Rental wedding dresses

Updated 09 May 2012
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Rental wedding dresses

With the turmoil of the financial system, many families are looking for cheaper options to save money for a rainy day. Young brides also try to keep weddings within their budget to make space for their future life.
As soon as new brides receive their dowry, they start planning for their big day. Some decide to make it an extravagant event, while others prefer to make it an intimate affair with just close friends and family members.
The demand for wedding dresses rises at holiday periods and especially during summer, the wedding season. “The high season for weddings is June and July; most hair salons and tailors are busy in this period of time,” said Sorayya Ahmed, owner of Farawla salon and tailoring. “We receive many orders during that particular period from brides who wish to look their best on their big night,” she added.
“Many brides cannot afford to pay big money for all the services salons provide, aside from all the money she has to pay for her wedding dress, which could cost her around SR10,000.”
Many brides feel that paying that much money for a dress that they will only wear for one night is a waste of money. “I would never pay this much for a wedding dress, knowing that people will only see me for four hours,” said Eman Youssef, 26-year-old bride-to-be. “I also think that it’s ridiculous to buy a dress that a bride will wear for one night. That’s why I’m approaching boutiques that rent wedding dresses expecting to pay only SR2,000 and not more,” she added.
Renting out used wedding dresses is a good investment, according to Mariam Al-Kaf, wedding dress boutique owner. “I came up with this idea right after I got married. Knowing that I spent a lot of money on my wedding night, I had to come up with an idea to bring that money back,” she said. “I started renting my own dress to my neighbors and their friends secretly, because I was ashamed that people might find out about it. I started to make little changes on my dress to make it different every time someone rents it,” she added.
“A few months later my friends started sending me their own wedding dresses to rent out for them. Now here I am, owning a shop with almost 30 used rental dresses and I’m making good money out of it,” she added.
Saudi brides-to-be are often separated by either rejection or acceptance of this new initiative. “I see this as a great idea to save money and spend it elsewhere, like on the honeymoon or even on the wedding itself, like getting a better photographer or a singer,” said Lama Abdul-Majeed, 27-year-old schoolteacher. “I have made strict rules for my budget and I try as much as I cannot to exceed it; knowing that if I did, I might end up in debt after the wedding,” she added.
Others find renting wedding dresses to be a huge compromise to their individuality or to keeping special memories. “A wedding day is the only day in a girl’s life where all eyes are on her, and a day where she is treated like a princess. I myself would not want to spoil that feeling by wearing someone else’s special dress,” said Raneem Jazzar, 21-year-old college student. “I would rather look for a less expensive option and be creative by flipping fabrics and adding designs to it. At least then, it will be my own,” she added.
Arab News found a list of rules and regulations displayed at most wedding rental shops. “First, a bride is not to change any feature or design of the dress. Second, a bride is not to resize the dress but to find a dress that actually fits her. Third, the dress has to be sent to the drycleaners after the wedding. Fourth, a bride cannot keep the dress for more than two days after the wedding or else she will pay more for the delay. Fifth, if the dress was damaged or ruined in any way, the bride will be charged in full for repairs or the value of the dress,” stated the list.
Young brides who consider renting their gowns are savvy and seem to be fully aware of the current financial crisis affecting most people, according to Faris Dahlan, financial expert. “It’s commonly known that a wedding could cost people on an average income up to SR100,000. Spending that much money on one night is insane for people who cannot afford it. After all, nothing lasts after that night but the photos,” he said. “Many people start borrowing money for this one night and end up in debt their whole lives. The smart thing to do is to limit one’s budget as much as possible,” he added.
According to Tahani, a manager at the Women’s Charitable Society in Jeddah, wedding dresses donated to the charity are rented out to people and the proceeds go toward the organization’s benefit. “We usually give the dresses to the brides who are living or working within the organization for free, but ask that they clean and return them within two or three days. Sometimes people from outside the organization come to us and ask to rent these wedding dresses,” she said. “We now have around 15 wedding dresses in very good shape. We usually charge no more then SR300 to SR500. We have been doing this for 14 years now and it has benefited us positively,” she added.
A rental wedding dress should always be cleaned and steamed before it’s worn again, according to Dr. Hanan Bakhsh, infectious disease specialist. “The risk is minimal because diseases and viruses die and fade in very little time. They usually die in three to four hours,” she said. “To be on the safe side brides should re-clean their dress, including heat and steam to make sure it’s germ-free,” she added.


