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A woman in a lace dress | Source: Shutterstock
A woman in a lace dress | Source: Shutterstock

SIL Secretly Wanted to Come to My Wedding in a White Lace Dress, So I Made up a Plan to Outplay Her

Wian Prinsloo
May 13, 2024
12:15 P.M.

2014 was a year of big plans and even bigger dreams. My husband, Leo, and I decided to tie the knot, but not in any traditional way. No, we planned a cosplay-themed wedding based on the TV show "Firefly." But not everyone was looking forward to letting us have our special day.

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It was our passion, and we figured it was the perfect way to merge our love for each other with our love for the series. Our friends and family were thrilled, some were already brainstorming their costumes before we even sent out the invites. Everyone was amped, not to mention myself and Leo. We couldn't go a day without hyping each other up.

A couple looking at things on a laptop | Source: Pexels

A couple looking at things on a laptop | Source: Pexels

We planned everything together, but Leo had one specific request: to include his sister, Angie, as a bridesmaid. At first, I wasn't too sure about this. Angie and I had never really clicked. But considering how special she was to Leo, I agreed.

After all, it was his big day too. We decided early on that everyone in the bridal party would dress as characters from the show, each unique, with no repeats. I thought it was a simple enough rule.

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Woman dressing up as a cowboy | Source: Unsplash

Woman dressing up as a cowboy | Source: Unsplash

The planning went smoothly, except for one aspect — Angie. She seemed disinterested from the start. Whenever the topic of costumes came up, she'd wave it off or change the subject.

I tried to keep the peace and chalked it up to her not being into the whole cosplay thing. But it wasn't just indifference, it was like she was making a point to be difficult.

A woman dressed as a cowboy | Source: Pexels

A woman dressed as a cowboy | Source: Pexels

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One evening, while Leo and I were over at her place, I suggested, "Why don't we watch "Firefly?" It's fun, and you can pick out a character for the wedding."

Angie just scoffed, flipping through the Netflix menu. "Nah, let's watch something else. How about a rom-com?"

A couple watching TV together | Source: Pexels

A couple watching TV together | Source: Pexels

I glanced at Leo, who shrugged helplessly. This went on for weeks. Angie kept dodging the issue, and I kept trying to nudge her towards making a decision. Finally, after yet another call about what she should wear, I took matters into my own hands.

"I'll email you some options," I told her, trying to mask my frustration. "There's a variety of characters. One of them is bound to fit."

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A woman on a laptop | Source: Unsplash

A woman on a laptop | Source: Unsplash

I spent that night poring over episodes, pausing to take screenshots and jot down details. I even considered Angie's need for easy access to breastfeeding — she had a newborn, after all.

The list included diverse characters like a school teacher known for her practicality, a charming robot with a penchant for comedy, and several companions from the show, each with their own unique flair.

When I sent the email, I felt a mix of relief and resignation. At least I'd done all I could to help.

A woman working on a laptop | Source: Unsplash

A woman working on a laptop | Source: Unsplash

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A few days later, Angie called. "Thanks for the email, but can't I just come as something simple? Maybe just a generic villager?"

I pressed my phone tighter against my ear, taking a deep breath. "Angie, the whole point is for us all to be different characters from "Firefly." It's important to us, and it's really not that hard to pick from the list I sent."

An annoyed woman on the phone | Source: Unsplash

An annoyed woman on the phone | Source: Unsplash

There was a pause, and then she sighed, her voice dripping with reluctance. "Fine, I'll look at it again. But no promises I'll like any of them."

Her tone rubbed me the wrong way, but I bit back my sharper retort. "Just let me know, okay? Sooner rather than later. Everyone else is pretty much sorted."

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"Sure, whatever," Angie muttered before hanging up.

A woman looking disappointedly at her phone | Source: Unsplash

A woman looking disappointedly at her phone | Source: Unsplash

The weeks leading up to the wedding were hectic, filled with final fittings, decorations, and seemingly endless checklists. Through it all, Angie's costume remained a wildcard. Leo tried to mediate, suggesting maybe I could be more flexible.

"It's just one costume, babe," he reasoned one night as we sat amid piles of fabric and ribbon.

"But it's the principle," I argued. "She agreed to this. It's not just about the costume, it's about participating, being part of this with us."

He nodded, understanding my point but clearly torn between his sister and me. And despite my attempts to remain calm, tension simmered between us.

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A woman feeling angry and overwhelmed | Source: Unsplash

A woman feeling angry and overwhelmed | Source: Unsplash

As the wedding drew near, Angie's indifference to her costume escalated into a full-blown saga. Each conversation we had circled back to the same frustrating point — she hadn't even glanced at the character list I meticulously put together for her. My patience, worn thin from wedding planning and costume sewing, was at its breaking point.

