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Man holds sister's wedding dress hostage; 'You don't deserve it after what you did to my son.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

Man holds sister's wedding dress hostage; 'You don't deserve it after what you did to my son.' AITA? UPDATED 2X


When this man holds his sister's wedding dress hostage after she offends his son, he asks the internet:

"AITA for not giving my sister her wedding dress bc she didn't invite my underage son?"

I (40m) have a sister (30f) who is getting married in a week. The groom proposed to her a year ago at a family dinner that left everyone speechless, but very happy for them as they are longtime companions.

During this dinner, my sister asked my son (17m) to make her wedding dress. My son has always loved design and fashion, he took technical courses in these areas and sewing, and even his friends keep asking for his clothes because they are so beautiful.

He agreed, but said that he needed time and that he would need her opinion constantly.

At first my sister was very annoying. My son drew about 50 dress designs in a month and she only liked one, which he continued with. He sewed it with great quality fabric which I paid for as I wanted to get involved in a certain way.

For five months he made several adjustments to suit her wishes, as she always complained about something. After a while, he arrived at the final model and it was just amazing. My mother cried seeing my sister in the dress and I confess that I almost got emotional too.

The problem was that last week my son came to talk to me about the wedding invitation that had not arrived for him, but for other family members. I thought maybe he didn't need one, but it still felt weird.

I messaged my sister raising this issue and she replied that she didn't want any underage people at her wedding because there would be alcohol. I asked if she was going to make an exception for my son, but she cut me off and said no.

There are no children in our family, my son is the only minor, so I didn't see any sense in this rule for family members.

And to make matters worse, my son was very sad and cried because he spent months on this dress and couldn't go to the wedding. I was very upset and told my sister that she should look for another dress as soon as possible, as she would no longer wear the one my son made.

She called and yelled at me, saying I was being unreasonable and that I couldn't do this. My mother called me saying I should deliver the dress and follow the rules, but I didn't and hung up on her. Because of this, the family is divided.

Many agree with me and condemn my sister's action saying she could only make an exception, but another part says I'm unreasonable and I'm spoiling her big day.

I don't think I'm being wrong but just rational and paying her back in kind. So AITA?

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

tiggywinkle writes:

NTA. How unfair of your sister to expect your son to put in hours of work across a long span of time (and in doing so, saving her money), and then not even extend an invitation as a sign of gratitude. Not to mention him being the ONLY member of the entire family being left out?! That has to feel horrible.

It’s also a little insulting that she seems to think your son either can’t be around alcohol ever, and/or will try to drink underage. You’re his parent, and she should leave it to you to decide if you’re uncomfortable with the alcohol component of her wedding in regards to your son.

impossible6 writes:

NTA, I agree with people generally, they get to have the wedding how they like and I absolutely get the no kids rule after watching 2 different kids start screaming their lungs off during my stepsister's wedding a few years ago...

one a baby who couldn't help it to be fair, but the other 5 or 6 and was just being too bratty to sit there and be quiet a few minutes...

That being said, here is my exception. Your sister is incredibly rude and ungrateful, as you said, hes 17, but on top of it HE MADE THE DRESS BECAUSE SHE ASKED HIM TO. Like really?

I wouldn't cave on this honestly, its too late, the only reason shes gonna invite your son at this point is because she wants the dress. Its really your son's call, not yours, but I would make her go find a dress last minute off the rack.

Thats what she deserves. You didn't "spoil her day", she did. Hope she treats the caterer and photographer better than she treated your son. BTW, tell your mother who butted in that she can go make a dress for her daughter if she doesn't like it.

dusttyslay writes:

NTA and I’m getting ‘baby of the family’ vibes here. Im curious if this is the first time she has acted so entitled and difficult about something. Because this is absolute bridezilla territory.

She knowingly withheld letting you know about the no minors rule while your son was making the dress which is exploitation. She planned this and just expects you to be ok with it because the wedding is so close and she can try to pressure you to just give her the dress given that. She’s hoping you’ll just give in and agree.

