The wedding dress is arguably the most important feature of a bride’s special day. With a huge range of designs to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to search for ‘the one’. But what happens when you find it and it’s a million miles out of your budget?
This is where I’d like to introduce ‘To Have and To Hire’. Run by the wonderful Annalisa Jones, the company offers designer wedding dress hire for the budget conscious bride. I caught up with Annalisa to find out more…
Can you tell me a little bit about the company? Why/when did you start?
I started the company in September 2012. The idea stemmed from a conversation I had with a friend of mine who was struggling to find the right dress for her wedding day. She already had her partner and family, and so didn’t feel comfortable paying out huge sums on a designer wedding dress – but she did want to look fabulous.
I volunteered my Ian Stuart dress, which fitted her perfectly (thanks to the standard of tailoring)– and started to consider rolling it out to other brides. As soon as I pitched the idea to a few friends we were in business! I run To Have and To Hire from home in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, and it’s something I do purely for the fun of it!
I’d love a designer dress but can’t afford one… Can you help?
Yes, our service mainly appeals to brides on a budget, second time brides, mature brides, financially savvy brides, eco brides etc. In these economic times, not everyone wants to spend a fortune on a wedding dress they only wear for a few hours, and now they don’t have to. It’s all thanks to a collection of private lenders willing to share their dresses of exceptional quality. This is what makes us unique. All our dresses belong to women looking to make a return on their investment – without having to sell.
Hiring a wedding dresses has never been a serious option in the past, as the quality was often poor and there wasn’t much range to select from. So having a new opportunity to access top end designer wedding dresses is utterly unique, in the sense that it’s not been possible at all in the past.You could hire a £2000 dress for just £395, which is a huge saving.
We also run a request service. So if brides have something specific in mind, we do our best to source a lender. Like a matching service!
Can you tell me some examples of the designers you might hold in stock?
We have dresses from the very best – Jenny Packham, Ian Stuart, Maggie Sottero, Charlotte Balbier, Candy Anthony, Pronovias, Cymbeline Paris….
I love the concept of your business but couldn’t see a dress that’s quite right for me. When will you have new designs?
We have new dresses in the gallery each week. As dresses reach their hire limit they are returned to their owners, leaving room for new arrivals. If you don’t see anything you like, visit us in a few weeks – or make a request. You can also follow us on Twitter @2haveand2hire, as we post details of our new designer dresses there first. If you end up purchasing your own dress, join us as a Lender and make something back without having to sell.
I’m sold! So, how do I go about hiring a dress from you?
Visit us at www.tohaveandtohire.net, and drop us a line through our contact page. You’ll be sent a Q&A for Hirers to read through, and if you’re happy we’ll arrange a fitting date & time. You can also visit the Hirers Page on the website for more information.
I’m in the middle of planning my own wedding, and I’ve already encountered several dresses that I absolutely adore, but would have to take a small mortgage to afford. Annalisa’s idea is just brilliant, and I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out on her website, just in case my dream dress appears one day.
As Annalisa explains, her idea is also a great opportunity for brides who did spend a fortune, and have that beautiful gown locked away in a wardrobe somewhere. If you haven’t the heart to part with your wedding dress, then you can at least make some money back on your investment. Visit the Lenders Page to find out more.
Keep up to date with new dresses as they appear by following To Have and To Hire on Twitter.
Visit the website here – http://www.tohaveandtohire.net