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Bride Asks if Her Renaissance Faire-Themed Wedding Dress Code Makes Her a Bridezilla

One soon-to-be-bride has turned to the internet for advice about the dress code for her upcoming wedding. As self-confessed nerds, she and her husband are planning a renaissance faire themed wedding and thought it would be fun to ask their guests to come dressed to suit the theme. To help guests with their costume selection they included photos and ideas on how to DIY an outfit on a budget with the invitations, and on the whole people seemed to be happy to join in. However, it soon transpired that the grooms mum and sister were not on board, and very soon the term bridzilla was being bandied around.

So, the question is, is it acceptable to set a dress code for your wedding?

I (F29) am getting married to my partner (M30) and we have planned a fantasy/renaissance themed wedding. We are massive fandom nerds, books, video games, movies, comics etc and actually met at a ren faire and wanted that to be part of our wedding.

We discussed it with our close friends and everyone thought it was a great idea.

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 (just google ren faire if you want to see).

We included photos, descriptions, 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.

I have received a few messages from my closer friends saying they’ve heard other people, including some me and my partners family members calling me a bride-zilla. 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.


My soon to be MIL (F59) and SIL (F26) is especially pissed. I reached out to them after their names were mentioned and they said I am ruining what is supposed to be happy day by demanding people dress up like idiots. 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.

I’m feeling pretty hurt by all this. 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.

I honestly didn’t think it was a big deal, but now I am having second thoughts about the whole themed wedding idea.

Am I the asshole?

EDIT: One of the ‘low budget options’ was things like a normal floral spring/summer dress many people would already own, with the addition of like a flower crown or belt or something. It went up from there. For more masculine stuff it was like a linen shirt with a piece of fabric tied around your waist or a belt. 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.

Also just going to add, excluding SIL and MIL our closest family and friends haven’t complained and several people have said they are looking forward to it. It is more so cousins, aunts/uncles or those sort of level friends, they have also not directly contacted us with their concerns and we are hearing it through the grapevine.

The woman’s post attracted a very mixed response, with people either loving or hating the idea. As many people pointed out, most wedding do in fact have a dress code, and her option may be a lot cheaper than attending a wedding that specifies tuxedos and ball gowns for example.

As a rule, the “maximum” wedding dress code is black tie. If your dress code is cheaper than black tie, assuming a guest will have to buy their outfit, you are NTA. This applies to all weddings. From what I can tell your dress code would be much cheaper than buying/renting a black tie ensemble. So you are NTA. (Apprehensive_Clue342)


NTA as long as you don’t get mad at the people who don’t come. Honestly I don’t see any difference between this and someone saying to dress nice or black tie. Heck it would be cheaper then black tie yet that’s consider acceptable for a request. As long as youe open to wiggle room for people who don’t have a lot to spend I don’t see the issue. Do you. Thar said some people just aren’t comfortable letting go like that. They don’t have to come. The day is about you and your husband. (Few_Screen_1566)

Ntaaaaa it’s your wedding , if you want to have everyone dress up and wear ren clothing then do it. Just because people don’t like it they don’t have to attend. Remember it’s your and your fiancé big day! Not to mention you made sure to included cheaper options. I’d tell them they could be a background tree if they don’t want dress up 🤣 (hardbodytsu)

As one person pointed out, the mother and sister are just annoyed that the wedding wasn’t going to be what they wanted – but, at the end of the day, it’s not their wedding, and they should suck it up!


NTA, Your wedding, your rules. People have formal dress code weddings all the time where men are expected to wear a tux and women a formal gown. I think wearing period garb would be much more comfortable than formal wear and definitely more fun.

MIL and SIL don’t care about you having your happy day, they only care about their happy day. If they don’t want to dress up they can stay at home. I can’t imagine them enjoying it and they would probably make snide remarks about everyone in costume the whole time. (heynonnynonnomous)

Another person pointed out that in other cultures wedding guests are expected to have multiple outfits, so requesting one isn’t expecting too much.


Look, going to an Indian wedding requires 4-5 outfits. Doing one for a fun theme is totally not asking too much!

I would love to attend a wedding like yours!

It sounds like a joyous celebration! (BelliAmie)

Commenters felt that their loved ones should jump in and embrace the fun just for one day if it is important to the couple.

NTA. People set dress codes for weddings all the time. Dress codes are normal for weddings. While this dress code isn’t exactly a normal dress code, it isn’t unreasonable. Plus the pictures are going to look like a fairy tale. And who doesn’t want a fairy tale wedding!? (OwlPal9182)


People give dress codes for weddings all the time.

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.

I know someone who had a Halloween wedding. Did I want to wear a costume to a wedding? No. Did I? Yes.

Unless someone expects me to drop hundreds of dollars for a 1 time outfit, I’m doing my best to support their dream day.

I think all weddings can be a stupid waste of money so I say make it what you want. It sounds fun. (MindingUrBusiness17)

However, some people felt that the dress code put too much pressure on guests.

Soft YTA you’re assuming people have the time/money to go looking around to fit in your dress code. No matter your budget options not everyone has extra money to look for new clothes especially in this day and age. (Bts2017-)

Others were more vehement in their criticism.

Yta. I am sick of people acting like weddings are theatrical productions with guests as extras. (quarkfan4552)


Well, your guests disagree. It’s fine for you to have whatever theme you want, but you don’t get to dictate what your guests have to wear. 

You’re saying that it’s not a big deal, and your friends and relatives can just make one or buy it or thrift it or… wedding guests don’t want to have to do that. I’m fine buying a new dress or updating an older dress.

YTA (Princess_She-ra)

YTA. You have bad taste and you want everyone else to suffer. Totally ridiculous. (Quiet-Pea2363)

You could just limit it to the: Groomsmen, Bridesmaid, Groom and Bride – then I would say NTA or ESH (because man, if I was part of it, I would not be happy).

Extending it to more than that group? YTA (Specialist_Design878)

What do you think? Is it too much to expect guests to adhere to a dress code for your wedding?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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