But you shouldn’t, and you can’t. The ultimatum here is simple: either your son attends the wedding as a guest and gets to enjoy the day, knowing he is responsible and won’t be drinking and for having made the dress as his wedding present to her

OR you write up a full and accurate bill for a coutour custom dress and payment in full is expected before delivery or no dress will be provided and she can get married in her pajamas for all you care.

I read something once and I live by it: “a gift given in love is a gift to be cherished and treasured. But one scorned and abused is a gift undeserved.”

Your son made a gift out of a labor of love for her. He put his time, creativity, and a bit of his soul into the dress. For her, as a present. She is proving she is undeserving of that gift.

Your family doesn’t matter here. All of the other opinions are worthless. YOU do the right thing. Fight for your son, for his efforts and work, and make her pay if she continues to be unreasonable. But come hell or high water, she’s not getting the dress otherwise.

speakeasy writes:

NTA. You son put his heart and soul into this dress. Sure he's seen her in it during fittings, but that's not the same as seeing her wearing it at the actual wedding. Plus, why is she so concerned that there will be alcohol there.

He will be with you, so you can "supervise" him and can even offer to make sure he comes and leaves in the same vehicle as you if she is so concerned that he will drink.

I get that people want "child-free" weddings, but to use alcohol as the reason seems slightly ridiculous. Children are exposed to alcohol all the time and yet manage to not drink and become alcoholics.

Unless she is concerned that it's going to turn into some "free for all" due to all the guests drinking and getting totally wasted, which says a lot more about her friends than it does about your son. If it gets out of control, you will be there to take your son and leave.

pristinemae writes:

NTA, this was a pretty big job to ask of an “underage person”, if she thought he was more than capable to do it, then she should always treat him as an adult instead of alienating him when he’s not convenient anymore.

Also, what the hell is wrong with brides these days? Is it some sort of temporary insanity leading to the wedding? I got married 7 months ago and it was my dream day, all I cared about was looking like a princess and wear my biggest smile because the day goes by so quickly and it’s really about celebrating love.

Parents took their kids, my three cousins (9F, 9M & 6F) were the ring bearers, I didn’t care what others wore, if they had makeup or not, if the hair was professionally done or whatnot, the only request was, look decent (no gym clothes, no jeans lol) while being comfortable and have fun with us.

We were such a relaxed couple that even the staff at the reception congratulated our parents for the people they raised, after everyone left, the same staff opened a bottle of Champagne (free) and toasted with us.

Being nice goes a long way, believe me! Had your sister been a good person and she wouldn’t be in this situation. Make her pay every cent and really think if you want to be at that wedding where your son is not welcome and will be resented not only on the day but the rest of her life.

agy writes:

NTA. Take your brilliant boy and the beautiful dress to the best bridal shop around and see if they can help you set a price. A one of a kind gown might be something they'd like to feature. And in the meantime I bet that young artist might just get an offer.

She is the AH from here to eternity and she can wear a gown from Goodwill or maybe from Wish. To do that to a family member and that family member is a kid who has worked his butt off is indefensible.

Or you could deliver the dress 3 days before the wedding after your son has taken it in two sizes. Either will work. I wish your boy all the success in the world.

grummm writes:

My SIL's sister asked my Mom to design and make her wedding dress. My Mom was a great seamstress. Mom also catered weddings and at first the bride, whom I will call A, wanted that as well but my Mom said it would be too much to make the dress and cater the wedding, so they stuck with the dress.

Like this bridezilla, there were many revisions and it took forever to find the perfect lace, but finally after four months (Mom hand sewed most of it and I did all of the beadwork by hand) it was ready.

The weird thing was, her fiancee, G, showed up with her for the fitting. This was 1995 and my Mom was charging $2000 plus materials for the dress. My beadwork was my gift to her.

Mom's gift was the design, that she did not charge for (would have added another two grand). A had paid all but $800 and loved the dress. She was over the moon about it... Until the last fitting.

I was not there, but Mom said A came in wearing a lot of makeup with G. G immediately began trashing my Mom and her house/work space. Mom tried to focus on A but had a hard time interacting with her, because every time she did G would talk over A.

Mom asked G to leave as A was going to try the dress on for the final time. G said hell no, she was gonna be his wife and he wasn't going to be embarrassed by her trailing down the aisle in some hillbilly trampy dress, he needed final approval.

