Can You Wear a Bridesmaid Dress as a Wedding Guest: An Overview

Can you wear a bridesmaid dress as a wedding guest? Being asked to be a bridesmaid is an honor.
You get to stand by your friend’s side on her big day.
But buying a new dress can be expensive.
Could you save money by re-wearing your bridesmaid dress to other weddings as a guest? Here’s what you need to know.

Can You Wear Your Bridesmaid Dress to a Wedding as a Guest?

can you wear a bridesmaid dress as a wedding guest - 2
Photo by Canva

Whether you can wear your bridesmaid dress to another wedding depends on a few factors. Consider the formality, color, and uniqueness of the dress. A simple black cocktail dress could easily be re-worn. But a pale pink floor-length gown may be too casual or too formal for most guest weddings. The safest option is to choose a bridesmaid dress in a versatile neutral color that hits at the knee. Ultimately, it comes down to the vibe of each wedding. When in doubt, check with the bride to avoid wearing something inappropriate or distracting.

Factors to Consider When Re-Wearing a Bridesmaid Dress 

Re-wearing your bridesmaid dress comes with etiquette to follow.

First, make sure the dress code matches. A formal, floor-length gown may be too extravagant for a daytime beach wedding. Similarly, a short cocktail dress could underdress at a black tie optional event.

Next, consider the uniqueness. Bridesmaid dresses in pale pink or mint green scream “bridal party”. Opt for a versatile neutral like black, navy, or blush if you want to re-wear it.

Finally, check with the bride. She may prefer her bridal party stand out in distinctive dresses. Or have concerns you’ll steal attention in a flashy frock. Clear it with her before wearing your bridesmaid dress to be respectful.

With some thoughtfulness, you can likely find another occasion for your bridesmaid dress. Just be mindful of the style, formality, and the bride’s wishes. Follow proper wedding guest etiquette, and you’ll look lovely without upstaging the couple.

Examples of Stylish Ways to Re-Wear a Bridesmaid Dress

can you wear a bridesmaid dress as a wedding guest - 3
Photo by Canva

With some creative styling, you can transform your bridesmaid dress into stylish looks for other events.

  • For a semi-formal event like a cocktail party, pair your dress with an edgy leather jacket and booties. Add some chunky jewelry for an eclectic vibe. This balances the formality of the dress with casual pieces.
  • To make your dress work for a daytime affair, throw on a denim jacket and flat sandals. Carrying a straw bag adds a picnic-chic look. Keep your hair in a messy bun for a relaxed vibe.
  • For a night out, glam up your dress with tall heels and a bold red lip. Carry a sparkly clutch and wear your hair in Hollywood waves. You’ll look runway-ready for the club or theater.

The options are endless when you use accessories, hairstyles, makeup and shoes to put a new spin on your bridesmaid dress. With smart styling, you can reinvent it for all kinds of events.

The Bottom Line: Is It Okay to Wear a Bridesmaid Dress to a Wedding?

With weddings filling up your calendar, you may be tempted to pull out an old bridesmaid dress for the occasion. But is that okay etiquette-wise?

  • The short answer is: it depends. Consider the formality, color, and style of the dress. A lavender chiffon dress could look out of place at a beach wedding. Similarly, an emerald green gown may be too bold for a garden party wedding. Gauge the event’s vibe first.
  • It’s safest to check with the bride and share a photo of the dress beforehand. She may appreciate you making the effort to ask! If you sense any hesitation, pick something else to avoid causing frustration.
  • The most cautious route is reserving bridesmaid dresses for other events. But with discretion, sometimes you can creatively repurpose them. With the right accessories and styling, you may give that dress a fresh new look!
  • The bottom line: exercise care when re-wearing bridesmaid dresses to weddings. Make sure the dress flatters you, suits the occasion, and gets the bride’s blessing first. When in doubt, there are many other stylish options in your closet!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I wear bridesmaid dress to wedding?

It’s best to avoid wearing the exact same dress as the bridesmaids to a wedding as a guest. The bridesmaids’ dresses are meant to be cohesive and match the wedding theme. As a guest, you’ll stand out too much and may take attention away from the bridal party. Choose a different dress in a color and style that complements the wedding.

Can you wear a bridesmaid dress for other occasions?

Yes, absolutely! Bridesmaid dresses are lovely and can be worn again. Consider wearing your bridesmaid dress to formal events like galas, parties, weddings where you’re not a bridesmaid, date nights, and more. Accessorize it differently each time for a new look.

Can wedding guests wear same color as bridesmaids?

It’s best for guests to avoid wearing the exact bridesmaid color to avoid matching the bridal party. However, similar shades in the same color family are generally fine. Just don’t match the specific hue/dress code of the bridesmaids.

Is it OK for a guest to wear the wedding colors?

Yes, wedding guests can safely wear their own outfits in the same colors as the wedding theme. Just avoid replicating the exact bridesmaid dresses. Wearing wedding colors shows you put thought into coordinating with the event.


While you can certainly repurpose your bridesmaid dress for other occasions, it’s best not to wear it as a guest to the wedding it was originally intended for. Avoid replicating the exact bridesmaid look and instead complement the wedding theme in your own style. As a guest, you want to blend in, not stand out amongst the bridal party. But in general, you can wear a bridesmaid dress again and incorporate wedding colors into many looks as long as you don’t directly match the bridal party.

Leave a Reply