Internet Backs Dad Who Left Daughter at Home Due to Her “Inappropriate” Wedding Outfit

A dad turned to Reddit after an argument between himself and his 19-year-old daughter regarding a hotly-contested topic: wedding guest dress codes. Shared in the “Am I the A**hole” forum on Monday, the post amassed over 18,000 upvotes and 2,600 comments.

Readers appeared to take the anonymous father’s side—and his stance is more or less backed by experts in the wedding industry. However, many felt he could have handled the situation more gracefully.

The man, known only by the username u/papabearaita, explained that his youngest daughter, 19-year-old “Jill,” lives at home with him and his wife while she attends college locally. Last weekend, the trio was invited to a relative’s wedding—specifically, the bride was Jill’s cousin and the man’s niece.

According to the Redditor, “the dress code was semi-formal so men were expected to wear suits and women in dresses.” Jill, however, chose to ignore the dress code, and instead wore an outfit that her father deemed not “appropriate” for the formality of the event.

“​​As we were getting ready to leave, Jill was taking her sweet time getting ready and I was kind of nagging at her to get going,” wrote u/papabearaita. “She had been out late the night before with friends and I’m sure she was feeling the effects of that. When she was finally ready to go, she was wearing some kind of black, spaghetti strap halter-top thing with leggings.”

He continued: “I told her that was not an appropriate outfit for her cousin’s wedding and that she needs to change into something else. She told me she doesn’t have anything else to wear and that I don’t get to police what she’s wearing.”

Looking at the “dirty clothes on her floor and in her closet,” he told her that “she clearly has other options, she just didn’t plan ahead enough to figure something out.”

“I told her it was disrespectful to her cousin, the bride, to wear something … revealing and tacky to their wedding,” he said. In response, Jill reportedly called him “a jerk.” The fight culminated in the Redditor telling Jill to find her own way of “getting to the wedding.”

“She asked what that meant and I told her that if that’s what she wants to wear, she is going to have to find her own way to the wedding because I am not going to arrive with my daughter looking like she is about to hit a club at 2am instead of [attending] her cousin’s wedding,” he wrote.

At that point, the Redditor’s wife and Jill’s mother intervened in an attempt to mediate the conflict: “She told me I was being [overbearing], but also told Jill that she did not agree with her choice of attire either and reminded her this is a semi-formal event. She told Jill she would help her find a different option that would be better suited for this.”

“Jill scoffed at that and went to her room and closed the door,” wrote u/papabearaita. He gave his daughter fifteen minutes to get ready—but Jill stayed in her room. “I told my wife that I am leaving and she can either come with me now, or [she] and Jill can figure out their own plans,” explained the dad. “My wife asked what Jill is supposed to do and I said she can take an Uber for all I care …. My wife reluctantly left with me and I could tell she felt guilty about the whole thing.”

“Jill ended up not coming to the wedding and both her and my wife blame me for it,” concluded u/papabearaita. “I don’t think I was the a**hole here though.”

Redditors flocked to voice their opinions on the matter, and, citing the particular circumstances of attending a semi-formal wedding, took the father’s side. As Brides magazine noted in August, “semi-formal” indicates that guests should wear “a more relaxed look than what’s required at a formal black-tie event.” However, “a semi-formal dress code isn’t an invitation to be totally casual.”

Wedding Dress
A model wearing a wedding dress at an exhibition in London, England.
Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

“NTA,” voiced u/GothicArmadillo. “You’re exactly right: leggings and a halter top are not appropriate to wear at a wedding …. It shows disrespect to the bride, and [it’s] embarrassing for you as well.”

“I know that a lot of people will start going on about what a woman wears, but this is about not being up to the dress code,” echoed u/DarcyKnits. “And while your daughter had the right to wear what she wanted, You also had the right not to be associated with her decisions on what she wanted to wear.”

Meanwhile, other commenters took issue with the Redditor’s approach to the conflict, even if he was technically correct. “Calling her clothes revealing and tacky was both unkind and unnecessary. She’s an adult, but you’re the parent and real adult in this situation and you can handle the situation better than that,” wrote u/rekreid. “Also women have their bodies and clothing choices policed a lot, even if that was not your intention it isn’t nice to hear as a woman from your father.”

The Redditor has developed some takeaways of his own, based on the enormous amount of engagement with his post. “If anything it has shown me that maybe it’s time for my daughter to have more independence,” he told Newsweek. “I am going to talk with my wife about the possibility of Jill moving out on her own, with our help of course.”

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