The internet is split over who’s in the wrong in an unusual situation involving an irate bride and a war veteran. The bride explained the scenario as part of Reddit’s “Am I the A—hole” section, telling commenters that she found herself in the awkward position of kicking a guest out of her wedding for wearing, of all things, his military uniform to her black tie optional wedding.
“The son of one of my husband’s family friends showed up to my wedding in his marines formal wear, complete with all his medals,” she wrote. “Now, I have nothing against anyone in the military but this was a black tie optional wedding and frankly it felt very out of place and it seemed like he was just trying to show off.”
The bride added that she and her husband had invited more than 300 guests and no one else had strayed from the dress code in any way that would make them stand out.
“Up until the point that I asked him to leave, he of course was acting very well mannered and like a complete gentleman, as one might expect from a member of the armed forces, and there were even a few excited teenage girls at my wedding who wanted to take a picture with him, to which he graciously agreed,” she continued. “Many people were thanking him for his service, and frankly it just felt like the only reason he wore that was to be in the spotlight and make it about him, which I don’t think you are supposed to do at someone else’s wedding.”
“If he wants to wear that to his own wedding then fine, but the whole point of having a dress code at a wedding is so that no one guest will stand out too much,” she concluded. “I felt that he should have known this, since the whole point of uniforms in the military is so that you don’t stand out from everyone else!”
The bride admitted that she felt “kind of bad” for ultimately opting to ask him to leave, but “it just didn’t feel right for him to be there like that.”
Reactions to her original post have been divided into two main camps: those who believe it was the guest’s right to wear military formal wear, and those who believe the bride had every right to ask him to leave, given that it was her big day. Then, of course, there were those commenters who saw merit to both parties’ situation.
“Wearing formal military wear at formal civilian events is allowed per regulations (Army is AR 670-1, no clue for marines), but you have to be a special kind of a—hole to wear it to a non-military wedding without specific permission of the couple,” a former army sergeant wrote. “The reason for this is the same as wearing white to a wedding—this puts you in competition with the bride. He should have dressed in civilian wear, or at very least, checked with the couple getting married.”
Just as there are certain regulations and customs associated with military weddings, it’s important to ensure that guests abide by dress codes explicitly set out by the couple as well. Check out The Knot’s wedding attire cheat sheet here.
On the flip side, the same commenter noted, it felt extreme that the bride’s solution was then to oust the guest. “It’s your special day, but you shouldn’t forget that you play dual roles—you are both the host and the one feted. Don’t forget that former role.”
Other commenters were less kind, either calling out the marine or the bride for what they deemed inappropriate behavior.
“It’s formal military wear, but as a vet I can tell you that anyone who tries it in this situation is going to get the stink-eye from anyone who’s ever served,” one user wrote. “This reeks of ‘thank me for my service.’”
“Do we really think people are going to forget whose wedding it is?” another user wrote. “The bride will still get tons of attention. It’s crazy to me that all the attention they get isn’t enough, they need to make sure no one else gets any too.”
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