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Mom Livid After Being Forbidden From Wearing Champagne-Colored Dress To Daughter’s Wedding

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There are certain rules in Western culture that come along with attending someone’s wedding.

One of the most well-known rules, of course, is the appropriate colors and dress styles to wear.

This is somewhat open to interpretation, but the happy couple have the final say, advised the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

But Redditor theC*mCatcher’s mother-in-law (MIL) did not seem to get the memo.

After seeing her reaction to being called out for her dress selection, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they were in the wrong for demanding an exchange.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for calling out my future MIL on the dress she plans to wear to our wedding?”

The OP

“We were at a graduation party celebrating my fiance’s graduation from a master’s program. This was at MIL’s house.”

“MIL brought out a dress she had bought for the wedding. It was champagne with gold sparkles.”

“My fiance pointed out, ‘Well, that’s awfully close to white. it’s a beautiful dress but I’d appreciate it if you wore something else to my wedding.'”

“FIL said, ‘I wasn’t aware there was a rule against champagne colors.'”

“I piped up, ‘Well, you wouldn’t wear cream to a wedding because it’s off-white. Champagne is a kind of off-white.'”

“MIL blew up, saying how much she spent on the dress, how much she loves it.”

“She said we were selfish for not letting her wear a dress she likes.”

“I’m of the opinion that it’s my fiance’s wedding, and if she had a problem with it, that vetos the dress outright.”

“Some more background: MIL has a history of trying to steal attention at events that focus on my wife-to-be.”

“She’s also on her second marriage, so… I feel like this is stuff she should already have internalized?”

The OP also added an anecdote about the incident in one of the comments

“Right, okay, so, let’s say we had a specific color palette.”

“This is not the one we plan to use, it’s an example, but imagine orange and blue.”

“Everyone is wearing orange or blue, except the bride and groom, who are wearing black and white.”

“Then MIL picks f**kin’ cream. What are we supposed to do?”

The OP’s future wife also made a clarification in the comments

“Hi, fiancée here. I think my biggest issue with the dress is more than just the color. I wish I could find a picture of it online but I can’t.”

“It’s champagne satin with kind of this lacy gold overlay, and the feel of it just immediately registered as ‘bridal’ to me.”

“Like, I could see her wearing it to her own vow renewal.”

“I’m not usually one to start s**t, but my gut reaction was just ‘Oh no,’ and I try to trust my gut.”

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 were appalled by the mother-in-law’s dress selection.

“NTA it’s your wedding, even if the color was purple, if you said don’t wear it, you’re not being selfish.”

“MIL is being extremely selfish. She loves the dress and feels beautiful in the dress, she wants to wear it for her at your wedding where neither of you want her to wear it.”

“She should’ve known better than champagne, it’s an iffy color for a wedding guest dress at best, regardless of what any article wants to say about it.”DrippyMagoo

“NTA. NO ONE should have a flashier dress than the bride. No one should be trying to even be close to standing out besides the bride. In Western wedding culture, mothers should be nice but subdued. It’s about the bride and groom.”

“Good on your fiance’ for calling his mother out though.”BossRedRanger

Others agreed and were concerned by the mother-in-law’s desire for attention. 

“NTA.”

“Remind her this isn’t about MiL and you guys can have a fake celebration later to give her all the attention she requires to placate her. I’d say it just like that too since she’s being childish. She can either get a different dress for the real wedding or she won’t be there to cause problems.”CelticDK

“NTA. She knows what she’s doing. Especially if she already has a background of stealing the limelight. She can change her dress or not come.”shannamarie91

“NTA but I would say that based on attending a number of weddings where another woman has either worn a dress close to white or something otherwise inappropriate, it’s often not worth picking the fight.”

“In practice, the other guests look at the offender with a mix of pity and contempt, and comment on how pathetic or ignorant that person must be to try and upstage a bride, and then go back to celebrating the happy couple.”

“Enjoy your wedding day and share a laugh at the fact that MIL will look even more tragic in her off white dress, trying to compete with her daughter, which most parents have, by her age, stopped doing.”bonzatucker

Some joked about how to make the mother-in-law blend in.

“I would get myself a bright red wedding dress and ask as many guests as I can(without mum finding out) to wear cream, champagne, or any other off-white color they like(both men and women). I ain’t spending money on her attention-seeking a**.”Odd-Mathematician429

“NTA – I’d be tempted to take the wind out of her sails and take the attention well and truly away from her.”

“Thank you all for gathering here today but we already got married, this ceremony is a celebration of our commitment and the reception is a fabulous party”

“Everyone will be so shocked and happy for you they won’t care about her. She will also feel deflated that she spent “all that money” on a dress and it wasn’t even a real wedding.”

“But I can be petty like that.”Floofy182

But some others thought the happy couple was being difficult.

“Against the grain but YTA. Champagne is a very common color for the mother of the bride or groom. My mother wore champagne with sparkles at my wedding. Nobody batted an eye.”

“Everyone knows who the bride is, MIL isn’t going to steal the show no matter how hard she tries. People take this minute wedding stuff way too seriously when the guests don’t care or remember.”aspiringmom17

“YTA. It is definitely not something that someone would confuse as a wedding dress unless you’re going completely untraditional. This seems like this is more about you being more sensitive to your MIL due to past behavior from her- and it sounds like you’re totally entitled to feel that way.”

“Feeling like she was trying to wear white to the wedding via this dress is an over reaction though, it looks like a formal wedding guest dress.”MysteriousYak6

“Going against the grain and saying YTA. It’s a gold-colored dress. You and your fiancee sound annoying and petty about a gold dress.”

“Unless it’s white or cream then no one should have to veto their dress wear past you.”

“The dress is fine. It’s not a wedding dress, it’s an evening gown and they’re worn regularly to weddings.”

“Way to start drama over nothing. Good luck in your wedding.”ferox_honey

Though many would agree that champagne is an inappropriate color for anyone besides the bride, the subReddit was slightly divided. Most sided with the future couple and having the wedding day they wanted, but a few pointed out beige or champagne were fairly common colors for the mothers of the bride and groom.

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.