AITA for telling my soon-to-be niece that she doesn't need to wear a dress to my wedding?

  1. I think this is the first time I’ve seen Reddit give permission for someone to be a bridezilla. Oh what a day! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼😂 go on girl. Do ya thing

  2. Especially since in this case being a bridezilla is actually not being a bridezilla but standing up for your future niece and your bridesmaids, so they can have body autonomy. You're letting your niece know you have her back and that is going to build a much better relationship than just including her in the wedding.

  3. Giving people options is hardly bridezilla. It's your own wedding, you can let people wear what they want if that's what you want.

  4. This is one of those rare occasions where I think it's a good idea to go bridezilla. It's clear that the niece isn't comfortable wearing feminine clothes and someone needs to stand up for her.

  5. Pretty sure it doesn’t count as bridezilla to refuse to let your SIL dictate your bridesmaids’ outfits. I guess that would SILzilla.

  6. Suggest taking out the bridesmaids and her to go shopping just to get her out of the house and find something that she would like. I would be very good to get her out because I bet her parents/grandma would make it pretty difficult for her to buy something she wanted.

  7. Exactly what I was thinking! “This is my day and if I want her to be happy and not wear a dress then she’s going to be happy and not wear a dress. Fuck all the way off.”

  8. It’s not at all bridezilla. It would be if she was forbidden from wearing a dress. But she is free to wear a dress if she likes. In fact, her parents are even free to force her against her will to wear a dress, if they really want to. What the parents are trying to do, is make OP be the bad guy who forces their daughter to wear a dress, so they don’t have to be. But the entire fight has nothing at all to do with OP, and OP should phrase it in that way.

  9. YES! Please be a bridezilla about this! If you can get the mom or other adults who are providing the pressure into a conversation away from the kid, please use as much of your own experience as you’re comfortable with to explicitly tell them that you are NOT OK with your future niece being forced to “perform femininity” for them in any way that makes her (niece) uncomfortable. If it’s easier for the niece to drop out (if parents won’t stop pressuring), so be it. But please stand your ground for her.

  10. 100% this is one bridezilla scenario I'd love to hear about and pull up some popcorn for. I wouldn't know from personal experience, but I imagine even having that offer made was extremely appreciated by the niece.

  11. Agreed. My mom made me dress girly as a teenager, I destroyed the photos and got rid of the clothes before I was even 18. Theres only 1 photo left that she has from then and its not even displayed anywhere. I wouldve kept the photos if I dressed how I wanted to. I didnt even take my gown off at my 8th grade graduation cuz I hated the fact that I had to wear a dress that much. I dont think any photos exist of then. NTA OP

  12. "Never in my life had I thought I would be urging someone to be a bridezilla. Please. Please. Be the bridezilla. Go full bridezilla. "

  13. Yes, NTA. Also I don’t think you were overruling the parents - you just made it clear there are other options if she and her parents can agree. You’re just refusing to be the easy out for them - if they want to enforce heterocentric misogyny that’s on them.

  14. Jumping on tho top comment to say that I as a nonbinary AFB am in TEARS so happy reading this. THANK YOU EVERYONE THIS IS SO WHOLESOME.

  15. OP! Take her shopping and keep the clothing item she chooses AT YOUR HOUSE! These women will ruin it and force her into something more feminine they happen to have as a backup. PLEASE be protective in this.

  16. And consider bringing one of the other bridesmaids, so you can frame it to the parent that it's a wedding party event only, that the 15 year old will be fine, and you'll get the outfit fitted

  17. And also keep the outfit you buy for her at a safe place in your house; let her get dressed somewhere safe from her mother lol

  18. Yes this is perfect, definitely do the shopping with her or have her send what she picks out so OP can order it. If the niece is going to be getting ready with the other bridesmaids that day, which I’m assuming she will, then her parents won’t see her unless she exits the room beforehand or her parents try to force their way in.

