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Bride won't include mom while wedding dress shopping; parents threaten to back out of wedding. AITA? UPDATED

Bride won't include mom while wedding dress shopping; parents threaten to back out of wedding. AITA? UPDATED


When this bride is fed up with her mother leading up to her wedding, she asks the internet:

"AITA for 'refusing to include' my mom when I go wedding dress shopping + UPDATE?"

I (F29) am engaged to my fiance (M32) and we plan on having our wedding towards the end of this year. We are so excited, and I cannot wait for him to be my husband. Together, we have planned most of the wedding and have organised all of the vendors except for buying my wedding dress.

I have started the process of looking for dresses, but most bridal boutiques are fully booked into 2023 to accomodate all of the weddings which were postponed over the past two years. I have called every boutique within driving distance and have been put on every waiting list.

About a week ago, I received a call from a local boutique telling me that someone had cancelled their appointment and that a spot had opened up if I would like to take it. The only catch is that the appointment will be early in the morning, as most boutiques have extended their business hours to accomodate as many people as possible.

With current restrictions, the boutique only allows for me to bring one guest so I phoned my mom (F52) to invite her along. This is an event that I would really like to share with her, and she has always told me that she'd like to be there.

Unfortunately, as she reminded me, the appointment coincides with her weekly yoga class which she has been attending for 20 years. I explained that the boutique had me on a waiting list and I did not choose the appointment time, but she feels that I "did not push them hard enough".

I phoned the boutique back, and they said that I could either go back on the waiting list, or I could attend. This was their only avaliable appointment, so I confirmed that I would attend.

I phoned my mom back to let her know, and she again declined saying that I should know the time of the class after 20 years. So, I invited my soon-to-be MIL (F58) in my mom's place.

This has caused a rift, with my parents saying that I am excluding my mom from a special experience and "showing my true colors", while my fiance and future in-laws feel that I gave my mom first choice and it was her decision to decline. As of right now, my parents have said that they will not attend the wedding.

I am honestly at a crossroads, I am so grateful that my MIL can attend and we can share something special but I would hate for my parents to miss my wedding because they feel so excluded.

My mom has told me that she will use this experience as an indicator for how I will behave for the rest of my life, and that she is clearly lower down on the priority list than my future in-laws. She has also said that she feels I vindictively chose the appointment time to purposefully exclude her.

AITA for not trying harder to include my mom in a special mother-daughter moment?

Before we give you OP's update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

chrsongy writes:

NTA - I’m so sorry that your mom is behaving like this about her absolutely childish refusal to miss a one in a thousand yoga class.

Please go to the appointment with your MIL. Invite your mom to the fittings. If you’re parents follow through on the threat to skip your wedding, it says more about them than you. Remember you are building a new family with your husband and focus on that joy. Sending you hugs.

curiousaccount09 writes:

NTA in any way. First, as with 90% of wedding related posts: it's your wedding. Second, she is choosing a yoga class over you. She's gone every week for 20 years, I think both she and they'll survive without her for one day.

Third, that they would actually allow this to escalate to not coming to their daughter's wedding tells me they are massively manipulative narcissists. They don't care that they are "bring excluded" they care that they don't get to control every aspect of your life.

Your true colors are not that you're an asshole, it's that you would dare to not rearrange your whole life to avoid a minor inconvenience (missing 1 frickin' yoga class) to your mother.

And on a softer note, absolutely no guarantee you will find your dress at the first boutique you go to. Recommend not even inviting your mother to the next one.

freaoi7 writes:

NTA. Your mother is claiming you chose your MIL over her when in reality she is the one that chose a yoga class over her own daughter.

She’s not having life saving surgery, it’s a weekly yoga class. Surely there have been other occasions over the last 20 years that she’s had to skip the class for some reason? I’d think helping you choose your wedding dress would be a very good reason to miss an exercise class!

Your mother is the one who caused this and now she’s trying to guilt trip you. Is this something she does regularly?

You need to look at her past behaviour and really think about how she treats you before you decide on how to continue your relationship but whatever you decide you should go guilt free dress shopping with your MIL & forget about what your mother thinks.

floopdop writes:

NTA. It's clear that your mother expects you to bow to her and prioritize her. She expects to be privileged. She is out of whack--she has an overinflated sense of her own importance.

