From wedding outfits and accessories to decor and games – opting to hire rather than buy is on the rise. We share some of our favourite money-savvy and sustainable options

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In the lead up to your wedding, you’ll mostly be thinking about what happens on the day, as well as what you’ll need to do before the day. But what about afterwards? It’s not just your honeymoon that’s left, as you’ll still have your dress, decor, and other bits and pieces to find a home for.

Some things are obviously only enjoyed on the day itself, like the venue, food and entertainment. But what about everything else?

According to renting is on the rise. A recent National Wedding Survey revealed that almost of fifth of couples who got married in 2022 chose eco-friendly or sustainable options. This includes having pre-loved or rented outfits and accessories for the couple and wedding party,

Why should you rent wedding items?

There are a number of reasons people choose to rent like saving storage space, cutting costs and being more eco-friendly by reducing single-use items. And if that’s not enough of a motive, the rented items could always be your something borrowed!

Is it cheaper to rent?

Hiring rather than buying also works out cheaper in most cases. This might allow you to choose something that would be too expensive to buy outright such as large venue decor.

Zoe Burke, the Editor of Hitched, shared how hiring helped her. “Last year I rented my maid of honour dress for a wedding, and it cost £130 to rent it for three days, instead of £1,595 to buy it outright.”

Another benefit is supporting businesses who rent out these items, with Zoe adding: “There are so many great wedding businesses out there that hire out everything you can think of, from the tableware for your wedding breakfast to the decorations for your party. By hiring these items, you’re giving more life to something that might just be discarded if it was bought new for a single purpose, and you’re supporting small businesses too. It’s a win win!”

What wedding items can you rent?

Almost anything it seems! There are places you can find outfits and accessories for the wedding party, decorations and lots of details that make up the day. Here are six things you can hire instead of buy.

Wedding dress hire

According to Hitched, in the UK a wedding dress costs £1,350 on average, which is a fair chunk of change to spend on an outfit for one day. Not to mention the fact that many brides are actually wearing more than one wedding outfit nowadays.

Plenty of bridal shops and other retailers offer rental bridal outfits, including ASOS which was the first of its kind to create a rental option for this kind of occasion wear.

Of course, for some people a wedding dress is very sentimental and something they want to keep for the rest of their life. But, with ASOS bridal outfits (as well as other retailers) available to rent from Hirestreet and prices starting at £20, renting could save you a lot of money.

Suits and kilts for hire

In Scotland, you’ll rarely go to a wedding and not see someone looking resplendent in a kilt. While some men have their own that they bring out for special occasions, many also opt to hire their outfit.

This works well if you want the groomsmen all in the same tartan, and you can also hire suits too. Places like MacGregor and MacDuff and Slater Menswear have lots on offer for dressing the groom and his wedding party.

There are plenty of hire options for grooms and groomsmen. LeftMacGregor and MacDuff Arran Navy Tweed KiltRightSlaters Navy Short Morning Jacket

Renting wedding guest outfits

Of course, some of your wedding party might already have outfits they can wear to your wedding. But if they’d like to wear something different or need to fit into a certain colour scheme there are rental options for them too.

While there are numerous online retailers that offer rental dresses, keep in mind that most will only have one or two sizes of each style. But if you only have one bridesmaid to dress this could be a great option!

These summer dresses would be gorgeous for wedding guests. LeftKeisha maxi slip dress from CloanRightAnne Louise Boutique Skye blue floral maxi dress from Hurr

Shoes and accessories

You could still get use out of your shoes and accessories after the wedding, but there are plenty of hire options available too. Since you won’t have to buy a piece outright, you could actually end up getting a more high-end piece of jewellery, a veil or headpiece for the same price or cheaper.

Wedding guest outfits also lend themselves towards renting accessories. How often are they going to use the clutch, fascinator or statement jewellery that perfectly matches their wedding fit?

Renting artificial wedding flowers

From bouquets to buttonholes, you can actually rent your wedding flowers. When buying real flowers, there’s a limited time they’ll look good for and you also have to think about how you’ll store them and what’s in season.

On the other hand, artificial blooms will remain intact for however long you need them, so you know they’ll be perfect in photos. Silk flowers and other artificial flowers can be reused, making them ideal for renting on the day and less harmful to the environment.

Hiring venue decor

While some venues provide decor, a lot of couples want to add their own touch and bring decorations. There are lots of DIY decor options if that’s your cup of tea, but although this keeps costs down, you will be left with all of the decor after the wedding.

Hiring items gets rid of this problem, and it allows you to get things you couldn’t make yourself or would be too expensive to buy. Neon signs and large light-up letters are popular choices for weddings.

Some vendors will even set up and take down the decor on the day, giving you one less thing to worry about.

Decor can transform a venue. LeftGet Knotted used gypsophila throughout the day and venue; (Photo: Adam Hudson PhotographyRight: Stunning blossom trees were added to the aisle by LBS Event Design & Wedding Planners  (Photo: Stacey Macleod Photography)

Wedding games for guests

After the ceremony, there’s often time for drinks, mingling and possibly some entertainment. Games are a great way to keep your guests occupied while you get photos with your new spouse.

If you have outdoor space on the day, there are plenty of fun games to choose from. You could buy these games yourself, but you can get much more variety by hiring from specialty companies.

Everyone can get involved in wedding games. LeftKerplunk from Weddings by NoonRightGiant Connect 4 from Go2 Event Hire

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