Family heirlooms are incredibly important to some people, from the memories attached to those who have had the heirlooms before.
But sometimes people are a little too careful with family heirlooms, and someone’s feelings get hurt, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor artheartlessb***h felt caught in the middle when she was able to share her wedding dress with one of her daughters but not the other because of their differences in appearance.
When she was criticized for this, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she could have handled the situation better.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not letting my eldest daughter wear my wedding dress while I let my younger daughter wear it for her wedding?”
The OP’s younger daughter wore her wedding dress.
“I have 3 children: Anna (40 Female), Becca (37 Female), and Charlie (35 Male).”
“Becca and I are petite while Anna, Charlie, and my husband are on the heavier side.”
“When Becca got married 10 years ago, she wanted to wear my wedding dress. My wedding dress belonged to my mother. It wasn’t a wedding dress. It is a full-length blue satin gown with long sleeves and ruffles.”
“It was also worn by my aunt during her wedding as a surprise to my mom because my grandparents used to make fun of my mom for her courthouse wedding in an ugly dress. So, lot of history.”
“Since Becca and I were similiar body-wise, it was easy to alter it to fit her and remove the extra stitches so that I could use it again. My husband and I celebrate our every 5 years anniversary in our wedding dresses.”
The OP’s older daughter had negative feelings toward her younger sister.
“Anna has a complicated history with Becca. Anna was very envious of Becca and always excluded Becca and me.”
“I don’t blame her because some of the comments from Anna’s friends were really hurtful back in High school. Every time she introduced us, someone or the other mentions that we/they don’t look alike.”
“One of her ex-boyfriends even said that Becca and I look like Anna’s kids (cringe, I know).”
“Anna always wanted to have a family but Becca got to have all these milestones before her. Anna tried her best to be happy for her sister but she has cried to me multiple times about how unfair it is and she can’t help but resent Becca.”
“Becca knows this and tries her best to be sensitive to Anna. While they didn’t get along while they were younger, they have worked past their issues in adulthood and are now very involved in each other’s lives.”
Everyone was happy for Anna when she got engaged.
“Anna got engaged recently and we are happy for her. She has found someone who really loves her and they are wonderful together.”
“When she last came to visit, she brought up altering my wedding dress and wearing it.”
“I spoke to my friend who worked on the dress during Becca’s wedding. She told me that she can alter my dress to fit Anna but there would be a lot of changes as Anna is much larger (350 lbs vs my 150 lbs).”
“She told me that while she can try to remove them afterwards, it is very unlikely to alter it back to how it was before.”
“My friend also said was that new pieces of the same color or white need to be patched into the dress. The dress would need to be cut and new pieces put in (especially for the breasts and hips). It might be possible to alter it to fit Anna but bringing the dress back to its original state would be impossible.”
The OP gave her daughter some tough news.
“I finally called Anna and told her that I cannot give her my wedding dress and Anna was very upset.”
“She said that she always pictured herself wearing the family wedding dress on her wedding. She called me fatphobic and a bunch of other words.”
“She told me that this is bringing up a lot of bad memories. She accused me of loving Becca more.”
“I tried to explain to her but she told me that I would give her the dress even it means I cannot have it back if I loved her.”
“Becca and I have also offered to help her find or recreate something similiar but Anna has rejected those ideas.”
The OP struggled with this feedback.
“My mother is no more and this dress is incredibly sentimental to me.”
“However, I also realize that weight has always been a sensitive topic for Anna. I understand that she is just feeling left out.”
“Becca and I have also offered to help her find or recreate something similiar but Anna has rejected those ideas.
“My husband, Becca, and Charlie are on my side, but Anna and her fiance are not.”
“Anna even told me that she would stop talking to me if I continue being fatphobic like this.”
“AITA or not?”
The OP added:
“Becca and I have also offered to help her find or recreate something similiar but Anna has rejected those ideas.”
“What my friend said was that new pieces of the same color/white needs to patched into the dress. Dress needs to be cut and new pieces put in (especially for the breasts and hips).”
“It might be possible to alter it to fit Anna but bringing the dress back to its original state would be impossible.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in with one of the following acronyms:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.
Some were frustrated by Anna’s insistence on irrevocably changing the dress.
“OP needs to have the seamstress explain to Anna what would be involved in altering the dress to fit her.”
“Hopefully, Anna would then understand that the alterations would fundamentally transform the look of the dress and that she would be better off with a new dress or replica dress.” – biancanevenc
“She clearly doesn’t care about the dress after the fact. If she can wear the dress through a miracle that’s what she wants.”
“Even if it destroys the dress in the process.”
“Anna is pure cringe in my opinion. There is nothing fatphobic about you ruining a dress that is many sizes smaller than you.”