  19. The mother is also trying to force the entire bridal party into buying bridesmaid dresses instead of what they already planned and budgeted for. It's not just cruel to the niece, it's an inconvenience to all of the other bridesmaids and MOH.

  20. You are so right. It’s not a fashion show. To put someone’s comfort ahead of traditional garb and matchy-matchy crap is very nice of you. Sounds like her parents are the ones who need to work on themselves, not their daughter.

  21. I personally think bridesmaids in suits and tuxes are actually quite fashion forward, if anything! The pictures are going to be fabulous and probably turn out rather chic!

  22. NTA. I love your attitude, and in the future I think you should position yourself as your niece’s ally. I think she needs one. Her parents are the crappy ones.

  23. Not that there’s anything wrong with bridesmaids matching though. If that were important to a bride, they should take their attendants’ needs into consideration when asking.

  24. NTA that niece is in need of trustworthy adult. Sudden switch to androgynous clothing when reaching age when sexual harassing becomes common... Yeah

  25. It's likely, but she could just be embarrassed. I remember being a teenager who suddenly had boobs. It was embarrassing, I walked with a hunched back and wore baggy shirts. I wasn't sexually harassed, just . . . shy.

  26. I switched as a young teen to big T-shirts jeans and boots because I was self-conscious and I couldn’t be bothered with all the girly stuff and I didn’t like the attention that girly stuff brought. But now as an adult I like girly things

  27. NTA primarily for respecting your niece’s wishes and prioritizing her comfort, but also it’s your wedding and the other relatives don’t get a say in what your wedding party wears.

  28. I agree NTA, OP should have agency in what her wedding party wears to her own wedding. I applaud OP for being supportive of her future niece.

  29. My mom (mother of the bride) asked me if I would be ok if she wore pants. I can count on one hand the number of times my mom wore a dress in my life. Heck yeah she could wear a pantsuit. She was more comfortable that way. My dad asked if he could wear sneakers. He was the smartest, we had a lawn wedding and I kept sinking into the ground in the stupid heels, lol.

  30. Was at a wedding where every bridesmaid had been put into a pea green/hot pink confection that suited nobody and I couldn't help but feel that was the point.

  31. Exactly! I have dropped out of a wedding over being expected to pay serious cash on a dress that wouldn't fit me if it was made over again from scratch. Empire waistlines aren't for everyone!

  32. Im nonbinary & going through literally the exact same thing being a bridesmaid at my sisters wedding. Thankyou for sticking up for her. I wish i had somebody to do that for me. NTA

  33. One of my bridesmaids wore an off the shoulder mint green silky jumpsuit with pink tips in her long brown hair and one of my wife’s bridesmaids wore a dark green very smart jumpsuit, and one of our joint best people (who is female) was meant to be wearing the sickest green velvet tux she had bought well in advance of our covid cancelled wedding the year before (and she had always dreamed of owning a velvet green suit) but sadly they had a house fire about a month before the wedding and it was lost.

  34. Sending you love!! My kid is NB and is in my sister's wedding. Thankfully they are wearing a suit (like the groomsmen) but a shirt the same color as the bridesmaid's dresses. My sister wanted them to feel like they belong without being lumped into one group or another.

  35. There really needs to be greater acceptance and visibility for gender neutral wedding attire. I went to my dad's wedding in a nice vest and pants. Spent a long time trying to figure out a good outfit for that, agonizing over whether I should just suck it up amd get a dress, etc.

  36. I am also a nonbinary part of a wedding party, and I like to refer to myself as the bride's mate or bridesmade, as in , the bride's made me her minion to get stuff done for a bit here. trying to get people to not deadname me for eight hours is definitely worse for me than the concept of "wearing a dress" but the problem is then that seeing me in a dress undoes all progress -_- so even if I don't mind in a vacuum there's no context in which i can show up in a tea gown and not reinforce people's misconceptions about me

  37. Absolutely right. My 15 year old daughter is a girl. She VERY rarely wears dresses (maybe once per year) and wears a skirt only two or three times a year. The rest of the time it's leggings or shorts mostly.

