Reddit users were quick to assure the bride that this is one instance in which she had every reason to turn into a 'bridezilla.'
Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 6, 2022. It has since been updated.
Oftentimes when it comes to weddings, people lose track of the fact that it's a celebration of love and get carried away in the theatrics of it all. Familial bonds, lifelong friendships and even the relationship between the soon-to-be newlyweds can come under a lot of strain—and sometimes crack—during the wedding planning process. One prospective bride found herself in such a situation when she got caught up in a family drama with her fiance's niece and the neice's parents over what the teen should wear to the big day. Reddit user Extreme-Break-6638 turned to the r/AmItheAsshole community with her conundrum, asking: "AITA for telling my soon-to-be niece that she doesn't need to wear a dress to my wedding?"
The 32-year-old began by explaining that soon after her engagement, she thought it would be a good idea to ask her fiance's niece if she would like to be a bridesmaid at their wedding next year. "I've only met her a couple of times, so we're not close, but she seemed like a cool kid and I thought it might be a nice way for us to bond, get to know each other and involve her in the wedding. Side note: she's the only niece/nephew on either side of the family," Extreme-Break-6638 wrote.
Little did the bride know, her sweet gesture would end up putting the 15-year-old in a rather uncomfortable position when it came to the matter of bridesmaid outfits. "Cut to a few weeks ago and we're in my fiancé's hometown to visit his family and discuss wedding-related stuff. His brother, sister-in-law, and their daughter came over and I noticed this time that she was dressed a lot more androgynous than I remembered. The topic moved to wedding dresses and bridesmaid's dresses and I could see she was immediately uncomfortable. Her parents (her mum really) and grandma were making comments about how she'd need to be more feminine/brush her hair etc, and how nice it would be to see her like that," the Reddit user shared.
"I'll be honest and say this hit a nerve with me, as I was very much a tomboy as a teenager (even though I'm not anymore) and it absolutely broke me whenever my relatives would say things like that. Eventually, her mother made a comment along the lines of, 'It'll be nice to see you dressed like a girl for once,' and she looked really sad/embarrassed/upset," she revealed. Triggered by her soon-to-be sister-in-law's words, the bride stood up for the teen and assured her that she could wear whatever she was comfortable in.
"In response, because that really hit a nerve, I immediately told her that my maid of honor would be wearing a trouser suit for the wedding and not a dress and that I'd given all the bridesmaids the option of wearing anything they want as long as it's in the 'wedding color' to make things easier. I pulled out my phone and started showing her photos of the ideas my friend had sent me (a jumpsuit, culottes, a trouser suit, a tailored tux, etc) and let her know that she could pick anything at all she wanted - she could even wear jeans and trainers if that made her comfortable–and that it's a wedding, not a fashion show," Extreme-Break-6638 revealed.
Although this came as a huge relief to the teenager, the bride's efforts to comfort the youngster did not sit right with the girl's mother. "She's since asked my fiancé to pressure me into getting all the bridesmaids' dresses so their daughter will have to wear one (which, lol, no). My husband doesn't give a sh*t what she wears, but obviously also doesn't want his family and me to be arguing on the wedding day. I don't want to back down because I know what it feels like to be pressured into wearing something that makes you uncomfortable, but on the other hand, I know it's only for a day and it'd make the family happy," she concluded, asking fellow Redditors whether she was in the wrong for overruling the teen's mother.
Members of the r/AmItheAsshole community were quick to assure the bride that this is one instance in which she had every reason to turn into a "bridezilla" and put her foot down on the topic of bridesmaid outfits. "Definitely NTA. Don't back down. Stand your ground. Never in my life had I thought I would be urging someone to be a bridezilla. Please. Please. Be the bridezilla. Go full bridezilla," commented billlevansatmariposa.