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Mom Called Out For Paying For Stranger’s Wedding Dress But Not Her Own Daughter’s Dress

Jonathan Borba/Unsplash

While parents always want to be there for their children, it’s not uncommon for parents to teach their children that some things must be earned.

Even if they could otherwise afford to, there are some parents who will choose not to lend their children money or give handouts.

This is almost never to be malicious or cruel, but simply to teach them not everything in life is free and easy.

Redditor Certain-Structure699 and her husband raised their children with this mindset, only occasionally giving them help, but otherwise forcing them to make their own way.

But having been raised this way, their daughter was less than pleased to learn of a recent chartiable act performed by her mother.

Having second thoughts about what she’d done, the original poster (OP), took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA For Paying for another bride’s wedding dress but not my daughter’s?”

The OP first shared why she and her husband chose to raise their children by having them earn their own way through life, and give them as little help as possible.

“My husband and I worked hard and managed to become financially secure adults after both of us grew up in poverty.”

“We raised our children to work hard.”

“We did not spoil them or provide them with a lavish life.”

“As teens they all had part-time jobs but we did purchase them their own used cars which they were required to maintain.”

“We also paid for college and we paid for our oldest two kids’ weddings.”

“However, we were merely the ones paying and we did not provide any input or suggestions unless asked.”

“The only thing we didn’t pay for for their weddings was our son’s tuxedo and our oldest daughter’s wedding dress.”

“Our youngest daughter, Michaela is engaged and we are paying for her wedding with the exception of her dress, she must buy her own wedding dress.”

Michaela initially wasn’t offended by this prospect, but things took an interesting turn the day she and her parents went wedding dress shopping.

“Michaela invited her daddy and me to watch her try on dresses with the bridal party.”

“She found a beautiful dress in her budget and we were so honored to have been allowed to take part in her finding the dress and seeing herself as a bride.”

“While there, I complimented another bride on a dress she was wearing and her mother and I struck up conversation.”

“I learned that the family were low-income and both the bride and groom and the bride’s parents had taken out loans to have a beautiful wedding.”

“The bride is also plus-sized and I learned that she’d been to six different stores and there had only been a few options for her size and all of them had just been awful.”

“The bride ended up falling in love with the last dress she tried, but was heartbroken to learn that the consultant had misread the price tag and the dress was actually $1000 over budget and with alterations to make it her size it was another $1400.”

“The bride took the dress off and said she’d try to find something online.”

With the young bride-to-be reminding her a great deal of herself, the OP felt obligated to help her out, and did so in a very meaningful way.

“I grew up poor and I was also a chubby kid.”

“I was bullied and I was very unhappy.”

“I always wanted more and in this bride I saw myself and I didn’t want her to have to settle for a dress that fit versus a dress she loved.”

“So while my daughter was changing I asked the other bride if I could pay the difference on her dress.”

“It was very emotional, we all held each other and cried, she accepted.”

“I very happily paid the difference on her dress.”

“Her mother, herself and I are now friends on Facebook and my husband and I have been invited to the wedding, which we will gladly attend.”

“I felt very honored to have been allowed to help this girl in a small way band being invited to her wedding was so unexpected and so amazing.”

Less taken by the OP’s act of charity was Michaela, particularly after she’d paid for her own wedding dress.

“When Michaela found out about this, she threw a fit and said that I obviously had shown how I truly feel about her wedding and herself, and if I cared at all I’d have paid for her dress, too.”

“She’s now not speaking to me or to her father (who didn’t even have a hand in this, which is unfair).”

“She has now uninvited us from the wedding.”

“We’re so hurt and confused.”

“Was I an asshole?”

“I want to add: Michaela didn’t know I’d paid for the dress while we were at the bridal shop.”

“She was in the fitting room doing a last-minute try-on and I took the opportunity to go to the payment counter during that time.”

“So, Michaela didn’t lose any of my attention.”

“In fact we were all done, she’d picked her dress, we’d celebrated, she wasn’t in the same part of the shop as us.”

“She didn’t find out until a few hours later at dinner when her dad accidentally revealed it then.”

