Wedding Wednesdays: My Sister Is Demanding I Wear a Dress to Her Wedding!

*Feature image via Kipper ClothiersdapperQ is honored to announce that H&H Weddings will be addressing all of our readers’ nuptial conundrums each week for “Wedding Wednesdays.” H&H Weddings is dedicated to providing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples with high end resources to plan and create a one-of-a-kind event. Kate Schaefer of H&H will be lending her expertise to YOU! It’s like having your own mini-consulting session right here on dapperQ, at no charge! Today, Kate is tackling a common issue that our readers face: What to do when your family insists that you wear wedding attire that doesn’t affirm your gender expression.

Reader question (submitted by Jackie): ‘My sister invited me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, but is insisting that I wear a dress. She doesn’t understand that asking me to wear a dress is like asking her husband’s best man, who also wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress, to wear a dress. She said if I don’t wear a dress, I can’t be in the wedding, so I declined. But, now my mom is saying I’m letting something petty ruin everyone’s experience. How can I get them to understand? Help!’


Oh. Hell. No. This is a tough situation because your family is making you feel guilty about this and it’s only due to their ignorance/close-mindedness. However, I think you need to stick to your guns. This scenario is so frustrating on so many levels. First and foremost, why does your attire affect your sister’s wedding so much? She’s marrying the person she loves, that’s the whole point of this shindig, right? So, perhaps she should be more focused on the huge step she is taking and less focused on you conforming to archaic gender norms.

You are who you are and if you don’t stand up for yourself, who will? I think you said it perfectly – asking you to wear a dress would be like asking her husband’s best man to wear a dress. It’s also unacceptable that your mom and sister ostracize you for being true to who you are.

There is nothing petty about this. I think the only way you can mend this situation is by talking about it. Your mom and sister love you, but they also need to understand who you are.

Mostly importantly, there are SO SO many amazing things that can happen when wedding parties vary their attire! Case in point…

pantsvia Burnettes Boards


Bridesmaids pantsvia 1,000 Brides in Pants

Megan RapinoeOh, you know…just the women’s US pro soccer team players Megan Rapinoe and Ashlyn Harris rockin’ the coolest suits!

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  • I really hate that you’re even being put in this situation. As a queer woman of color who refuses to ever wear a dress or skirt ever again, this would be grounds for me to either not participate and sit in the pews or not attend at all. I find it awesome that she wants you to be a part of her wedding but even as a bride this suggestion or demand rather, isn’t about compromise but is asking you to not be you.

    Stand your ground and remember that you are worth it to do such.

  • We had no restrictions on gender dressing at our wedding, each of the wedding party could wear whatever they wanted in black and white (my wedding gown was red). To make it cohesive we simply got matching floral arrangements for each of them to wear as they wished, which made them stand out as the wedding party throughout the night. Everyone was very relaxed in their own clothing instead of cookie cutter dresses and suits and the end result was phenomenal looking. Hopefully your sister can imagine a more creative approach and realize it ends up with far more amazing photographs and genuine smiles from all.

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