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



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