“He’s a little talkative and didn’t mean to reveal it.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

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

The majority of theReddit community applauded the OP’s generosity, and in no way felt she was the a**hole for helping buy the stranger’s dress.

Many Redditors were quick to point out that even if the OP didn’t pay for the dress, she and her husband were paying for the wedding, which made their daughter revoking their wedding invitations seem quite ungrateful.

“Take a deep breath and then say, ‘I understand, however if I’m not invited neither is my checkbook’.”

“Also: NTA.”-EntrepreneurAmazing3.


“If Michaela has uninvited you to the wedding, she has obviously uninvited your dollars too.”-wind-river7.


“You’re paying for your daughter’s entire wedding except the dress.”

“You are doing far, far more for her than your kind act to a stranger.”

“Tell your daughter that you will not be paying for any wedding that you’re not invited to.”-Publius246.


“Ask her if she’d prefer you to pay for her dress and she can pay for the wedding.”-del901.

“Your daughter is spoiled rotten.”


“Tell her if you’re uninvited then you’ll request refunds on everything (you likely can).”

“Scratch the likely, I know you can.”

“I’ve done it.”

“You paid for someone to have their dream dress because they wouldn’t be able to otherwise, and your daughter is mad that you’re ONLY shelling out how many thousands for her?”- SoleIbis.


“What you did was lovely.”

“Your daughter has had the gift of school, vehicle purchase and a wedding debt free.”

“She only had to provide the dress to ride off into the sunset.”

“Do not let her fault you for a gesture of kindness for someone that needed something good.”

“Your daughter is being selfish.”-Comprehensive_Bank29.


“She should have been beaming with pride on having such generous parents and coming from such privilege.”

“Your daughter is entitled.”

“If you’re uninvited from the wedding are you still going to pay for it?”-PinkMoon1988.

“NTA you’re paying for the wedding the same way and with the same conditions as her siblings.”

“Your act of kindness is unrelated to your daughter.”

“However I suspect she invited you dress shopping hoping you’d pay for her dress or the difference of what she couldn’t afford.”

“Up to you to still pay for the wedding after being uninvited.”

“What do your other kids say?”- Anizziepluto.

There were, however, a select few who took Michaela’s side.

Some felt that Michaela’s reaction may have stemmed from the fact that the dress she ended up purchasing was not her “dream dress”, as she had said it was.

“OP I honestly wonder if the dress your daughter bought is her dream dress.”

“I have a feeling that she can’t afford to pay for her dream dress, and you paying for another bride’s dress really hurt her since you’re not willing to do the same for her.”- Both_Pound6814.

While others felt it was insensitive, if not hypocritical, for the OP to pay for an expensive wedding dress for a stranger, and not even offer to at least contribute to help Michaela buy a dress.


“This comments section is wild.”

“Your money is your own, sure.”

“It’s very nice to pay for your daughter’s wedding, and to buy someone else a dress.”

“But seriously?”

“The one special day when your daughter deserved your undivided attention and emotions and you nip off while her back is turned to buy the one most arguably special thing you did not even buy your daughter’s for someone else WHILE SHE WAS OBLIVIOUS, FEET AWAY.”

“Really? “

“The dress is meant to be special.”

“Was this other woman’s dress more expensive than your daughter’s?”

“Because I would also be sore thinking of the other dresses I had secretly wanted but knew I wouldn’t be able to afford not even having a chance to even try on, yet my mother is just willy nilly handing out money to strangers.”

“Again, sure, it’s your money, do what you want with it.”

“But it’s not like you offered to cover a stranger’s gas, wedding dresses are inherently emotional and I can’t believe you don’t understand how your daughter would be upset by this.”-FoxesStoleMyGloves.

One could argue that Michaela’s frustrations are understandable.

But she should nonetheless consider herself lucky that her parents are covering the cost for the rest of her entire wedding, something not everyone is lucky enough to say their parents would do for them.

One does hope that Michaela and her parents patch things up in time for the wedding, even if she is still angry at them.

As she will no doubt regret not having her parents at her wedding for years and years to come.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.