in , ,

Bride Upsets Her Family With Plan To Turn Her Wedding Dress Into An Art Project For Guests

sbrogan/Getty Images

Anyone who wants to get married has their vision of how they would want their own special day to go, from what they would wear to how much they would spend, and more.

But the people around them may not agree with their vision, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor ManyRainbowHands came up with a unique idea of what to do with her wedding dress after the ceremony, which would become a special keepsake for her.

But when her family totally balked at the idea, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for ‘ruining’ my wedding dress?”

The OP was getting ready to get married.

“I’m getting married next year.”

“One of my older sisters owns a dress boutique and offered to discount my dress for me as a gift.”

“I thought that was so nice of her and picked out my dream dress. The order is in and I thought that was that.”

She wanted to involve the kids in her family at the reception.

“I’m the youngest in a huge family. I have 4 sisters and two brothers. Dozens of cousins a few years older than me. You get the idea.”

“I’ve always loved hanging out with kids and did my schooling in early childhood development and just started working as a pre-k teacher.”

“So, as my generation in the family started having kids, I became their go-to babysitter. And I loved it. I love those kids so much.”

“When I met my fiancee, I started getting close with her nieces too. Needless to say, we’re having a big, kid-friendly wedding.”

“Here’s the problem. I had an idea that my fiancee and I love.”

“After the ceremony, we want to do an activity with the kids where guests (whoever wants to, mainly kids I think will be into it) dip one of their hands in non-toxic ink and put a print on the skirt of my dress.”

“They get to have some artsy fun and I get to have a beautiful reminder of all the people I love being with me on the happiest day of my life.”

But the OP’s family didn’t particularly like the idea.

“I mentioned it to my family while we were visiting, and while some were starting to say it was a nice idea, my sister went nuts.”

“She started yelling that she didn’t go to all that trouble to get me a beautiful dress just for me to ruin it after basically an hour wearing it.”

“She spilled her coffee all over the floor and stormed out.”

Now my family is asking me to re-think and say she has a point about ruining the dress.”

“I don’t know much about wedding etiquette or anything, but I figured it was my dress and I could do what I wanted.”

“But did I do something wrong?”

“She’s really upset and saying she doesn’t want to be a part of my wedding anymore.”

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 OP was free to do what she wanted with her dress.

“You shouldn’t dictate what a person does with a gift. When you give a birthday present, do you tell the receiver what they can do with it? No. It’s s gift.”

“The receiver can do what they want with it, i.e., re-gift it, store it, use it for its purpose, or in this case, then it into a sentimental keepsake.”

“She paid her sister for the dress, albeit for a discount. It’s her dress. She can light it on fire if she wants.” – IAmLurker2020

“The sister spilled coffee on the floor in response to OP doing what she wants with her gift. That’s an AH move.”

“They should try something not on the dress, but that doesn’t make the sister not entitled and rude. NTA, OP.” – ShruggyGuy

“Whether or not the ‘project’ is likely to turn out the way OP wants it to or posters here share or agree with her vision, she’s still NTA (that is, Not The Asshole) for the idea itself.”

“Her sister is ABSOLUTELY an AH for berating her and having an angry tantrum about a dress that, discount or not, she has no ethical (or any other kind of) right to make decisions about.”

“It’s OP’s and her bride’s wedding day, their choice of what to do with the dress whether it’s messy, silly, ridiculous, or anything else, as long as it’s not actually harming anyone, and OP is not by any stretch of the imagination an AH for any of this.” – FoolMe1nceShameOnU

“Regardless of whether or not the dress will come out looking nice, be able to be displayed afterward, etc., it’s either the bride’s dress to do with as she wants or it’s not.”

“If the sister has any strings attached, including what the bride does with the dress during and after the wedding, it’s not really the bride’s dress. And if that’s the case, I think she should find her dress elsewhere.” – cbm984

Others sympathized with the sister in thinking about her gift being destroyed.