  38. “Dress like a girl” 🤔 Meanwhile my nearly 13yo son often likes to wear a skirt (I think it’s a sensory thing as he likes to twirl in it). He sometimes goes to school wearing a skirt (he has SEN and goes to a Special School (UK)). Clothes are clothes. I, on the other hand (F54) very rarely wear a skirt or dress. I find trousers (with decent pockets!) much more practical. The main thing is for people not to be forced into costumes that make them uncomfortable. Well done, OP, you are, most definitely NTA

  39. NTA because your nieces androgynous style aside, her parents are TELLING YOU HOW YOUR BRIDESMAIDS SHOULD DRESS. The sense of entitlement to think that you would change your MoHs outfit just for them is frankly ridiculous. Why would you make several close members of the wedding uncomfortable so they are happy as bystanders? Insane.

  40. Seriously, thank you OP! It would have meant the world to a younger me to have a supportive relative like that. You rock.

  41. A 15 year old can decide for herself what she wants to wear. It is only a parents responsibility that it is not inapropriate. The fact that OP gave niece permission to wear anything as long as it is in the wedding colours makes that point fairly obsolete. So if parents were to police niece's clothing they would be the asshole. The parents are assholes for trying to force their daughter to dress more feminine.

  42. It's actually not up to the parents if the bridesmaids all get ready together at the venue. OP could hold onto niece's wedding attire and the parents don't get to overrule OP's wedding party attire preferences.

  43. See, I don’t think the parents should have the final say on what a 15 y/o wears as long as it’s dress code appropriate.

  44. NTA. Your wedding, your rules and I’m sure your niece is grateful that you are considerate of her feelings. Be aware though her family may push that they won’t buy it for her if it’s not a dress. You can always buy it for her so they really can’t say anything but I know weddings are expensive and anyone would understand that it may not be feasible.

  45. NTA, lots of people are now choosing jumpsuits and other outfits over dresses for weddings now. I’m glad you told told her she can pick something she feels comfortable in.

  46. NTA, it's your wedding day. If you say that the bridesmaids can wear whatever they want but in a certain colour then that also applies to your niece. Your future in-laws have nothing to say about you having to make everyone wear dresses so your niece will too.

  47. Are you the AH for overruling the parents who already overruled your choices? Of course not. The mom pathetically thinks forcing this girl to wear a dress to this wedding will magically turn her away from possibly being gay. Go one on one with the niece and assure her she can wear whatever she wants as long as it matches your colour so she knows you have her back. Then take the parents separate and tell them how it is going to be. Tell them if they want to control what she wear, they can do that on their own time, for your wedding YOU make the decisions and she can dress however she wants. If they do not like that, they simply do not need to attend.

  48. NTA. Your wedding. Your rules. Ultimately they can still make her do what they want (since they are her parents) so you aren’t “undermining” them. And they would be wrong to force her to do something against the brides wishes.

  49. NTA - you provide them the options and let them fight it out over what she wears. It won’t be your choice. You already offered your maid of honour to choose a pants suit so it would be unfair to force others to use dresses.

  50. NTA, were it any day bar your wedding I’d say you were wrong to overrule the parents however not in this instance. If your MOH is wearing a suit this could be a stunning theme. Could a jumpsuit be a good compromise?

  51. One of my bridesmaids wore an off the shoulder mint green silky jumpsuit with pink tips in her long brown hair and one of my wife’s bridesmaids wore a dark green very smart jumpsuit, and one of our joint best people (who is female) was meant to be wearing the sickest green velvet tux she had bought well in advance of our covid cancelled wedding the year before (and she had always dreamed of owning a velvet green suit) but sadly they had a house fire about a month before the wedding and it was lost.

  52. It sounds like the parents hoped her being a bridesmaid would necessitate wearing a dress so that they wouldn't have to be the ones forcing her. Now, they are angry at OP for being accommodating because they thought this was their free pass to forcing her to wear a dress.

