We all know that when someone completes the work they’ve agreed on, they should also receive compensation.
But for some reason, any type of artist, from painter to fashion designer, will experience a pushback at some point for their work, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor TiredNeedleAndThread was approached by a friend to create a custom wedding dress, only to find out the friend intended for her to give it to her as a wedding gift, rather than be paid for the work involved.
When she saw her friend’s reaction, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong to refuse.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not wanting to make my friend a wedding dress for only the cost of the materials?”
The OP was approached by a friend to create a wedding dress.
“I have a Degree in Fashion, which some people think means I can be their personal seamstress. I’m used to this problem and I don’t mind helping people out, but I never work for free.”
“My pregnant friend recently reached out to me and asked me if I could make her a wedding dress and sent me pictures of the idea she had in mind.”
“It isn’t exactly a simple dress but also not the most complex I’ve ever done either.”
“I told her I could for sure do that for her and it’d cost £600 (almost $800).”
The friend had another idea in mind.
“She was shocked at this and told me she thought I’d do it for free and she’d just pay for materials.”
“I pointed out how many hours this would take me to do and all the hand embroidery needed.”
“Then I explained I was doing this for a quarter of the price I’d charge other people because she’s my friend.”
“At this point, she started to get very upset, telling me I have no idea how much stress she’s under with the wedding and the fact she’s pregnant and how money is tight and how this should be my wedding gift to her and how great it’d look in my portfolio.”
The OP had mixed feelings.
“I don’t think I’m being unreasonable to want some money for this.”
“But other friends are telling me it’s horrible how I’m wanting to charge her for this and how it’s not like I’m a high-end bridal shop.”
“Am I being unreasonable?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the friend was being manipulative.
“Honestly, the way she responded is more telling than anything else. You’re NTA, for sure.”
“If it were me, I would gracefully withdraw (just say, ‘I hear that this is more than you wanted to spend. I’ve offered the best price I can give for the time it would take me – if it doesn’t work for you, that’s ok. You could try…’ and give her a few referrals).”
“Totally doesn’t hurt your case if those referrals price their items at the market rate for quality comparable to yours. Maybe the sticker shock will humble your (demanding, entitled) friend.” – Ok_Catch_2097
“The only friend that I do mix business with is a designer. But that is only because she is terrific and our tastes align. Plus I know she’s good & the quality will be outstanding.”
“Otherwise nope. Never, ever mix friends or family into your business.”
“You do it once, and it becomes expected. And they often expect discounts and more time than you have to put into it. OP you are definitely NTA here.” – Worldly-Stop
“Oh no, you really have to walk away.”
“Making her dress will ruin your mood, your business/income, and your joy of your work.”
“You were generous, she didn’t get it. Maybe she won’t, maybe she will someday.”
“Either way, that’s too bad. Don’t let it do any more harm than that.” – fnulda
“NTA. You’re not being unreasonable at all. It takes time to do the work.”
“And you already lowered the price. I don’t like how they tried to use their pregnancy to get you to do it for free.” – Puzzleheaded_Cat9147
“And in 2 years: ‘Why are you charging me for that? You only charged the materials for Gertrude’s dress?'”
“It’s a trap if OP gives in.” – merchillio
Others agreed and said the OP’s time should be valued.
“People don’t respect free stuff. If she expects the bulk initial work to be free, you can be sure there will be the expectation of a ridiculous number of tweaks later too, all for free.” – tubbyx7
“If I had the money I’d pay price and a half just for you to make my wedding outfit, and send a screenshot of this message, specifically saying the extra fifty percent is to show her per my request what reasonable people are absolutely willing to pay you.”
“Granted, I’m barely making ends meet, so I can’t, but I’m petty and understand the pain of being an artist around entitled people.” – sunshadowsburn
“People have no idea how much time and money things cost when it’s not their area of specialty.”
“I’m a good amateur cook so I baked a friend a wedding cake a long time ago. I will never do this again. And they have no idea how much time and effort it took me.”
“It cost me nearly $500 for all the materials, I spent 6 weeks planning it and took 2 days off of work, plus the weekend. It was more than 3 very full days of working on it.”
“Not to mention the time it took to construct something to be able to transport it.”
“At the time, she had a lot on her plate and I didn’t want to add to it by talking about how much work I did and how much I spent!!” – super_bluecat
While the bride thought she had a great plan in place, the subReddit had other ideas. Not only did the OP deserve to be compensated for the work she would be doing, but she would be doing more work than the standard customer because of adjustments during the pregnancy.
The OP might give a wedding gift and create the wedding dress for a price, but those two things surely shouldn’t be one in the same.