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Rockstar July 2019

Is It Wrong to Rewear a Bridesmaid's Dress

Veronica, on September 30, 2023 at 4:01 PM Posted in Wedding Attire 0 18

My sister was supposed to be maid of honor in my brother's wedding several years ago, but a few months before the wedding she asked to be demoted to just a bridesmaid. My sister-in-law (the bride) said okay despite being hurt by this. I stepped up as maid of honor in my sister's place. My sister is the one who suggested I take her place. Fast forward to a few days ago, my sister was asked to be matron of honor in a friend's wedding. She excitedly agreed despite the fact that she backed out of that duty for my brother's wedding and was essentially a maid of honor in name only in my wedding. She refused to do a speech, I bought her dress because she refused to wear the original dress that she bought, and she didn't help with planning the bridal shower or bachelorette party. So while it is hurtful to both me and my sister-in-law because of how she treated us when we asked her to be maid of honor in our weddings, we have accepted it for what it is.

The problem now is that the bride in the wedding she is matron of honor for told my sister the matron of honor and bridesmaids can wear any blue dress so my sister wants to wear the same exact dress she worn in my brother's wedding since it is blue. This has deeply hurt my sister-in-law. So do you think it's wrong to rewear a dress you already wore in one wedding?

18 Comments

Latest activity by LM, on October 2, 2023 at 11:46 AM
  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Unless you are a random guest wearing an identical bridesmaid dress to what has been chosen by the current bride or bridesmaids, there are no grounds at all for this bride to be upset, hurt, or anything else. It’s highly inappropriate for her to shame you into spending additional money on a dress that will additionally be worn one time only. Especially given the fact you mention of her saying that they/you can wear any dress. If she doesn’t accept your dress choice, then step down as a bridesmaid and reconsider attending the wedding.


    There are many posts discussing how bridesmaids dresses are not able to be worn more than once due to style and/or color and the usually expensive price tag (for the low quality fabric and often not flattering style) doesn’t help being one time wear. If you can wear yours again for any reason, do it and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.
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  • V
    Rockstar July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    Did you actually read my post? The bride wasn't shaming anyone. My sister-in-law is the one hurt that my sister wants to wear the dress that was purchased when my sister was supposed to be the maid of honor in her wedding then backed out.
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  • C
    CM Online ·
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    The back story is what it is but there is no justification for your sister in law to be hurt about the dress being reworn, nor frankly is it any of her business. Was your SIL unreasonable or entitled in other ways leading up to her wedding? If so, it’s possible your sister had reason to step down.
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  • V
    Rockstar July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    Not at all. My sister-in-law is extremely laid back. My sister asked to be demoted because she didn't want to give a speech and she thought I'd handle the role better.

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  • H
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
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    If one of my bridesmaids could get another wear out of their dress at a different wedding, I’d be thrilled. I honestly don’t think it’s an issue, especially since it sounds like it’s not even gonna have much of an overlapping guest list to the other wedding.


    I actually did this. I was a bridesmaid in 2 weddings less than a month apart. My friend wanted us to wear a specific green dress, and then my sister in law asked for just any dark green dress. I cleared it with my friend first (whose wedding was actually happening a few weeks after my brother and sister in law’s wedding), but as someone who is a little strapped for cash, just buying the 1 dress for 2 weddings was a huge cost savings.
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  • Michael
    Rockstar October 2023
    Michael ·
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    Many couples have desired not to have speeches, or they keep the speeches really limited. You are talking about the dress but really the issue seems to be about your sister's stepping into the wedding role that you were expecting. There are three different scenarios that depend on the type of relationship existing. The first is a bit detached when she would be bridesmaid to your SIL. It is a bit closer with your sister as MOH for your wedding, but sister relationships can vary widely and be different at different times. If you knew it was out of character for her to do a speech, it is unusual to expect her to do one anyhow -- and maybe she still didn't know what to share. With her friend, the association may be closer since it is due to be drawn together due to shared interests -- but you have not said whether she has to do a speech -- which seemed to be the big issue. As to the dress, it is just a dress that was purchased and one she plans to wear. That is all.

