Say yes to a borrowed dress

Say yes to a borrowed dress: Site lets brides on a budget rent pre-owned wedding gowns

Borrowing Magnolia offers secondhand designer wedding dresses for more affordable prices and allows a bride-to-be to try on the gowns before she makes her decision.

Something borrowed: Brides looking to cut costs can now rent their wedding dress.

Borrowing MagnoliaSomething borrowed: Brides looking to cut costs can now rent their wedding dress.


Budget-conscious brides now have another option for their something borrowed — their wedding dress.

Borrowing Magnolia, an online bridal boutique, lets financially savvy brides-to-be try on secondhand gowns that they can then rent or buy for their big day.

The site is aimed at the modern bride who is trying to cut costs and forgo some of the traditional wedding bells and whistles, Ashley Steele, one of the three founders of the site, explained to the Daily News.


“People aren’t caring about having one wedding photo that they frame. They are more focused on the experience and keeping it in their budget,” she said.


Steele and fellow co-founders Cali Brutz and Stephanie Olvey, who all had experience in the wedding industry prior to launching Borrowing Magnolia, noticed that there were few places for brides who wanted a special dress at a more affordable price.


The average wedding dress will set a bride back $1,281, according to The Knot. Designer bridal gowns usually cost even more.

The dresses to rent on Borrowing Magnolia start at $400 and can go up to about $2,000.


“We're excited to offer a way for people to get into their dream dress without spending tons of money,” Steele said.

Sites such as Nearly Newlywed offer similar services – and Rent the Runway has its own bridal boutique – but Steele said Borrowing Magnolia stands out because it combines discount prices with the “Say Yes to the Dress” try-on experience.

Shoppers can look through used dresses to buy or borrow and select three to try on for $99. The gowns are then sent out to the brides-to-be, who have five days to inspect and model them.


“We are working on encouraging brides to have in-home try on parties with their bridesmaids so they can still have the experience without paying the huge price tags that bridal boutiques require,” Steele said.

If the a bride decides she wants to wear one of the three dresses when she says “I do,” she can put the $99 down payment toward the rental or purchase price.


However, customers can’t keep a dress if they pick it — they have to ship it back. It will arrive again before the ceremony, and the bride can keep it for 14 days.


The dresses cannot be altered, but they don’t need to be cleaned before they are returned.


The business is still in its early stages, but Steele said they have been overwhelmed by the number of women submitting their dresses to be rented or re-sold.

Would you walk down the aisle in a secondhand wedding dress that you rented? Borrowing Magnolia is a new site that allows you to do just that.



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