Catherine Deane Novia Dress | RTR
First Wedding of the Pandemic

Last weekend, John and I attended our first wedding since the pandemic began. His business partner was getting married, and the venue was local—so of course we weren’t going to skip the celebration. Safety-wise, I actually felt pretty okay about attending; the COVID infection rate is way down here in DC, and vaccines were required for wedding attendees. Guests were also asked to test ourselves prior to the event (which we did on Friday).

The wedding was black tie optional, so it was the perfect opportunity to use Rent the Runway! We were also invited to the rehearsal dinner, so I rented a dress for that as well. I rented two dress styles and figured if both of them worked out, I’d wear one to the rehearsal dinner and the other to the wedding. Fortunately, I was able to wear both!

The Rehearsal Dinner Dress

For the rehearsal dinner, I donned this beautiful Catherine Deane Novia Dress:

Catherine Deane Novia Dress | RTR

I will say, when I first tried the dresses on I wasn’t sure if either style would work for me. I rented this Catherine Deane dress in one size (it was my backup style) and the black band around the waist was uncomfortably tight. My ribcage is big, I have a long torso, and I don’t have a tiny waist compared to the rest of me. So I thought maybe the waistband just didn’t hit my body in the right spot. Then I discovered that many reviews of this dress on the RTR website say the waistband is tight, so it’s not just me. When I tried the dress on a second time, I decided I could make it work. I got somewhat used to the tight waistband after awhile, but it’s not the most comfortable dress because of this feature.

Here’s a closer look at the sleeve and neckline details:

Catherine Deane Novia Dress top details

Overall, the dress is really beautiful! I didn’t wear a bra with it because a bra was visible underneath the plunging lace panel in the front. This dress would have worked out well for the wedding the next night had the other dress style not fit me.

The Gown

For the wedding, I wore this gorgeous Jonathan Simkhai Daisy Cutout Gown. I rented the dress in two sizes and ended up wearing the larger one. At first, I didn’t love the empire waist style on me because it sort of looked like it could be a maternity dress, like I had something to hide. Then I reminded myself that no one at the wedding would be focusing on what I was wearing. And, I did really like the overall style and subtle sparkle of this dress:

Jonathan Simkhai Daisy Cutout Gown | RTR

When the dress arrived, I was surprised to find that the color was more blue than it appeared on RTR’s website. I always forget that the colors you see on their site aren’t usually true-to-life. I was expecting more of a charcoal gray or black dress, but the navy blue was actually a pleasant surprise. You can see a snippet of the dress’s true shade in the photo below.

I forgot to get a photo showing the back cutout…oopsie. I wore a strapless bra with this dress, because the top part was a little chest-flattening, and it looked better with some uplift. The long flowy skirt is very comfortable to dance in, though I spent more time catching up with folks than dancing. The best part about the dress? POCKETS! Perfect for holding your phone, lipstick, mask, etc.

The Earrings

I also decided to rent Alexis Bittar Navette Crystal Hoops, pictured below. These are simple and delicate enough for my taste, but added drama to the overall look. The earrings are heavier than what I’m used to wearing, and my lobes were a little sore by the time I removed the earrings at the end of the night. But they’re a good choice because they go with a lot of things!

I decided to skip a necklace and wear my own earrings in my additional holes, along with a sparkly cuff bracelet. Details on this makeup look are on my Instagram. BTW, I did Drybar for the first time (I got the Mai Tai style) and it was SO fun to have cute hair for once!!

Alexis Bittar Navette Crystal Hoops | RTR

The Clutch

To round out my wedding guest look, I rented this Rebecca Minkoff Accessories Mermaid Glitter Leo Clutch. I wanted a clutch that would be big enough to hold my phone, credit card, ID, mask, lip products, and a house key. This clutch fit the bill perfectly. I actually loved the clutch so much that I ended up ordering one (lightly used, at a slight discount) from RTR the morning after the wedding! It’ll be great for future dressy events.

Rebecca Minkoff Accessories Mermaid Glitter Leo Clutch | RTR

Though I had a slight freakout about the dresses not fitting when I first tried them on, everything ended up working out well. I got compliments on both dresses—and bonded with another wedding guest over RTR.

I can’t say what each piece’s exact rental cost was. Cost it varies based on rental date, rental length (I did four days), and whether you have an RTR membership (I don’t). The overall cost of renting two dress styles (one in two sizes), a pair of earrings, and a clutch was $220.96. The cost included shipping, tax, and rental coverage in the event of damage to any of the pieces. Not terrible, considering I haven’t rented in two and a half years. Plus, the dresses individually cost significantly more than the total rental cost. It was definitely worth renting all of these pieces for a super fun, celebratory weekend!