Delhi's dulhans have moved on from buying exorbitant wedding wear, traditionally considered a thing to be treasured. This season’s mantra: Rent and rid. With designer trousseau available on rent for as less as one-fourth the original price of a garment, brides on a budget are all for the trend.
"I did not want to spend money on something that I would not wear again. So I kept the proposal of renting my wedding dress in front of my parents and in-laws, and everyone welcomed the idea," says 25-year-old Devika (who doesn't want to reveal her last name). The educational trainer, who tied the knot last month, rented a mauve-coloured lehenga for R8,000. "If I'd bought it, I’d have had to spend R40,000," she says.
If you're wondering where you'll find such deals, the shops are spread all over the city, from Patel Nagar to Model Town and Chandni Chowk to Ghaziabad. They not only take care of the fittings, but also create special pieces on request, renting them out on a higher premium. "I wanted a fresh lehenga, so I got it designed my way, without having to shell out a bomb," says Malini Sharma (name changed), who rented a maroon-green lehenga for her wedding, which took place recently.
It isn't just lehengas on offer. "I rented a peach-coloured georgette sari for my sister's wedding. I wanted a dress that looked 'in', but I didn't have the budget to buy one," says Ritu Khanna (name changed), who paid R2,000 for a sari with a price tag of R10,000.
"A wedding dress is only worn once. Spending R40,000-50,000 on it is like an investment with no returns. That's what brings people to us," says Neeraj Wadhera, owner of Rent a Party Dress, a shop in West Patel Nagar that rents out bridal lehengas, suits and saris. The rent ranges from R2,000-20,000 for a four-day period. "Renting outfits is not a new concept. But renting a wedding dress that is in sync with the trend is becoming popular only now," says Gaurav Malhotra, owner of Lehengaonrent.com.
The outfits look as good as new, and are dry cleaned after every use, say shopkeepers. The peak booking season? "September to April," says Malhotra, who even home delivers these pieces.