The truth behind Dennis Rodman’s infamous wedding dress

Ah, yes, Dennis Rodman! The life of “The Worm” has been filled with enough twists and turns to last for five famous folks’ lifetimes. With an absentee father, life on the streets, constant disappointments and struggle to find acceptance, his backstory is as tragic as they come. Still, despite the cards firmly stacked against him, Rodman went on to build a career as one of the NBA’s all-time greats — and where basketball ended, the larger-than-life player just kept on going. His wild partying ways, brief career as a pro wrestler, and an apparent friendship with Kim Jong-Un of all people have kept his name on people’s lips over the years.

Apart from his many, frankly outlandish escapades, Rodman has always been particularly enticing headline and photo fodder because of his peculiar tonsorial choices and dress sense. One of the strangest things he ever wore was, in fact, a literal dress — a wedding one, at that. What on earth was that about?

Dennis Rodman’s wedding dress was a publicity stunt inspired by Steven Tyler

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While it would be great to be able to report that the rainbow-haired one merely woke up one day and decided that he’d be a bride from that moment on, the truth behind the Rodman’s wedding dress was somewhat more mundane … well, by his standards, anyway. As Michael Kaskey-Blomain of CBS Sports tells us, the incident took place on August 21, 1996, and Rodman wore his famous wedding dress and veil to a Manhattan event where he was promoting Bad As I Wanna Be, his recent autobiography. To really make a splash, he also arrived to the location in a neat, horse-drawn carriage.

As a curious detail, Rodman did come up with the idea on his own, but he might not have actually pulled it off if it wasn’t for Steven Tyler. Shortly before the incident, Rodman and Tyler happened to be at the same hotel gym, and when the athlete ran his idea by the musician, Tyler was over the moon. “He was like, ‘That’s awesome. That’s great’,” Rodman told USA Today in 2019, before admitting that this once jaw-dropping stunt might not work as well these days. “I never knew wearing a wedding dress on Fifth Avenue was going to make that impact. We shocked the world. But today it would be a common thing.”

 Pauli Poisuo