Concetta's Closet Vintage Clothing
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No, I would not like to rent my memories!

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I woke up this morning, turned on the news in my living room - put a Hazelnut coffee into the Keurig and sat down to check my email.  On the news, the local news station was doing a small bit on wedding dress rentals, and how it has become the latest trend among brides.  After hearing just that, I put down my coffee and watched the spot to find out more about this trend. Image "My wedding dress was just sitting in my closet, in a box, taking up space - I wasnt using it!" - said one of the women who had sold her wedding dress from just a few years ago - to a trendy bridal boutique in NH.  Puzzled, I sat and listened through the rest.  The owner of the boutique told the reporter, "Brides and Grooms have been doing it wrong the whole time.  Brides should be renting their dresses, and Grooms should be buying their tuxedos!"  (Insert jaw drop).  Was she really saying this?  Did she really mean it?  Please tell me it was just my morning brain without that first sip of coffee being fuzzy and playing tricks on me. Image I then thought about it.  Where is my wedding dress?  Well, I remember.  Its in my closet, in a garment bag.  Am I annoyed by it?  No.  Does it take up too much space?  Nope.  Am I all fidgety because its there and Im not able to use it?  Um, sure Id love to wear it everyday.  But Im A-OK with it being unworn.  You see, I have a different view on wedding dresses, than this boutique owner does.  I believe that wedding dresses should be worn and kept, perhaps to get passed down onto daughters or granddaughters, or whomever else wants to wear them.  The whole thought of 20 brides wearing the same rented dress cheapens the whole idea of wedding dresses in general.  From the beginning of time, wedding attire was something to be coveted.  It was ornate and usually quite expensive.  I am highly doubting that Victorian and Edwardian women went to a wedding dress rental shop for their gowns.  Sure, dresses were borrowed among family - I once knew of a dress that was worn by three generations of women in the same family.  How special that truly is. As if weddings these days were not sterile and cookie-cutter enough, why encourage women to make their weddings even more impersonal by renting a wedding dress.  One bride-to-be during the interview said, "I wouldnt normally be able to wear this $7,000 Lazaro wedding gown, but I can rent it for $699!!" - So that just made a perfect point for me, I hope you got it too.  Normally, women dont spend $7,000 on a wedding gown, but perhaps they want others to think they did.  Thats what I think, at least. It is absolutely possible to spend $699 (or less) on an incredible wedding gown.  When shopping for my wedding dress, I tried on 100 different styles but finally found a LaSposa gown that suited my taste perfectly.  Was it in my budget, kind of.  But luckily the boutique in NYC price matched any other store in the area - so I found the exact same dress across the river in Hoboken for $300 less. Image So, girls - please, for the love of lace - do NOT rent your wedding gown.  Buy one used, remake your grandmothers gown into something more suitable for you or even better, BUY VINTAGE! Here are a few of my most FAVORITE vintage wedding gowns on Etsy, right now: Image A 1930s eyelet lace wedding gown in a VERY healthy size - $386 @ RococoVintage Image A 1960s simple white strapless short wedding dress - backyard farm weddings, this is your dress - $400 @ CoralVintage Image This 1950s wedding dress will let you channel your inner Kate Middleton! $435 @ DearGolden

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  • Melissa Mannon on

    Great post! My mother “rented” her wedding dress, sort of…but there is a good story behind it. My grandfather pressed clothes for a living and was friends with a tailor who made a gown that my mother was allowed to wear for the occasion. She had to give it back. I wish that she had passed the dress down to me, but she couldn’t afford a gown. Instead I have a story that reminds me of how far my family has come from immigrant grandparents who escaped the Holocaust and a beautiful lace “borrowed” dress. Pictures of the dress remind me how hard my grandfather worked for his family’s survival and happiness.

    My own dress sits in a closet. It still has strawberry stains from my wedding 18 years ago…I hope to pass it on to my own daughter one day and I will share the story about grandma’s “borrowed” dress. How lucky my kid will be to have a family heirloom from the 90s! Now I just need to try to get that strawberry stain out!

  • Kristine on

    I agree with you – your wedding dress should be an heirloom, not just another expensive and disposable part of your wedding day! If price is an issue there are so many other inexpensive options, vintage being one of them. Or borrow a dress from a friend or family member, even if you don’t get to keep it, it still has special meaning for you. I helped one bride refashion her best friend’s (god-awful) 1980s gown into a super-cute tea-length dress that was appropriate for a modern wedding, and had a special connection to her friend’s very successful and loving marriage.

    I was lucky enough to be the 3rd generation to wear my wedding dress – it was first my grandmother’s dress (married in 1947), then my aunt’s (1979), and then mine (2009). I will still get teary-eyed when I think about the reaction of the two women that wore it before me, and it means even more to me to have that experience now that my grandmother has passed. If you could rent a gown in 1947, I would never have had that chance. Just some food for thought.

  • Margo, Thrift at Home on

    I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, with the affairs that weddings are these days (my word, I sound old). Renting an expensive dress to make a splash – pfff.

    I was so so so pleased to wear my mother’s wedding dress from the 70s. I hope to pass it on to my daughter. If I wouldn’t have had my mom’s dress, I’m sure I would have bought vintage. I love things with stories.

  • Lauren on

    Dana, I love this post! Although I’ve never been married, I feel very strongly on the subject. A wedding gown is terribly personal- the thought of not getting to keep it makes my stomach flip-flop!

    In 1933, my great-grandmother wed her sweetheart wearing an ivory silk charmeuse bias cut frock & orange blossom crown. Flash forward to 1983, it’s their 50th wedding anniversary party. Her hubby convinced her to run upstairs & try on the dress again for their guests, I’ve been told she was in a fit of giggles. Flash forward many years later, they have both since passed & we still get to enjoy the dress. It’s on display at my grandmother’s home in a massive shadow box along with the entire trousseau, his wedding tie, their marriage license, & the like. To think that I would’ve never gotten to see my great-grandmother’s dress if it had been en vogue to rent your dress when she was a bride! I feel very fortunate that that wasn’t the case.

    There are so many options before you would ever need to consider renting- vintage being my personal favorite :) Vintage wedding dresses are affordable, unique & timeless. (Oh you know, something a little like this: )

    Did I mention I love this post? I do :)

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