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SIL refuses to let bride in 'financial bind' borrow 'gorgeous' wedding dress. AITA?

SIL refuses to let bride in 'financial bind' borrow 'gorgeous' wedding dress. AITA?


"AITA for refusing to let my sister-in-law borrow my wedding dress even though she's facing financial difficulties?"

I've been put in a tough position and I'm not sure if I'm being selfish here. My younger sister-in-law, Emma, is getting married in a few months. She's always been a bit disorganized with money, but she has a good heart. Recently, she and her fiancé hit some financial troubles, mostly due to unexpected medical bills.

Because of this, they've had to majorly downsize their wedding plans. This is where I come in. I've been happily married for five years, and my wedding dress is, admittedly, gorgeous - a bespoke piece that I saved up for years to afford.

Emma has always gushed over it. Last week, she tearfully asked if she could borrow it for her wedding, saying it would mean the world to her and save her from having to buy a dress she can't afford.

Here's my dilemma: that dress is one of my most treasured possessions. When I bought it, I did so with the intention of keeping it for sentimental reasons and possibly passing it down to my future daughter or family. I treat it with great care and have preserved it perfectly. The thought of something happening to it scares me, especially because Emma can sometimes be careless.

I told Emma I needed to think about it, and after agonizing over the decision, I told her no. I explained my reservations and offered to help her find a beautiful, affordable alternative. She was devastated and said that I didn't understand her situation. Now other family members are saying I should be more compassionate given her financial bind, which leaves me feeling guilty.

On one hand, I feel like I worked hard and saved to afford that dress - it's not just a dress, but a symbol of my own special day and memories. On the other hand, I wonder if I'm being too materialistic and if I should make a sacrifice to help someone I love in a tough situation.

I can afford to replace the dress if something happens to it, but it's not about the money - it's about the sentiment attached to the dress itself. So, AITA for not letting Emma borrow my wedding dress, given her financial difficulties?

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

OkDifference5964 said:

Other Families Members should volunteer resources for SIL dress, or postpone wedding until they can get shit together. Obviously NTA.

kiwi-sparkle said:

NTA. My great grandmother preserved her wedding dress. It was a gorgeous bespoke outfit that survived the really low times my family had. Her grand daughter and great grand daughters got to wear elements of her outfits at their weddings. It was amazingly meaningful to all of us. It’s not just a piece of cloth - it’s a family being started and all the meaning that carries.

Also it’s a good financial lesson for SIL to get what she can afford and live within her means. That includes a wedding she can actually afford inclusive of the wedding dress.

Ps: I also wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t a bit of envy happening with her & other in-laws towards your dress - it’s human nature but not your issue.

Most_Wonder_1871 said:

NTA. That's your dress. Maybe the whole family can pitch in and get her her own wedding dress. Also I see beautiful wedding dresses at Goodwill and other thrift or consignment shoppes. She could also rent one. But your dress should not be up for discussion.

JohnRedcornMassage said:

NTA. All the family members can pool their money to buy her a dress if they actually care so much. It’s easy to be generous with other people’s belongings.

OldPolishProverb said:

The moment the dress is handed over it ceases to be OP’s dress and it becomes SIL’s dress. I am assuming that it will have to be altered to fit SIL. After that I am assuming it will be near impossible to return it to its original form. Have another family member give her their dress. Or possibly rent one. Or just put off the wedding until they can afford the wedding they want.

Inevitable-Slice-263 said:

NTA, it's not selfish to want to save and keep good something that you worked and saved for that is special to you. It was OK for SIL to quietly ask to borrow it but to be devastated and go crying to the rest of the family is immature and selfish. All the family going on at you can pitch in and get SIL a wedding dress.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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