A father has sparked a debate after explaining why he refused to let his daughter wear her late mother-in-law’s wedding dress.
In a recent post shared to the popular “Am I The A**hole?” Reddit forum, the parent, who goes by the username u/Potential-Junket-193, asked if he was in the wrong for not giving his daughter the dress because she allegedly wouldn’t “fit into it”. He specified that his late wife was “a very small person” and weighed 115 pounds when they got married.
After noting that his partner passed away two years ago and won’t be attending the wedding in 2025, he claimed that his daughter “wouldn’t be able to squeeze into” her mother’s dress. However, he said that he was initially open to her wearing the outfit.
“She told me she can just up the size of it and I told her I would think about it. I looked into it and they basically cut the dress up to size it up,” he continued.
The father added that he then told his daughter that she couldn’t wear the dress, “since they would be cutting it up” for her. This ultimately started a disagreement between the pair.
“This resulted in a huge argument about me gatekeeping my wife’s things. I told her no again, and that she can wear some of her jewellery. She hung up,” he wrote. “She clearly thinks I am a jerk and my sons are now telling me to give up the dress.”
The Reddit user added an edit to his post, in which he clarified that he had a younger daughter, in addition to the one getting married. He also shared more information about his late wife and her dress.
“My wife always wanted to go dress shopping with our daughters,” he wrote. “She loved her wedding dress and I don’t think she would be okay with it being cut up.”
The post has quickly gone viral on Reddit, where it has more than 16,000 upvotes. In the comments, many people defended the Reddit user, noting how important the dress could be to him, which is why he doesn’t want it to undergo any alterations. Others highlighted the feelings of grief he is still experiencing after his wife’s passing.
“The alterations sound significant and it also means she’s unlikely to return the dress to storage to you; she’d make it her own. In a way she’s overwriting the fact it was your wife’s dress, both visually and in terms of its history and context,” one wrote. “You’re perfectly within your rights to not be okay with that.”
“This is obviously not about the dress itself or how your wife ‘would’ have felt about it, but about YOU feel about it,” another wrote. “Which is okay, but don’t forget, you have some time to process this. You may find yourself okay with it after more time has passed. Or not. It’s okay to be honest about your reasons for declining but leave the door open to your stance changing later.”
“A year ago I probably would have said you were an [a**hole]. Your wife doesn’t need the dress and won’t be able to go shopping so why not. But in the last year I lost my mom, after taking care of her in my home for nine years,” a third wrote. “My point is that I now realise that people grieve differently and we cannot dictate to someone else what they should or should not do. You are not ready to give up your late wife’s dress to be cut up and remade.”
On the other hand, some people came to the bride’s defence, expressing that it’s also important for her to have the dress, since it could make her feel connected to her mother on such a big day.
“I understand your attachment, but look at it this way...your daughter misses her mom deeply and sees this as a way for her to be there. In the end, the dress is just a ‘thing.’” one wrote. “Your relationship with your daughters is much MUCH more important than a dress.”
“It’s your wife’s dress so of course it’s yours to decide what to do with. I’m sure it holds a lot of sentimentality for you,” another added. “But I can’t fault your daughter. Her mom’s death is still relatively fresh for her too and she’s trying to plan a wedding without her, which is not something she ever would have wanted. So she’s most likely trying to feel like her mom is still there.”
The Independent has contacted u/Potential-Junket-193 for comment.