It is a good thing I wasn't there for that part. So A tried the dress on. According to Mom, the dress looked like something a fairy princess would wear, and I believe it, having seen it on the dummy for months. But she said A looked like anything but a princess and looked like she would rather be anywhere but there.

And G had a fit. Said A looked trampy, said the dress looked like shit, he hated everything about it, he was mad because it was a gorgeous shade of antique ivory rather than pure white (she picked the fabric to match her great grandmother's hand made lace veil) and said everyone at the wedding would call her a tramp.

The bride left red faced and in tears. My Mom called me crying. I left work and drove three hours to comfort her. On my way I called my brother, who is six four and built like a linebacker. I'll call him J.

J and I arrived about the same time. A was his SIL. He asked Mom how much more she was owed on the dress, packed the dress up and left.

About an hour later the phone rang. It was G. He apologized to Mom for what he had said to her and about the dress. He apologized for leaving and not paying her. And he told her her money was with my brother.

J came back with $2000 in cash and told Mom not to even think about G anymore. A few months later, Mom wished she had taken a baseball bat to G and buried his body in the the woods behind her house. She would have done the world a huge favor if she had.

As for OP, NTA. I bet if her son put the dress up on Poshmark for a bunch of money it would be gone in a flash. And if the bridezilla relents and invites him to get her hands on the dress, tell her he's busy with a gaming tourney and doesn't have time for her bridezilla BS.

grae writes:

NTA but bridezilla totally is. I completely understand child-free weddings, but a 17 year old isn’t a child. Especially this particular 17 yo who slaved over a dress from scratch for months! This is clearly a talented and responsible person.

This isn’t a toddler who’ll throw a tantrum or a bratty pre-teen. In less than a year they can vote, join the army, drink in large parts of the world. And they’re being barred from a family event because”there will be alcohol”.

Um, what? Their parents will be there, how out of hand an event would be unsuitable to a 17 yo in the presence of their parents?

aerage80 writes:

This is the clearest case of NTA I have read. It is unconscionable of your sister to pull this stunt after the many hours and creativity your son has poured into this project.

I don't see how this can be resolved. If she relents and invites him, it's a poisoned chalice. At this point, maybe sell the dress to her for all the money.... design time, materials, crafting, and alterations... All. Of. It. I don't even know what a custom designed and constructed wedding dress would cost. In the thousands, I would think.

And update us! I would also love to see a pic of the dress!

And now, OP's update, the next day:

First I would like to thank all the comments and suggestions, I really didn't expect my post to resonate so much.

I talked to my son about the suggestions you guys gave me and he agreed to sell the dress at market price. He calculated the price of everything and the value was quite high. We sent the proposal to my sister and she hated it.

She said she couldn't afford it because it was too expensive and it should be a gift because "she is family". I responded by saying that it was too easy to say she was family to get a free dress, but not enough to include my son. She cried on the call and begged me not to ruin her day, but I didn't call because that to me was bullshit.

At no point did she offer to just let my son go or apologize for it. And for anyone who said that maybe she's homophobic, I'm not sure, but I think who could be influencing her is her fiancé who is a Christian and has never been close to my son. However, I don't care if he's doing it or not.

If she wants to exclude my son from this event then she will also be cutting ties with me.

And for those who are asking for a photo of the dress, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but my son didn't agree and unfortunately I won't post it because of that. If anything else happens I'll let you know, until then, thank you all!

Update 2:

Sorry for the delay, but it's been a busy week. Many family members skipped my sister's wedding and decided to have a party at a cousin's house instead of attending the wedding.

My sister is obviously very upset and has cut us all off her social media. She got another dress to get married, but everyone thought it was cheap compared to what she was going to wear.

And I would also like to inform you that someone already bought the dress that my son made, it was for a good price and that will help him cover his college costs. There's not much to say, but I'd just like to make this final point to let you guys know.

I'm seeing a ton of comments asking if $22k is really how much this would cost. One of Kim Kardashians wedding dresses cost $500,000. I personally believe 22k is a lot for an unknown designer but I am no expert.

Also, remember dad did not say his son got that much for the sale, just that it was a good amount.

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

Sources: Reddit
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