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'I found my dream wedding dress for £35 - and it's sustainable'

How you can save thousands by renting your wedding dress from Rotaro, By Rotation and more platforms

Real life bride and groom in a park© Laurie TB
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
September 9, 2023
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Weddings look different for everyone, but most couples struggle to stick to their budget. Aside from being a romantic gesture of your commitment to your partner and a chance to celebrate with friends and family, the event can also be very expensive, with the average wedding costing £20k in the UK – and wedding dresses making up a large chunk of that money.

To mark Sustainable September, ethical jewellery brand Sacet spoke to one savvy bride about how she got her dream wedding dress for just £35.

What is Sustainable September?

Set up by the BDA, Sustainable September is a month-long campaign that encourages people to think about their impact on the environment in regard to food waste. Diets aside, this focus on sustainability has spread to other industries such as fashion, with people choosing to forsake fast fashion and make the most of second-hand finds.

How can I find a sustainable wedding dress?

Laurie wearing a short wedding dress in the street in London© Laurie TB
Laurie rented her wedding dress for £35

Sustainability has increased in priority for many eco-conscious brides and grooms over the past few years, including the likes of Princess Beatrice and Boris Johnson's wife Carrie Symonds. London-based Creative Director Laurie, 32, also wanted a unique, unconventional gown that didn't break the bank for her second wedding.

"I've done the whole ‘go big or go home’ wedding thing before, and I've got this lavish wedding gown collecting dust from a past life back in Canada. I’m glad I had that more classic wedding experience, but this time around, I wanted the focus to be on us. Since COVID was still in the spotlight, my hubby and I knew we’d have to keep it intimate and to be honest, we always loved the idea of eloping!" she told Sacet.

While she originally flirted with the idea of purchasing a gown she could recycle for everyday use after her big day, she joked: "I quickly realised that I don’t do simple and classic. Then I stumbled upon this stunning Sister Jane puffy white dress that stole my heart. The dream. She was around £300, and that’s when a friend introduced me to renting.” 

Laurie already loved sustainable fashion before her wedding© Laurie TB
Laurie already loved sustainable fashion before her wedding

It offered the perfect solution for Laurie, who was already a champion of sustainable fashion. "I’m a big fan of thrift stores and second-hand finds, and having witnessed the negative impact of the fashion industry during my time styling, wearing pre-loved items is a way for me to contribute to a more sustainable approach," she explained.

Where can I find a sustainable wedding dress?

Laurie turned to rental dress platform Rotaro, which allowed her to try on dresses at their London pop-up.

She added: "Plus, rental platforms usually offer options to order different sizes, which eases any worries. I knew I could order more than one size and only pay for the one I would be wearing."

Bride holding her veil with the groom dressed in blue© Laurie TB
The bride fell in love with a £300 Sister Jane dress

While her full-price gown would have cost her £300 to buy, she rented it for four days for just £35 plus assurance fees – a fraction of the average wedding dress, which is £1.3k.

"We’d aimed for a budget-friendly wedding, so the savings from the dress meant we could invest more into experiences like travel and setting up our home," she said.

Reassuring other brides who have reservations about renting their gown, she said: "Renting gives you the chance to wear a dress that might have been out of your budget to start with," before adding: "Renting allowed me to wear my dream dress without the commitment of ownership. 

"Whilst I'll always have a soft spot for that dress, a glance at the photos is enough to bring back the memories. It's heartwarming to think it could make someone else's wedding day special, too."

Interested brides can also rent their wedding dress from MyWardrobe HQ, Selfridges, By Rotation and HURR to name a few.

RELATED: How to rent your entire wedding day: from décor to dresses

FIND OUT: How to save £1k on your wedding dress by going second hand

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