There's nothing quite like a bride who forces her bridesmaids to wear dresses that are deeply uncomfortable and unflattering.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for changing out of her bridesmaid dressing during the wedding reception. She wrote:
My (25F) brother (23M) got married to my SIL (23F) who seemed perfect for him in every way. He proposed to her at Disney world, and as soon as they announced their engagement, she started planning the wedding. Everything was going great, her mom gave her 20k and SIL decided to buy the bridesmaid dresses so she was sure she could have what she wanted.
She asked her 4 best friends and me to be her bridesmaids, and presented the dress options to me because I was the biggest and she wanted to make sure they fit. She got 2 colors in the same size/ style/ brand and the lighter one fit me very well. The darker was extremely tight and short, short enough to not completely cover my downstairs area.
I thought it had been mislabeled, and I showed her. It was the biggest size the dress came in, so obvs I couldn't wear it. She agreed, and put the dresses away. Fast forward to a week before the wedding, and she decides to use the dark color, and has apparently forgotten that it doesn't fit, because she brought out the lighter color for each fitting.
Her mom set up an extra fitting for the dark dress, and the seamstress and I both freaked out once I put it on again. I had lost 5lbs, but gained more boobs (38h) and the dress was baby doll style so it hung well above my hoo-ha. The fabric didn't have any extra to let out seams, and the only thing we could do was replace the straps to make them a couple inches longer.
The chest puckered so much that we sewed the slip part of the dress to the outer fabric to make it less noticeable, and at the end of the day she just told me to wear shorts under it because there wasn't anything else she could do. I told SIL and she just said it couldn't be as bad as I thought, and to deal with it. I said I would rather not be in the wedding at all, and she flipped.
She got the whole (immediate and extended who were already in town) family to talk to me, and I finally agreed to stay on as long as I could wear shorts under the dress. Day of, we were getting ready and I put on my shorts so my underwear wouldn't show. SIL freaked and said they showed under the dress and I couldn't wear them and stop being dramatic.
The other bridesmaids looked sympathetic, but didn't say anything. So I took off the shorts and held the hem as I walked, and the flowers low. I hid in the back of all the photos and the groomsman who walked the aisle with me held my elbow instead of lacing arms so I could still hold my hem and my bouquet.
Immediately after photos and the ceremony, and with permission from the bride and groom from the day before, I changed into a different outfit (same color, no embellishments, but longer). When she saw me later, she started whisper yelling at me that I was so dramatic and I was ruining her wedding and to just leave.
I didn't have a car with me, so I just sat outside the venue until the reception ended so as to not upset her further. She now has a photo from the ceremony hanging on her wall, and I've been photoshopped out of it completely. And she's been reminiscing about the wedding recently, and including me in the conversations, like "OP, do you remember the bridesmaid dresses? Oh they looked so good."
I legit cannot tell if she just doesn't remember or if she's trying to be mean. I'm autistic and not the best in social situations, so I really don't know if I'm being dramatic, or if I should have just said no to being in the wedding even through the pressure of my family.
When I told my parents and brother when we are all together one night that the whole situation made me feel pretty bad, they all said that I was being dramatic. It was her day and it's their house and they can hang any art they want on the walls, and to stop complaining about the past. I hadn't brought it up at all since the wedding, so I didn't think I was complaining all that much, but maybe I was.
Maybe I made the day more stressful for my SIL than it needed to be. Maybe she just wanted to forget it happened and that's why she photoshopped me out of the photo. Am I the AH? What do I do?
NTA. I am not normally petty but OP I would 100% start wearing that dress all over the place to all family events she will be at. Sit on the sofa and flash her your pants and when everyone freaks out say all sweetly:
"Stop being so dramatic SIL loves this dress she bought it for me special to wear to her wedding and all the photos she loves it so much and says it fits so well that she was sad when I got changed. Don't you all remember?"
Go further if you're willing!
"Well I was worried it was a bit short but SIL insists I look BEAUTIFUL and WONDERFUL and LOVELY in it and she would not make me wear something that would embarrassed me would she!? Remember you all said SIL was right? So you must all be right?"
As funny as that might be, SIL took back the dress after the wedding. She wears it to occasions now. And even if I still had it, I'm not sure I'd ever want to put it on again even for ultimate petty revenge.
Wait, how does the dress fit her? I your post you mention that you are much bigger than the others. This brings a whole another level of wtf to this story.
And OP responded:
It fits her as more flowy and she usually wears slightly oversized clothes anyway. She's about 1-2 sizes below me.
