Brides and grooms are entitled to the wedding of their dreams.
But according to Redditor weddingexcite—a groom-to-be—the non-negotiable wedding theme that he and his fiancée concocted is being met with strong opposition from their friends and family.
So he sought the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to see what strangers would have to say.
“AITA for having a dress code for our wedding?”
The Original Poster (OP) said that everything was going according to plan. At first.
“Hello everyone. We (29 M[ale] and 24 F[emale]) are getting married this September. Up until recently, everything had been going to plan and our months of hard work planning had been paying off.”
“The issue lies in the dress code. We have been clear from the beginning that this is going to be a white tie event, so of course there are strict rules attached to that.”
“One thing we are really looking forward to is our wedding shoot. We have spent a large amount of our own money on a photographer, who we hired after weeks of research and shopping recommendations. The photographer is highly, highly sought after in our area and we were lucky to book him last year in advance.”
“So naturally we are taking this seriously.”
“We have been clear from the very start that the dress code will be fully enforced. The invitations we sent explicitly told our guests what we’d be expecting from them (white tie, no unnaturally dyed hair, no visible tattoos or piercings) and that they were free to decline the invitation if they had a problem with this.”
“We also sent everybody who RSVP’d a reminder over email several weeks ago repeating this instruction.”
“This was going fine until one of our mothers has recently posted on Facebook a picture of a ‘cocktail’ style dress she wants to wear on the day. Of course this isn’t included in our dress code, so we informed her right away that the dress would be unacceptable.”
“Another woman (a family friend) asked if she could bring flat shoes to change into after the ceremony, and again we directed her to the ‘white tie’ instructions.”
“Unfortunately, this has caused a lot of unnecessary drama throughout both our families and even some friends. Both sets of parents, cousins, some siblings, and many more people have messaged us privately to ask us to relax our dress code and allow them to be flexible.”
“This isn’t happening, so we have just pointed to our ‘white tie only’ policy and told them they accepted the rules when they RSVP’d.”
“In our opinion, while wearing knee-length dresses and suits (rather than a tux) might be appropriate for ‘day to day life’, they will doubtlessly look out of place at a wedding that is supposed to be fully formal.”
“We are hosting a private event where we are able to set the rules. Having been to other weddings over the years, we have fully complied with the wishes of the marrying couple and we do not see why we should not be given the same treatment.”
“Since we made this clear, we’ve been called a**holes by people around us. However, in our opinion, this is our wedding and we’ve been clear about our preferences all along.”
“We have even told our guests that if anyone has a problem with this, they are free to drop out (even though we will still be paying for their seats now) and not attend.”
“AITA for having a dress code at our wedding?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked to pass judgment by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors responded by saying that the OP’s strict dress code enforcement was not a good look.
“YTA for implementing a weird version of white tie.”
“In what universe must white tie include heels? I don’t own heels. I have been to several balls wearing jewelled flats.”
“And of course hair colour, piercings, tattoos etc. are completely outside the remit of a dress code.”
“I suspect instead of ‘white tie’ you have a very constrained idea of some sort of ‘classy’ event in mind, which of course is not classy at all.”
“You are being a snob and a poor host. The idea of a dress code is to inform people of EXPECTATIONS of what to wear, not form a restrictive code. This is a formal event, not a nightclub, and you would be rude beyond belief to bar people from coming because they don’t own or feel comfortable in the kind of clothes you want to see in your bloody photos.”
“This should be an occasion to celebrate with your nearest and dearest. You are making it all about the look.”
“The good news is that with this behaviour you are telling people who you really are.” – fleabagwannabe
“Requiring heels is also.. well, heels are bad for you (by which I mean: your toes, feet, ankles, achilles tendons, calf muscles, knees, hips, back and neck) and a lot of people can’t wear them for medical reasons so this is also ableist as eff.”
“But.. in what universe is white tie a tuxedo? I thought black tie was tuxedo and white tie was tailcoat?” – IdleMinyMoe
People presumed the OP was not prepared to fully commit to white tie expectations, himself.
“This dude clearly has no idea what white tie actually means and is out of his depth and element. He just wants to play fancy dress up for the Insta.”
“I bet, he’s not providing a white tie experience for his guests, either!” – WanderingWedding
“Oh, I’ll join you on that bet. White tie is an insane level of service and this couple sounds clueless to it. I bet they’re having a buffet at this ‘white tie’ event.”
“For anyone wondering, it is considered exceptionally poor etiquette to host a black or white tie event without matching the service to that level of care. If you do white tie, there is a long list of offerings you are expected to provide like a valet, gloved wait staff, a coat and hat room, a multiple course meal, table side wine service (and it better not be Kirkland Signature), etc.”
“It is meant to be the height of luxury and it is such an undertaking that it is generally advised to not even attempt white tie unless you’re an experienced event planner for diplomats and the aristocracy of the world. This couple is HILARIOUS.” – ProudCatLady
“Ooooohh such a good point! If the attendees are expected to dress like they live at Downtown f’king Abbey hosting the queen for dinner then they better be wined and dined as such by their host.”
“Eight course meals for everyone! ‘Barrow! The next course, if you please! And what wine pairing has Mr. Carson selected for us?'” – AZBreezy
“YTA. I suggest you hire people to attend your wedding so you can make sure they all adhere to your dress code. That seems to be what is most important to you — how things look. Maybe you could get some cardboard cutouts to pose with.” – LucidOutwork
“’No unnaturally dyed hair, no visible tattoos or piercings’ – are you my old high school?”
“It’s difficult to give judgement because I usually firmly believe in the ‘your wedding your choice’ rule, but the guidelines dictating hair/tattoos/piercings seem excessive.”
“Surely for some of your guests, changing hair colours or covering up tattoos will be expensive/a real hassle and would deter them from attending. Additionally: what counts as a natural hair colour, and does that change depending on the ethnicity of a person?”
“Overall I’ll go with YTA – the tipping point being that you won’t allow some poor lady to change from uncomfortable heels into flats after the ceremony is over. I mean, what if you have leg pain/movement disability that makes wearing heels difficult? Does that mean you can’t attend?”
“I’m confused as to where you draw the line, but I think it’s pretty harsh.” – stormscaper
A link to informative literature was provided to prove a point.
“White tie dress code does not mention hair colour, tattoos, piercings or women’s shoes.”
“You are tacky as hell.” – fleabagwannabe
“we need a more general term for bridezillas (like wedzilla?) because man, sometimes they are both equally mad…” – a_wild_Eevee_appears
In an update, the OP said he didn’t appreciate “bridezilla” as he was the one who posted the question, not his fiancée.
“Just so you know, everyone shouting ‘bridezilla’ is being very sexist. I am the man in this relationship, and while my fiancée and I agree on this issue entirely, I am the one who posted this submission.”
Overall, Redditors believed the groom would be better suited to ease up on his rigid dress code.