“You COULD do anything you want with a gift, including destroying it, but the giver definitely has the right to feel that the gift wasn’t appreciated.”

“People put thought into the gifts they give others and for the receiver to completely disregard or destroy it gives the impression that the gift was unwanted or unimportant.”

“I for one would NEVER give another gift to a person who treats a gift like that. And it would absolutely NOT be an a**hole move.” – badcgi

“The other part of that adage (doing what you want with a gift) is that the recipient is supposed to be discreet about what they do with it, if it might be hurtful.”

“For example, yes, if your mom buys you an ugly sweater, you have every right to throw it away, give it to Goodwill, or ritually burn it, but you’re not supposed to do it in front of your mom.” – greeneyedwench

“If you give someone a gift, you don’t expect them to turn around and destroy it. I totally understand why her sister’s feelings are hurt.” – throwawayimclueless

Most focused on the technicalities of the OP’s plan.

“It’s not morally wrong but it’s going to look like a mess, be super awkward to execute, and the idea is unbelievably corny. Why not have the kids do a million and one less messy crafts that can be more easily displayed?” – Longjumping-Study-97

“I’d still look into other ideas. Who is washing these kids’ hands after? I think you are going to end up with blobs and in terrible spots on your body. Plus a huge mess and p**sed-off parents.”

“Having the kids do something IS amazing and would be so cool to hang on a wall.” – Boring_Match40

“Please listen hard to the folks suggesting pillows, tablecloths, etc. If you do a dress, a) you will likely have few opportunities where it is appropriate to wear, so the memories stay stuffed in the closet, b) it’s not a memento that your husband gets to share in equally. The other suggestions create a memento for BOTH of you.”

“Also, I wouldn’t spend too much time researching ‘cute ideas’ for your wedding. The day is going to be packed, and many of these side things add more stress as you try to squeeze them in, and crowd out time to relax and enjoy your guests.” – CarpenterMom

“Before you spend money on another dress, I think you need to try your idea out first on a cheap tee-shirt or cheap white dress because I don’t think you are going to be able to get the effect you want i.e., a visible handprint.”

“This is because you can’t pull the fabric tight enough while you are wearing it and when the child pulls their hand away the fabric is going to bunch up around the paint.”

“You’d be better off using a tablecloth, that you could bring out during the holidays or other occasions and then have the kids/parents write their names next to the handprint along with the date. If the tablecloth is large enough, you could use it to track the kids’ growth over time by having them do another section each time you see them.” – naranghim

“OP, your venue is not going to be excited about this, either. The kids with paint will get it everywhere – on guests, the linens, the floor… and if it gets on peoples’ clothes, it’s going to wind up in cars.”

“I get where you’re coming from. Do this with another dress as a bridal shower activity. Or at the wedding, give the kids some crayons and ask them to draw pictures for you to have bound into a book.”

“Ask adults to write down their advice to you and have that bound into the book, too.” – TomatoWitchy

“I don’t think the handprints are going to turn out how you want them to regardless. Plus clean up of the kids when everyone is running around and socializing. There’s going to be paint everywhere.”

“A few ideas we’ve done for weddings:”

“1. I had a black felt board with our first picture as a couple in it. Guests could grab a marker and doodle/write messages around it. It was framed and is hung up in our home.”

“2. Another had pieces of quilting fabric. Again, guests were able to draw or write on as many squares as they wanted and it was made into a quilt afterwards.”

“3. Another had pieces of pictures frames that could be colored or signed and then pieced together around their wedding pictures after the fact.” – Aldente08

While the subReddit could mostly agree that the OP could do what she wanted with her dress, there were a few addendums.

First of all, her sister did do her a favor, so taking her feelings into account seemed fair.

Second of all, the general mess that could happen at the reception might be reason enough alone to make the happy couple reconsider their art project. Surely there was some other unique, beautiful way to embody their special day, perhaps for a living room or bedroom wall.

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.