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Bridal Designer Balks After Newly Pregnant Cousin Insists She Make Her A Second Dress For Free

A woman zips a bride into a wedding dress

Working with family isn’t always roses and smiles.

Even if it’s not meant to be work, just a favor.

Things can get very touchy once people start to feel like they’re being taken advantage of.

Just because everyone’s related, some people feel like that automatically means others should be willing to work for free or next to nothing.

And once a person stands up or speaks out about feeling unease about this, the drama flies.

That’s why they say to put everything in writing!

Case in point…

Redditor Ok-Problem116 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for charging my pregnant cousin for a new wedding dress after she told me about her pregnancy last minute?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I 29 F[emale] own a bridal shop.”

“My cousin Lucy 27 F is getting married in 2 months and I designed and tailored her wedding dress as a gift.”

“She paid me for the materials.”

“It will take another week to finish the dress, and I constantly update Lucy on the status of her dress and asked if she is happy at every stage and if she had any more ideas.”

“She would make the odd comment, but never anything major.”

“The dress in total took me just over 4 months.”

“Last weekend, she and her fiancé hosted a family dinner, and at the end, Lucy announced she was pregnant.”

“At the dinner, I congratulated her and her fiancé.”

“She came to my store with my aunt that week for her final fitting.”

“I again mentioned the pregnancy and asked how far along she was.”

“She was 12 weeks along and told me how hard to keep the pregnancy a secret.”

“I told her the dress wouldn’t fit her at 20ish weeks during the wedding, and she said she knew and asked me to retailor the dress to fit her new proportions as she would showing heavily at the wedding.”

“I told her I can’t do that due to the intricate beading that I will have to carefully remove and reattach.”

“I told her she might as well get a new dress as it would be easier for me to start from scratch and essentially I was just making her a second wedding dress.”

“She agreed and then I gave her the invoice for a new dress.”

“I gave her a breakdown and charged her for materials, tailoring, labor, and overtime (still with a discount).”

“I will have to work outside my hours to make her the new dress on time as I have a busy schedule with existing clients that pay full price.”

“I told her if she had told me about her pregnancy from the second she had found out, I might’ve been able to adjust the dress then, but it is complete now.”

“She said her fiancé wanted to keep it private, which I understand, but I wouldn’t have told anyone, and I only needed to know for the dress purposes.”

“She called me TA for not understanding where she is coming from and said she will only pay for materials.”

“I refused to back down and told her that this close to the wedding she will struggle to finalize a new dress she likes and get it tailored in time as she will be pregnant.”

“I also refused to give her the dress sketch, as it was my design, and I didn’t want her to replicate my work elsewhere.”

“She left angry with her mom, who later called me up to say Lucy is upset about not having a dress this close to the wedding and that I am being cruel because this stress is not good for the baby.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. She knew she was pregnant and didn’t tell you.”

“You are under no obligation to foot the bill.”

“Sucks that it will cost her money, but actions have consequences. edited to correct autocorrect error.” ~ Odd_Task8211

“I was the bride in this situation, and the person who was working on my dress was a very good friend of my brother.”

“Not someone I would usually tell that I would be 11 weeks pregnant at the wedding.”

“However, I knew that for her job to be done well (and for my dress to fit me), she needed to know.”

“I told her, and also told her that it wasn’t public info just yet.”

“She made my dress fit me and didn’t tell anyone.”

“OP is NTA, but the bride sure is.” ~ SilverPlatedLining

“What makes this a flat NTA for me is that the cousin knew she was pregnant and probably has known for 4-6 weeks.”

“Yet she continued to let OP spend time and money working on a dress that she knew wasn’t going to fit her.”

“Legit wasted her time, and doesn’t think that OP needs to be paid for that.” ~ CaRiSsA504

“Exactly. You don’t get to create a situation that could easily have been avoided, insist someone else resolve it the way you want it to be resolved, foist the burden on them, and then cry foul when the other person balks.”

“She’s entitled. Tell her that she’s TA for not understanding both YOUR situation and the situation she created.”

