Bride sparks debate with extremely specific dress code for guests

‘Dressing up should be optional,’ one person responds

Amber Raiken
New York
Thursday 21 March 2024 16:31 GMT
Related: Herd of ghosts interrupt couple’s wedding photo

A bride has sparked a debate over her extremely specific dress code for the guests at her wedding.

In a recent post shared to the popular “Am I The A**hole?” Reddit forum, the woman asked if she was in the wrong for implementing the dress code for her fantasy/renaissance-themed wedding. She went on to describe her and her partner’s common interests, from video games to movies to comic books, before explaining that they even met at a renaissance fair.

She noted that when she discussed the theme with her “close friends,” they all thought it was a “great idea”. From there, she explained how she described the renaissance theme and dress code in her invitations.

“So we sent out the invitations plus an attached letter that explained why we wanted to have a themed wedding and examples of the type of things we wanted people to wear,” the bride-to-be wrote. “We included photos, descriptions, and budget categories that went from how to DIY a costume using old/thrifted clothes to just straight out buying something online. We also asked people to reach out if they had any worries so we could work something out.”

The Reddit poster noted that friends told her that other people, including the groom’s family members, weren’t happy with the dress cold and were calling her a “bridezilla”.

She went on to share the guests’ candid thoughts about the dress code, adding: “[They were] saying we are being unreasonable, that this is ridiculous, that they don’t want to go if I’m going to get all up in arms over clothing.”

The woman specified that her soon-to-be mother-in-law and sister-in-law were “especially pissed,” so she reached out to them about the situation. However, things then took a turn when the groom’s family began criticising the bride over the dress code.

“They said I am ruining what is supposed to be a happy day by demanding people dress up like idiots,” she continued. “They said everyone should be allowed to dress in what makes them feel comfortable and I am being very controlling. My partner says not to listen to them but there are so many people saying it.”

After expressing that she felt “pretty hurt” by the reactions to the dress code, she explained how she initially didn’t expect them to respond this way.

“I assumed people would react like this if I said everyone needed to go out and spend hundreds on costumes, but we went out of our way to include pictures and suggest as many very low budget options as possible,” she concluded. “I honestly didn’t think it was a big deal, but now I am having second thoughts about the whole themed wedding idea.”

In an edit to her post, she specified that in her invitation, she and her husband wrote that they don’t want wedding gifts, since they’d rather their guests “keep their money for themselves or use it for their outfits”. She also noted that “a normal floral spring/summer dress” - since many people already owned that - was a “low budget option” for the wedding, along with the “addition of a flower crown or belt”.

She noted that for “more masculine” outfits, she recommended “a linen shirt with a piece of fabric tied around your waist or a belt”. She also defended her dress code, adding: “It’s quite lowkey and I’m not super strict about it, just not things like a cocktail dress or a bodycon dress or a formal suit and tie.”

In the edit, she added that it’s mainly her and her partner’s cousins, aunts, and uncles who have an issue with the dress code. However, these family members have “not directly contacted” the couple about their concerns.

The Reddit post has quickly gone viral, with more than 5,900 upvotes, as of 21 March. In the comments, many people defended the bride and groom’s decision to have a themed wedding. They also criticised the guests who were taking issue with the dress code.

“Themed weddings are fun. You gave them budget friendly options. I have seen many of these themed type weddings and they are really fun. It is only for one day, not sure why they can’t go with the flow,” one wrote. “They have the option of not going.”

“People give dress codes for weddings all the time,” another added. “Yes, it’s strange to people not of the community. I am not into dressing up or ‘nerd’ interest, but if someone I cared about wanted wedding photos to fit a theme, dang it, I’m matching the theme.”

A third agreed: “You’re allowed to have what you want at special occasions that are for you and people are allowed to think they’re ridiculous and decline to come because of it.”

On the other hand, some Reddit users weren’t on board with a dress code, with some claiming that the bride should make it optional, which would give guest the opportunity to wear what they want. They also gave ideas for how guests can follow the theme of the weddings, without having them create an outfit for the event.

“At the very least, you should have listed it as an option. I don’t care how budget friendly you think it is, you shouldn’t force people to buy or make a costume for your wedding,” one wrote. “Maybe provide a simple prop that people can wear with nice clothes but don’t make them wear Ren Faire clothes.”

“Most of those people will never wear that outfit again; it’s great that you’re including low budget options, but thrifty and making a costume takes time, and either the time or the cost is asking a lot,” another wrote. “You can have the wedding themed as you want but have it optional for people to come in costume.”

“A faire themed wedding sounds amazing, but dressing up should be optional. It sounds like your families are normies and are uncomfortable with the idea. You don’t want your guests put out - I’m assuming you’re inviting them because you want to continue to have a relationship,” a third wrote. “Honestly, it’s an easy fix. Send an email and clarify that the dress code is optional, but you’d love to see everyone in their dorky finest.”

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