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Bride ‘Publicly Shames’ SIL Who Accused Her Of Making Her Look Washed Out In Wedding Photos

bride and groom walking down path holding hands
JovanaT/Getty Images

People have strong opinions about theme weddings—especially when guests are given a dress code.

But sometimes it’s not about control, it’s so all the guests will look and feel like they’re at the right event. If everyone is in casual attire, a guest in a tuxedo or gown will stick out.

Some people like drawing attention, but when the wedding photos come out, and everyone’s reaction is how out of place or ridiculous they look, standing out stops being fun.

A recent bride is dealing with a situation with her sister-in-law after her new relative decided the wedding’s suggested dress code wasn’t for them. After words were exchanged over the wedding photos, the newlywed turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

KnowledgeHefty3256 asked:

“AITA for ‘publicly humiliating’ my sister-in-law (SIL)?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I(30s, female) got married to my husband (30s, male) this July.”

“Our wedding theme was ‘Faerie court.’ We only invited close family and friends and asked that they wear jewel-toned dresses and suit jackets.”

“It was specified, it literally said: Dark, rich, and deep jewel tones.”

“The wedding was in a sort of forest. We also took photos with almost everyone, not just the wedding party (which only consisted of a best man and a maid of honor).”

“My SIL (mid 20s), shows up in a blush pink dress, and her boyfriend (BF) in a cream suit jacket. She thought that that would make her pop I guess (she is an attention seeker, by the testimony of everyone but her mom).”

“Joke on her, my dress was gold and shimmery, and my husband was in an emerald green jacket. Also I was wearing a full-on crown, no mistaking who the bride was.”

“When the photographer asked me if she should photoshop them a bit to make them blend in more (since we went with a dramatic photo style that emphasized the deep jewel tones and the ‘darkness’ of the forest), I told her not to bother.”

“Make them look nice, but don’t change the colors or anything like that.”

“Well, I received the photos 4 days ago. I posted some on my Insta, and most on Facebook (since most of our older relatives use it exclusively), and they (SIL and BF) looked so out of place, they were almost washed out.”

“Then, she had the nerve to comment on my post. It was very passive-aggressive, something along the lines of washing her out to make myself stand out more.”

“I replied by saying that she washed herself out by ignoring the wedding theme. She deleted her comment.”

“But then, we met last night at my in-laws. It was an accident, not planned or anything.”

“She said pretty much the same thing. I repeated that she was washed out because the photo style we chose emphasized deep colors. That’s why we asked people to wear jewel tones.”

“It escalated and ended up with me telling her that she looked like sh*t in our photos (her complaint) because she was a jealous little woman who thought she could upstage me with a $30 dress the color of diluted pepto.”

“She started crying and left.”

“Now my MIL says I owe SIL an apology for ‘publicly shaming her’ as well as for insulting her looks.”

“So AITA?”

The OP summed up their conundrum.

“I might be the AH, because instead of photoshopping my SIL and her BF to make them blend in with the wedding photo theme, I instead asked them to be shown as is and made it publicly known that they chose to ignore the wedding dress code.”

They also added:

“I didn’t make a big deal of it. I didn’t even mention her, nor did I post only her photos.”

“But I am not the type to let comments slide, and I didn’t like her insinuating that I asked our photographer to make her look bad on purpose, to make myself feel better.”

“Honestly? This is not that big a deal—my husband has bigger fights with his family almost every other week, and I tend to stay very far from them.”

“I only asked if in the event of me being an a**hole, blinded with some sort of bridezilla-esque madness, I would apologize to her.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA. A) You did not insult her looks. You told her that the color of her dress was a bad choice and that you were aware she chose it to stand out from everyone else.”

“B) You already told them the dress code, and they chose to do their own thing.”

“Whilst I’m not necessarily for imposed dress codes at weddings outside of the regular expectations (smart/smart casual/cocktail/black or white tie and no white), the fact that they look washed out in the photos is down to their choice of clothing, not the photographs or the photographer or you.” ~ Sloppypoopypoppy

“Themed weddings should be an exception.”