You and your wedding are more important that catering to her feelings. She is showing you that going to her nine hundred and fifth yoga class is more important than going wedding dress shopping with you--likely the only time in your life you'll do it!

She's not the queen of your life. If she can't get onboard you'll move on without her, and the truth is not that you are uncaring, it's that she demands you make her the most important person in your life but she's not. And if she can't accept that, she will be left out of your life and it will be ALL HER FAULT.

foreverunfory writes:

NTA. Your mother is manipulating you. She’s going to “use this experience as an indicator for how I will behave for the rest of my life?” Boy oh boy is she being emotionally abusive and manipulative.

If she is going to use this as an indicator then make sure you do NOT back down. Show her you are an adult and she is not your priority. You are your own priority. Your soon to be husband and any children (if you choose to have them) will be your priority-not mother.

You should throw her words back at her. Tell her “I’m going to use this experience of you prioritizing a yoga class over a once in a lifetime event for your daughter as an indicator for the type of mother and grandmother you are or rather will not be in my life and the lives of any future children.

I cannot control the boutique’s availability but you are quite capable of missing one yoga class, you have after all attended 20 years worth of them. If a yoga class is more important to you than your daughter then by all means please do not attend my wedding.”

ouet56 writes:

NTA. Your mum is a massive AH. If she feels that this is such an important occassion, she'd make the effort to be there. This is your only opening to get it done in an extremely busy market.

If she can't shift a yoga class for it, then it can't have been that important. If she then wants to bail on the wedding because she didn't prioritise properly, that's on her.

Essentially she has decided that her yoga class is more important to her than her own daughter's wedding. If that's the case, she should probably just drop out of your life altogether, lest anything wlse in your future life threatens to disrupt the sacred class.

sacredhyet writes:

NTA. My mother did not want to attend my wedding because she was not interested in visiting the area where I lived. Her sister forced her to go.

When I was pregnant with my first child, she told me the due date was 'an inconvenient time of the year' for her due to her boss's golf tournament she helped with (and Golden Grandson's birthday). She made no effort to meet my baby for over six months.

But if you ask her, my husband and I prefer money to family and that is why we live far away and never visit. My therapist told me I will never earn her acceptance/approval and I need to decide what to do.

OP, your mother is like mine. Nothing you do will ever make her happy, so just quit trying. I know it hurts, but you deserve so much better. And shame on your father for enabling her poor treatment of you.

chiloo6 writes:

You sound like a wonderful young lady that anyone would love to have as a daughter. Your mother does something so heinous and then twists it around until you are questioning your behavior.

Classic narcissism. Heck if it’s raining outside, I’d skip the yoga class. That’s the beauty of yoga classes. They are not mandatory. Most women dream of the day their daughter gets married and they want to be part of the entire planning process. I know I did.

Narcissist are incapable of seeing that they are wrong in any way. They are irrational, they lack empathy and they are master manipulators. Your mother cannot comprehend why the entire world can’t stop for her YOGA class.

I would call her bluff and take your parents off the guest list and let your mother-in-law be involved in the planning. She deserves to be involved and will be thrilled you ask. From here on keep your mother at a distance.

I know all this because I was married to a narcissist for 30 years. It doesn’t get better with age. You are not the asshole and you deserve better.

swetininterview8 writes:

NTA I am so so sorry but your mum has told you clearly a yoga class is more important than her daughter to the point of refusing to go to your wedding.
I am so so sorry your mum isn’t the person you think or cares and loves you like she should.

The fact they are refusing your wedding over a yoga class is insane and seems like she is typical narcissist. Where everyone and thing has to revolve around her and her choices even when it’s daughters wedding.

Go with someone who does care about you and wedding your MIL and please don’t let parents ruin your wedding. I know you desperately wanted them their but they obviously don’t regardless of it being a special thing for you and husband.

You can try and fix things but mother will never see she is wrong and expect full apology and you possibly not being able to get an actual wedding dress and she still wouldn’t be happy.

When people show you their true self and their priorities, which don’t include you believe them, they will continue to hurt you worse than their actions here has done.

furyer writes:

NTA what is wrong with your parents?! Wow do they not understand what a waitlist is? It means you only get an appointment if the current person with that appointment cancels!

There is NO pushback or other options! It’s this time/date or put at the bottom of the wait list. Your mom prioritized yoga over her daughter. Your parents are now saying your showing your true colours.

