Wedding guest attire can often be a touchy subject for couples. Obviously, they have a vision in their heads about what the day will look like. And while they can provide a dress code on the invitations, they really have no control over what guests actually show up wearing—as this bride recently learned.
A recent thread in Reddit's "Am I the A**hole" section went viral after a bride wrote about asking a guest to leave her reception because he was wearing his military uniform. "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.
My wedding had over 300 guests and nobody else felt the need to wear something to make them stand out."
The bride adds that he was well-behaved and a "complete gentleman," even taking photos with some teenage girls also in attendance. But all that extra attention rubbed her the wrong way. "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," she continued. "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.
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!"
Commenters were somewhat divided about the bride's actions. Some believed the uniform was "classy" and "formal wear," but many more thought the guest in question was wrong to wear the uniform without asking the bride and groom first. "It's formal military wear," one said. "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. This reeks of 'thank me for my service.' "
Another commenter, a former army sergeant, penned, "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 [sic] the couple. 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." That same commenter also added that the "kicking him out of the wedding was a bit much.
It's your special day, but you shouldn't forget that you play dual roles—you are both the host and the one fêted. Don't forget that former role...With 300 guests, one person in uniform isn't going to kill your day."
Sounds like there were enough bad decisions to go around on this one.