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Woman Sparks Drama After Inadvertently Dressing Nicer Than The Bride At A Family Wedding

Al Elmes / Unsplash

When deciding what to wear to an event it’s best to follow any guidance provided by the organizers.

But what if your invitation’s dress code doesn’t match what people are wearing on the day?

A woman found herself on the outs with distant family after she followed the dress code from the invitation for her cousin’s wedding. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Redditor Most_Ad9687 asked:

“AITA for dressing nicer than the the bride at my cousin’s wedding?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I got invited to my cousin’s very small wedding, which was last week. I had never met her before the wedding, so I knew it was important to make a good impression.”

“I also have deep insecurities about how I look due to being bullied as a child, so I always need to look as nice as possible when I’m going out, even just to get coffee.”

“I started planning what I would wear immediately. The invite said cocktail attire, and I settled on a tea length dress I had worn to other people’s weddings, with matching colored chiffon shawl and flats as well as a real pearl necklace and earrings.”

“I didn’t buy anything new for this, just did my best with what I have. I made sure my makeup was decent and didn’t clash, and made sure to get my hair cut a week before the wedding so it would look its best as well.”

“Well, I think I was the only one at her wedding that cared how they looked. Most of the 30 guests were in t-shirts/polos and shorts.”

“I was one of two guests wearing a dress. The bridesmaid wore something that looked like it was out of Hot Topic.”

“The groom wore a tuxedo shirt and black jeans. The bride wore…holy hell.”

“The bride wore a custom gothic dress that looked like a purple, red, and black patchwork dress. Her hair was not brushed, and she did black makeup so heavily that you could barely see her face.”

“I was shocked.”

“Several people came up to me during the reception to say that I looked nice, but was upstaging the bride, which was not my intention. The bride herself was quiet the whole night.”

“I tried to try to get to know her as that’s what she requested, but she wasn’t interested. The wedding ended and on my way home, I got flooded with calls from her mother and new husband that I was a horrible person for ‘dressing like Grace Kelly’ and going out of my way to ‘make the bride feel ugly at her own wedding’.”

“I didn’t, I just can’t go somewhere, especially to what I thought was a formal event, looking less than my best.”

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

Overall, Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole…

“NTA. If the invite said cocktail attire, why was every other guest dressed for a BBQ? Why was the groom in jeans?”

“And by tuxedo shirt, do you mean a shirt designed to be worn with a tuxedo, or (and this is what I’m picturing) a t-shirt with a tuxedo printed on the front?”

“You were definitely dressed appropriately IMO (I’m not fancy enough to know whether tea length dresses are too long for cocktail attire).”

“I would however focus on the fact that you thought you were dressed appropriately for a wedding, rather than your desire to look your best. The former makes this an unhappy misunderstanding, the latter makes it seem like you would prioritize your appearance to the extent that you could feasibly try and upstage a bride.” ~ foibleShmoible

“NTA. The invite said cocktail attire. You wore cocktail attire.”

“It seems like the bride and groom have an entirely different version of this concept which was on them to communicate, especially to people who weren’t in their close immediate circle.”

“You said you never met this cousin before the wedding so maybe it’s best to go back to this type of relationship now. Seems drama.” ~ phelgmdounuts

…although some felt no one else was the a**hole either…

“Gonna go out on a limb and say NAH.”

“Traditional cocktail attire is supposed to be a little glamorous (couple accessories, clutch bag, lil heel etc), so you didn’t screw up there… It just seems they had another idea of what that may have meant.”

“You mentioned how self conscious you can be, and that’s fine, we’re all a work in progress… in the same vein, you being ‘shocked’ by their style is the same judgment you fear from others before going out.”

“Crap like this can happen anytime, lighten up and lean into it a tad more :)” ~ bb-babsy

“You’re not the a**hole for how you dressed. You had no way of knowing any different and, based on the dress code you were given, it sounds like you did the best with the info you had.”

“However, your comments about the bride and groom’s dress come across as somewhat judgmental, in particular the ‘holy hell’ comment and the way you italicized ‘gothic’.”

“That is an a**hole attitude. I’m going with NAH, with the caveat that if OP was being judgmental, she needs to examine that attitude.” ~ Lower_Picture5345

…while a few felt the OP’s comments about the other guests and the wedding party did make her the a**hole.

“ESH. They’re the a**holes for getting mad at you for following the dress code, and you’re the a**hole for the obvious judgement your passing on their choice of wedding.”

“This last part might just be me because I’m not wealthy, but pearls seem out of place to me at a wedding reception.” ~ DesperateInCollege

“YTA. Not for dressing your best, but for not adjusting it when you realized it was more casual and when you were called out on it.”

“You wore the perfect outfit to dress down and make more casual: take off your pearls and shawl and leave them in your purse/car. I bet you would have still looked super cute, but also may have been a bit more comfortable fitting in.”

“Great outfit choice, I bet you looked super cute! Next time take advantage of how easy it is to dress up or down.” ~ Letscuredepression

But the majority still assured the OP that her choice of attire was not wrong.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.