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Indian Teen Asked Not To Wear Traditional Garb To Her White Cousin’s Wedding Because It’s Too ‘Flashy’

Rupak Biswas/Getty Images

Weddings can be extremely stressful for the bride on the best of days. However, when planning a fusion wedding of two vastly different cultures getting things right can take a lot more coordination and should include lots of education.

When things started to go sideways over one user’s traditional outfit she turned to Reddit for answers.

The Redditor going by the name Creative_Personality turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subreddit and asked the collective:

”AITA for not wanting to change my outfit intended for my cousin’s wedding?”

Creative_Personality, the Original Poster (OP) of this question, explained the controversy surrounding the wedding: 

“I’m going to preface this by saying all of this is happening in the US.”

”So I’m Indian and one of my really close cousins’ is getting married in a month (everyone at the wedding who is 16+ has to be vaccinated and show proof to gain entry, except if they are immunocompromised, and masks will be worn for the indoor parts). His bride is white.”

”My cousin and his fiancee are going to have a fusion(?) wedding. As in her side of the family will be wearing western formal clothing and his side will be wearing Indian clothing.”

“Here is where the problem starts. The other day, they came over to my house for an extended family luncheon and my future cousin-in-law asked me what I planned on wearing at the wedding.”

”My original plan was to wear my lehenga that my parents had shipped from India. It’s a pale yellow(think between a pastel and sunflower yellow) and in typical lehenga style, the skirt and dupatta are pretty decked out.”

“I showed her my outfit and she immediately started getting upset saying that I was trying to outshine her by wearing yellow (which is apparently really close to white) and ‘an obviously more expensive outfit’.”

”I will admit that while I don’t know how much her dress cost, my parents did shell out a pretty penny for my lehenga ($3500) plus costs to get it shipped and tailored.”

”I have no intention to outshine her as my lehenga looks pretty much like the ones that I expect and know the rest of my family to wear. She asked that I not wear the one I have planned and I wear something less ‘flashy’.”

“I don’t have any other lehengas suited to wear for a wedding and there is not enough time for me to get a new one, get it shipped here (if you have been on par with the news, you’ll know the covid crisis India is facing right now), and tailored.”

”And to be frank, I do not want to bother my mom’s friends back home during a time like this to find me an outfit to wear to a wedding.”

”My cousin and my family took my side in this because prior to the wedding she had not established a dress code other than formal clothing even though we have asked multiple times. Her sisters and family have been harassing me on my social media about this issue.”

”It feels so icky to me that grown-ass adults are going after a minor (I’m 17F) about a clothing issue. There is no way I can not go to this wedding because most of my family will also not and I refuse to ruin both their special day.”

”At this point, I’m just thinking of throwing on my old prom dress and calling it a day. But my American friends think that I’m AH for not wanting to listen to her as it’s ‘her wedding, her rules’. So reddit, AITA?”

Redditors were asked to pass one of four judgements: 

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

Redditors thought OP was NTA

NTA. That bride will be pretty upset when all of the Indian women wear their traditional clothes in bright, beautiful colors.”

”Warn your cousin. Tell him what his bride said to you and say that you are concerned that she doesn’t understand traditional garb for Indian weddings and that she’s probably going to be upset when all of the Aunties are dressed in their bright gowns and wearing their lovely jewelry.”~teresajs

NTA. I agree with this. I don’t think the bride truly knows what to expect and just how comparatively glam Indian weddings are, even if they are fusion. Bright colours, strong make up, lots of jewellery are to be expected.”

“I would let your cousin know that she seemed upset by your outfit and that she needs to see what others will typically be wearing.”

“The bride does want it to be her special day and that is completely understandable and to be expected. However she may find herself outshone in this type of wedding and she needs to find a way of addressing this without putting you down!”~silverarcheress

“She’s going to be so pissed when that side turns up and turns out 🤣 NTA OP and please come back after the wedding, I know when the aunties and cousins turn up the bride is going to lose her damn mind, and I want a update.”~MommaLa

NTA….I am literally cringing reading this post because this poor bride obviously has no idea whatsoever what she is in for and I am imagining an epic freak out at the wedding when she realizes the mess she has created with this fusion wedding.”

“Indian style weddings and American style weddings could not be any more different and there is no successfully fusing them! A bride dressed in a traditional western style white wedding dress is not only going to be outshined by all the gorgeous Indian outfits and MASSIVE bling, she is literally going to fade into the woodwork.”

”The buzz from the clucking of the aghast aunties will drown out the ceremony…”

“OP – someone needs to sit your cousin’s bride-to-be down for a Bollywood marathon ASAP! She needs to see with her own two eyes what an Indian wedding looks like! One simply cannot describe the magnificence of color, opulence and pageantry. NTA but please – help this poor woman before it’s too late!”~MustLoveFlan

“NTA. American here. Indian traditional clothing is bright and beautiful and radiant. If she doesn’t like yours, she won’t like anyone’s.”

“She’ll have to be upset at the entire pack of you.”

“Also, if she was worried about the traditional clothing outshining her wedding dress, she should have said something at the very beginning.” ~SephirothAngeal

“This girl is 100 on the 1-10 seismic scale of cluelessness.”

