Why I Wear My Wedding Dress Every Year On My Anniversary

Five good reasons to recycle your wedding dress on a yearly basis.

girl in wedding dress putting on tennis shoes G-Stock Studio / Shutterstock

The thought has crossed more than one former bride's mind every now and then ... can I wear my wedding dress again? You love how you look in it, plus it was probably the most expensive piece of clothing you ever purchased, but you find yourself without an excuse to put on that bridal gown once again. 

Spoiler: You've got a good one, and it happens every year. I decided to start my own tradition.


As my husband and I wrapped up our wedding celebration, I did not want to take off my dress. I had looked forward to the day for so long and couldn't believe in a matter of hours it was over. It was at that moment that I turned to my husband and told him that I intended to wear my wedding dress for every anniversary as long as I could fit in it.

I envisioned myself doing the activities we enjoy as a couple, frolicking around restaurants, parks, and ice cream shops in my white gown. As we embarked on our happily ever after, I felt giddy about the idea of celebrating each milestone with such a fun and sentimental tradition.


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The birth of a treasured marriage tradition

For the first anniversary of our marriage, my husband planned a surprise week-long getaway. I threw the dress in our car and told him that whatever he had in mind to make sure I could do it sporting my gown.

Let's just say no one had ever seen someone play golf in a wedding dress before!


I made quite the impression at the driving range, sampling fudge in the ma and pa candy shop, and eating chocolate chip pancakes at a casual brunch spot.

For Year Two, I zipped up the dress (with a slight struggle) and headed out into the rain for a sunset dinner cruise around the Boston harbor; no way was I letting the weather stop my fun. Just as we pulled away from the dock, the storm cleared, and like out of a movie scene, we watched the sherbert-colored skyline melt away under the cotton candy clouds.

After a champagne toast and some sunset selfies (of course), we tore up the dance floor, which we had to ourselves because it was a Wednesday night. We twirled, laughed, and reminisced. It was magical.

Three days after my two-year anniversary, my dress is still laying on my bedroom floor. It's collected some stains on the bottom, but I much prefer this to keeping it in a pristine box that will never see the light of day, or my husband's adoring eyes.


I smile when I walk past it, the light catching the sparkles as if it's winking at me, saying, "I'll see you next year!"

I hope my wedding dress tradition inspires some brides to do the same.

Here are five reasons why you should wear your wedding dress at least once a year:

1. You'll get your money's worth 

You paid an arm and a leg for it, so you may as well get as much use of it as possible! No sense in letting it collect dust in the back of your closet, only to resurface for a retro Halloween costume in 30 years.

2. Fitting into your wedding dress is the best fitness motivation

You always hear women talk about sweating for the wedding, well what happens after that? The daily grind and having babies aren't the kindest to your figure. You busted your butt to look and feel great on your big day, so why not use this goal as an annual inspiration to stay fit?


Think of it as a yearly challenge to keep you on track.

3. It will rekindle your romance

Hugging, kissing, and dancing in that dress again is a surefire way to reminisce and rekindle the romance in your relationship. Your biggest priority is no longer wedding planning and honeymooning, and your relationship may have slipped to the back burner now that you're settled into married life.

A unique anniversary tradition like this is an extra special way to make your relationship a priority for the evening. Plus, anytime you do something new and adventurous, your brain's reward system gets activated, and that burst of dopamine makes you feel excited, giddy, and even more connected.

4. You'll create new memories

The first time your spouse saw you in that dress was the happiest day of his life. Why not add to these fond memories, but this time in a way that's less stressful, more carefree, and easier on your wallet?


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Go out dancing, get competitive with bowling, or head to a sentimental spot. Be silly, let loose, and love each other. You can capture the night with some great photo ops, then add these to the back of your wedding album, or use the pictures as a thoughtful gift for future birthdays, holidays, or even anniversaries.

5. Wearing your wedding dress makes you feel like a celebrity for an evening

If it's a seemingly random night and you're strolling around looking gorgeous in your gown, you're bound to get loads of attention and congratulations. It's a great endorphin rush that makes for fun stories and laughter with your mate.


Let these well-wishers know that this is your annual tradition to celebrate your anniversary, or roll with it and pretend you just got hitched. Spontaneity is sexy, so enjoy it as your spouse shows you off and gleefully recounts to the passerby how you met.

You'll probably bump into that wise, old couple that gives the most valuable advice. Plus, cool perks such as complimentary champagne, comped dessert, or an invitation on stage at a concert make you feel like a total rock star.

So, pull your dress out, zip it up, and cheer together to a continued lifetime of happiness!

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Samantha Burns is a licensed counselor, dating coach, and the love guru behind the free worksheet Reframing My Negative Thoughts About Love.