Ask Amy: Excited attendee wants to wear wedding dress


Dear Amy: This summer, my husband and I will be attending his brother’s wedding overseas.

It’s going to be an expensive trip, with a two-day celebration and a black-tie dress code.

I am a full-time grad student. I also work. Most of my paycheck goes to covering my expenses. My husband’s income also goes toward our bills.

While we’re getting a little bit of cash from my in-laws to help cover the cost of the wedding, we’ll still spend quite a bit of our own money.

I am very excited about going, even with the cost. However, I have a question about how I can save money on attire.

Two years ago, my husband and I got married in a very small ceremony with our immediate family — his brother was not able to attend. I went with a very nontraditional look — a blue gown that I got off the sale rack. It’s a gorgeous dress, but not one that people would naturally assume to be a wedding gown.

I was wondering if I could wear it to this wedding in order to save money.

It feels tacky and I worry that the rest of the family will recognize the dress and feel like I’m trying to “show up the bride.”

My other thought was to get the dress’s hem altered or even make it into a fancy jumpsuit.

I want to be as respectful as possible to the newlyweds, while also refraining from spending a significant chunk of my savings on an outfit I’ll likely never wear again. What is the best course of action to take here?

— Wedding Woes

Dear Woes: You could research the cost of renting a gown (most I looked at seemed fairly expensive).

Otherwise, I’m saying a qualified yes to the dress — with some modification. If you could wear it “as is” and not feel tacky, you should — but it doesn’t sound as if you can.

If you can afford to have the dress altered, I vote no to the pantsuit idea and suggest having a floor-length skirt made. You can then pair it with any variety of tops (borrowed, or bought second-hand). Skirts are extremely versatile, and you would likely wear it again.

Dear Amy: I have a friend from high school. We spent our entire college career as roommates. Throughout college I considered her to be my sister and we became very close. I would often invite her out when I was going out with other friends, and she has had several meals at my parents’ house.

After college we grew apart and the communication lessened.

I expressed several times to her that I would like to speak more often, but she brushed it off and even said, “That’s life as an adult. I don’t really talk to anyone anymore.”

This friend’s wedding is coming up in June and she did not ask me to be a bridesmaid. I felt hurt and angry about this, but respect her choice.

I am torn about attending the wedding. She was a very close friend at one point and I honor that time we had together, but we are not close like we used to be and attending the wedding may only hurt my feelings more. In addition, it is an out-of-state wedding so the cost of attending is more than I would like to spend.

Am I a bad person if I do not attend the wedding? Is our future friendship compromised if I do not go?

— Conflicted

Dear Conflicted: Here’s more “life as an adult”: Relationships wax and wane. You were not asked to be in this wedding because she does not feel that close to you, but she is doing the polite thing and honoring your former closeness by inviting you to witness this important event.

Attending the wedding might (possibly) bring you back into one another’s orbit — but probably not. If your feelings are going to be hurt, then don’t attend.

Understand that if you don’t attend, your friendship will be over, but it sounds as if it has been over for some time now. Staying home does not make you a “bad person.”

Dear Amy: Just like “M”, My husband and I never wanted kids and I’m bored by monologues about children.

There’s nothing wrong with her, me, or others who feel the same.

I do exactly what you suggest — politely listen for about one minute, and then head back to my office.

— No Kids for Me

Dear No Kids: Being polite is not such a heavy lift.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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