NTA but everyone else is especially your SIL. The fact your brother didn’t stand up for you says a lot. Your SIL knew the dark dress did not fit at all and still went ahead with it. Why she couldn’t let you wear the lighter dress? Jealousy maybe? The fact you probably looked amazing so to deter attention from you she forced you to wear the dark dress? Idk that’s what I get from this post.
The fact she photoshopped you out of the family wedding photos says a lot about how she feels about you. There was no apology, no sympathy and your family didn’t have your back. Do not talk to your SIL ever. Btw she was definitely trying to be mean with that little comment. I’m so sorry this happened to you.
Neither of them looked good on me, I'm afraid the babydoll cut just doesn't look good on my body shape. The light dress only fit better. I think she picked the dark one because the color worked better in her color scheme.
Sneak the photo out. Have a friend make small changes that make your SIL look fatter and evil.
And OP responded:
I'm not sure sneaking the photo out would be plausible. She works from home and it's really big.
What your dad means by picking your battles in this particular situation, I would take to mean. Don't fight about it at the actual wedding. The time to fight your corner would have been beforehand. Before, you even had to physically wear the dress. However, you did try to protest about it before, and you acted with as much dignity as you could during the wedding itself. Your SIL is a nasty piece of work.
The only thing I could think that you could have done differently is to have taken photos of how short the dress was and showed your parents and brother well beforehand. You are being treated disgustingly and need to gain some independence and learn stategies for dealing with nasty people. Sadly, those are often those who should have our backs and be closest to us.
I'd be using humour to mask your way out of this. When SIL makes comments about the photos looking good, now say things like, "Well, yes, I'm glad you took my photo out. I wouldn't want your plumber/electrician to see my hooha any time they pop over" "well obviously your 'vision' for your wedding is more important than anyone's dignity!" Or "such a shame you removed me.
I was thinking you could photoshop my underwear to make them stand out even more!" Then shake your head, laugh and walk away. Make her into the pathetic ridiculous creature that she is rather than letting her try and make you into one.
From now on, don't trust her at all. Always document or take pictures, so if nothing else, she can't gaslight you. Was anyone with you when you had the dress altered, by the way?
Yes. I did the fitting with SIL's mom's friend, but once it was done I walked out into the living room where my parents, grandparents, brother, SIL, her mom, and one of my cousins from out of state were sitting. The seamstress came out with me and said there was nothing more she could do without cutting up the dress or adding more fabric to it, and suggested I wear shorts underneath.
Everyone agreed, and SIL very adamantly said no adding fabric or cutting of the dress, it's hers, she bought it. So it was decided, about a week before the wedding, that I'd have shorts on under the dress. I made sure to buy 3 separate pairs for SIL to choose from, all the same color as the dress. We all agreed.
They all failed you in that case! How no one spoke up at that point I don't know. Your SIL is a nasty piece of work. I don't know her but I really don't like her! Can I ask. Is there a big age difference between you two? Were you particularly close with your brother before they met or not really?
And OP responded:
I was 25. She was 23. My bro was also 23, if that matters. I was close with my brother in the way that I think most siblings are? Like we annoyed each other but protected each other most of the time? He used to stand up for me in high school when I was being bullied (though I didn't actually know about that until much later), and he'd always explain innuendos and jokes to me when I didn't get them.
I would make him food and plan birthday parties and stuff for him, and drive him to and from his extracurricular activities and friends houses. One time I spent all the money I had made for almost a year (minus living expenses and food) on paying off a loan he'd gotten to buy a truck.
I didn't fully pay it off, I was working for minimum wage, but it was a pretty big chunk. He would let me hang out with him and his friends. Idk what else could describe our relationship... when he met SIL she was so nice to me and rally felt like part of the family. I helped him pick out her ring and everything.
I followed the advice people gave on my last post, and I showed my family (mom, dad, bro) my post and all the comments. My brother said my SIL feels incredibly embarrassed that she made me wear that dress in the first place, and that's why she did all the stuff (photoshopping me out of the wedding photo on their wall, kicking me out of the reception, etc).
He also said telling me the dresses looked pretty was her way of apologizing. He asked me not to show SIL the post because she'd be so sad and embarrassed. He said she's really trying to forget it happened at all. My mom said she was sorry and that she didn't realize most of that stuff had happened, and didn't know I was still upset about the dress.
She said it was a crappy situation and she understands why I would be upset, and nobody enjoyed seeing me walk down the aisle like that.
She apologized for telling me to not pick that battle, because she realizes now that it wasn't just a small thing to deal with and if she had realized SIL was still going with the dress that didn't fit (with more notice than a day or 2) she would've done something and maybe we could've altered the dress more or whatever.
