yearly study. The average cost of a wedding surged to $30,000 last year due to inflationary pressures.
Taking note of this trend and the financial consequences exacerbated by inflation is Della Larca who established Florèal Blooms three and a half years ago. Larca’s upscale silk flower rental enterprise, in Butler, New Jersey, was sparked by her realization of the steep costs associated with fresh flowers while arranging her own wedding, prompting her to operate the business from her basement, CNBC reported.
Larca’s business saw notable expansion over the last year, leading her to move to a larger workspace, according to the report. Larca emphasized that this move was essential to address the rising demand for her products, a surge that was further intensified by inflation and a backlog of events resulting from the pandemic.
Adding to the floral landscape are Laken Swan and Lauren Bercier, who established Something Borrowed Blooms in 2015 following their personal encounters with exorbitant expenses during their respective weddings, per the report. Bercier experienced a sense of regret on her wedding day. After making a full deposit for fresh flowers, the blooms that were delivered didn’t align with her envisioned concept.
The disappointment experienced by Bercier is not an isolated incident. The fresh flower industry often faces supply and demand challenges, leading to fluctuating prices based on stock availability and the proximity of events to holidays like Valentine’s Day, Swan said in the report.
Conversely, artificial flowers do not encounter such volatility, which more brides are noticing.
In January 2022, Florèal Blooms witnessed a surge in demand, with Larca scheduling 20 to 30 consultations per week, according to the report. Looking ahead to 2023, the company is fully booked until the end of the year. Similarly, Something Borrowed Blooms is dispatching silk flowers for approximately 1,200 weddings each month, projecting a pace of up to 2,000 weddings per month this fall.
For brides considering dress rental for their big day, a trend that has gained more popularity than anticipated, particularly due to concerns about sustainability and cost-per-wear, The Dress Outlet has emerged as a sought-after destination offering a diverse range of styles and sizes.
However, for individuals who seek the convenience of renting while also desiring a tailored fit, Lundyn Carter said she believes that your something borrowed can be customized to suit you, The New York Times reported. In 2017, Carter introduced Laine London, a Black-owned rental company, that provides budget-friendly, size-inclusive choices for brides seeking a flawlessly tailored appearance.
Laine London offers brides the opportunity to rent designer wedding dresses available in sizes ranging from 0 to 32, per the report. Rental packages, inclusive of alterations and one accessory, begin at $1,200 for seven days, presenting a more economical choice compared to the typical $1,800 expenditure for a dress that typically sees only one use, as indicated by the Knot.
To maximize the dress’s utility and ensure it is personalized and fitted to the bride, Laine London employs in-house tailors and dry cleaners who work to preserve the dress’s condition between uses, according to the report.
Other wedding rental opportunities include tuxes. The Black Tux, a company specializing in suit and tuxedo rentals, offers customers the opportunity to access upscale attire at budget-friendly rates through its rental services.
In a conversation with Forbes earlier this year, Andrew Blackmon, the co-founder and CEO of The Black Tux, said many individuals carry a certain stigma when it comes to the rental market, often harboring some reluctance.
“We try to manufacture the highest quality garments and make sure the service is surprisingly excellent for customers,” Blackmon said, per the report. “If that happens, then they really spread word of mouth quickly.”
In 2015, The Black Tux secured $25 million in funding to establish its rental division. Since then, the company has pursued acquisitions to establish a comprehensive offering, which now encompasses wedding bands.