Imagine one of the biggest days of your life — your wedding day. Yes, we know that many millennials are opting not to get married, which means that when we do choose to finally tie the knot, it’s a pretty big deal. It takes a lot of time, money, patience… and did we say money — to put up a dream wedding.
You find the perfect dress, and you’re ready to start getting ready with your wedding party. As you walk out in your beautiful wedding gown, you see something out of the corner of your eye — something that makes you do a double take, because it just can’t be possible. Are you really seeing what you think you’re seeing??
Your mother-in-law is also wearing a wedding gown. To your wedding.
It’s your day, and literally everyone and their mother (except your future spouse’s, apparently) know that you aren’t supposed to wear white to a wedding, let alone a wedding dress.
Yeah. Let that thought soak in for a second.
Are you cringing yet? Well, buckle up: That’s exactly what happened to veteran and romance author Amy Pennza on her wedding day.
The author shared the hilarious moment on Twitter in response to Jimmy Fallon’s wedding fail hashtag challenge.
She tweeted a photo of herself and MIL both wearing wedding gowns. Who’s really the bride here??? Hard to tell, tbh!
Of course, Twitter went nuts with this scenario. Many were quick to defend Pennza, because, to be fair, the photo is nuts.
Some even feared for the future mother-in-law’s life and others desperately wanted to know the details behind the insane picture.
She forgot to ask one simple question.
So, when she arrived to her wedding venue, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
Until, she saw her partner’s mother wearing an actual wedding gown.
While most of it is a blur, she does remember uttering something we were all thinking.
Her family had no words.
But they were also terrified she would go crazy… or taser her!
Thankfully, she held it together.
But it turns out things aren’t exactly what they seem.
Pennza’s mother-in-law has quite the backstory that would explain her interesting choice of attire.
At first glance, it could seem like a crazy Monster-In-Law sitch, but Pennza cleared the air after her tweet went viral.
And it’s definitely not what you think.
Pennza’s MIL is extremely frugal. But you need to understand where she came from to truly grasp her decisions.
Pennza is right that you need to really know where someone comes from in order to fully understand them.
Pennza’s mother-in-law grew up in extreme poverty. Because of that upbringing, she learned what lack of money can do (and carried that with her).
This is totally understandable.
With poverty comes employment challenges, homelessness, and food insecurity. When your basic needs are unable to be met, of course that would stay with you.
Pennza opened up about her MIL’s financial issues.
Her mother-in-law resorted to eating matchstick heads at one point, as a child.
As a child, there were stretches of time where the bride’s mother-in-law didn’t have food.
This may sound odd (and a bit gross), but according to Pennza, “As a kid she would eat match heads. She didn’t know it at the time, but that’s the kind of thing you crave when you have a nutritional deficiency, and she was malnourished.”
So Pennza understood why her MIL went with a wedding dress, too.
In an essay for Glamour, Pennza noted that her future mother-in-law had three weddings to attend over the summer, including hers.
“My sister-in-law got married in July, mine was in August, and my husband’s close friend tied the knot in September. My mother-in-law was invited to all of them. So she had to buy three dresses for the weddings, plus outfits for all of the showers and parties that also come along with it.”
The bride knew that her MIL used to live hand-to-mouth, and that is why she was so excited to get such a fancy (wedding) dress at such a low price: “the woman just can’t resist a sale (and the dress was significantly marked down).”
Though, Pennza admits that her MIL’s frugality comes with some pretty funny stories.
For example, she takes olives and celery out of Bloody Marys to save them for salads.
She also has a closet full of collectible vintage toys, like *NSYNC dolls and Furbies, to sell at a later date when they are worth more. When Pennza’s MIL was raising her kids, she would also ask restaurant servers for coupons back so she could use them again.
Hey, we’re all about saving money, too.
But there has to be a point where saving money doesn’t outweigh, say, your future daughter-in-law’s feelings.
Fortunately for this thrifty mother-in-law, Pennza doesn’t see it as an attack of sorts. In fact, she says that her mother-in-law is anything but stingy.
Despite her frugal ways, Pennza wants to make it clear that her money-saving strategies don’t make her any less generous.
Pennza gives tons of examples of her mother-in-law’s generosity in the thread. She is beyond generous with her time, and made sure to help out Pennza when she had newborn twins. She even slept on the couch for eight months straight to help feed them in the middle of the night.
Are you crying yet? Because we’re getting misty-eyed.
Her MIL even packed up all the wedding leftovers.
According to Pennza’s piece in Glamour, “She kept all the leftovers. For weeks we ate the slices of cake she’d wrapped in napkins and put in a Tupperware. We ate all the wedding food she froze for a long time. She’s probably ahead of her time in terms of being environmentally conscious, because she does not waste food.”
This story just goes to show that you never should judge a book by its cover.
Even if someone’s behavior seems strange (or rude) to you, that doesn’t always mean that person is acting with malicious intent. People have different quirks, behaviors, and habits that may rub you the wrong way at points, but you know what? It makes them, well, them.
Plus, counting a damn good bargain hunter as family comes some sweet rewards.
Not to mention generosity goes beyond money. It goes for time and love, too.
And if your heart isn’t melting over a mother-in-law who is not just willing, but happy to hem your pants for your new job and love your kids with everything she has, you’re empty inside.
You’ll be happy to know that Pennza’s love story also has a happy ending.
As she recounts to Glamour, “To this day we still joke about the dress.”
She wrote, “On our anniversary we’ll look at wedding photos and joke, “It’s the two brides!” Or, “Bride one and bride two!”
It’s good to know that everyone is such a good sport with this. Oh, and we should also mention no blood was shed at the wedding. In fact, it seems like it went rather smoothly, despite the wardrobe mixup.
The bride even teases her MIL any time they go to a wedding.
Pennza often ribs her mother-in-law, teasing, “”You’re not going to wear white this time, are you?” Her mother-in-law takes it in stride, but it’s also safe to say that she won’t be wearing white to another wedding any time soon.