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“My Brother’s Fiancé is Enforcing a Stupid Dress Code for Their Wedding, and I Don’t Want to Go!”

When it comes to weddings, setting a dress code (e.g.formal) is entirely expected. However, we are increasingly hearing about brides who send their guests specific requests (or rather demands) about what they should wear to match the aesthetic of their big day – anything from period dress, to in this case, off the shoulder dresses.

Im 27F dentist and my brother 32M and his soon wife 27F are getting married in less than 2 months. Let’s call my SIL Abby. Abby and I never had a relationship of our own. We definitely don’t hate each other but we are not besties. We just exist in each others presence. I noticed that in the invitation to their weeding that Abby requested the dress code to be all women in the wedding to wear off the shoulder dresses, suits or anything just off the shoulder. Doesn’t matter the color or the sequence unless it is off the shoulder.

Now as I said I am a dentist and as many people already know dentists may not have the best back/shoulder posture ever. And Im not an exception and I always tend to wear outfits that do not emphasize that part of my body. Now the type of clothing this dress code demands needs someone with a good back posture because that’s the emphasis. I totally lack that and yes I did try one dress of the shoulder on looked absolutely horrendous.

So I asked if I the dress code is really that important and if I have to abide it but my brother told me Abby stressed on this dress code so much. And Abby was like if she “leeways” me she has to leeway everyone (I was kinda baffled that so much importance was placed on a certain type of clothing with no explanation given)

I went with my friend shopping hoping I’d find one that I looked not so clownery in. I tried on so many different fits, looked like shit in all of them. So I told my mother since they are so attached to that dress code then I think the best option here for me is to not go. So I wouldn’t ruin their organization and I wouldn’t have nightmares about how awful I looked in that event. But my mum got mad at me and said Im being dramatic for not wanting to be there for brother and family just for a dress. I told her I want to attend but I also want to look good and feel pretty and they are sticking to such a stupid rule that they can’t provide a meaning. Regardless I respected that and decided not to ruin their image of how they want their wedding. My mum said my absence will also ruin things because the guests will wonder why the sister is not attending when Im healthy. I told her well the guests will also wonder why I look like I could be the guy of hunchback Notre Dam (okay Im not that bad but you get the gist here) My mum is still mad at me (haven’t told my brother and SIL yet)


Many commenters felt that it was wrong for brides and grooms to dictate to their guests in this way.

NTA Wedding guests are not an aesthetic. They are not flowers, table cloths, napkins or party favors. If someone told me I had to wear a specific style of dress as a guest, it would be the easiest RSVP with regrets I ever made. The wedding culture has gotten out of hand completely. Your brother and his fiance are wrong and completely unreasonable. Good hosts make their guests welcome. Your brother and his wife to be are not good hosts. (Peony-Pony)

Others pointed out how ridiculous this particular request was, and how it wouldn’t exactly suit all women.

NTA. So are all the 90yo grannies going to be wearing off the shoulder outfits????????? As a granny myself, this is freaking horrifying. (Foggy_Radish)


Strapless dresses also pose extra challenges for those with fuller busts.

I hope some really well endowed woman come and have wardrobe malfunctions! Cue the bride’s meltdown because boobies are popping out everywhere! (Peony-Pony)

God. I was wondering if anyone would comment on this. And like, if you need to buy a strapless bra and you’re a larger size, it’s not going to be cheap at all. My everyday bras are about $150 each. I’m not dropping that (or more) to go strapless so I can go off the shoulder so some bride can have some sort of weird aesthetic. 

Honestly, I’d go but I would wear what I want to wear. (Bibbityboo)


That is an absolutely ridiculous request to make of your wedding guests, not the wedding party, but guests in general. Your future SIL is a self-centered idiot. Asking to wear the same color would have been so much less of an issue.

Did it even cross her mind that that means anyone with larger breasts won’t have proper support and will be uncomfortable? What about anyone who has backne? Do they have to now hire a makeup artist to come over and put makeup on their backs before someone else’s nuptials? How about older guests who have osteoarthritis and actually do have humps and not just bad posture?

Also, I don’t see how this would make any difference at the event itself. Half the women will likely put on some sort of sweater, jacket, or shawl in order to avoid being cold.

OP, do whatever you like. If you want to see your brother get married to the chick with the pea-sized brain and zero empathy, then suck it up and find a shoulderless dress, but also make sure you also have some sort of cover up to go with it so that you feel more comfortable. If you want to avoid watching your brother get married to his future ex-wife, then skip it. It is your decision and no one should be trying to bully you. (pip-whip)

However, not everyone agreed with OP’s decision not to attand her brother’s wedding over the dress code.


You are being unnecessarily dramatic and self-centered; loosen up your spine and your attitude. 

 I agree the dress code seems dumb. But no one’s going to care about how you look in your outfit as long as you are not leaning over them with dental tools in hand. Take an emergency shawl or stole or something just in case. (Curious-One4595)



Stupid stupid dress code I have many friends who are dentists and none have bad posture Practice sitting and standing up straight (Solid_Bed_752)

Unless you have a diagnosed kyphosis, you are able to stand up straight. TBH, I’ve never noticed that the dentists I have gone to have had awful posture when they’re standing up, walking up to me or away from me.

YTA. If you have hunched over to the point that you cannot stand up straight pain free (because why else wouldn’t you just stand up straight?) then you need to get a referral to a physical therapist.

I do agree with you that insisting on off the shoulder dresses/blouses/whatever is one of the weirdest dress code rules I’ve ever seen. The wedding photos are going to look ridiculous. (Own_Lack_4526)

What do you think? Should OP suck it up and follow the dress code, or is she well within her rights to politely decline the invitation?

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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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