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Wedding tips: Wedding dress - buy or rent?

Published:Monday | December 7, 2015 | 12:00 AM

When planning a wedding, for most brides, the wedding dress is one of the most, if not THE most important element of the wedding.

With so many options and price ranges, it can become very overwhelming.

When deciding whether to rent or buy, ask yourself these five questions

- What is my budget? Once you have decided on a budget for your entire wedding, it is best to set aside 10 per cent of that budget to your wedding gown.

- Do I really want to keep the dress? Perhaps you have been dreaming about your wedding dress since you were a child, so it is likely that you will want to keep your dress for sentimental reasons. It's a big day; however, it is still just one day out of the many you will have for years to come. How important is it to have this dress 20 years down the road? Remember, the pictures will last a lifetime.

- Will you be happy with a dress that has been worn before? A rented gown is not a new gown. One of the drawbacks to renting a gown is that, more than likely, you will not be the first bride to have worn it. If having a brand new gown is important to you, then you will need to take a second look at your budget.

- Will you want customisations to your gown? Most rented gowns cannot be customised. Sure, standard alterations can be done to ensure the perfect fit, however, if, for example, you are a petite bride and the bodice of the gown needs to be shortened to accommodate your smaller frame, that will pose some challenges.

- Can I manage the pressure of a rented gown? If you choose to buy your gown, you can do whatever you want in it - trash the dress if you like. However, if you are renting a gown, you have to give it back, so a little extra care must be taken to ensure that it comes back in the best condition possible. Most bridal stores charge a security deposit that you will lose if the dress comes back in poor condition.