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  • Future Mrs. Chicken
    Savvy October 2025
    Future Mrs. Chicken ·
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    I think she should be able to rewear the dress. Sounds like your sister did some things wrong and it might sting a bit for your sister in law to see you sister rewearing the dress but it is her blue dress to wear when she wants to. Not trying to defend her actions and it is understandable why your sister in law is upset but your sister should be able to wear her dress again

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  • Jacks
    Rockstar November 2054
    Jacks ·
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    I'm not sure how it could be hurtful for her to wear the dress in another wedding? I feel like that's a great idea!

    The maid/matron of honour isn't required to give a speech, so perhaps she could have stayed as MOH in your weddings if she hadn't felt pressure to speak? They also don't have to plan parties or attend bachelorettes, that's optional only.

    Those are my thoughts, and I'm honestly not sure why your SIL is hurt, but her feelings are her feelings, and I suppose she has her reasons for them.

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  • C
    CM Online ·
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    A speech is not a requirement of the MOH role and never was. Anyone can give a toast or a speech, MOH or not. In your SIL's place I would never have accepted an offer to step down for that reason or expected a speech if it made your sister uncomfortable.

    I agree with PP, planning a shower or bachelorette is optional, not an obligation of the MOH role.

    As for the dress, it belongs to your sister. She can wear it to anything, anywhere, anytime she is inclined.

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  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah ·
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    I actually chose dresses (I chose a color and a handful of styles they could pick from) that I knew my bridesmaids would be able to wear again, either as a bridesmaid or as a guest. I honestly don't see this as an issue.


    I know it can hurt when people put effort into something for another person when they wouldn't do the same for you. I'm assuming that's the bigger issue here and is one that you (and your sister-in-law) should try to let go of.
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  • A
    Amy ·
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    Rewearing the dress sounds great to me.


    I'm finding the demoting thing very odd. It's a role of honor. Why dekote her and get all mad about it? Very odd.
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  • V
    Rockstar July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    She asked to be demoted. My sister-in-law offered to have someone else give a speech because she sighted that as one reason she didn't want to be the maid of honor but she still asked even after that to just be a bridesmaid.
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  • Holly
    Savvy May 2024
    Holly ·
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    It sounds like your sister really needs to be more considerate about what the bride wants. If the bride is getting hurt or stressed out then she really needs to speak up and share her boundaries with your sister.
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  • Holly
    Savvy May 2024
    Holly ·
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    The only reason I say this is because it sounds like this person has deeply hurt your sister in law (the bride) more than once which is not appropriate. The whole point of being a bridesmaid/maid of honor is to be supportive and helpful.
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  • Andrea
    Rockstar January 2024
    Andrea ·
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    Isn’t a bridesmaid rewearing the dress the holy grail of bridesmaid dresses?? Every wedding I’ve been in, the bride has excitedly talked about us being able to wear the dress again, even when it was a monstrosity I’d never willingly wear. 😆 There’s nothing to be upset about with her rewearing the dress.


    It sounds like the real upset is her agreeing to be MoH for someone else when you and your SIL don’t feel like she did a good job for you both. But it’s important to remember that all brides have different expectations. Maybe whatever stressed her out about being MoH for the two of you isn’t something she’ll have to do for this friend. And there’s also just different relationship dynamics. Try to stop comparing this wedding with yours and SIL’s.
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  • R
    Rockstar June 2018
    Rae ·
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    There's literally no reason that she shouldn't re wear the dress. It's in no way disrespectful to the other person who got married however long ago - it's just being sensible.

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  • C
    CM Online ·
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    By the way, in the US the entire justification for bridesmaids paying for their dress is that they will have them to keep and wear again. Regardless of who buys the dress it belongs to the person to do with as she pleases, though.


    I agree with PP that this is more about resenting this person for stepping down while later agreeing to be MOH for someone else. Either she was in a different place back then or she felt there were expectations she was unwilling or unable to handle.
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  • LM
    Expert December 2022
    LM ·
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    There's no reason to hold a physical item for emotional hostage. Literally let it go and wish your sister well at being the MOH she wants to be.

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