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Woman Berated For Wearing African Gown To Wedding Because Groom’s Family Is ‘From The South’

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Everyone has their own vision of the “perfect wedding,” and unfortunately, that can create trouble for some attendees or wedding party members.

One woman, for instance, was surprised at a groom’s response to a particular outfit choice, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor barbiebaddiee chose to wear an outfit that was indicative of her culture for a wedding she attended.

But when she was ridiculed for wearing it, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she had made a terrible mistake.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for wearing a traditional African gown to a wedding?”

The OP recently attended a wedding with her boyfriend. 

“Last week my boyfriend ([Male] 20) and I ([Female] 19) went to his sister’s ([Female] 27) wedding.”

“I wore a gown with Kente print and a matching head wrap. If you don’t know what Kente print is, it is a traditional Ghanaian print.”

“I made sure to check in with my boyfriend’s sister beforehand that this was okay to wear to her wedding, because I know that some people don’t think Kente print can be formal.”

“She told me that she loved the gown and actually told me she’d be mad if I didn’t wear it.”

“As an aside, my boyfriend’s family is Asian, Taiwanese to be specific, and the groom’s family is White.” 

“I am Ghanaian, I was born there and lived there for 11 years.”

The wedding didn’t go quite how the OP expected. 

“During the wedding, I noticed that I was getting many dirty looks, all from which came from the groom’s side.”

“Flash forward to present day and I received a text from the groom saying that I was out of line and that I should have asked him if I could wear it, because his family was from the south and they had traditional views, and went as far as to say I embarrassed him in front of his family.”

“My boyfriend’s sister found out what he had said and has apologized on his behalf.”

“I think I may be the a**hole for only checking with the bride and not the groom.”

“So Reddit, AITA??

The OP provided a bit more information to answer Redditor’s questions.

“My boyfriend’s family is Asian—Taiwanese to be specific—and the Groom’s family is White.”

“Yes, I am Ghanaian, I was born there and lived there for 11 years.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said the groom’s family sounded racist. 

“NTA. If it’s from the south of the US then you’re def not an ah.”

“Usually when people try and blame things on “we’re from the south” it’s an excuse to be a racist or a bigot.”

“The bride said it was fine and even stood up for you when groom tried to start s**t. You’re not at fault.”mlpuente26

“From the groom’s reaction, I am surprised he didn’t wear his white robes and hood and get married under the confederate flag. D**n man… way to out yourself family and friends as racist.”

“Bride may have not been totally clued in or thinks she can change him… not likely.”

“I am southern and love to see the beautiful African prints. Not everyone down here is racist, but many are but try to not out themselves too boldly because they need a job. This guy forgot to take his hood off it seems.”Preiapet

“The groom basically said, ‘My family is racist, how dare you be open with your love of your culture?'”

“NTA. Don’t say sorry. The groom is a huge piece of work.”Bluntgirlsdoitbest

“At this point, the dude should just say they’re racist. Because I cannot think of any other explanation for ‘traditional views’ than ‘they’re racist AF but don’t want to say it in so many words and prefer Black people to just pretend not to exist/completely ignore their heritage in order to make them more comfortable.'”

“Some traditions aren’t worth keeping. And racism is one of them.”Willowed-Wisp

Others said the OP didn’t really even have to ask permission to wear her gown. 

“Groom’s family sucks honestly. OP shouldn’t even have to be worried about wearing a print from her own culture.”

“And what was so offensive to the groom and his family anyway? I would press down and ask why it was inappropriate in their eyes. Nothing like asking racists to explain their racist POV and watching them flail.”moanalease

“I don’t think she even needed permission from the bride.”Able-Secretary_6835

“We are in Texas and at my daughter’s wedding there were people in traditional Japanese attire, a sari and a kilt. Everyone was welcome to wear what they considered their dressy clothes. No problems.”

“They are making excuses to be petty. The groom is the rude one here. Wedding flow from the bride. I bet the bride won’t be happy the groom made that call. It does not bode well for the marriage.”ImNotBothered80

“Slave owners were traditionally opposed to African culture. They renamed their enslaved Africans and beat them for using their African names, speaking their native languages, and worshiping in any religion but Christianity.”

“OP is a native Ghanaian who unknowingly ran headfirst into a group of White Southerners who weren’t xenophobic enough to boycott a multiracial wedding with a Taiwanese bride but who hold traditional slave owner attitudes towards African cultures.”

“In this case, their xenophobia is actually a subset of their racism.”Candid-Ear-4840

“I come from a very traditional area. My family would have thrown fists if someone disrespected a guest over their traditional wedding clothes. They’re doing us a great honor in wearing their best and sharing their culture with us.”FlashCelery2275

“Seriously. I had to look up “kente print” because I expected naked people or something. I have no idea how a geometric print can be inappropriate. I think they just outed themselves.”tybbiesniffer

“So the groom and his family have ‘traditional’ views yet they have no respect for your traditional attire and feel disrespected by it?”

“Way out of line and racist.” ~ genericaddress

“NTA. Their Traditional Southern Views translates as racist idiots.”

“I’m nearly 60 & not once in that time have I even heard that guests ever had to run their dress choice past the groom for approval.”

“You checked with the bride, that was enough.” ~ Competitive_Tea2413

“NTA, jeezus some people.”

