A champagne-taste bride decides to rent some fabulous baubles for the big day
By By Lauren Schein and Special to The Baltimore Sun
Jun 14, 2012 | 9:12 AM
One of the many benefits of receiving that long awaited engagement ring is the ease of daily accessorizing. I have always admired the girls who can effortlessly and flawlessly pair the perfect necklace/scarf/belt with a simple outfit, instantly elevating it from boring to stylish. But as much as I compliment and admire these embellishment- savvy ladies, I don’t foresee myself ever having the patience for that extra 30 seconds to latch onto my daily routine. I also have a small problem called ‘’champagne taste on a beer budget’’ where almost every piece of jewelry that catches my eye is comically out of my price range. The same unfortunately applies to each veil/sash/bracelet that I have entertained as potential bridal adornment.
Upon a recent snail-mail inspection, I was thrilled to get notice from the fabulous Marie at Betsy Robinson that my wedding dress has arrived and I should bring all appropriate shoes, undergarments and accessories when I come in for a fitting. The giddy reality of owning a wedding dress quickly halted when I realized that I don’t have any of those things. Finding a killer pair of shoes and a wedding-worthy bra weren’t necessarily freaking me out, but the idea that my bauble-impaired self would actually have to focus on finding the perfect jewels really threw me for a loop. As I do in all moments of crisis, I paid a visit to the internet. With a non-negotiable price range and semi-decent idea of the look I was aiming for, the search began. Hours later the search continued and I was still at a loss. If I liked it, it was comparable in price to a mid-sized sedan, and if I could afford it, it looked straight out of Claire’s circa 2002. Slightly irritated and very ‘’thirsty,’’ I had no choice but to put this mission on the backburner for the time being.
A few days later, during one of my dozen or so obsessive email checks, I spotted an email from Rent the Runway, an online store that rents high end accessories for a fraction of the retail price. I sort of recalled signing up out of curiosity when the company was in its infant stages but never delved any further. And like a message delivered straight from my Fairy Godmother, the subject line read ‘’Introducing: Our New Wedding Boutique.’’ After 15 minutes of wracking my brain for the randomly created password of days past, access was granted.
Although the site was promoting their recently cultivated bridal boutique, I opted to peruse the entire jewelry collection. Categorized by earrings, bracelets, necklaces, etc, it was easy for an already overwhelmed shopper like me to focus on one key piece at a time. Equally impressive was the array of designers and prices. I instantly fell in love with an art-deco style bracelet with a retail price of $500+ but a rental fee in the $70 range. As I continued my search, I encountered page after page of viable options that I would happily spend the $50-$80 on, even if just for a day.
With so many worthy options, I have yet to make any final decisions but that’s not a terrible problem to have. This type of service may not appeal to everyone, but for a person like me who wants celebrity-worthy accessories with a fraction of the price tag and commitment, Rent the Runway is an invaluable resource.