“When you do a themed wedding, especially a small one like OP stated, asking guests to wear jewel tones to go with the theme makes sense.”

“OP didn’t force SIL and BF to leave the wedding because they didn’t wear it. She just let natural consequences happen.” ~ stasiasmom

“NTA. She f*cked around & found out. SIL & her boyfriend tried upstaging you & your husband at your own wedding.”

“The photographer offered to Photoshop them, & you refused on the grounds that the photos remain honest. You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Don’t apologize to what appears to be the golden child. She’ll eventually stop talking to you altogether, so that’s a win-win. Congratulations on your wedding.” ~ GreyJediBug

“Also, I’d wager a bet that if she HAD photoshopped the dress, SIL would still be upset and offended and create drama over it because that’s what SIL wanted the whole time, was to create drama.” ~ daughter_void

“Yeah, you can never win with some people. Doing nothing at all is the right move, although I wouldn’t have even gone as far as commenting back on IG or even entertained the aggressiveness in person.”

“Some people try their hardest to piss you off so they can make you look like the bad guy.” ~ DroidOnPC

“NTA. She chose what to wear, knowing full well what the theme was and what people were asked to wear.”

“She should’ve realized on her own whether she would stand out in a good way or a bad way, but hey, she got her wish—she stands out from everybody else.” ~ Huggle-Puggle

“Yeah, this is it for me—she isn’t just complaining that she doesn’t look good (in your wedding photos, where she really shouldn’t be a factor). She is accusing you of having some sort of weird complex about her.”

“I’d be offended too if someone accused me of having them photoshopped because I am so jealous of their otherwise exquisite appearance I just couldn’t stand it.” ~ GooseCooks

“NTA your wedding sounds awesome, and I’m sure everything was gorgeous! You didn’t complain about her not following rules, didn’t ask her to leave, and specifically told the photographer not to change how they looked.”

“You didn’t do anything wrong. SiL tried to steal the spotlight and failed, and any washing out or looking awkward in the photos is on her, not on you.”

“I wouldn’t apologize, and if MiL keeps insisting, tell her that her daughter caused the problems herself and you didn’t publicly shame her. You just responded with the truth.”

“Tell MiL if she wants to see what public shaming is, you’ll gladly post on social media about SIL actively trying to pull focus at your wedding and how she’s taking out her poor dress choice on you when you had nothing to do with it, maybe then she’ll see what real public shaming is.” ~ thaliagorgon

“Her plan was to draw attention to HER with her pinky-poo dress and her BF in (off) white.”

“Instead, she and BF looked washed out and out of place. Her plan not only didn’t make her look like the coolest thing ever—she looked foolish.”

“Yeah, your insults were a bit much, but she created this mess; you just commented on the mess!” ~ fanofpolkadotts

“NTA. She wouldn’t shut up on her own. So you helped her.”

“And this isn’t publicly shaming her. It was in the privacy of your in-laws.”

“Publicly shaming her would be to post the whole drama on FB asking for family and friends to chime in on if you are TA for her decision not to follow dress code… But I’m not nice either.” ~ Foggy_Radish

“NTA. Please continue posting your wedding photos anywhere & everywhere exactly as they are.”

“Do NOT apologize to anyone. Your MIL is out of line here—she should have told the SIL to be quiet. The SIL threw a tantrum, and you put her in her place.”

“Well done. If you apologize, it sets a precedent that SIL throws her weight around & you’ll be pressured to apologize.”

“Also, those saying they are your ILs, and you should do it because it’s a long-term relationship blah, blah. Well, guess what—it’s a two-way thing, and it’s not just on you.”

“They need to make compromises & adjustments too. I bet if you had been the one to not follow SIL’s dress code, the MIL would be telling you to apologize.”

“So why isn’t she asking that of her daughter?” ~ kiwi-sparkle

This whole conflict doesn’t bode well for the OP and her sister-in-law’s relationship.

But that may not be a bad thing.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.