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Dad Asks If He’s The ‘A**hole’ After Making His Daughter Pay Back Her Aunt For Destroyed Wedding Dress

wedding dress

It can be difficult for a parent to understand exactly what goes through the head of a teenager. Unfortunately, one dad—and his entire family, by proxy—found this out the hard way in a jaw-dropping recent submission to Reddit’s AITA (“am I the asshole”) subreddit that resulted in a destroyed wedding dress.

The father in question, who coyly created the username u/MadeHerRepayTheDress, writes that he’s 32 with a 16-year-old daughter, who co-parents amicably with the girl’s mother since they had her so young.

He goes on, explaining that his sister got engaged to her girlfriend last year. Since she could not afford the dress of her dreams, their grandmother—who ran a seamstry store with their grandfather until they retired, which has since been taken over by their aunt—surprised her with a handmade dress. Unfortunately, their grandmother has since passed away but his sister was comforted knowing that a part of her would be at the wedding via the dress.

And this is where things go off the rails.

OP continues that a few days prior to the post, he and his daughter, who he refers to as “C,” were visiting his sister, and C asked to try on the dress. Because C was a larger girl than his sister, she naturally said no, to C’s dismay. A more respectful child would have perhaps left it at that, but when OP and his sister went out to pick up dinner C decided to take matters into her own hands and try on the wedding dress anyway.

“We got back, and the dress was destroyed,” OP writes. “C had apparently tried to get it on, popping some seams, and got stuck. Instead of waiting for help, she cut her way out. The dress was hacked to bits.”

Sis was devastated and asked us to leave. I grounded C, and called Aunt with some pictures, asking if it could be saved. She said there was no. She said she’d make a new one, but it wasn’t the same. Then she dropped the bomb on me—[grandma] had hand-sewed most of the dress, used super expensive fabric, and put almost 500 hours in making that dress since it was the only family wedding we’d have. In total, the dress cost $12,000, give or take.

In the beginning of the post, OP mentioned that a rule that he and his ex share is that if their daughter breaks anything, she has to pay for it. So he promptly ordered C to the bank to empty her $15,000 saving account that was to be used for college spending money, and transferred the funds to his sister—$12,000 for the dress, and an additional $3,000 for the emotional distress she caused.

His ex initially butted heads with him over the decision (although she eventually came around after witnessing photos of the destruction) and asked the people of Reddit: AITA?

Suffice to say, people were overwhelmingly on OP’s side, as you can see from the handful of responses, below.

NTA absolutely not. She “ruined” her own future. In my mind, that dress wasn’t twelve, or even fifteen thousand dollars, it was priceless. It could have and should have been passed down for generations. I’m horrified your daughter did such a thing. Most kids don’t go to college with savings, so she’s just going to have to tough it out. I hope she looks back one day and realizes the payment she made was severely short. I am so sorry this has happened to your family. (Source)

NTA absolutely not. She “ruined” her own future. In my mind, that dress wasn’t twelve, or even fifteen thousand dollars, it was priceless. It could have and should have been passed down for generations. I’m horrified your daughter did such a thing. Most kids don’t go to college with savings, so she’s just going to have to tough it out. I hope she looks back one day and realizes the payment she made was severely short. I am so sorry this has happened to your family. (Source)

NTA. At sixteen you’re old enough to know that there’s consequences for doing things you’ve been told not to do. I applaud you for making C pay for the dress and emotional stress. (Source)

I’m so confused by why your daughter’s first response to getting stuck in the dress was to hack it up with scissors. That’s a crazy response. Are we sure she didn’t ruin the dress on purpose? You [would] think having a great grandmother that’s such a talented seamstress she would know cutting the dress would ruin it? (Source)

NTA, your daughter is old enough to know what she did was wrong. I think that you were right to give your sister the 12k for the dress. Your daughter can continue to work as she has time left before college and she can also apply to scholarships, get loans or work while in college. I disagree with you giving your sister 3k from your kid’s account thought. I think you should give the 3k back to your daughter and tell your sister the 3k is from you. Did your daughter know the significance of the dress? I am also very close to my grandma and if I was in your sister’s shoes it would take me a VERY long time to forgive your daughter. (Source)

In an update, OP added that his daughter admitted destroying the dress out of jealousy and that he and her mother were exploring therapy options. If nothing else, maybe a therapist will be able to fix the little sociopath!