Can You Wear Your Wedding Dress Twice?


When I taped my episode of Say Yes To The Dress in July 2013, I told the salesperson that one of my key requirements for my dress was that it could be re-worn. I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars (of my own money) on a dress I’d never use again.

I also wanted to avoid the common complaint I hear from many brides — that after the wedding, the once-exquisite dress becomes a storage-sucking albatross that never sees the light of day.

Wedding Dress (Shortened): Claire Pettibone (Kleinfeld’s) | Pink Lace Coat: Walter Baker (Consignment) | Clutch: Jess Rizzuti (Gift from the designer) | Shoes: Jimmy Choo

When I told my friends that I planned to hack my dress after the wedding, I was met with a lot of horror. “But your dress was so beautiful! Don’t cut it right away!” or “What if your daughter wants to wear it?”

None of these arguments hold much weight with me, especially the latter. (Come on, this imaginary daughter is about 40 years away from getting married — why should I wait?) As soon as the dust cleared after the honeymoon, I took the dress to my tailor and asked him to hack off the bottom tier. (He preserved the bottom and wrapped it up, so it can be re-attached later on.)

On my wedding day in 2014.
On my wedding day in 2014. Photo by Ricky Stern.

I wore the shortened version to my anniversary dinner at Betony. In addition to the dress, I wore the same shoes and jewelry I wore to the wedding, making the sentimentality (and outfit cost-per-wear) even sweeter.

Dress: Claire Pettibone | Necklace: Baby Locket & Vintage Charm (Old) | Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Dress: Claire Pettibone | Necklace: Baby Locket & Vintage Charm (Old) | Shoes: Jimmy Choo

The dress was so sufficiently transformed, I believe no one would guess this was once a wedding gown. And ultimately, this was one of my most rewarding ideas. Now every time I wear the dress, I will be transported back to our wedding — but without the nerves and jitters that accompanied the actual wedding.

What do you think? Would you hack your dress to pieces? (If you’re on the fence, take my advice — DO IT!)