Wedding season is upon us. It can be challenging to find dresses that meet our budget and also do good for people and planet. That’s why we absolutely love the disruptive fashion alternative: rental.

By rotating awesome clothes among consumers, breakthrough startups like Rent The Runway mitigate the rate of production and help you save some major dollars without sacrificing your on-trend chic.

We’ve curated some of our favorite high and low price point dresses from the innovative e-commerce site to suit the most common wedding codes you’ll see on your invites. Happy renting!

Black Tie

High: Midnight Sash Dress by Galvan, $155 rental, $1,020 retail. Low: Asymmetric Flounce Gown by Halston Heritage, $50 – $70 rental, $425 retail

Bring out your ultimate formal chic with floor length gowns in luxury fabrics. Accessorize with glittering accessories made of precious stones and a small hard cover clutch. Dramatic hair and makeup will complement your luxe look.

Pro Tip: Search for designers you know and love. Chat with a stylist to help you with your fit.

Black Tie Optional

High: Floral Jacquard Dress by Jill Jill Stuart, $80 – $100, $658 retail. Low: Off-The-Shoulder Sheath by Tibi, $60 rental, $485 retail

A bit more flexible than black tie, try strong silhouettes or modern versions of the classic little black dress. Keep it formal with a fancy heel, bejeweled accessories, and dramatic hair and make-up.

Cocktail Attire

High: Red Minnie Dress by Peter Pilotto, $255 – $265 rental, $1,495 retail. Low: Scarlett Kravitz Dress by A.L.C, $85 – $105 rental, $695 retail

Considered the contemporary dress code for weddings, cocktail attire gives you generous wiggle room to dress up or down. Experiment by playing with mid-thigh or mid-calf dresses in fun fabrics and seasonal colors. Pair with über chic heels and a smokey eye or bright lip.

Daytime Semi-Formal

High: Mod Splotch Dress by Nina Ricci, $300 rental, $2,290 retail. Low: Fluid Checks Dress by See By Chloe, $65 rental, $450 retail

If you’re going to a daytime wedding at the country club, the attire will probably fall under this category and for it we love the idea of showing some leg with fun prints, light colors and subtle silhouettes. Pair with simple heels and add in a professional blow-dry or up do, dewy skin and a glossy lip to take it up a notch.


High: Knit Colorblock Dress by Solace London, $110 rental, $720 retail. Low: Navy Polka Dot Maxi by Slate & Willow, $30 – $40 rental, $128 value

When the invite says casual, seize the opportunity to try something out of your ordinary rotation. We recommend versatile day-to-night dresses with casual and comfortable shoes and accessories. You can also try out slacks and a silky blouse.

Island Getaway

High: Odyssey Maxi by Suno, $150 – $160 rental, $995 retail. Low: Floral Venezia Gown by Amanda Uprichard, $50 – $70 rental, $340 retail

When you’re headed to a destination wedding, this is your time to bring out summery, sand-friendly looks. Think flowing dresses, bright colors and florals accessorized with beaded accessories from ethical brands like Akola Project. Style with natural hair and makeup for a subtle glow.

Rocked a rental this wedding season? we would love to feature you on IG as part of our Humans of Fashion series. Send us a photo and quote on how you contribute to our growing sustainable fashion movement, for a chance to be featured.

Cover Photo: Rent The Runway

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