A long to-do list | Source: Unsplash

A long to-do list | Source: Unsplash

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"Angie, have you looked at the list yet? There are plenty of characters you could easily dress as," I reminded her over the phone, my tone threaded with hope that this time might be different.

"I'll look at it tonight, promise. Work has been so wild this week and I had so many other things to take care of."

"It's been more than just a week that you've had it, though. I don't mean to sound pushy, but this is a really big thing for me, Ang. I need you to take it seriously." Even though I pleaded, I just knew nothing was getting through to her.

An email mailbox | Source: Unsplash

An email mailbox | Source: Unsplash

Angie called one particularly taxing day as I stitched the last flower girls' dresses — adorable little ensembles inspired by the character River. "Can you just pick for me? I really don't know what to wear," she pleaded.

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Exasperated, I made a hasty decision. "Fine, you'll go as Petaline, the pregnant sex worker," I blurted out, referring to a minor character known more for her context in the story than her screen time.

An exasperated woman | Source: Unsplash

An exasperated woman | Source: Unsplash

"Okay, whatever works," Angie replied nonchalantly, not bothering to ask more about the character. I hung up, a mix of relief and annoyance churning within me. Part of me regretted my snap decision since it might not be something Angie really liked. But another part was too tired to care. I had given her every chance to make up her mind.

A woman on her phone | Source: Unsplash

A woman on her phone | Source: Unsplash

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Sadly, my relief didn't last long. Not even a week later, one of the other bridesmaids called me in a bit of a panic.

"Why would you even have her at your wedding, Zel?"

"What? Who are you talking about?"

"Angie! Have you checked her outfit?"

"Well, yeah. I told her to be Petaline. I know it's an odd choice, but I was fed up and she didn't seem interested. So I just said that's what she would wear."

A woman on the phone | Source: Pexels

A woman on the phone | Source: Pexels

"Petaline would be a great choice compared to what she's planning on wearing."

I turned cold at the thought of her showing up in whatever she wanted, not even consulting me. "What did she tell you?"

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"She thinks she'll go in a white lace dress. Basically a wedding dress. I hear it even came with a veil."

Needless to say, I was boiling with rage. But I kept my cool. I had a plan, after all.

The wedding day arrived, and it was a whirlwind of costumes. Friends and family really embraced the theme, their outfits a colorful homage to our favorite show.

A wedding table | Source: Pexels

A wedding table | Source: Pexels

Angie, meanwhile, showed up in her white dress, strutting in like she owned the place. But as soon as she stepped foot in the venue, the other bridesmaids cornered her and brought her into the changing room.

They stuffed her into the best costume of Petaline I have ever seen, despite her objections. Nonetheless, she accepted her costume after I ranted at her and she ended up mingling and laughing, blissfully unaware of her character's backstory.

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Woman in a white dress | Source: Unsplash

Woman in a white dress | Source: Unsplash

It wasn't until after the wedding, during a casual post-wedding brunch, that the truth came out. One of Leo's friends, chuckling, mentioned the character in conversation.

"You really pulled off the pregnant prostitute look, Angie! I mean, it's such a quirky choice," he said, clinking his glass in a toast.

Angie's smile faltered, her eyes flicking to me in confusion and hurt. "What? That's who I was?"

I met her gaze, my own expression firm. "Yes. I told you who you were dressing as."

An upset woman | Source: Unsplash

An upset woman | Source: Unsplash

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The table fell silent, the air thick with tension. Angie's face reddened, and I could see the embarrassment and anger brewing behind her eyes. "You could have told me more about her. You set me up to look foolish!"

Leo intervened, his voice calm but firm. "Ang, Erin gave you months to pick someone. She was managing a lot. It was on you to follow up."

Angie shook her head, pushing her chair back with a scrape. "I didn't think she'd actually make me someone… like that. It's just mean. And I even had my own dress here!"

An upset woman | Source: Unsplash

An upset woman | Source: Unsplash

"I think it's fair to say you could have handled your part better. And I don't think your wedding dress was appropriate," I responded, the frustration and stress of the past months pouring into my words. "This was important to us, and you knew that. If you cared as much as you say, you would have made an effort."

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Angie left shortly after, and the incident left a sour note on what had been a beautiful celebration. Leo and I discussed it later and decided to slowly ask her to spend time with us again. She eventually accepted an invite to dinner even though I joked in the invite about the dress code being jeans and t-shirts only.

Two women arguing | Source: Pexels

Two women arguing | Source: Pexels

In the end, the wedding was a chapter of joy for us, despite this small wrinkle. And despite the hiccup, it remained a fond memory filled with love, laughter, and a touch of space cowboy flair.

How would you have dealt with this?

Here's another story about a woman who gave her sister-in-law the family wedding dress as a trap.

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This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided "as is," and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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