Yes, it’s possible to rent your cake. Kimberly Aya, of Bloomsburg, Penn., and Punta Gorda, Fla., never planned to open a cake rental business, but shortly after setting up her cake booth at a Michigan bridal show, she received a phone call letting her know the bakery space she was planning on renting fell through. “Since I was already set up at the bridal show, I had to attend,” Ms. Aya said, explaining that she used display cakes from that moment onward. “At the show, 99 percent of the brides asked if they could rent my display cakes, and Fun Cakes was born in 2007.” Her display cakes are $200 to $3,000, depending on the size, number of tiers and details, and your location. (The company ships worldwide). For context: The nationwide average cost of a fondant wedding cake is about $7 per slice, while Fun Cakes’ average slice is about $2 (though couples who use Fun Cakes still need to purchase a sheet cake to feed their guests). The cakes are made out of Styrofoam covered with real fondant and handmade sugar flowers, and are customizable. All the cakes have an edible section on the bottom tier to be used when the couple cuts the first slice (they recommend filling it with three Twinkies), while the guests nosh on the sheet cake stored behind the scenes.
Adriel Darvish, the chief executive of Los Angeles-based Switch, launched in 2017, said the inspiration for his jewelry rental company came from his mother, a jewelry designer. “Through her experience, we realized that the jewelry space was antiquated and ripe for disruption, and that it’s the perfect product for rentals because it’s so durable and usually too expensive for people to buy regularly,” Mr. Darvish said. The jewelry offered has an average retail value of $700, and rental plans start at $40 per month for one piece at a time. They have Hermes bracelets, vintage ivory Chanel bracelets, Gucci rings and Tiffany & Company diamond necklaces. If the piece is lost, stolen or broken beyond repair, you’re charged the member purchase price, which is less than the retail value, Mr. Darvish said.
Not sure your friend is going to do a great job as a bridesmaid? Did a bridesmaid back out at the last minute because their city went into lockdown yet again? Depending on where you live, you might be able to try renting one. Kisha Balderamos-O’Leary founded her company, Paid To Bridesmaid, after some of her own bridesmaids were unable to attend her October 2020 wedding. If this happens to you — or if you simply want a backup bridesmaid — the Aubrey, Texas-based woman will show up in a dress, provide emotional support and help brides on their big day, starting at $750. She isn’t the only one to execute such a concept. Jen Glantz, the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire, based in Brooklyn, has served as a professional bridesmaid in more than 150 weddings over the past 7 years. She started the company in 2014 because she was continually requested to be a bridesmaid — even by casual friends. “That sparked the idea that perhaps I could do this for strangers, and perhaps strangers needed this kind of role in the wedding industry,” Ms. Glantz said. As a bridesmaid for hire, Ms. Glanz offers many services: vent sessions ($200 per hour); wedding day-of coordinator ($1,750- $2,957); and her most popular: the full-on bridesmaid role — meaning she will not only help you deal with wedding-day drama, but also be there in person at your bridal shower and bachelorette party, and be your sounding board and extra pair of hands through it all (starting at $2,500).
You don’t have to spend thousands (or even hundreds) on a dress that you’ll wear once; you can rent one for a fraction of the cost. Even though Rent the Runway has branched out in all kinds of ways since it first launched in 2009, the company has a particularly robust selection of bridal gowns rentals, which range from $35-$125 — or if you already have a membership (starts at $89 per month), gowns are included. Since most bridal gowns need alterations, Rent the Runway features contemporary styles that are ready-to-wear off the rack (alterations aren’t allowed, and cleaning fees are included). These aren’t high-end gowns — most retail for about $300, but there are options in every style imaginable, from jumpsuits to strapless sequin dresses, and from brands like ML Monique Lhuillier and Victoria Victoria Beckham.