Torn about bridesmaids/dresses from previou engagement (advice)

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
339 posts
Helper bee

First I’m really sorry about your ex-FI and happy that you found someone to spend your life with. Personally, if I was your original bridesmaid, I would not expect to you pay for the dress that i didnt wear because what happened was totally unforeseeable. 2ndly, if we havent talked in 3 years, I wouldnt expect to be in your wedding (that’s weird). 3rdly, I dont think you have to pay for me to attend if you arent paying for your other guests.


HOnestly, i dont think it would be an issue. especially since they havent checked in on you in years. If you want to give them a forewarning that your getting married and you would like them to attend but not be an bridesmaid, then do that. Either way i dont think it matters and i think they will understand.

And if they dont, who cares!!! Its not like you spoke to them in the past 3 years right?!?! lol…

hope it all works out!

Post # 4
222 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I have a semi-similar situation: I was married before and originally planned to have a bridal party. One of the bridesmaids bought her dress right away. Well, we ended up not having a bridal party or groomsmen and only immediate family – so my friend wasn’t even invited.

5 years later – I am getting re-married to the love of my life and I have asked the same friend to be in my wedding again. I recieved absolutely no problems from her. We picked out a new dress and she bought it.


The way I see it is like this: it is a honor to be asked to be in a wedding. You cannot realistically expect the bride to buy the dresses for the bridesmaids when you have 100 other things to pay for. It is unfortunate that the your first wedding didn’t happen. I do not think you need to pay the girls back for the dresses bough YEARS ago. If there ever was a time to do that, it would have been years ago when the wedding was called off.

If you’re not close with all the original bridesmaids and only want to ask three of them to be in the wedding, then do what is comfortable for you. It is YOUR wedding so make sure you have the people involved that you want 🙂

Post # 5
6948 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@Coastiewife:  It’s been three years, do they even still have the dresses? It’s very possible they wouldn’t even fit in them now. 

I seriously doubt they would feel like they were “still” your bridesmaids when you are marrying a different (far better!!) man years later. I don’t think you have to “unask” at all, just move along with your plans for this brand new wedding! 

Post # 6
877 posts
Busy bee

I don’t think you have to unask them, since this is clearly a different wedding.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t have the dress either, because it may no longer fit.  

Post # 7
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Coastiewife:  Just to clarify, are you marrying a different person this time?

Post # 8
175 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@Coastiewife:  I do think you should reimburse them for the dresses. To be honest you should have done that when you called off the wedding originally but better late than never. They specifically bought those dresses for the wedding that didn’t happen so regardless of the reason that the wedding didn’t take place, you should pay for those dresses.

Post # 9
7013 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Coastiewife:  This is another reason why the bride should pay for the BM dresses in the first place. I think you (and your ex) should have reimbursed all the girls back then. It’d be nice to offer to reimburse them now, at least partly.

It’s a different wedding so the girls shouldn’t expect to be BMs. 

You do not need to pay hotel costs for ordinary guests. (Or bridesmaids in fact, unless you are expecting them to stay at a particular hotel). But if it’s less than the dresses and you can’t pay for the dresses, then in my opinion it’s a nice gesture.

Post # 10
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@Coastiewife:  seriously doubt anyone would hold the previous situation against you.  I was broken up with (not by a FI thankfully) when I got a tumor dx and I would be VERY hurt if that got brought up again by friends in relation to a new relationship. 

I was a BM for a wedding that didn’t happen.  Bought the dress ect.  She married someone else a few years later and we weren’t as close so I didn’t even get an invite that time.  I don’t really hold it against her – it sucks but I’m still glad the first wedding didn’t go ahead now as she wasn’t happy leading up to the wedding.

Post # 11
1103 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I was in a friends wedding that was called off (thank god, I thought he was awful to her) and I was able to return my dress from David’s Bridal. Are you sure they kept them? I had also bought dyed shoes, they could not be returned, so I dyed them black to wear elsewhere. 

Point is, who knows what they did with the dresses? I wouldn’t repay anything. It’s not your fault! That’d be like another friend of mine whose marriage lasted less than six months giving the groomsmen back their tux rental money. Stuff happens!

Post # 13
774 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - Dalhousie Castle

I think if your getting married to a different guy then I doubt your previous bridesmaids just assuming they would be in the weddding again. 

I don’t think you have to pay them back for the dresses either. They had to eat between $100 to $200 dollar expense, but you had to deal a ton of horrible stuff all at the same time. If I were your friend, I wouldn’t care about the dress or money at all. 


Post # 14
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

@Coastiewife:  Just out of curiosity – he left you because of lyme disease? Seriously?

I’ve had it twice (although I guess it never fully leaves you, does it?) and while it SUCKS (was bedridden for almost 3 months each time), it’s not a death sentence… Its perfectly manageable

Post # 16
1881 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Sweetheart, you have nothing to worry about. These girls were your bridesmaids for a wedding that sadly did not happen. That does not mean they are your bridesmaids now. I’m sure they do not expect that. Please do not worry about it. 

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