“Good luck to boyfriend’s sister dealing with that coded racist family.”

“I’m sure she will be a target too if she steps out of the box they most definitely will put her in.” ~ SoybeanArson

“So the bride is Taiwanese, and the groom had an issue with the brother of the bride’s girlfriend, who’s from Ghana, wearing traditional clothing?”

“How are you going to marry outside of your race and have issues with another race?”

“And if the bride said it was OK, straight up, f’k the groom. He’s an a**hole.”

“I would love for someone of a different culture to wear something like that to my wedding. I’m in Texas, there’s folks at my job from Ghana and Nigeria.”

“I love the traditional clothing. The colors are awesome.” ~ atomicaly0129

“NTA. Speaking from a western point of view, that was very racist of them.”

“Very rude too, even among racists; they could have kept it to themselves.”

“You asked one of the hosts of the party, which is more than you’d have to do. You didn’t break etiquette.” ~ CindySvensson

“I don’t even know what ‘traditional views’ means in relation to their dislike for what you wore.”

“Does that mean you were meant to have dressed as a southern belle?”

“No. It was poorly hidden code for ‘bigoted’.”

“NTA. It sounds beautiful, and while lovely of you to seek the bride’s approval, why should wearing styles from other countries or cultures be problematic or concerning?” ~ HezzeroftheWezzer

“NTA! Your attire sounds beautiful and appropriate, and you even asked the bride in advance!”

“Groom and his family are being ridiculous.”

“You weren’t dressed like a bride, or in a racy outfit (things that irk many wedding participants), so why should they even care what someone else wears?”

“Some people just love and live to find something to be pi$$ed about.” ~ chicagok8

“NTA. That’s blatantly racist.”

“It’s your dress therefore it doesn’t matter what the groom and his family thinks as it isn’t offending them in any actually valid way.” ~ Mapledrop76

“You wore formal clothes to a formal event.”

“I agree with the bride – I’d love to see that variety at my wedding too.”

“The more the merrier.”

“A family of xenophobes and bigots doesn’t need to be coddled. NTA.” ~ Susan-stoHelit

“As a southerner I can confirm that most are just close minded idiots.”

“You did nothing wrong.”

“If they were against your dress I have no doubts they’re probs not fond of their new family.”

“Stay close with the sister I’d say and don’t let it brother you.” ~ Lunarfoxrising

“NTA. I had to Google your dress and it rock’s big time absolutely gorgeous.”

“You asked the sister that I guess you are the closest too of the two getting married.”

“Groom with family are gigantic a**holes tho.”

“Just ignore them.”

“I pity the sister since it looks like she just married into a family of racists.”

“I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think she will have a happy marrige with those in-laws.” ~ Adorable_Syrup9409

“NTA. The groom had no business dealing in any way with what women wore. Your question to the bride was more than enough.”

“The only traditional view from the south that would apply here is he thought you should have been wearing a maid’s outfit and have been serving everyone else.”

“His remark was so offensive that it’s the kind of thing that could embarrass his family, his employer and certainly the bride.” ~ grail76

“NTA. Your connection was with the bride.”

“You were correct in asking her and she gave you an enthusiastic yes.”

“The groom owes you an apology and the rest of them need to learn to mind their own damn business.” ~ Motor-Winter5581

“NTA. It was nice of you to ask.”

“Someone asked me if a new pair cowboy boots would be alright for my wedding. Yes, that was fine too.”

“No, my husband did not get asked even though he was my husband’s friend.”

“It is the bride and her mother (usually) who put the effort into the wedding. They decide the dress code.”

“Also, what kind of crazy person would be offended by traditional clothing?”

“I can’t wrap my brain around it. Cultural diversity is beatiful.” ~ MandaJulianne

“NTA. You wore the typical formal clothing from your homeland.”

“What could be more traditional? They’re racist.” ~ Gigafive

“NTA. ‘How dare you be proud of being African’ is basically what they’re saying. Mega racist.” ~ Chapsticklover

“NTA. You asked the bride if it was okay to wear a traditional print and she said yes.”

“Since this is your boyfriend’s sister’s wedding, why would you consult with the groom as well since you already consulted with the person you knew who was getting married?”

“Are you also friends with him?”

“Also, I looked up what Kente print was and it’s lovely.”

“It’s not like you wore a white dress to a wedding so I don’t really understand why anyone cares.”

“(Actually, I have a very good idea why they care but I’d like to pretend for a bit that’s not the reason).” ~ JynxedDraca

“NTA. You probably looked so beautiful you put everyone on the groom’s side of the family to shame.”

“I’m not sure how you could’ve possibly embarrassed him aside from the fact that you were embracing your culture and that offended all the White people.” ~ cap-n-port

“NTA – the groom is being a racist a**hole and making excuses for his racist a**hole family.”

“You asked the bride, she actively encouraged you to do it, you can’t be blamed for thinking this meant the groom would also be on board.” ~ Gayachan

Though it was kind of her to check in with the bride—her boyfriend’s sister—about her outfit beforehand, probably to ensure she would not draw attention away from the bride with a brightly colored dress, the subReddit assured the OP she didn’t have to check-in at all—let alone with everyone in the wedding party.

By objecting to her attire for “traditional” reasons, Redditors felt the groom really just outed his family as racist.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.