Pinterest-Based Startup Rents Designer Bridal Gowns at Discount
Nearly Newlywed is a newly launched startup that lets women rent gowns and bridal wear by highly coveted designers, including Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta, Rodarte and Carolina Herrera.
The social media-powered online boutique lets women pay a fraction of the usual price tag — $10,000 to $15,000 — for designer wedding dresses. The dresses are guaranteed “nearly new,” meaning they have only been worn once or twice.
The small team based in Brooklyn, N.Y., connects with customers nationally. Utilizing Pinterest, Nearly Newlywed founder Jacqueline Courtney offers personal shopping consultations with soon-to-be brides. Courtney gets to know the brides through their wedding inspiration boards, from which she makes dress recommendations on Pinterest.
“We found that women have always been planning their weddings — gathering inspiration, tearing things out of magazines,” Courtney says. “Pinterest is a great way to collect inspiration. And it’s a fun way to have a dialogue with girls.”
Facebook and Twitter are great for talking to brides and answering their questions, she says. Social media is helping the company fill a niche in the space and hold conversations people care about.
Nearly Newlywed hosts several pages of wedding, bridal and party dresses available at each time. The site allows filtering by size and length. Courtney hopes to bring in 50 to 100 new dresses every six weeks. Courtney says the company will expand into wedding accessory rentals this year.SEE ALSO: 7 Tips for Planning a Wedding on Pinterest
“I think we are doing something unique,” she says. “We are using social media to connect with brides and make the experience special and personal.”
Dresses — both in-season and unique styles — are 50% to 80% off. The Nearly Newlywed rental price covers the cost of the dress. Meaning that if you fall in love with the dress, you can keep it. You can choose to return it for 30% of the final sale price with the “Nearly Newlywed Guarantee.”
Most dresses come with the guarantee; however, if a dress is super fragile or becomes worn with wear, it is sold without the buyback promise.
Soon-to-be brides get to keep the dresses for eight months after purchase, giving you plenty of time to accessorize, make slight alterations (yes, that’s allowed) and have the luxury of staring at your very own gown.
Courtney, who got married this past June, told Mashable her own wedding dress hunt was the inspiration for the online boutique.
“The rentals I found weren’t really the right product mix for me — most of them were party dresses or a little bit more informal,” Courtney says. “I didn’t want to keep the gown afterwards. But, I still wanted it before the wedding to accessorize and just for that peace of mind and to alter the dress.”
Courtney eventually found a pre-owned full, strapless Vera Wang Diana gown to wear for the wedding, which she resold.
“I wanted to elevate the experience,” she says. “Even if the woman has a more modern approach, the experience shouldn’t be sacrificed.”
Do you love this idea of dressing for a royal wedding, while paying discount-house prices? Tell us in the comments what you think.
Images courtesy of Nearly Newlywed, Lisa Beggs