The bride says that all of us mothers must dress the same
Dear Amy: My husband’s sister is getting married in a year.
She is asking all the mothers at her wedding to wear a particular color and style of dress.
I’m not in the wedding party, so I assumed that as a guest I would be able to choose my own matching dress; however, recently the mother-in-law (her mother) told me that the bride wanted me and the other two sisters-in-law to wear the same color and style of dress as the “mothers”.
I was quite surprised, as I have never heard of a bride asking people who were not in the wedding party to buy a particular color and style of dress.
I have seven weddings to attend next year so I would buy some new dresses for the year and wear them again. (Different groups of people will be at weddings.) This now requires me to buy a specific type of dress that I wouldn’t normally buy. I understand this when I am a bridesmaid, but I have no such role at this wedding.
This seems really controlling and it didn’t make me feel good because the way I was informed was weird (my mother-in-law mentioned me several times in one day).
I got married last year and I didn’t dictate what any of the in-laws or mothers had to wear to our wedding.
Is this an unusual question?
I’m sorry sister-in-law
Dear Sorry: Remember that anyone can ask anything.
And yes, it seems that brides (and/or their mothers) are increasingly demanding/expecting/demanding that their guests wear a particular color and style of clothing to the wedding – as if their guests are some kind of marriage team.
You have married into this family very recently. Your mother-in-law passed on this dictation to you. The first thing you should do is personally ask the bride to explain this request. What exactly is she asking and why?
The second thing you need to do is say no. You can do this by promising to dress appropriately but sit in the back of the venue – or skip photos (if that’s the bride’s focus).
If you’ve managed to say no, countless wedding guests would love to hoist you onto their shoulders and parade you down the hall.
I have researched this issue on various popular wedding sites and I am sorry to report that brides are being coached on their “right” to make this type of request. On one very popular site, women are told that having a “monochromatic wedding” is justified because “your wedding should be your vision.” They add: “Pro tip: It’ll pay off at the same time as gorgeous wedding photos and just an overall chic, elegant and curated vibe.”
To quote the wonderful Miss Manners on this very subject: Wedding guests “are people, not props.”
Dear Amy: Over the holidays, my husband and I met a new neighbor at a holiday party. We exchanged information and decided to meet for lunch in the near future.
I got a text from this neighbor yesterday asking me and my husband for “cocktails and snacks”. We decided on a day and an hour, and she then proceeded to tell us to bring whatever we wanted to drink and she would supply the appetizers.
My husband thinks this is rude. I think it’s weird.
Dear Manners: How rude or weird this is may depend on where you are from. In some cultures and communities, BYOB is not considered too far from the norm.
This hostess might have put you more at ease if she had phrased the request a little differently—for example, something like, “I don’t serve alcohol at home, but you’re more than welcome to bring your own. I’ll have saltzer and iced tea in hand.”
As it is, you’re left to wonder what exactly the motivation is for being invited for “cocktails and food” when it’s really just food.
As you get to know this neighbor, her attitude to fun will be revealed.
Dear Amy: Thanks for standing up for Santa (answering a recent question from No Gaslight).
Gaslight doesn’t seem to understand that believing in this bit of magic is a benign phase of childhood.
What a Grinch!
Dear Fan: Asking this question prompted many readers to contribute their own sweet Santa stories, giving me a dose of magic just before Christmas.
You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.