A post about a recently married woman who is getting an annulment after her mother-in-law‘s “freakout” over her wedding dress has gone viral on Reddit, where it received 20,100 upvotes at the time of this writing.
In a post shared on Reddit’s Am I The A****** (AITA) subforum under the username aita-wedding12345, the woman said she recently got married.
“My husband’s family has a tradition of always wearing blush dresses on their wedding day. They told me about this before, and I respectfully said I would wear whatever color dress my perfect dress was.”
The user’s mother-in-law was allegedly “seething,” while her husband was “disappointed” when they saw the bride chose to wear a white dress in the end.
The wife is now planning to leave the marriage via an annulment.
The original poster told Newsweek: “My husband has absolutely not been more supportive since the wedding. In fact, I am trying to get an annulment after seeing how the commenters [on Reddit] reacted [to my story].
“I realized he has been emotionally abusive throughout our relationship and I made the right choice to wear the dress that I loved. If I hadn’t, I don’t know how much more of my life I would have wasted with that abusive d***. I have not spoken to my MIL [mother-in-law] [since the wedding dress incident], and I am just glad I got away without any babies,” the original poster said.
The Rules Around Annulment
An annulment is a court ruling that voids a marriage.
The Legal Information Information Institute (LII) at the Cornell Law School explains: “Unlike divorce, the effect of declaring a marriage void is retroactive, meaning that the marriage was void at the time it was entered into.”
Essentially, “it’s like your marriage never happened because it was never legal,” says the California Courts Self-Help Guide.
The exact laws around annulment vary by state but the most common ground for annulment is “fraud and misrepresentation,” according to the American Bar Association(ABA), the national representative of the legal profession.
Annulments are “very uncommon,” says the ABA. “Divorces are generally easier to obtain, and the basis for annulment is narrower than the basis for divorce. However, one party may prefer an annulment in order to avoid some obligations that a court might impose in a divorce,” the national body says.
A study published in January 2022 in the peer-reviewed journal Research in Human Development stated “couples often report that relationships with in-laws are one of their biggest sources of conflict” and “acrimonious relationships with in-laws have been found to undermine the marital relationship.”
The wife in the latest Reddit post said she and her husband had “the perfect wedding, except for one thing, my MIL’s freakout when she saw my dress.”
After the bride chose her dress, her mother-in-law asked whether the shop could alter it to make it blush and “to find a new dress if they couldn’t.” The bride said she’d ask, “but if they couldn’t then that was that.”
In the end, the shop couldn’t alter the dress, so she wore the white dress.
According to the original poster, during the wedding reception, the mother-in-law pulled the bride aside to ask why her dress was white. The bride told her she “didn’t want to find a new dress and they [the shop] couldn’t alter it.” The mother-in-law said “it was a tradition, and she was disappointed that I had [broken] it.”
Was It Wrong for the Bride To Break Family Tradition?
Poppy Sienna, a wedding and event planner based in the U.K., told Newsweek the bride made the right choice by sticking to her wishes.
She said: “It is her wedding and the most important thing for a bride when choosing a dress is that they feel beautiful and confident—she clearly did in the white dress.
“Many families have traditions but I am a strong believer that it is your wedding and you should be able to have it exactly how you wish. You will be the one with the photos to look back on and you want to look back on these fondly and feel as if it is your wedding, not someone else’s,” Sienna added.
The Mother-in-Law Is Being ‘Unfair’
Sienna said “it was unfair” of the mother-in-law to expect the bride to wear a blush dress, “especially because it is not the bride’s side of the family.
“Your wedding dress is such a personal and special element of your wedding and should be the one thing you can choose without any arguments.”
Sienna said while the user shouldn’t have felt the need to even ask about getting the dress in the blush color, the mother-in-law “should have appreciated that the bride even asked the bridal shop.”
Could There Have Been an Alternative Solution?
Sienna said the bride handled the situation “perfectly,” especially since she “even showed that she was potentially willing to look into the blush option by asking the bridal shop.”
But the “MIL [mother-in-law] should have backed down when the bride said no. Perhaps the bridesmaids could have been in blush as a compromise,” Sienna noted.
It Was All About the Family and Not the Bride
Several Reddit users shared messages of support for the wife, such as user PurpleStegosaur who said: “Wow. What a memory to have of your wedding day. NTA [not the a******],” in a comment that got 51,800 upvotes.
User saywhat252525 said: “How superficial is this guy (and his mom, too)?,” in a comment that received 9,900 upvotes.
Litty-McGee wrote: “I don’t understand why the emphasis wasn’t on her finding a dress she felt absolutely beautiful and lovely in. Something where she walks down that aisle entering her next chapter glowing and beaming with happiness.
“This is so sad that they turned around and made this moment about them and their wishes, instead of her feeling great on her special day. What a shame,” Litty-McGee said in a comment that received 5,100 upvotes.
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