mother in law wedding dress


Why this bride forgave her mother-in-law for showing up to her wedding in a wedding dress

Always the mother-in-law, never the bride.


Siobhan Ball


Posted on Jun 21, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 10:06 am CDT

Romance novelist Amy Pennza horrified the internet this week with a photograph of her and her mother-in-law at Pennza’s wedding—both wearing wedding dresses.

People naturally assumed the worst.

Commenters also provided some pretty funny takes on the situation.

“You need to make a ‘who wore it better’ and send the results out as your Christmas Cards this year,” one Twitter user wrote.

People also suggested strategies for dealing with similar missteps in the future.

Pennza followed up on Wednesday to reveal the full story—and it’s very different from the one people were imagining.

It started out the way we might have expected, with an explanation about why the bridesmaids didn’t do their red wine spilling duty.

“My sister (matron of honor) said she didn’t pull me aside and talk about it because she hoped I was too distracted to notice,” Pennza explained. “My college roommate (bridesmaid) said the same thing.”

But then there was a huge twist (Pennza is a writer, after all).

It turns out that her mother-in-law is a lovely woman, and rather than it being a case of jealousy, spite, or a creepy level of attachment to her son, it was all just a terrible mistake. Pennza explained her mother-in-law is incredibly frugal, the result of terrible poverty as a child.

Unable to resist any kind of bargain or money-saving strategy, she’s become a legend among her family.

That’s apparently how the terrible dress error happened. 

But less generous folks on the internet weren’t buying this explanation at all.

So, Pennza went out of her way to describe how generous and loving her mother-in-law is.

The woman is practically a saint.

In context, it’s no wonder that Pennza looks back on it as a funny mistake rather than a declaration of war.

Unfortunately, it’s not the only time someone showed up their kid’s wedding in a wedding dress. And most of the mothers-in-law involved were decidedly less innocent than Pennza’s.

In the end, @DrSpEdinNV may speak for all the nosy Twitter users. She wrote, “I have suddenly become overly invested in women behaving horribly at other women’s weddings and I don’t know why.”


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*First Published: Jun 21, 2019, 3:27 pm CDT