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Bridesmaid Upsets Bride After Refusing To Wear A Dress That Covers Up The Scars On Her Arms

Andrii Afanasiev / EyeEm/Getty Images

Every bride hopes for a beautiful wedding day.

Sometimes that means achieving perfection. Sometimes that means being surrounded by loved ones.

Unfortunately, those two dreams can’t always go together.

A bridesmaid wrote into the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit after she upset her cousin, the bride, when she refused to dress the way the bride wanted.

The situation got so ugly, Redditor throwyourpost decided not to attend the wedding at all and is now receiving backlash from her friends and family for her decision.

The Original Poster (OP) asked the sub: 

“AITA for refusing to cover my arms at my cousin’s wedding?” 

The OP explained she was in a terrible accident, which led to scarring on her arms. 

“A few years ago I was involved in a very painful and scary accident.”

“Most of me was unscathed but my arms (mainly my forearms) were damaged. I recovered 80-85% of my mobility and all I have left now are some scars.”

“Most are not that bad, but three of them are big and pink, which, because of my slightly darker skin, really stand out.”

“It took me ages to really come to terms with myself. I know it sounds silly but I had to practice looking in the mirror and telling myself that my arms and my body are fine, and how silly it is to worry about this kind of thing.”

Recently the OP was invited to be a bridesmaid in a family wedding. 

“Fast forward to this year where i get an invitation to be a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding (which will take place late next year when my cousin and her fiance predict covid to have ‘died down’).”

“The first red flag, which I did not pick up on, was when my cousin video called me to show me the bridesmaid dress I’d be wearing (sleeveless, and completely identical to the other 7 bridesmaids dresses).”

“I got up at one point to grab a pair of shoes to show her, leaving the camera on as i did so. When I returned, she had a strange look on her face, and she said she’d have to call me later and hung up.”

Then something strange happened. 

“A week later, she calls me, tearily, telling me that ‘I’m so sorry to do this, but my best friend X ruined her dress and you are the only one with the same size dress…'”

“I clearly knew where this was going and I told her I didn’t mind, etc… after some small talk we finished the call. Again, I didn’t think much of it.”

The bride called back later to see what the OP would wear instead. 

“Then, a few days ago, my cousin calls to ask what I ended up deciding to wear.”

“I was a bit confused, as this seems very early to worry about a wedding taking place next March, but I pulled a few options out of my closet to show her.”

“Her response was, ‘Um, don’t any of them have sleeves?'”

“‘No… they all look very pretty though,’ I answered.”

As it turns out, the bride wasn’t very accepting of the OP’s scars. 

“After a pause, she sighed heavily and said, ‘Look, I don’t know how else to say this, but I don’t want your arms in my pictures. They’re just so ugly! Even if you’re not a bridesmaid you’ll still be in the pictures!!'”

“And then she burst into tears. I was speechless. I felt angry, hurt, and shocked all at once. She kept sputtering and blubbering about how horrible my arms would look in her high-def photos. I was STILL speechless, angry tears getting ready to pour out.”

“Finally, I found my voice and said, ‘I don’t care how YOU feel about my arms. I spent months coming to terms with my body and I see no reason to hide it. If that’s a deal-breaker, I won’t be at your wedding.'”

“She gasped and I hung up.”

Now the OP is receiving all kinds of backlash for how she spoke to the bride. 

“Now I’m getting all sorts of texts from my cousin, her fiance, and several of her friends telling me what a selfish b***h I am.”

“I started to feel badly, but I also don’t think I should be forced to feel ugly and ashamed. I wouldn’t even be in all the important pictures if I’m just a regular guest?”

“Idk (I don’t know), Reddit. I just don’t know. AITA?”

Fellow Redditors wrote in anonymously, rating the OP’s response on the following scale:

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

Some focused on giving the bride and her supporters a “YTA” score.

“I’m sorry about how she treated you. Don’t go to the wedding. Spend time with people who aren’t awful to you like she was. And her tears were very manipulative.”ComprehensiveBand586

“I’m petty, and not much of a Facebook person personally, but I would publicly shame her on every platform possible if it were me. What she’s done is so unbelievably shallow and nasty and imo (in my opinion), people deserve to know.”backupb***hes

“Be safe in the knowledge that her shallowness means she wants a perfect wedding, not a marriage – she‘ll be divorced in no time.”katwoodruff

“When I read the title, I thought you had tattoos… and I thought ‘bridezilla’!! When I read it, I was like, ‘wow, what a horrible human being your cousin is.'”happymom94

“NTA! People who love you and care won’t say this to you or even think this way. People who don’t know you but aren’t total assholes also won’t think that about you. Don’t let insecure people like her get you down. Also people who are obsessed with their wedding pics have a lot of insecurities they need to work on.”

“Your scars are your storylines. I struggle with accepting mine from surgeries so I get it. Keep on keeping on and don’t hide them.”Regular_Toast_Crunch

Others agreed and pointed out the only ugly thing in the wedding photos would be the bride. 

“Seriously! The only ugly person here is the cousin, who sounds like one of the ugliest, pettiest, meanest people I’ve ever heard of. An ugly soul. And they don’t make a sleeve to cover that.”Soctober

“Don’t forget all the horribly ugly, petty people who also called, or text you, to complain about what a ‘selfish b***h’ you are for reacting the way you did! You don’t owe any of those narcissists a d**n thing! Keep believing in your beautiful self OP!”SatanGhostXXI

“Your cousin values Insta-worthy pictures over your amazing ability to heal and accept yourself. It isn’t silly what you had to do to feel okay about your arms. It is admirable.”

“She can stay in that shallow end of her pool. NTA”SwiggyBloodlust

“Shallow is an understatement, a single sheet of filo pastry had more depth than OP’s cousin.”GMoI

“You are beautiful inside and out. Can’t say the same for your cousin, unfortunately.”DingusMcDingusBurger

Some simply praised the OP for her resilience and celebrated her scars. 

“I don’t think it can be understated, the amount of effort and grit it takes to recover mobility in scarred arms and hands after an accident. My partner trained in hand therapy in university and the work required of the patient is not insubstantial. OP probably had to fight for her mobility. I think that should be celebrated rather than hidden.”napalmnacey

“I was hit by a car a year before my own wedding. Both my arms were broken and had to be surgically repaired, and left long scars. You better believe I didn’t hide them on my wedding day, and no one noticed, no one commented, and when I look at the pictures I see love and joy. Not once have I noticed my scars.”Careful-Corgi

“As someone sporting some gnarly scars, I see them as ‘yay! I’m alive!’ marks.”

“Rock them, love them and know that people who freak out are usually dealing with the fact that they know they’re not strong enough and don’t love themselves enough to survive what you have. Her internal damage sounds ugly. Your external scars sound beautiful. Skip the toxic wedding. NTA”SmookeyMo

A bride wanting everything to be perfect on her wedding day is to be expected, but there are exceptions if she wants her loved ones to also appear.

Ironically, this bride will be short at least one loved one, all because she wanted “perfect” wedding photos.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.