  53. NTA. I think it’s great that you are supporting niece, plus it sounds like you may have already had the plan of letting people wear what they are most comfortable in which is great. It certainly would be ridiculous to tell all your bridesmaids just kidding you have to wear a dress because niece has to look more feminine.

  54. NTA-- focus instead on the powerful message you modeled for your future neice. No matter the reason behind her fashion choices, responses like yours gives a lot of children hope.

  55. NTA I’m massively gender non conforming people like you make life easier for people like her and myself the world needs more people like you

  56. NTA, it’s your wedding. You decide what you’d like people to wear, for whatever reason you’d like! Congratulations!

  57. NTA. On top of the fact that it is your wedding and you can have the attendants wear what you want, you are an honestly good person for noticing what was going on with your niece and telling her what you did. In years to come, she will remember this and it will be a bright point in her life.

  58. Nta - you are acting on the core of good manners: ensuring that other people are having a good time. This is Your wedding and you being concerned that this girl enjoys it is to your credit. It also means you are the boss, so don't waste time on second guessing yourself.

  59. OP, you are so NTA, and please don’t give in to these people. Whether your future nibling is trans, non-binary, or just likes dressing that way, keep standing up for them and letting them know they have at least one adult they can be themselves around. That’s so, so important at that age, queer or not. I agree, bridezilla it if you have to.

  60. NTA and from a fellow former tomboy who actually loves getting dolled up now, it's people like you that allowed me to find my own comfort and style, THANK YOU for being her advocate! 🖤

  61. NTA, you're like a reverse bridezilla. Other people getting upset at you being chill. Sounds like your soon-to-be niece is finally getting a relative she'll like! Stay strong! Don't back down.

  62. NTA - your wedding party, your rules. I hate when people use weddings/being in a wedding party to force conformity on to someone who doesn’t want to conform so kudos for letting your bridesmaids wear what is right for them.

  63. A million times NTA, your wedding, your rules. You picked up on kid being uncomfortable and made arrangements to accommodate them, to make a kid feel normal and accepted. That's some good old fashioned decent behaviour, and that's potentially a core memory for that kid growing up.

  64. NTA this is more than a bridesmaid outfit. For SIL and MIL this is an opportunity to “get her to her senses” and make her conform. A teenager is no longer a living dress up doll but this seems to go further than not liking her clothes: she’s expressing herself in a way that’s coming off “abnormal” to them and they’re showing outright disgust for it by saying this in front of her. This kid needs safe adults like you. Clothes are one thing, there may be questions of indentity going for her as well (not the case for everyone, but some queer kids start experimenting with clothes because that’s safer than so many “bigger” things, and of course as you said straight tomboys exist as well) and you showing support in this may be a tiny indication to her that not all of the family will be against her.

  65. NTA. Your niece may be trans/non-binary and closeted too, or just likes dressing more masculine. If she is trans I can tell you it is very comforting and relieving when a family member doesn’t pressure you to dress like your assigned gender. And if she just like wearing masculine cloths, then I’m sure she really appreciates you standing up for her and what she wants to wear. Also, it’s YOUR wedding?

  66. NTA. I’m super sure the family is scared to bits this girl is trans. So they are doing everything in their power to push her to look “girly” and force her to see how wonderful she looks/feels. With maturity I have learned that pushing a child toward or away from something rarely if ever nets you the desired result. Tell the family that you want no dresses in your wedding party. Period. End of discussion. And that you will help your niece make an appropriate choice. The. End.

  67. Not a judgement but wanted to thank you for noticing her discomfort and giving her opportunity to express herself how she wants to. I’m always striving to “be the adult you needed when you were a child” and it sounds like that’s exactly what you are already to your niece. Well done

  68. NTA, let the bride choose what the bridesmaids wear and the groom with the groomsmen. If the bride wants the bridesmaids to have more freedom and the niece wants to wear a suit, your niece should be able to do that

  69. NTA. Your support for that child is EXACTLY how it should be. And if she turns out to be your nephew she'll be less likely to unalive.