Three UK Conservatives quit party in protest at “disastrous Brexit“

Updated 20 February 2019
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Three UK Conservatives quit party in protest at “disastrous Brexit“

  • Three resign to join independent group in parliament
  • Blow to PM May in efforts to clinch deal on exit from EU

LONDON: Three lawmakers from Britain’s governing Conservatives quit over the government’s “disastrous handling of Brexit” on Wednesday, in a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempts to unite her party around plans to leave the European Union.
The lawmakers, who support a second EU referendum and have long said May’s Brexit strategy is being led by Conservative euroskeptics, said they would join a new independent group in parliament set up by seven former opposition Labour politicians.
The resignations put May in an even weaker position in parliament, where her Brexit deal was crushed by lawmakers last month when both euroskeptics and EU supporters voted against an agreement they say offers the worst of all worlds.
While the three were almost certain to vote against any deal, the hardening of their positions undermines May’s negotiating position in Brussels, where she heads later to try to secure an opening for further work on revising the agreement.
With only 37 days until Britain leaves the EU, its biggest foreign and trade policy shift in more than 40 years, divisions over Brexit are redrawing the political landscape. The resignations threaten a decades-old two-party system.
“The final straw for us has been this government’s disastrous handling of Brexit,” the three lawmakers, Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston, said in a letter to May.
Soubry later told a news conference that the Conservative Party had been taken over by right-wing, pro-Brexit lawmakers.
“The truth is, the battle is over and the other side has won. The right-wing, the hard-line anti-EU awkward squad that have destroyed every (Conservative) leader for the last 40 years are now running the ... party from top to toe,” she said.
May said she was saddened by the decision and that Britain’s membership of the EU “has been a source of disagreement both in our party and in our country for a long time.”
“But by ... implementing the decision of the British people we are doing the right thing for our country,” she said, referring to the 2016 referendum in which Britons voted by a margin of 52-48 percent in favor of leaving the EU.
Asked what May would say to others considering resigning, her spokesman said: “She would, as she always has, ask for the support of her colleagues in delivering (Brexit).”

INDEPENDENT GROUP
The three sat in parliament on Wednesday with a new grouping which broke away from the Labour Party earlier this week over increasing frustration with their leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit strategy and a row over anti-Semitism.
Another former Labour lawmaker joined their ranks late on Tuesday, and several politicians from both the main opposition party and Conservatives said they expected more to follow from both sides of parliament.
What unites most of the group of 11 is a desire to see a second referendum on any deal May comes back with, now that the terms of Brexit are known in detail — something the prime minister has ruled out.
For May’s Brexit plan, the resignations are yet another knock to more than two years of talks to leave the EU, which have been punctuated by defeats in parliament, rows over policy and a confidence vote, which she ultimately won.
Britain’s 2016 EU referendum has split not only British towns and villages but also parliament, with both Conservative and Labour leaders struggling to keep their parties united.
May has faced a difficult balancing act. Euroskeptic members of her party want a clean break with the bloc, pro-EU lawmakers argue for the closest possible ties, while many in the middle are increasing frustrated over the lack of movement.
Those who have resigned have long accused May of leaning too far toward Brexit supporters, sticking to red lines which they, and many in Labour, say have made a comprehensive deal all but impossible to negotiate.
But May will head to Brussels hoping that her team will get the green light to start more technical negotiations on how to satisfy the concerns of mostly Brexit supporters over the so-called Northern Irish backstop arrangement.
The “backstop,” an insurance policy to avoid a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland if London and Brussels fail to agree a deal on future ties, is the main point of contention in talks with Brussels.
British officials are hoping they can secure the kind of legal assurances that the backstop cannot trap Britain in the EU’s sphere to persuade lawmakers to back a revised deal.
But May’s argument she can command a majority in parliament if the EU hands her such assurances is getting weaker. A government defeat last week showed the euroskeptics’ muscle.
One pro-Brexit Conservative lawmaker, Andrew Bridgen, said: “I would find it very difficult to accept a legal document from the same (party) lawyer whose definitive advice four weeks ago was that we could be trapped in the backstop in perpetuity.”