Brides renting gowns in these tough economic times

Something old, new, borrowed and blue – that is the wedding tradition - but this wedding season getting something new may be a struggle. According to industry research firm IBISWorld, spending on rented bridal gowns is expected to grow 7.5 percent to $43 million - up from $40 million in 2008.

With brides renting dresses, sales of new wedding gowns are expected to decrease 2.8 percent this year, reaching just $973 million. While the decline is not as steep as the 4.2 percent drop experienced in 2008, the industry has seen declines since 2001. Brides who do purchase a dress will more likely buy their garments in high-end department stores, formal clothing stores, or online – like
PreOwnedWedddingDress.com – opposed to a bridal store.
The one thing couples will not be renting this year is wedding planners. Compared to 2008, the amount spent on wedding planners is expected to drop 4.2 percent to $785 million. In fact, the average cost of a wedding is expected to drop eight percent in 2009 to just $20,000 – in 2007 the average was $30,000.
“The recession is expected to exacerbate the already declining marriage rate, as couples put off the ‘big day’ until the time is right financially,” explained Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “Spending will undoubtedly be impacted by such postponements, and these cost cutting measures will start from the purchase of an engagement ring, all the way to the end of the honeymoon.” [via IBISWorld]

In my opinion, I think it's okay, especially if you're on an extremely tight budget and don't want a dress hanging in your closet that you don't plan on ever wearing again. But, depending on the rental rate, you may find a brand new dress on sale for less than $150 at most bridal stores. What do you think about renting a wedding gown?

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