Your parents are disgustingly toxic. I would tell them that you did not exclude your mother, your mother excluded herself. You did not show your true colours your parents did.

Then I would take a spare wedding invitation or just a card or not or something if you haven’t sent the invitation ms out or don’t have them yet and write that as your mother has decided yoga is more important and excluded herself from wedding dress shopping and resorted to being nasty to you that this is their official DIS-invitation.

Seriously it’s hard to do but having that kind of negativity around is harder. Congratulations on your engagement and your upcoming wedding and I’m glad your future MIL is there for you.

fizzfuzington writes:

NTA. This must be very upsetting. Hugely disappointing for you to not have your parents at the wedding. But you've done absolutely nothing wrong, and they have let you down.

Your parents are making a terrible choice by missing your wedding. Deep down they know that, which is why they'll work extra hard to convince everyone that you excluded them.

How can they admit that they chose not to attend your wedding in order to remind you who's boss? They can't even admit that to themselves. So instead they'll miss a big moment in your life and play the victim about it, probably forever.

I think there are two issues here for your mother. The first is simply: she cracked the whip and you didn't jump. You refused to fall in line with her wishes. So she's upping the ante to restore the balance of power in the relationship to her side.

I expect it will be a painful experience for everyone as your mom gradually learns that the balance of power in your relationship has changed for good because you are no longer a child.

Every parent has to renegotiate their relationship with their kids as the kids become independent adults. Essentially, your mom needs to learn that she no longer gets to call the shots in your life. It may take the rest of her life, or she may never learn.

Second, I think it likely that part of the issue for your mother is that your guest at the bridal store is a new mother-figure for you. And your mom feels threatened by that.

She may be afraid that your MIL taking her place at the bridal store is a sign that your MIL will take your mom's place in your life. If your MIL is a considerate, low-drama person, then maybe your mom even knows that she will not compare well.

All you can do there is continue to let your mom know that she is important to you. And continue to offer her opportunities to be part of your life. It's up to her to take those opportunities. Alternatively, she can choose to spurn them, like an angry toddler. That's her choice!

And now, OP's update:

Thank you to everyone who offered some perspective on my original post, the strength of strangers and the support from my new family has been so lovely.

The morning of the appointment, my MIL and I were dropped off at the bridal boutique by my fiance. To my surprise, my mom had skipped her yoga class and was waiting for us.

My mom told me that she is still happy to attend the appointment despite everything that I have put her through and told my MIL that she was free to leave. My mom also announced that she will be paying for any dress I choose to signify her "importance as the mother of the bride".

Before I could even open my mouth to respond, my fiance was telling my mom that she was not welcome at the appointment and that we did not need her money.

I stepped in and told my mom that she rejected two invitations to attend, and that her own actions had caused all of her stress. I also said that I will be trying on dresses with my MIL because she has acted more like a mother to me than my mom ever has.

My mom put up a quite a fight but my fiance made sure that she left before leaving himself. After a few tears, I had a wonderful time with my MIL. I have since learnt that my MIL was raised in an emotionally abusive home, so she is very understanding.

Unfortunately, I was not able to find a dress at the boutique but I no longer need one because my fiance and I have decided to get married in court with my in-laws as witnesses. My MIL has offered her wedding dress for the occassion. Apparently she wanted to offer it sooner, but ironically did not want to step on my mom's toes.

We have been able to recover the deposits from most of our vendors, and told all the guests that we decided on a smaller wedding instead. Everyone has been very understanding, aside from my mom.

She insists that she had always intended on going bridal shopping with me and had told me that she had a conflicting schedule because she wanted to surprise me on the day. My mom says that she only became upset when I invited someone else along before confirming that she could make it.

My mom is, as far as I am aware, trying to have me "kicked out of the family" by spreading the story that all of my behaviour has been a vindictive plot against her. Thankfully, everyone still seems to be quite happy to include me.

The truth is, my mom has always guilt tripped and emotionally blackmailed me, but it has taken me a long time to recognise that most families don't operate like mine. To be honest, I am tired of it all.

For now, I have my wonderful fiance who has been so supportive, and his family who I love. My parents have been officially told that they are not welcome at the wedding, and I haven't heard much from them since. I don't think that they ever expected me to recognise their behaviour and stand up for myself.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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