“And if anyone is creating unnecessary stress on her and baby, IT’S HER.” ~ majesticgoatsparkles

“NTA. You gave her a free wedding dress.”

“I think it’s fine to say, ‘I don’t have time and resources to make a completely new wedding dress for free.'”

“But, I would give her the dress that you made and give her the option to go to someone else to get it tailored, if she’s stuck on that.”

“That way you don’t have to deal with her anymore, and she can pin the failure/frustration of the dress on someone else.”

“Above all, I just encourage you to try to find a peaceful resolution here.”

“Avoiding drama has its own value.”

“Not saying do work for free, but have a meeting with her, her mother, and her fiance and really try to find a resolution.”

“And help them to understand your limitations and all the work you’ve done out of kindness up to this point.”  ~ ladystetson

“I agree with this BUT I would suggest OP takes some photos before ready to publish after the wedding because she doesn’t want someone else tailoring, it looking awful, and then the poor rep comes back on OP.”

“She needs beautiful pics to share on her website (not before the groom has seen it ofc) to prove it was her design and she did a fantastic job before someone else got their hands on it and ruined it!” ~ JDorian0817

“So… What you are saying is you think OP owes her cousin the free gift she was originally planning for her? Why?”

“It might be kind of her to do so but she absolutely doesn’t owe it to anyone.”

“Also, I feel like you don’t really understand A.”

“The number of hours and work that would go into an intricately beaded wedding gift and B.”

“The difference between ‘sewing someone’ something and actually designing something from scratch.”

“It’ll completely ruin OP’s rights to want to be able to try to resell that outfit AND to not want her custom design to be handed to someone else. NTA.” ~ LimitlessMegan

“I definitely agree with you! I voted NTA too.”

“It’s up to OP what she does, and I did say I didn’t mean work for free.”

“I just encouraged her to also consider the emotional value of being willing to compromise where she can to limit family drama (and I directly specified compromise does not mean free work) and try to find a place where everyone can move forward.”

“But it’s 100% her choice.” ~ ladystetson

“NTA. You understand where she is coming from, obviously, but she doesn’t seem to understand where YOU are coming from.”

“Making a second dress is expensive, both in money and time.” ~ MaybeAWalrus

“Agreed. OP, you’re better off charging family an additional 20% AH tax on top of your prices.”

“Those that complain won’t pay and you’re clear of any crap, those that do pay and complain covers your extra time for any hassles.”

“And the ones that are amazing you can gift them the 20% who will be even more grateful that you gave them money on their wedding day.”

“Finally, you have to pay customers that are far more important.”

“If you don’t want to work with family for free, just say you’re too busy and (if you want) offer $x towards a dress from someone else.” ~ Cheeseburgers_

“NTA. The first dress was a gift.”

“The second dress is not.”

“I agree with another commenter.”

“Give her the first dress. Let her find someone who will alter it since she thinks it’s so simple.”

“But not the sketch. That’s yours.” ~ FuzzyMom2005

“I think most people don’t want to tell about a pregnancy until the 12th week or so because there can be a miscarriage, so I kind of understand where she’s coming from.”

“But of course, she should be willing to pay for the extra work or buy another wedding dress. NTA.” ~ Ambitious-Sssnake

“NTA. Does she think David’s Bridal would just fork over an upsized dress at no cost to her after her original purchase has been altered? Ha!”

“The audacity of her to assume that because you have a personal relationship, you should eat the costs and donate your time to make her a whole new dress.”

“The nerve.” ~ aheartthatbends

“NTA, reminds me of one of my favorite sayings.”

“Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.” ~ DeeJae911

“NTA. ‘She said she will only pay for materials.'”

“Lol, that’s not up to her.” ~ Kdejemujjet

Well, OP, Reddit is with you on this one.

You already gave so much of your time and expertise for free.

You’re allowed to stand up for yourself and demand your worth.

Sometimes family can’t help but family.

Hopefully, it all gets figured out fast.

Good luck.