So I, 27F, am a black African woman. I'm living and working in Germany for a fixed period on secondment. While here, I became quite friendly with a colleague, 60F, and she invited me to her daughter's wedding. I was excited as I've never been to a white wedding.
I asked if there was a dress code/colour scheme to adhere to since it wasn't specified on the invite. I was told the code is "dress to impress." Bet. Day of the wedding, I understand the assignment.
I wear my traditional wear, which is really beautiful and obviously not German. The garment is green, so no problem there. Or, so I thought. I get a lot of questions and compliments at the wedding, which I genuinely downplayed because its not my day.
My colleague seems colder than usual but I pay it no mind since she's the mother of the bride and could be preoccupied. The bride is downright rude to me, but again I give her grace. I congratulate her and thank her for including me and I get a tight 😐 in response.
I keep to the edges of the room as the music isn't really my vibe and I'm just observing how European weddings work. I leave around 8 (after 5 hours) and go home before the wedding finishes.
Monday, I walked into whispers in the office, people acting strangely and more reserved than usual. An office friend pulls me aside and fills me in: bride's mother is fuming. My outfit was too extravagant, over the top and inappropriate. I drew attention from the bride and commandeered the room: I was rude and disrespectful. She's told people all about it, apparently.
I approach the MOB and ask to speak but she says she has nothing to say to me. I ask her why she has something to say to everyone else about me but not to me. She calls me an insolent child. I try to explain to anyone who scolds me that this was my first white people wedding.
I specifically asked what to do wear and followed the guidelines. Where I'm from, there's no such thing as 'outshines the bride' - weddings are a fashion show and a chance to wear your best and brightest clothes.
They told me this isn't Africa (which was racially coded) and people here have manners. I laughed and told that person to go to hell, so she's telling people I lack remorse for my behaviour. I'm wondering if I really am the a-hole though?
Edit: the dress inspo I showed to my tailor is now on my profile to help you.
You asked Al the right questions. Just because there is a break in how the two different cultures dress at weddings isn't your fault. You were told to dress for the occasion by the brides mother no less.
Although it might have been inappropriate in the bride and the motb eyes from what I read the guests were intrigued by your outfit. Pay no attention to their small minded jealousy. Next time you know to ask more questions to cater to their likes.
NTA and wow… glad you told the racist off. They should have explained what they meant.
Also, have these people never seen African clothing before? And wow… that is one insecure bride.
I’m beginning to think that some brides are so concerned about being “outshone” that they want everyone else to come wearing garbage bags. NTA, the dress looks lovely! The mother and daughter are the AHs.
NTA. You asked, you got an answer that maybe wasnt enough to get you all on the same page.
Would love to see a picture of your dress to judge of it was to much for a german Wedding, but no matter the dress, not your fault for sure.
NTA. If someone came to my wedding in their traditional clothing, I would find it so cool. Your coworker and her daughter are the AHs here.
NTA. You dressed to impressed and followed their exact guidelines. I JUST got married 2 weeks ago. I had a Halloween themed wedding and my dress was black. The only "restriction"I had was no costumes (husband is no fun lol). Anyway, lots of guests wore black and some wore black dresses!
I LOVED IT!! EVERYONE was able to decipher who the bride (me) was with zero confusion and I wanted all my guests to feel and look as beautiful as I did no matter what they wore. I had plenty of attention that night. One guest dressed in like a neon yellow/green tight dress and I HAD to find out who she was because I wanted to compliment her on her outfit.
The mother and bride in your story are being ridiculous. You probably looked beautiful and rightfully got attention from that. They sound insecure and while I can acknowledge it is the "bride's day" I doubt VERY MUCH any attention was taken away from her.