I’m currently in the process of rebranding my business – new focus, new look and most importantly, new website. The most exciting part of the new site, for me, are the new photos. Not for the photos’ sake, but for the new outfits that go along with them.

With the rebrand though, come many costs and I have to save money where I can. While I knew that I needed some pretty fabulous gowns for some of my pics, I was also on a budget. So what does a price-conscious girl who needs an incredible dress do? She rents one of course.

I heard about dress rentals when I started styling clients for their photo shoots. Renting a dress allows you to go to one location, try on a ton of dresses in a variety of styles and colours to see which is best for you (typically with an experienced stylist on hand to guide you).

If you don’t have a dress rental location in your city, you can rent online and have your dress shipped right to your door. When you’re done with it, pop it in the mail and the company takes care of the rest. Super easy and convenient.

Other benefits of renting a dress?

  • Save money – renting is a fraction of the cost of buying
  • Save time – no more running from store to store
  • Doesn’t take up valuable closet space
  • Never be seen in the same dress twice
  • Take more risks or wear more current designs
  • Wear designer dresses that might not typically be in your budget
  • Personal fitting and styling
  • Dry cleaning included

When I needed gowns for my photo shoot, I headed to two separate locations – Rent Frock Repeat (RFR) and Your Favourite Dresses (YFD). I’d been to both before with and for clients, had great experiences and knew that they both had fabulous dresses to choose from. I knew that it would come down to the right dress and the right fit. Luckily I found one at each.

The beauty of companies like RFR and YFD is that while they essentially do the same thing, they carry different dresses and each is a slightly different experience. Women flock to either one or the other, or both, for various reasons.

Both RFR and YFD offer online and in-person dress rentals, both offer styling services and both have accessories available.

I love that at RFR they make it very clear that you don’t need to have an event or make one up to try on dresses. Just schedule an appointment, try on some gowns and find out which styles and colours are best for you, so that when you do have an event, you’re ready to go. Their Stylists are top notch and they know their stock inside out. They even offer Skype Consultations for those that can’t make it into one of their two locations (Toronto and Ottawa).

At YFD, I love the personalized service and the option of renting unique accessories that you might not normally have the need to purchase. YFD does offer online rentals, but it’s the head to toe styling and the one-on-one relationship that I’ve created with owner Trisha Mishich that keeps me going back.

So which dresses did I end up with? I chose the ABS Black and White Strapless Gown form Rent Frock Repeat and the Honor Gold Amanda Red Dress from Your Favourite Dresses. Both looked divine and I was thrilled with how the photos turned out. Now I just can’t wait until my new website launches to show them off!