  70. NTA. You may want to consider taking your niece wedding shopping though, to help her pick an outfit she's comfortable in that matches your colours. Could even get your other BMs involved and make a day of it! Operation Find Niece an Outfit!

  71. NTA. You said you asked her to be a bridesmaid because you wanted to bond with her. What better way then to stand up for her and accept her for who she is? Which is exactly what you did.

  72. I wish you were my aunt. I'm a closeted trans guy and holy fuck do I get these comments all the time. If I'm forced to wear a dress I get panic attacks and feel like an idiot. Stand your ground. Let her choose what she wears. NTA

  73. Nta! I wish I had someone to advocate for me like that as a kid! (Gay woman here,I’ve always been more masculine leaning in personality and tastes so have a lot of experience with this from your nieces POV) you have no idea how much you have potentially helped this girl,seriously.I hated when my mother and grandmothers would force me into feminity and complain when I didn’t dress to their liking(which was NEVER) life doesn’t have to be a goddamn fashion show,as long as you are presentable and appropriate for the occasion then why tf does it matter wether you wear a dress ,makeup jewlery etc or not?!ffs .DEFINITELY NTA. Freedom of choice is a basic human right and she’s not a play thing for others to play dress up with.if they still insist,get them a Barbie or something to stuff into dresses instead.

  74. Your niece is quite possibly trans and not out to her family because of the pressure she has from them to be feminine.

  75. NTA. Your wedding idea is great. Dont let them pressure you into changing it. Last time I checked the wedding day is about the bride not the family of the groom. If the sister doesnt like your idea of the wedding she can kick rocks. If your soon to be husband tries to convince you otherwise stand your ground.

  76. It is your's and your finance's wedding so your rules, she could be struggling with gender identity or just trying to find her place but you are such an awesome aunt to be for supporting her where she is right now.

  77. You haven’t known this girl for most of her life but you already have a better understanding of her needs than her mother and grandmother.

  78. NTA - your wedding your rules. Why would you pressure not just your niece but also your bridesmaids and hit them with an unnecessary expense just to cater to her mom?

  79. NTA! I love the fact that you’re focused on the marriage and not all the details that truly don’t matter. My daughter is a Tom boy and I’d never make her wear a dress…it’s not who she is and I’d never make her uncomfortable for my happiness. Good for you!!!

  80. NTA. You liked to get closer to your niece, I think you are very much on the right track. If you keep it up, you will be her cool aunt who she can turn to when no one wants to understand her. Stick around (I don't mean just in person), she will probably need you 🙂

  81. NTA petty part of me says that you should agree to getting her a dress, pick the cheapest, ugliest, 80’s satin monstrosity from goodwill or something, just to hang in her wardrobe. And then give her something decent to wear in the wedding (mainly just to see her mom try and compliment the ugly)

  82. NTA. Ma’am, I think I speak for this subreddit when I say: Bride. Zilla. Time. Full “it’s MY wedding so I GET what I want!” “No she’s going to be in THEME.” “I WANT HER LIKE THAT FOR PICTURES, ARE YOU TRYING TO RUIN MY WEDDING PHOTOS?!” All out.

  83. NTA, your fiance needs to have a discussion with his side if the family about acceptance of other family members regardless of what they wear, or who they choose to be with. My family ostracized me at a young age and now they wonder why I work as many holidays as possible and avoid contact with them all, and I just had long hair. I cant even imagine whats going on in her read right now.

  84. Thank you for standing up for her. Never thought I’d say this but go full bridezilla. They can think whatever they want about that but it’s definitely going to help your niece.

  85. Of course, you are NTA and why you would even have to ask is beyond me. You made the clothing decisions way before the conversation with the niece and family. To even ask that you go back at this time and change the requirements of the dress code for participants in the wedding is arrogant and idiotic. You did not overrule the parents, you gave everyone the option as to what they wear, you did not make it mandatory. If the parents want her to wear the dress, then they can make her wear it. In other words, THEY can be the bad guy instead of being cowards and trying to get you to be the bad guy. Not only to your niece but also to everyone else in your wedding party.

