A couple of weeks ago, two of my good friends tied the knot at the most beautiful ceremony and reception I’ve ever been to. We’ve known the couple was going to get married for years—they’re one of those couples where you just know. However, even though it was only a matter of time until the actualization of this wedding, I found myself a month out with nothing to wear.
You might be thinking, It’s not your wedding you could have just worn a nice dress. Let me let you in on two reasons why that simply wasn’t an option for me: 1.) It’s been over a year since I’ve been to a wedding and 2) I never miss out on an opportunity to over-obsess about my outfit.
In my mind, there are a few characteristics that make up the perfect wedding guest dress: comfort, style, dance-ability, and price. You want your dress to be comfortable enough to help you last through the ceremony and reception, stylish and unique so you’re not matching anyone else at the wedding, danceable so you can Cupid Shuffle and Electric Slide all night long, and affordable, because at the end of the day it’s not your wedding. However, in order to find qualities one, two, and three, you often have to sacrifice four, and for what? Spending too much on a dress you will likely never wear again is heartbreaking, so I refuse to do it. Enter: Rent the Runway.
I’m a rental novice and recent convert, so this was my second time trying out the renting process (my first was with Eloquii Unlimited).
How it works
For Rent the Runway, first you pick a plan (I chose the one for eight outfits per month and a full closet), then you pick four items for your first delivery, wear the clothes for as long as you want, return or swap them out, and repeat! I rented three dresses and one small handbag (to go with my dress, duh) as eligible candidates for my wedding guest debut—here are my unfiltered thoughts.
Dress #1: The Unrealistic Stunner
Y’all, I loved this dress so much. It made me feel very grown and sexy, but I couldn’t justify the hassle it took to put it on. Moreover, it’s anyone’s guess whether it would or wouldn’t have burst at the seams when I sat down for the reception. The material felt high-quality and I really loved the all-over support and structure it provided; however, I think I needed a size larger, which they didn’t have! Maybe next time.
Dress #2: The One Made for Dancing
This dress had me feeling easy, breezy, beautiful, CoverGirl style. People told me I looked like this emoji → 💃🏾. It fit like a glove, but did require a bit of a team effort to zip. While I loved this dress, I opted to make it a brunch ‘fit instead of my dress for the wedding. It was super cute, in fact so cute that it may have been too adorable for an evening wedding.
Dress #3: The Spontaneous Winner
This dress was a bit of a spontaneous pick! I think you should always order one thing outside of your comfort zone and that was this dress for me. I’ve always wanted to wear these slinky styles, but have been regularly told they don’t look good on plus-size women. You know that phrase doesn’t stop me anymore, so here I am! I actually ordered this a bit too big the first time around and used my free swap to get the right size because I was immediately in love. It wasn’t too tight, too short, or too revealing for my vision for myself for this wedding. The designs were intricate and had a velvet flare, which I found to be super unique. I loved it!
I know what you’re wondering, did I say yes to this dress? I did, and we danced happily ever after all night long. Bonus: people likened me to Lisa Bonet all night, I love that for me.
Here’s what I learned from my RTR expedition:
- Do your research: People leave plenty of reviews and sizing recommendations on each outfit, believe them.
- Pay it forward: Reviews helped me find the perfect fit for my dresses, so I plan to upload pictures and advice for my dresses moving forward.
- Try new things: This is an opportunity to take a chance on that outfit you never thought you’d wear without the financial commitment, and you can always send it back for a replacement if you don’t like it!