“She’s crying wolf.” – NatarisPrime
“She literally told her mom if she loved her, it would be okay for her to destroy the dress – she just doesn’t like the answer.”
“I’m pretty unbothered here by Anna’s feelings considering that and how bonkers the idea of trying to find matching fabric to a vintage dress today would be – especially considering how impossible French seams are to get out – and that’s with not being concerned about the fabric.”
“I cringe to think about how puckered, pulled, and pulverized that would look and that’s before you even started trying to piece it back together. NTA. The daughter is though. D**n.” – witkneec
“I think Anna might be the real fatphobic one here. If she can’t deal with the fact that a dress for someone who is 150lbs simply won’t fit someone more than double that weight, she is the one that hasn’t accepted her size and doesn’t want to admit to it.”
“I accept this is really hard for most people, but this level of denial is really another level.” – poppiesintherain
Others agreed and recommended creating a replica dress instead.
“A replica is the answer. I think the seamstress would be essentially altering it in such a way that it would be reconstructed as a different dress entirely. It isn’t impossible, but it would prevent it from being used again by OP in the way it had been before.”
“If a replica can be made, maybe a piece from the original could be carefully extracted and incorporated.”
“I really think OP is a gentle AH for not exploring all possible options and going straight to ‘no.’ Anna isn’t entitled to the dress, but OP could have discussed having another made with her seamstress before going back to Anna with an answer.” – HappyLucyD
“I love this idea and I think it would be brilliant to have it join the heirloom collection for other ladies in the future in their family who wouldn’t fit in the other dress.”
“The next plus-size lady in the family who needs a dress for a special occasion can carry on the tradition too and wear the new dress made with love. I wouldn’t fit in my mom’s wedding dress, either.” – TurbulentDrawing6
“The other consideration that OP should bring up is that it’s not about weight; her daughter should have a dress that flatters her body, and trying to make the original dress work isn’t going to do that.”
“Absolutely NTA. I’m heavy set and my mom was hella short; if my daughter intended to alter anything of mine or my mom’s, I for an event like her own wedding, I would not support that.” – lyan-cat
“I really wanted to wear my grandmother’s wedding dress. It is a beautiful dress she kept for over 65 years now.”
“My aunt also got married in the dress and her daughter, my cousin also wants to wear it if she ever gets married.”
“My cousin and I tried the dress together and she could not close the back while being pretty skinny. I am slightly overweight and would never have fit.”
“Due to the make of the dress, it would be impossible to alter to fit for me and if we tried it would be impossible for my cousin to wear it. The dress is most likely too fragile to be significantly altered twice.”
“I was sad for a bit but things are the way they are. I have had a similar dress made and will use the matching veil. I don’t want to ruin the dress and make it unusable for others in the process.” – ZwartVlekje
“NTA. As someone taller, overall larger than two sisters I get it, my mother was small, petite and so are my sisters. My father is 6 ft.”
“I struggle with my weight, always have after needing steroids for my health all my life. I often dip into the overweight range and at points in my life struggled with it even more.”
“I am okay with it. There’s a difference and I recognize it. I still hold onto pieces of my mother’s (passed many years ago) for my sisters in case they ever realize they want those items that I will never be able to wear.”
“This isn’t about fatphobia or her body acceptance, this is about reality.”
“Not all clothes fit every single body. As someone who’s also a seamstress, trying to make that dress fit her would completely destroy it.”
“For extremely small, abnormally curvy, and larger women, it can be absolutely infuriating to try and find remotely nice clothing let alone dream dresses.”
“I am very hourglass. I picked up sewing because I had to alter clothing to simply fit my body without either falling off or being way too tight in certain areas. But once upon a time, I was in her position.”
“They just don’t make clothes for bodies that exist, just the ideal body of what women should be. We are finally getting to the point of plus size clothing.”
“My solution would be to have an exact copy made from your friend if they are willing to make one (alternatively there are great sites or shops on Etsy, I would reccomend one I use when I don’t want to make my own, Heartmycloset).
“This way they both have one.”
“Maybe even keep the original for yourself. Obviously the damage is done and her feelings are hurt.”
“But this way you all have YOUR dress, that fits and is molded to each of you. This should bring the three of you together, not tear you apart.”
“It would be a shame for it to become something so resentful and so toxic when there’s a better solution. Have that dress made for both of them, just make sure only the bride is wearing it on her wedding day.” – Cicada_Siren
Though the subReddit could understand why Anna was upset and feeling left out, they could also agree that there had to be a better way to handle this situation than permanently ruining a family heirloom.
Using some other family pieces, or making an exact replica, might be a better way to go for everyone.