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Mom refuses to allow daughter to alter her wedding dress, 'she dropped the bombshell on me.' AITA?

Mom refuses to allow daughter to alter her wedding dress, 'she dropped the bombshell on me.' AITA?


"AITA for not allowing my daughter to significantly alter my wedding dress?"

My (44f) daughter (25f) is getting married later this year to her girlfriend (27f). I have always dreamed of walking her down the aisle (my husband passed when she was a child) and she enjoyed talking about a future wedding and playing bride when she was a child, picking flowers and colours and venues. She loved watching the videos of my wedding and seeing me and her father get married and it was important in our bonding. When she was thirteen I promised her my wedding dress.

However her clothing style is more manly, she began refusing to wear dresses or skirts when she was in her late teens, even trying to demand her school allow her to wear trousers, and it was difficult convincing her to wear dresses to formal events. She has gone through phases of wanting short hair, wanting to be a boy, and getting tattoos. I have always been very supportive of all of this, even when she met her girlfriend and proposed to her. I have encouraged her as much as I can. I am contributing significantly to the wedding.

I recently called and asked her when she wanted me to bring over the dress as it would likely need slight alterations and she dropped the bombshell on me that she wanted to wear a SUIT and have my wedding dress altered to remove the skirt portion so that the bodice could be worn with trousers. At first I agreed but dragged my feet bringing the dress over. After a few weeks I changed my mind and told her that the dress was important to me and I didn't want her to ruin it.

When I promised her the dress it was because I thought she would wear it as a dress, and she will only get to wear it if it is a dress. I offered that her girlfriend could wear it as a dress instead but my daughter said that would still be ruining it (her girlfriend is a much larger woman than me so it would need more altering).

She has since not been answering my messages except with saying that the dress would be a connection to her dad so she is disappointed not to have it. I offered to go dress shopping with her for a replacement but apparently some of our family think I am stopping her having the dress because I disagree with her being masculine.

AITA for telling her she can have it as a dress or not have it at all? I may be the ahole because I promised it to her, but that was when she was very young and before I knew she wanted to change it.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

TrainingDearest said:

NTA. You offered to "lend" or let her "use" your dress - not tear it apart in a way that destroys it forever. This dress is yours, with living, breathing memories attached to it. If it cannot be returned to you in it's original state, then NO, you are not the AH for changing your mind about this.

You might need to ask a professional seamstress about what is possible. I'm sure you have other possessions that actually belonged to her dad, and she may be able to incorporate one of them; or re-create your bouquet; cake, or something similar - if that connection is what she's seeking.

psherman82954 said:

NTA. She lost her father, but you also lost your husband, and it makes complete sense that you are sentimental about this dress and don't want it seen altered beyond recognition. Parents don't need to give every part of themselves to their children - you are allowed your own feelings and needs - and wanting to preserve the dress you married your late husband in is totally valid. You made that promise in good faith, and I'm sure would honor it if it didn't mean completely changing this memento.

wonderfulkneecap said:

Basically, you want your wedding dress to remain a dress. And your daughter would like to incorporate it into her wedding outfit, but she doesn't want it to be a dress anymore. If you allow her to alter it, it will still be a family heirloom -- but it won't be a vintage dress. I think you're within your rights to simply tell her that the dress has terrific sentimental value to you and you'd like it to remain intact. Make sure her suit looks awesome though. NTA.

FlyGuy1922 said:

NTA. No there’s simple alterations and then there’s just completely changing the dress. I totally get why you’re reluctant to do so as you’ll never get it back afterwards. Do you have anything of your husbands wedding suit you could offer? Or could the veil be incorporated in some way?

Usrname52 said:

YTA. It's fine to say something like "I know I promised it when you were a kid, but the dress is very important to me the way it is, as a memory of your father." Then it'd be N A H. But your post absolutely drips of disdain that you are thinly trying to cover. You bold SUIT like it's so shocking and wrong. You tell her you don't want her to "ruin it". And you offered to go "DRESS shopping with her". Not wedding outfit shopping, DRESS shopping.

It is your dress, but she wants to make it her own, to honor her father. You want it as a memory of your husband....that'd be fine. But , this isn't her about her changing it (because you seem fine with her future wife significantly altering it as long as it is still a dress), this is about how you don't want her wearing a suit.

entropynchaos said:

YTA because you don't care if significant alterations are made to the dress for your dil, only if the bodice and skirt are separated, which screams that you do have problems with your daughter's masculinity. If you're not willing to allow her to wear the dress, perhaps offer to have the bodice recreated? But what I'd do is talk to someone about how to separate the bodice and skirt so that you can have both of them when the wedding is over.

The opinions were divided here, but most people felt that OP's decision to keep the dress intact was valid. What's your advice for this mom and soon-to-be bride?

Sources: Reddit
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