Wedding Dress Revenge: Divorced Man Blogs 101 Uses for Ex-Wife's Gown

Kevin Cotter finds therapy in using gown as dog toy, scarecrow, jump rope.

May 18, 2010, 12:26 PM

May 20, 2010— -- Most wedding dresses are destined to be remembered for their starring role in the blissfully happy couple's nuptials.

Very few are ever brought back to life as dog's tug toy. Or an oil drip pan. Or a jump rope.

When Kevin Cotter's high school sweetheart moved out of their Tucson, Ariz., home after 12 years of marriage, she purposely left her wedding dress high on a shelf in their bedroom closet, telling her soon-to-be ex-husband it was his to do whatever he wished.

So he used the dress to launch a blog project -- My Ex-Wife's Wedding Dress -- to chronicle 101 uses for the garment.

"She had all of her stuff loaded and I couldn't help but notice because this bridal keepsake box was dead center on the main shelf in the walk-in closet," he said of the July day she walked out.

"She said "I'm not taking it,'" Cotter said. And so he asked exactly what he was supposed to do with such a glaring reminder of their marriage. "Her reply to that was whatever you want."

Click HERE to see images from Kevin Cotter's blog project on 101 uses for his ex-wife's wedding dress.

What Cotter wanted was to use the dress to scare off neighborhood birds and to cheer on his beloved University of Arizona Wildcats. And maybe sop of a bit of sweat at the gym.

But it didn't start out that way.

Once his ex-wife left sans dress, "I sat there and looked at it for a period of time," Cotter said, declining to name his ex-wife to protect her privacy.

The ex sent an e-mail to, saying that while she initially left the dress behind, she later requested it be kept for their 9-year-old daughter.

"I wish all the best to Kevin and hope he seeks counseling to deal with his anger and resentment," she wrote. "His determination, along with his family's support, to continue with this endeavor after his children and I have asked him to stop is incomprehensible."

The dress and its keepsake box held center court in the bedroom closet for a couple months until Cotter's sister-in-law jokingly suggested that she bet he could find 101 things to do with the dress.

"I started thinking God, you know, maybe there are 101 uses," he said.

Cotter's original plan was to write a book about the experience. He sent a rough draft to a few publishers, but got no interest. So he set up the Web site instead and watched the number of visitors steadily increase by the thousands.

As of this morning, the site -- officially launched May 6 -- had hundreds of thousands of visitors. Cotter hopes the blog will someday lead to a book.

"It's been good. It really has," he said. "It's been a great distraction."

The couple have two children and share custody.

"A lot of things happen in relationships," he said. "Basically what she told me is that she fell out of love with me."

His Ex-Wife's Wedding Dress: Hammer Pants, Snuggie Coming Soon

Cotter is quick to point out that his treatment of the dress isn't meant to be a reflection on his ex-wife, but rather an outlet to express his feelings about the divorce.

"It's about me and a large piece of fabric basically, that I've been able to get some therapy from and have some fun with -- get through some difficult times."

The dress -- which Cotter knows very little about other than he thinks it's probably silk -- "looks pretty good, surprisingly. I mean it's dirty."

He has photographed about 40 uses so far, though only about two dozen have popped up on the blog. Most were shot during the fall.

And there have been some casualties -- Cotter is trying to keep the dress intact through the end of the project, but in the fall, the bow fell off while he was jump-roping.

With the blog picking up steam among friends and random Internet readers alike, Cotter finally broke down last week and told his ex what he'd been up to.

"It didn't go great. She's not terribly excited about it.," he said. "She honestly didn't have a very strong reaction. I was a little bit surprised."

But his readers have had a very strong reaction. He's already gotten dozens of suggestions to fill out his 101 uses.

Some ideas have been vulgar and sexual in nature, which Cotter has quickly erased from the site.

"I want to keep it clean," he said.

His favorite user submitted uses -- a Snuggie and Hammer pants.

"I'm close to so many divorces right now. And it's really sad," he said. "I don't think I'm the only one that has done silly things with an item that was left behind."

Some readers have shared their own divorce horror stories. Others cheer Cotter on.

"I feel for you bud," one reader wrote Tuesday. "Regrettably, I am on my second ex-wife. It doesn't get better."

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