  86. NTA 1000X. It’s your wedding. You clearly have a soft spot for the tomboy girl like her, and you’re going to make an amazing auntie.

  87. NTA. “AITA for trying to overrule her parents?” It’s YOUR wedding. You’re not trying to overrule them, they’re trying to overrule you, and use your wedding to force their gender ideals onto their daughter. Your emphasis and flexibility on comfort is cool btw.

  88. NTA I would do the same thing if for a my sisters and friends on my wedding day now I would prefer if my girls wore dresses for my wedding but if they just don’t feel comfortable in a dress then I’ll let them wear a flowing jumpsuit to fit with my theme (I’m not engaged). Stand your ground here let her wear the suit or jumpsuit.

  89. NTA. Your wedding, your dress code. And it’s so kind of you to not force your soon-to-be niece into a dress when that idea clearly makes her uncomfortable. You’re well on your way to becoming the “favourite aunt”.

  90. The only person who wore a dress (outside religious purposes) was my wife at our wedding. Our wedding was on a hot as hell day at a park, so we told everyone to dres comfortable not formal.

  91. NTA. Not even close. You’re being supportive of your soon to be niece when no one else is. You’re going to be the favourite auntie and that’s amazing. Also, women wearing tailored suits is getting big and it’s a very sharp look (look up Sonya Deville in WWE. I hate her character with a passion but I love her wardrobe).

  92. NTA. And this is a refreshing change from some of the bridezillas coming here. The fact that you just want people in your bridal party to be comfortable is so nice.

  93. BIG NTA, you're standing up for a girl because her parents don’t allow her to be herself. Also, it's your (and your husband to be)'s day, others shouldn’t be making decisions for you. It's completely up to you and him to choose "a dresscode". Imo it's great you stand up for her

  94. NTA and you aren't overruling her parents. It's not THEIR wedding, it's yours. And you're respecting her personality. I think you two will get along just swimmingly, and the adults will just have to get over it.

  95. NTA. Don't back down! My mom was the same way about dressing me up like a doll for special occasions. I froze half to death at my college graduation because she forced me to wear a light sundress. It was 40 degrees that day and outside in NH. The rest of my family was wearing jeans and fleeces. I don't even remember anything about it except being so mad and shivering. The photos are not good because I'm scowling in every one. I finally put my foot down and wore dress pants to my grad school graduation and the world didn't end.

  96. NTA. You gave an option that other member's of your wedding party had. I actually did something similar because we had both genders on both sides, we just went with black. I think this is really kind and really smart! I'm sorry her parents are being AHs.

  97. NTA you're not the bridezilla we want, you're the bridezilla we need! Taking a stand for your niece is wonderful. Screw what the rest of the adults want, if it doesn't bother you or your future husband, then they have no grounds for complaint. Congrats on the wedding and best of luck with it all.

  98. NTA. What they’re asking is unreasonable, full stop. They want to inconvenience the entire bridal party AND dictate the wedding in order to… force their daughter to wear a dress? Yeah, no. Even if you were on board with their ridiculousness, it’s delusional to ask that if someone.

  99. Your wedding, your choice what your bridesmaids wear. Personally, I think that what you are doing will make life easier for all concerned. Stick with it.

  100. NTA. I think what you did was incredible and very kind and thoughtful. I am sure it meant a lot to your niece. Also this is your wedding not theirs, so you do what makes you comfortable and if you are comfortable with pants or dresses, so be it.

  101. Nta and Im Here for you being the bridezilla for people to br comfortable! I honestly did not care as long as it was in wedding colors. Two girls got short dresses two girls got long dresses.

  102. The easiest NTA that's ever been posted here. Even ignoring that what you did is an excellent show of support, it's YOUR wedding, you get to set the dress code.

  103. "If you get to dictate what my bridal party wears, I get to dictate what you wear. Hope you like burlap sacks."

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