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Bride Balks When Groom’s Family Wants To Cut Her Out Of Her Wedding Dress As A ‘Family Tradition’

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Honoring both families’ traditions while planning a wedding can be a difficult balance to strike.

But for one woman on Reddit, the situation became downright dramatic after her future in-laws insisted on a rather strange and inappropriate family tradition–cutting the bride out of her wedding dress.

She wasn’t sure about how she handled things, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by the username knife345 on the site, asked:

“AITA for refusing to participate in a family wedding tradition even though my fiancé wants to?”

She explained:

“My fiancé’s family have a tradition where on the wedding night the groom cuts the bride out of her dress.”

“They even have a special knife they use to do it and the next day everybody makes a big deal about the cut-up dress.”

“I told my fiancé I don’t want to do it but he said he wants to and that it’s the only tradition he isn’t willing to budge on.”

“There are other traditions he’s agreed to scrap, but he said this one is harmless and it’s important to him that we keep some of their traditions.”

“He and his family are upset with me since they feel like I’m erasing so many of their important traditions and since my fiancé really wants to keep this one, they feel like I should compromise.”

“AITA?”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

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

After one of them asked OP to explain what other of her fiancé’s family traditions she had forbidden to go along with, she added the following:

“The men dragging the bride and groom to their room once the wedding is over and offering encouragements from outside, being woken up early the next day by the women in the family so they can ‘help you get ready'”

“(It’s just an excuse to see if they can find any evidence that you actually had sex and then go and gossip about it with everyone else during brunch), the groom having to ‘buy back’ his bride.”

And particularly after reading that, her fellow Redditors were not only on her side, but were downright disturbed by the nature of the traditions of the family she was marrying into.

“NTA. It isn’t even about the dress. Cutting the bride out of her clothing has rapey stolen bride/conquest vibes. Showing the cut dress the same, like showing bloody sheets as proof of virginity.”

“This is the only thing we have to judge, but this one thing makes it seem his famy devalues women. He can’t help that his family sucks, but he shouldn’t support it and pressure you to conform.”

“The situation is gross and I’d be rethinking the whole thing, unless it’s a serious one off and they are all fantastic people in your other experiences.” –ummmm-no2020

“This was a tradition for several different peoples/cultures from back in medevil and Victorian times. You know, back when women were property, not people. It has no place in modern society, imo.”

“NTA, OP. However, if these are traditions for your fiancee and his family, I would seriously reconsider this marriage.”

“I know many people jump to that response, but I do think couples counseling should happen real soon!”

“You need to be positive about how he and his family actually view/treat women once their married in, if you haven’t already. Then you need to decide whether you can live like that or not.”

“Honestly, this looks like a semaphore club on acid to me.” –Eryssia

“Nta. That’s the dumbest sh*t I’ve heard today. He wants to ruin an expensive dress and his whole family is pressing the issue? Fu*k no. If he’s dead set on it, buy a thrift store gown for him to cut up.”

“Edit to add. How the fu*k did this tradition get started? What poor woman had to be surprised on her wedding night by her groom coming at her with a knife? And why have the other women gone along with it? That’s some power trip bs. Huge no from me.” –stary_sunset

“Besides the fact that the tradition is disgusting, appalling, and should absolutely not happen, if they want to cut a dress up, the groom’s family can pony up and either buy OP a duplicate of her exact wedding dress or any wedding dress of her choosing.”

“They should not cut up the dress that she got specifically for her wedding. What a wasteful rapey family. 🤮” –maximum_chi

“I wouldn’t even let him do it with a thrift store dress. Because it’s not about the material dress. It’s about role playing nonconsentual sexual assault with a weapon.”

“And here’s the thing – there will be women at that wedding who are survivors of sexual assault. Some of them may have been raped at knife point. My sister was.”

