in , , ,

Mom Called Out For Refusing To Let Daughter Wear Her Late Younger Daughter’s Wedding Dress

Miryana Slivenska / EyeEm / Getty Images

The death of a loved one isn’t just a tragedy, it’s a trauma.

That trauma can manifest in a thousand ways and can be with the survivors for decades after the passing.

What happens when a request from a family member rubs too closely against that trauma?

That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) helpfubdthispkeas when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.

They asked:

“AITA for not letting my elder daughter have my younger’s wedding dress?”

OP began with a disclaimer and some background.

“Names have been changed, I’m 55 and Amelia is 32.”

“My husband and I have two daughters, Opal and Amelia.”

“Opal and her fiance Jack passed away four years ago.”

“Her wedding dress had been bought and my baby never got to wear it.”

“I kept the dress, I don’t look at it much anymore, but it’s just one of those things that reminds me of her, and also Jack who I viewed as my son.”

Then they got to the inciting situation.

“Amelia is getting married to Liam.”

“She asked me if she could have Opal’s dress, she said she loves the style/design and wants to tweak it a bit to better match her tastes.”

“I said no, Amelia told me that Opal didn’t wear it so no one’s seen it, and I can’t keep it in a corner gathering dust forever.”

“I’ve insisted no multiple times and that Amelia can get her own dress, maybe similar to Opal’s design but she can’t have this one.”

“Amelia said life is for the living and I’m making things harder for her, she offered to pay and buy it from me but I still refused.”

“It seemed like Amelia understood, but this past weekend our family and Liam’s family went to dinner, his mom pulled me aside and said that Amelia is upset about this whole thing and the wedding planning is already difficult.”

“So I could compromise and make it a bit easier for her by giving her the dress.”

OP was left to wonder,

“Now I’m thinking if I really am being unreasonable. My husband thinks I’m in the right, but some third-party opinions would be nice.”

Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors decided: NTA

Some felt that Amelia had an ulterior motive.


“It would be one thing if she were talking about how it makes her feel connected to her sister, a way to make her sister’s presence felt at the wedding, a special remembrance, etc.”

“That’s not what she said. She even wants to change the dress.”

“It sounds to me like she thinks it’s a convenient way to save $$.” ~ TheShineyGlitter

“Amelia wants to save money, she even said her reasoning is ‘no one will know’ it’s Opal’s.”

“You know who knows? The OP.”

“The one who has said no multiple times and wants to keep the dress intact.” ~ CuteTemperature9091

“OP, I have read your previous replies.”

“I want you to know that this is not about the dress. It never was.”

“It was about the one thing Opal had that she doesn’t.”

“Since you have set up a pattern of indulging Amelia of course it is her expectation that you hand it over.”

“From your comments, there was nothing that Opal had that Amelia wasn’t either jealous of or wanted and got. I applaud you for holding firm now.”

“NTA, but know by viewing the issue as only about the dress is not seeing the forest for the trees.”

“This is about her taking over the last thing that was truly her sister’s. Stay strong.” ~ Athenas_Return

Others believed that the request was cruel.


“I’m deeply sorry for your loss u/amithe*sshole46”

“Please don’t compromise on this.”

“Opal sounds like an amazing daughter, and Amelia sounds deeply spoiled and jealous.”

“It’s ghoulish and creepy for her to say ‘life is for the living’ as an excuse to steal her deceased sister’s custom-made wedding dress”

“I’m sorry to reiterate what you seem to know: Amelia is incredibly spoiled.”

“Her MIL is also being wildly inappropriate — tell her firmly to mind her own business.”

“Don’t give her the dress, and definitely don’t let her alter it. Let Opal have this one thing.” ~

There was also concern that Amelia won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

“Please keep the dress somewhere safe where Amelia cannot get to it.”

“I am so sorry.” ~ redditwinchester

“I have been looking for this comment.”

“Please put it somewhere safe.”

“We’ve all read too many AITAs and know that Amelia might try to steal it, and that might permanently damage OP’s relationship with her.” ~ zootnotdingo

“Please, take the dress somewhere safe as Amelia may just steal it from you!” ~ MidwestNormal

Many pointed out that boundaries need to be firmly enforced.