I think she's really upset that it happened and she couldn't do anything about it, and that I shared it on the internet for strangers to read. My dad laughed at everyone calling my SIL an AH. He thought my post was hilarious. He especially liked that I talked about him explaining the battles phrase, because he is almost never the one explaining phrases to me lol, that's usually mom and brother.
He said I made him sound great. I also sent the post to my cousin (the one who had me in her wedding after bro's wedding) and she told me it "reignited her rage from that day." She invited me to come live with her a whole state away from my parents and brother for a while. I think I'm going to do it. I have not showed the post to my SIL.
I'm a little afraid this has made some things worse, like my family might start fighting about it and it would be my fault. Maybe I should've just been passive aggressive like some people suggested. I'm sorry I don't have better news.
You know what mature people do when they realise they messed up? They apologise to the wronged party. They don't unilateral decide it's time to forget and move on. If SIL is sorry as your brother says, she can muster up the courage to apologise to you. In person. Without any excuses. Until then, I'd just be LC / NC with both of them.
Your brother is an a$$ so is his wife and kind of your mom. Never once did your brother or his wife apologize, your mom said it was uncomfortable to see but did nothing and didn't think it bothered you. You were taken out of the photo by your sister in law in the hope that people will forget what she made you wear so she didn't continue to look like an a$$.
She will never admit it but I bet the thought of oh if I take her out of the photo maybe people will forget what I made her wear. People at the wedding had to be thinking WTF. And I bet that was why she told you to leave. She didn't want anyone to ask you about the dress or your new one at the reception because she would look like a giant asshole for making you wear that.
I don’t believe your brother. If your SIL was embarrassed she’d apologized. She hasn’t and instead she’s taunted you. Move in with your cousin and the day after you move, email the post to the whole family, SIL, bridesmaids and everyone you have contacts for.
Blow up her world because she has not stopped trying to embarrass you. It will not be your fault if your family starts fighting. It will be theirs for allowing SIL to abuse you.
I hate that they downplayed your feelings. You weren't being dramatic. I honestly would limit contact with them until they both own up and apologize. I keep trying to imagine this dress and figure out what she possibly could have been thinking. Why would she want her bridesmaids in a dress that short? Did it different in everyone else?
I was biggest. XL, 38 H chest. The other girls were really thin and looked great in their dresses. It was a dark blue baby doll style dress, the kind where it looks like a high neck halter in the front but it's the same in the back, with really thin straps that are right next to your neck and shows a while lot of shoulder. It had 2 layers, the one layer was a stretchy opaque fabric.
The outer layer was a sheer fabric with no give in either direction that was supposed to look all flowy. Does that help your imagination?
I know your mom couldn’t do much about the dresses probably because of the time thing and they were already paid for but she def could have stepped up and told your brother something when she noticed you were sitting outside all night until the reception ended. She didn’t come out to check on you? I would have told my son something if he treated his sister that way.
Just because it’s “your day” doesn’t give the right to be so atrocious. I’d definitely make sure SIL sees or knows about the post and maybe it would be good to get some space and live with your cousin so you can show your family you know your feelings are valid and that they can’t bully you. I’d go low or no contact for a while and do your own thing!
My mom had lots of responsibilities at the wedding and didn't notice I was gone until she was looking for me so we could carpool home. I'm sure she would've come out to see what was up if she had known. I think I must have written something in my posts that makes her seem more awful than she is, because she was the one who got SIL to agree to shorts and changing dresses at the reception in the first place.
She didn't even see me on the wedding day until I walked down the aisle, and we didn't have a chance to talk until it was already over. I think she thought it would all be fine because I had permission from SIL and my bro for the dress change and the shorts. And she didn't even know about the photo because she never looked closely at it.
It's a photo of the whole thing from the back of the aisle with all the guests and the couple in the middle under the wedding arch.) Similar thing with my brother, on the wedding day. But he was there when SIL told me to leave, so idk about him.
I don’t believe your brother nor her “excuses” this doesn’t pass the smell test. Also, don’t love the back peddling from your mom. Does she usually stand up for you and this was a one off? Go stay with your cousin to get some space. And tell your SIL about the post she needs to know she had been exposed and she can’t play these games because I 100% believe her actions were malicious.
Yes, I think my mom does stand up for me usually. She's usually the one who helps me trying to understand things people say and whatnot as well.
SIL is only embarrassed because she realized it made HER look bad. If she was truly sad and embarrassed, then why hasn’t she reached out to apologize to you? The person she hurt with her actions. I would ask your brother that next time he tries to make bulls$%t excuses. She’s trying to forget it all, without actually having to do the work you’re supposed to when you realize you’ve hurt someone.
OP is clearly NTA at all here, it's good she has her cousin and her mom in her corner.