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Rent the Runway Launches Wedding Gowns and Dresses Tuesday, January 18, 2011 ~ 5:29 p.m.

Rent the Runway Offers Wedding and Bridesmaid Dress and Accessory rentals This news item is kind of funny, because I literally just "rented" my dress for my rehearsal dinner from Rent the Runway yesterday! I did not, however, I get the dress from their brand new "Weddings" wardrobe, which was just announced today...although I swear I saw it up on their site when I was shopping yesterday, too.

It's a beyond brilliant idea when you think about it! How many times have you been a bridesmaid and been forced to purchase your own dress, which you secretly hate and plan on donating to Good Will immediately following the wedding? Rent the Runway is an answer to this inevitable conundrum, allowing bridesmaids, as well as brides-to-be and guests, to rent their dresses and accessories for eight days (along with a one-day "fitting period"). Rentals from the bridesmaid collection, specifically, start at $65, and will feature four different styles of dress, which can be paired with one of four seasonal colors. These won't be your average frumpy dress, either. Talented designers Badgley Mischka, Robert Rodriguez and Nicole Miller, have all signed on to offer exclusive designs to Rent the Runway customers.

Rent the Runway isn't offering wedding gown rentals just yet, ladies, but the website does have an extensive collection of designer dresses and accessories for all of the other big wedding occasions including the engagement and bachelorette parties, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners and honeymoons.

If you're curious about how it works, you basically choose the date you'd like to receive your items (the site suggests 1-2 days prior to the day you plan to wear the items), and decide whether you'd like a 4- or 8-day rental period. You'll get to choose to rent not one, but TWO different sizes, just in case you're unsure of how the items will fit. And if you're really worried about taking the risk of renting, Rent the Runway also invites you to rent a second dress of your choice for only $40. Your items will be shipped to you - freshly cleaned and in good condition, of course - so that you receive it on or before the day you specified. Included with your items will be a return shipping label, which they ask you to stick on the package, and drop into the mailbox by noon on the day that your rental expires. If you're worried about damaging it - spilling some red wine on your party dress or losing a stone in your cocktail ring, for instance, Rent the Runway also offers "insurance" for about $5 (if I remember correctly) to cover any such occurrances.

I've only rented from Rent the Runway once before yesterday...a couple of accessories for my bridal shower, actually...but I had a great experience, and would recommend it to anyone who needs something for a special occasion. I think that I rented my gorgeous rehearsal dinner dress by Temperley London just in time!

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