Why would you ever buy a wedding dress?

A lot of people I know are getting married these days. Here’s one of those age-old assumptions: weddings are going to be more expensive for the bride than the groom. The bride buys her dress, and the groom rents a tux. He gets off scot-free and she’s $5,000-$10,000 (or more) in the hole. Then, of course, you need to factor in the $1,000 she might spend on shoes, hair, makeup, and nails. To further empty the wallet, she might go for a pre-event massage, a facial,or some racy lingerie to wear under the dress. And to top that off, maybe a pair of fake boobs, who knows. Either way, your typical bride (Zilla or not) has the potential to rack up her personal bill well into the thousands.

They were apparently on their way to a ‘photoshoot’, but we know better.

So this is what has really been stumping me: Why even buy a wedding dress?

  1. You will never wear it again. It will sit in your closet or under your bed, tucked away forever. Occasionally you will pull it out to show your friends or future children, and sigh that you’d never be able to fit into it again even if you tried. And then you might cry about it.
  2. Even if you get married a second time. Do you really want to wear the same dress you wore to your first wedding? Ouch.

Let me clarify that this theoretical dress in question is your traditional Western white gown. Some ladies have it right when they go for a modern dress that could actually be worn again to another formal event. But some say that takes away its ‘specialness’. Others say that their body type is just too disproportionate to be able to fit into a non-custom dress. Touché on the body issue. But……here are some options:

  • Rent one for a few hundred bucks and return it. You’ll always remember what it looked like from the billions of photos you are sure to have afterwards.
  • Buy a used one. Then sell it again.
  • Buy a simple (ie. cheaper) new one. Then sell it.
  • Buy a white dress from a store that isn’t being marketed as a wedding dress and I bet you’ll save hundreds, if not thousands. Slap a veil on your head and call it a day (but seriously, you could do this).
  • Profit.

Coming from someone who is young, poor, and unmarried, who am I to say what you should or shouldn’t do—but I remember my high school friends spending $500-$1000 on their prom gowns back in the day and this isn’t too far off from that. It’s in the same league as asking your bridesmaids to all buy the same dress because it will be ‘cute when they all match’ but your ladies are different shapes and have different incomes. If the groom can rent his tux, why can’t you rent your dress?