5 Tips on Renting Bridal Jewelry
By: Karen Sullen
You may ask yourself, “Why would someone want to rent bridal jewelry? Are we so enamored with the glamorous life that we are willing to rent bits and pieces of it? Why aren’t we satisfied with costume jewelry? I guess there’s just something different about knowing the jewelry you are wearing costs more than a lot of people make in a year! People rent jewelry for the same reasons why people rent a Mercedes Benz or a Ferrari for their birthday—for the experience! Just because you can’t afford the glamorous lifestyle or the precious jewels doesn’t mean you have to deny yourself the pleasure of wearing them. Go ahead. Make your day! Get all the attention, the oohs and ahhs, and the compliments you can, while you can. Because, just like Cinderella, the clock will strike midnight and the ball will be over.
Remember the delightful scene from the movie “Pretty Woman” when she was wearing the gorgeous red gown for their night at the opera? Richard Gere said that her outfit was stunning but not complete. So he presented her with a $25,000 ruby red necklace that was on loan (which just goes to show that leasing jewelry is not a new concept since this movie came out in the 1980’s.) Amid a host of smiles and giggles, Julia Roberts was delighted to wear the breathtaking necklace and felt even more special because of it. In fact, it made her night from the very beginning, as she immediately told him, “If I forget to tell you later, I’ve had a great time!” Just like that, one piece of jewelry catapulted a special night into an amazing adventure. Jewelry has that kind of power. So why not harness that power for your wedding?
Many women do. Just like renting a tuxedo or even a wedding gown, bridal jewelry rentals have now entered the ranks of shared ownership. But before you walk down the aisle with a gazillion diamonds around your neck, here are some things to consider when renting special occasion jewelry:
1) Compare the Costs: On average, weekly rental rates generally run 10 to 15 percent of an item’s retail price. The hidden costs could be much more. Be aware of how much the security deposit is and when it will be charged to your credit card, insurance fees, shipping costs (if any) and membership fees (if required). There are several companies that now offer jewelry rentals, so you don’t have to rent from the first company you find.
2) Read the Fine Print: Be sure you are well aware of the terms of your agreement. It’s easy to get excited about your purchase and forget about the details. Find out the procedures for extending the rental if you wanted to (some popular pieces may not be available for extension), for flexibility in their terms, for theft or loss, for damage, for sanitation, and for shipping problems or loss by the carrier. It may seem like a lot to consider, but it is best to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
3) Inspect on arrival: Be sure that the jewelry you ordered is the jewelry you received. Especially for pierced earrings, check for cleanliness. If you’re particularly concerned, you can wipe the jewelry down with an alcohol swab. If there are any flaws, defects or damage that may have occurred during shipping, notify the company immediately. With regard to authenticity, if there are any concerns, have it appraised by a local jeweler (unless you happen to have a jewelers loop.) While no one will be able to tell the difference with their naked eye, renting jewelry can be costly. If you’re going to pay that kind of money you better get the real thing.
4) Be Careful: Keep in mind that the product must be returned in same condition and in accordance with your agreement. Wear it gingerly. If you break it, you buy it.
5) To Join or Not To Join: There are many companies that require a membership fee to get a better price on the rental, much like you join a wholesale club like Sam’s or Costco. If renting jewelry becomes a lifestyle choice or the savings are substantial, it would be more cost effective to join. However, if this is a one-time or rare occasion, look for companies that offer a great price whether you join or not.
With all of that said, if you feel that renting luxurious jewelry is just not for you, beautiful costume jewelry is always a great option. From pendants to bracelets, there are plenty of affordable options for you as well as your bridesmaids that will make you feel like a million bucks!