“I’m so bothered by ‘we’ve had multiple discussions about this’ – clearly Amelia is not taking ‘NO’ for an answer.”

“That is unacceptable and disrespectful.”

“You need to shut this down hard, OP. If she brings up the dress again just say you are not having this conversation.”

“Asked and answered!”

“I’m sorry for your loss. Opal sounds lovely.” ~ barmybarmaid


“Amelia surely is spoiled.”

“Now she needs to learn ‘no means no’ more than ever.”

“Invite her over to dinner and sit down and talk to her about it. And no, it’s not about clinging to the past. The trauma for a mom losing a child is huge. She needs to understand and accept that.”

“But you should give the MIL a serious talk about tampering in things she needs her nose to keep out of.”

“And don’t worry, Amelia might be upset and disappointed, but she’ll survive.” ~ Vovin_

Some responses did try to give Amelia the benefit of the doubt.

“I feel like we could be getting a very unfinished issue, and what I mean is this:”

“(The following is an assumption, therefore there’s no judgment, I’m just saying I’m not going to assume the worst about Amelia because there is very little info about how Opal’s death affected Amelia and what the relationship was like)”

“It’s entirely possible Amelia wants it to have a piece of her sister there for her. Mom is only showing us her thought process, honestly.”

“If I passed, I’d want my sis to have it.”

“If I were in Amelia’s shoes, I’d pay anything or do anything for that dress because it means that my sister’s dress isn’t wasting away in the closet.”

“It means I wish she was there.”

“Now my sister is shorter than me so I’d have to get it tweaked too if I was in this situation, but I lean toward having no judgment because it’s a tough situation all around.”

“Amelia didn’t steal the dress and accepted ‘no.’ She’s unhappy and upset, but I think there’s a big possibility that it’s not about a free dress and more about her sister”

“I could totally be off base though”

“NTA based on OP’s comment and thank you kind strangers for the awards!” ~ IntentionPerfect

MIL was not spared judgment.

“Wow, NTA.”

“That dress means a lot to you and it’s your decision if you want to let Amelia use it or not. It’s also not MIL’s place to involve herself in something between you and your daughter.” ~ finsternis86

“Holy sh*t I can’t believe the MIL inserted herself. Yikes.” ~ classicgirl1990


“I just love when people ask others to compromise when there is actually no middle ground possible.”

“Either Amelia gets her unreasonable way or she doesn’t.”

“There is nothing to compromise here.”

“Amelia is just cheap and wants a dress gifted. She didn’t even mention an emotional connection to her sister according to the post” ~ baewcoconutinmyarms

“I’ve found a lot of people don’t know the meaning of the word ‘compromise’. It seems they think it means ‘give me all my way'”.~ Eerawai

“This is what stuck out to me.”

“If you ask someone to compromise you should… You know… Mention a compromise.” 

“She wants the dress, you don’t want to give it to her, you should compromise by giving her the dress. Absolutely outstanding reasoning!”

“A possible compromise could have been, and just for sentimental reasons toward the late sister, no modifications and wear it only for the ceremony or no dress but you wear her veil.”

“Or if you just want to feel your sister close take a small piece of lace or fabric from her wedding dress/veil/accessories and sew it on your dress…” ~ HolidayPanda9790

“Yeah, some people seem to use ‘compromise’ to mean ‘you compromise your position’ without offering to compromise themselves”

“Compromise doesn’t have to be mutual, but in the context of negotiations, it’s generally assumed that it is – unless you’re dealing with a narcissist.” ~ Chaghatai

Trauma doesn’t just go away with time.

The loss of a loved one – particularly a child – is something that never really goes away.

Sometimes, we can focus that trauma on a place or a smell or, yes, a dress.

Be understanding of the pain of others.

Written by Frank Geier

Frank Geier (pronouns he/him) is a nerd and father of three who recently moved to Alabama. He is an avid roleplayer and storyteller occasionally masquerading as a rational human.