Ask a Professional Bridesmaid: Can I Return My Bridesmaid Dress After the Wedding?


Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates. For her column, Jen tackles a fellow 'maid's frank frock question: Is it possible to return a bridesmaid dress?

Dear Jen,

I'm digging into my savings account as we speak to fund a bridesmaid dress for a friend's upcoming wedding, that I absolutely can't afford. To make all matters worse, the dress is a nightmare, think layers and a ghastly shade of gray. I really am not looking forward to buying this thing, but I know that I have no choice but to close my eyes and hand over my credit card to the bridesmaid dress store. I am mostly wondering, is there a way I can return it after wearing it for just one night?


Say NO to the Bridesmaid Dress

See More: 5 Ways Bridesmaids Can Save Money

Dear Say NO to the Bridesmaid Dress,

All of my money is tied up in old bridesmaid dresses that I wore for eight hours each and then stuffed in the back of my closet, where they will wait to see the light of day again when either I win the lottery and have enough money to get them each dry-cleaned or decide to donate them. Until then, I try very hard to forget they exist, until of course, I check my bank account balance and notice I only have pennies left because I once again spent everything I had on a dress I only wore for eight hours.

So I feel your penny pain. I do. But you can't return the dress. Bridesmaid dress stores have very strict policies on that. And most likely you will have the dress altered to fit you, which adds yet another layer to the problem. Instead -- and smartly enough -- there are companies now that let you rent bridesmaid dresses or even buy used ones, putting the ball in your court. Shell out less to rent it or cross your fingers that you can sell it afterwards and make a good chunk of your money back.

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