In 2015 I will be asking companies to contribute to my blog that I believe have a great ethos on the environment, as well as having a keen eye on the budget. So to kick this off I asked Annalisa Jones, the Director of To Have & To Hire Limited, to give us an insight into her world of the high end wedding dress hire business. This company can save you thousands on designer dresses, if that is what you are looking for!
What is To Have & To Hire?
We are a bridal hire studio that offers high end wedding dresses for hire, none of which we own.
We recruit owners (‘lenders’) , who are looking to make something back from their wedding dresses, but without having to sell. This means, for the very first time in the UK, brides can now access world class designers for a fraction of the retail price. And owners can earn and income without any of the legwork.
I came up with the idea after a friend of mine was getting married. She’s been with her partner 10 years and they had three children already. She didn’t want to look cheap on her big day but found that she couldn’t justify the expense of a designer wedding dress. I’d gotten married 2 years before and my dress was just hanging around in my wardrobe. Id paid a crazy sum for it so I knew it would give me so much pleasure to see someone else enjoy it as much as I did.
So I offered it to her, and it was perfect. It also came back in great condition, and so sparked my idea.. ‘what if there was a way to make the most of your wedding dress investment without having to let it go… Would you be interested’? Inevitably the answer was a resounding YES!
Who is your favourite designer and which dress/designer is the most popular?
My favourite designer at the moment is Temperley – such unique and modern pieces – we are always on the lookout for owners to recruit. By far the most popular designer at the studio is Jenny Packham, with her most popular design as Eden – of which we have 4 in stock, and more on the waiting list. The Esme isn’t far behind however, we also have 4 of those winging their way around the UK.
What can you expect to pay to hire?
Prices range from £495-£995 but typically most of our dresses are £595 for the week. This does include our dry clean fee. We also courier wedding dresses around the UK, and in some cases allow international hire.
Fancy becoming a lender? Here is how….
Lenders and like you and me, women who overspent (or not) on THE dress for their big day. Now, the dress lies in a box in the attic doing nothing but be gorgeous all by itself. Why not make it work for you by offering it out to others? The whole process is very controlled, and we have lots of safeguards in place. Lenders receive 50% of the hire fee each time, and enormous satisfaction that it brought so much joy to another bride.
We are Eco Friendly!
We are always stressing the point that wedding dresses are not a once-only item. Brides are sold the idea that their wedding dress is fragile and vulnerable to damage. This is simply not the case. Wedding dresses are way more robust that people think they are, and can look stunning time and time again – with the right kind of care. To re-use is not to compromise on quality at all, and anything that reduces the use of fabrics and chemicals is ok by us.
A big thank you to Annalisa for sharing with us. I think it is a GREAT idea. Shame my dress was by a mid-range designer so not something they are after, otherwise I would have totally become a lender. Do you know of anyone that might want to become a lender? Do share this blog post with them. Alternatively are you getting married and does this appeal to you? Do comment and let us know.
Photos by: LJM Photography