File it Under "Genius": Bridesmaid Dresses for Rent

(Source: PacificCoastNews.com, Little Borrowed Dress)Grooms have been renting tuxes since the beginning of time, and even wedding musts such as table linens, cake stands and outdoor tents are rentable for the big day. So why, pray tell, do so many bridesmaids end up dropping a couple of hundo for a coral taffeta confection they will never, ever, ever wear again?

The only logical answer is that they haven't yet heard of the bevy of rental dress companies making bridal party attire easier (and cheaper) than ever. Read on for our top picks for rental bridesmaid dresses, and promptly forward to the bride in your life. You can thank us later.

Rent the Runway
(Source: Rent the Runway. Badgley Mischka Mint Dream Gown, $150 rental; Lulu Frost Rococo Statement Earrings, $45 rental; Erin by Erin Featherson Garden Fairy Gown, $125 rental.)
Savvy wedding guests and bachelorette party-goers have long headed to Rent the Runway to ‘borrow’ chic designer duds for big nights out, so why shouldn’t the bridal party get in on the action? The site offers a vast range of seriously chic frocks from well-known labels, including Badgley Mischka and Nicole Miller, to up-and-coming brands such as Cushnie et Ochs. With rental fees starting at as little as $44.95 for short cocktail numbers—and each order including a free back-up size—you might as well spring for a killer rehearsal dinner dress and some gorgeous baubles from the likes of Alexis Bittar and Lulu Frost while you’re at it.

The Little Borrowed Dress
(Source: The Little Borrowed Dress. "Leigh" Dress, $75 rental; "Kate" Dress, $50 rental.)Finding a dress that looks good on your entire bridal party can be a massive headache. That was the thinking behind the 12 universally flattering styles from this site’s in-house line of floaty chiffon bridesmaid dresses. Each look—available in 18 sweet hues, from chic steel grey to blush pink—features strategically placed elastic around the bust and waist to make sure even pregnant maids look gorg (and feel great). Even better: the site will send you color swatches to make sure that sage green is just right, the rental periods start a whopping two weeks before the big day, and rentals will set you back just $50 to $75.

Vow To Be Chic

(Source: Vow To Be Chic; Alvina Valenta "Chelsea" Dress, $95 rental; Swoon "Mykonos" Dress, $110 rental; Alvina Valenta "Sam" Dress, $110 rental; Jim Hjelm "Isabel" Dress, $110 rental)With the oh-so-true tagline “being a bridesmaid is an expensive honor,” this new site rents out an array of dresses from established bridesmaid-dress lines such as Jim Hjelm and Alvina Valentina for $95 to $125. And it’s not just the standard chiffon-y fare: there are some gorgeous chantilly lace options perfect for a sophisticated city fete and a slew of slinky silk-charmeuse styles from designer Swoon. Whichever gown you select, don’t worry about last-minute fit disasters. The site sends along dresses a few months before the wedding to determine sizing, then ships the winning style a week before your walk down the aisle.
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