“I’ve only been to one Indian wedding (in Bangalore), but I grew up in the Middle East and it clearly outshone all Egyptian weddings I’ve been to, even though they themselves easily outshine most Western weddings I had the pleasure of attending.”

“In a nutshell, this girl will not only get outshined, she is out-eclipsed if she wants it to be a battle of the garments and bling. And she clearly has no idea.”

“I’m also sorry for your cousin for marrying such a person, unwilling to understand her groom’s culture. Maybe it’s a warning…” ~Ok-Gur1508

“NTA. White dude opinion: It’s a fusion wedding. You’re wearing your traditional outfit. That’s the point.”

“If it was a strictly ‘western’ (yee-haw) wedding, I could see asking folks adhere to a specific dress code within reason..but nah. You do you.”

“If she has a problem, that’s her issue, and one she’ll need to reconcile quick because she’s marrying into a badass culture.”

“I think I saw someone mention maybe getting her into a Lehenga for the wedding. That could be neat.”

“They could even flip it – Dude wears a suit ‘western style’ and she wears the traditional Indian garb.” ~53kshun8

“You stick to your guns and don’t let Americans bully you.”

“Indian traditional dress is gorgeous and you have every right to be proud of your heritage.” ~Greyswand

“As a fellow Indian: Indian formal clothing is always going to outshine western formal clothing, there’s no beating around the bush.”

“We have the embellishments, the bright colors, the jewels, western clothing is pretty toned down. And we consider it rude to show up to someone’s WEDDING and not look our absolute best, right?”

“If she is insecure about it, this fusion might not be a good idea, but you aren’t doing anything wrong. Also, your lehenga is far from white and if she’s already wearing white she’s probably going to stand out.” ~Ok-Pressure-7458

“Gori girl here and I absolutely agree.”

“Please wear what you know is correct. Your lehenga is the perfect choice, yellow is not white, and wearing your prom dress will probably earn you years of unkind family gossip.”

“Your cousin’s bride is going to be faced with a sea of beautifully embellished Indian formalwear at her wedding.”

“It sounds like she might not have done her homework before deciding on a fusion wedding but that’s certainly not your fault.”

“It would be a kindness to ask around and see if someone in the family has an extra dress in her size. Maybe keep it on hand if she’d like another option for after the ceremonies in case she’s upset at how plain her dress is.”

“It won’t be a wedding sari but it might make her more comfortable and welcomed into your family.”

“Otherwise I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over things. If she complains to you about your dress on the wedding day just tell her your parents made you wear it.”

“You’re a minor and she shouldn’t be pressuring you anyway.”

“Everything will be fine. Enjoy your cousin’s wedding!” ~PoppySiddal

“NTA. Wear your lehenga.”

“You can stop the bullying by having more of your female relatives show the bride their lehengas. Then the bride will understand you are not a problem.”

“Get several people to bring them at the same time, to a place where the bride will be, and show them to the bride.” ~goldengracie

“As a White American female: you’re future cousin(-in-law) is an idiot.”

“Yellow is nowhere near white. You’re not wearing ‘off white’, ‘egg shell’, or ‘cream’; you’re fine.”

“Her ego is probably bruised about the details on your outfit and isn’t mature enough to process it.” ~Abmikirii

“NTA. You are wearing cultural clothing, that I assume was appropriate for family members to wear to weddings.”

“As a White North American, I am super jealous of other cultures formal dressing (I can still appreciate our own formal dress).”

“She likely has an expensive and beautiful wedding dress, and it would likely look nothing like your wear. She may be upset because your family will draw the attention of her family?”

“I won’t lie, I find Indian outfits gorgeous. The wedding celebrations are lovely as well (the lehengas, mehndi, etc. I’m sorry for any misspelling or ignorance on my part).”

“Please don’t hesitate to correct me, I had to double check the terms when I was responding. I find our weddings a bit Christianized and boring.”

“I want everyone looking good and having fun, not just me getting treated like a entitled rich a**hole.” ~Mechya

“Who agrees to a fusion wedding without googling for 30 entire seconds what that involves?”

“I feel like this is going to be a trainwreck of her own making.”

“I think this is kind of insulting to your parents who had an outfit made for a wedding per your custom and she’s having her family harass you.”

“The comment about wearing your prom dress so they are shamed is hilarious.” ~slendermanismydad

“NTA. I had a fusion wedding, she should know what she signed up for. The lehengas and saris were beautiful, so was the Western style clothing.”

“That’s just how it is. She’s in for a rude awakening if she doesn’t understand Indian wedding attire.”

“Your cousin definitely should have had this conversation with her though.” ~Ziggywife1990

“NTA. Sounds like the bride is incredibly insecure and uneducated.”

“Yellow is nowhere close to white, nowhere.”

“Also, if she had done basic research into Indian culture she would know that traditional is colorful and ornate.”

“OP wear your outfit with great pride to the wedding!” ~Fearless_Speech9883

Sounds like this bride is in for a shock if someone doesn’t take her aside for a quick culture lesson.

Written by Heidi Dockery

Heidi Dockery is a Maine artist & nature enthusiast with an affinity for libraries. She studies Criminal Justice with a special focus on psychology & sociology at the University of Maine. When not studying, painting, or re-reading the works of Terry Pratchett, she volunteers & enjoys various activities most would label nerdy.