“It’s not just about him paying for a dress, or some fabric getting ruined – it’s also about triggering unsuspecting rape victims and making them relive part of that trauma with no warning at what’s supposed to be a joyful wedding celebration.” –ductoid

“NTA. This ‘tradition’ is rapey and creepy. Are you sure you want to marry into this family?” –Tiny_willingness_686

“NTA – That’s the feeling I have. I couldn’t figure out why the thought of ‘cut out of a dress’ freaked me out. But yes, a totally rapey vibe.”

“It’s creepy and gross OP. I would stand your ground and say that if he refuses to budge this you need to seriously think about how you move forward in a relationship with someone like this.”

“Good luck.” –Hidden_Turtles

“…at least her husband-to-be is only like, 3/10 rapey seeing as he agreed to scratch the tradition where the bride and groom get dragged to their room and everyone else stands outside yelling words of encouragement.”

“God this is hideous. Imagine on your wedding night being about to have sex and you can hear your parents/MIL yelling… well I’m not exactly sure what ‘words of encouragement’ looks like here.”

“‘Let me know if you need help getting it up, son!'”

“‘Stick it in the front hole!'”

“‘Spread those legs wide, sweetheart!'”

“‘Do you need help cutting her out? We’ve got some spare rape knives out here!'”

“‘Harder! If we can’t hear her scream you’re not doing it right!'”

“OP NTA but it’s 2022, what kind of family are you marrying into? This is horrible.” –EveAndTheSnake

“This does feel very weird, ritualistic, wasteful, and it is just very odd and concerning that OP’s fiance AND his family are so dismissive of OP’s feelings about being cut out of her own wedding gown.”

“The fact that he has involving his family in this disagreement and they are all trying to pressure OP is just a sign of what’s to come in that marriage…..” –Electrical-Date3951

“Got as far as ‘cuts the bride out of her dress’ and had to stop because my stomach was in knots.”

“His family is celebrating RAPE culture. Full stop. There is NO other way to describe this action. Forcefully removing the clothes of a woman for what reason? Sex. How is that NOT insinuating rape?”

“That’s a hard fu*king NO and if he insists, I’d be reconsidering marrying him.”

“NTA” –Legion1117

“NTA But warning – he’s going to cut your dress anyway with or without your permission.”

“Make it clear than if he even thinks about it – you won’t be consumating your marriage and will be getting an annulment the next day.”

“If I’m honest , I can’t see you enjoying your wedding if you’re stressed about that all day.” –useragreement13

“NTA Dear lord, why are there so many creepy wedding traditions that people’s spouses-to-be are so fixated on?”

“Like honestly, why do the family want to se it? ‘Ah yes, he cut her out of this dress just before taking her in a manly fashion, we do love our son, that horny fella.'”

“I don’t consider myself particularly prudish but I’m also not wanting to spend too much time thinking about my sibling’s wedding night.” –staticdragonfly

“Reminds me of the one on here where OP’s fiance’s family had a tradition of all the male members of the family checking the bride-to-be’s virginity (for the brides who were marrying into the family).”

“This is twisted. NTA, OP, but I’d reconsider marrying into this family if this is the first night as a married couple.” –birdywrites1742

“NTA. That seems a bit… Squicky to me. It reads waaay too much ‘wedding night equals groom gets his way’ for my taste.”

“Regardless of my own opinion, you have the right to say no to any tradition the other family has.”

“They want to use a blue colored safety pin on a handkerchief and you don’t want it? You can decline. That’s how a partnership works. You talk about what you do and don’t agree to do, and the two of you come to the decisions. The two of you.”

“Eff what the other family thinks.”

“Now if he’s putting his foot down? This may be worth a discussion about why.

“‘Because tradition’ is not a good enough argument for me. Why did this tradition start and why is it specifically important to him? He needs to be able to intelligently defend his point.”

“If, after a calm and rational discussion, you decide to do this, cool. I have a feeling that he will not be able to defend this.” –Decent_Ad6389

Hopefully OP can find a way to put her foot down.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.