My Fiancé’s Groomsman Has No Teeth!

My fiancé, “John,” and I are in our early 30s and getting married in two months. John has been friends with his buddy “Justin” for years – since they were kids. Justin is an okay guy — kind of weird and a little transient/unfocused in his life, but a good guy overall and has been a good friend to my man which endears him to me. John would like to ask Justin to be one of his groomsman and potentially his best man. The problem? Justin has no teeth.

I don’t know the whole history here, but for whatever reason Justin has dentures. In fact, I didn’t even know about any of this for the first several years that I knew him because he always had them in and it was never mentioned. Then, one day, he came to one of our parties without them. I was able to suppress my shock at this and acted normally, not saying anything to him. After all, it’s none of my business and as I said, he’s a good guy.

I am generally a proponent of direct communication whenever possible, so when John said that he wanted Justin to be in the wedding, I was concerned about his lack of teeth and sent him a message telling him that we would love to have him in the wedding but that I would like him to wear his dentures. He replied that he would love to, but has lost them and cannot afford replacements. John has stated that he still wants him to be a groomsman despite this.

I am torn. On one hand, Justin is a good friend to my man and I’m a firm believer that this is his wedding too so I don’t want to go all Bridezilla and say no. On the other – he has NO TEETH and I’m not exactly going for the hillbilly look in my wedding theme. I know that it shouldn’t matter, that all that is important is that we are married at the end of the day and that we celebrated that with our loved ones, but another part of me cringes at the thought of his big, toothless grin in all of our wedding photos. How can I get over this shallow impulse? — His Teeth are Giving Me Grief

Oh, wow. You’re willing to tell your fiancé that his lifelong friend who, by your account has always been a great friend, can’t be his groomsman because you’re worried that your wedding theme will be messed up for a disfigurement he can’t afford to camouflage enough for your liking? Yeah, maybe Bridezilla isn’t the worst B-word you could be called for that kind of behavior.

Please, I’m urging you to take off your bridey blinders and see the whole picture here. No one is going to think your wedding is “hillbilly” themed unless you want them to. And for the record, I personally think a hillbilly wedding, complete with a washboard band, sounds a hell of a lot more fun than most stuffy affairs with perfectly chosen linens and tacky taffeta dresses where people are made to feel unwelcome because they aren’t pretty enough. And, you know, that’s basically what you’re doing. You are telling your fiancé’s best friend that he isn’t attractive enough to be at — or certainly in — your wedding. Is that the person you want to be? Because that person is shitty. Like, seriously.

I don’t even know what advice to give you except to stop acting like a crappy person. You ask me how you can get over your shallow impulse and I’m not sure you can. Maybe that’s a born trait you’re stuck with — a trait far worse than missing teeth, if you ask me — and that sure sucks. But the good news is that while you may HAVE the shallow impulse, you definitely don’t have to ACT on it. It sounds like you recognize that you’re being a shallow Bridezilla, so the next step is to say, “Self, that’s a really a really shitty, shallow thought. A close, lifelong friendship, my fiancé’s happiness and the feelings of a man whose biggest crime is not having a nice enough smile for my taste is at stake. Let’s just suck it up and carry on.”

It may not feel entirely comfortable. It may nag at you that your wedding isn’t just so, but you know what? Sometimes non-shitty, non-selfish people deal with a little discomfort every once in awhile. And guess what? They survive! And they realize that sucking it up and dealing with a little discomfort every once in awhile is worth it for the greater good. It’s worth it to spare someone’s feelings, or to save a friendship, or you know, not feel like an an asshole.

On the other hand, you could always offer to buy your fiancé’s friend some new dentures. Just factor it into the cost of your non-hillbilly-themed wedding. It would certainly be a more unique groomsman gift than cufflinks he’ll never wear again.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)


  1. Eeeek… I think this response is a little harsh. The LW realizes she’s being shallow, which sucks, but, we’ve all been there. Unfortunately for the LW though, Wendy general message is right. He’s been a life long friend to your man, and if your fiance wants him in the wedding, he should definitely be in the wedding.

    Quite frankly, my bigger concern right now is that “Justin” doesn’t have any dentures: I would think eating, etc. would be so difficult, and he’s probably already self-conscious. I think he handled your fb message very well… even though I support “direct communication,” that probably crossed the line.

    1. elisabeth says:

      I’m with you. The general advice (make yourself suck it up and move on) is spot-on, but it suuuuuucks when you know you feel a certain way that’s unacceptable, but you can’t figure out how to just control that emotion. It sucks so bad, especially when you know it’s a bitchy feeling, like the LW seems to. Sometimes all you can do is suck it up and tell yourself over and over that it’s not that big of a deal. And usually, I find, that helps you to believe it.

      At least you (LW) recognize it’s the wedding that’s getting a hold of you. Find a way to step back and breathe, and you’ll see this isn’t such a big deal. You’re getting married! That is awesome.

      1. Random, non-letter-related reply, here. elisabeth, I’m not really much of a cat person, but your picture is so freaking cute I can’t handle it. I just want to smush that little face- in a non-crazy or violent way, of course. Just in a mushy animal lover kind of way. Is that your cat? And if so, how do you function with that much adorabilty around you?

      2. elisabeth says:

        ♥ Yes, that is my cat, and she is an utter sweetheart. Sadly, she’s not much of a cuddler, so I just wait until she’s sleeping. =P Thanks!

      3. Yeah if the LW can afford it she should get him dentures. It looks like you can get full custom dentures with an online kit for $500 US.

        Compared to the other costs that go into a wedding, that is pretty cheap.

    2. Honestly I think the LW can best get over it by just getting over it. There’s no magic advice Wendy can give her to do that. (And Wendy’s right, she’s being a big B – Facebook message about your lack of teeth? That’s cold. To be concerned might be excused by The Wedding Must be Perfect! Jitters but damn.)

      LW, do yourself a favour and message that poor man back saying something like “Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that happened to you. I hope you’re doing okay. Is there anything Groom and I can do to help?

      I also want to apologize for my rude message. It wasn’t my place to ask that of you. I let my planning get carried away and I’m very sorry. I’m really happy you have such a great friendship with Groom and are standing up for him. ”

      And then shut up and keep shutting up, even when the evil Bridezilla in you doesn’t want to. I relate, I really do, having been a bride myself not long ago, but honey you need to chill before you hurt people.

      1. theattack says:

        Could not agree more about the apology. While this whole catastrophe can’t be undone, she should at least acknowledge that she was out of line, and try to make peace with him.

  2. If it doesn’t seem to bother him that he’s without teeth, it shouldn’t bother you. What if he were missing a limb? Would you require he wear a prosthetic?

  3. Painted_lady says:

    Again with the telling people what to do. What in the world gave you the impression you have any say whatsoever in who your fiancé has in his part of the wedding party?

    Seriously, if the situation were reversed and he told you, “I don’t think (MOH name) should be in our wedding till she loses a couple pounds. I’m going to ask her to go to Weight Watchers and if she won’t, we should cut her from the wedding party,” wouldn’t you want to deck him? I sure as hell would. Because that’s an awful thing to say. It’s mean, its petty, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with having a good time at your wedding and celebrating your marriage. Remember that no one actually cares about this day anywhere near as much as you do.

  4. I support Wendy’s response 150%.

    1. I also give this guy’s friend a butt load of credit for non-chalantly rocking the pure gum look…I’d be mortified if I was him and didn’t have my dentures…but I guess if finances are an issue you have to buck it up sooner or later.

      1. Britannia says:

        I guess I don’t understand why it’s even a big deal in the first place. There’s plenty of ways to smile without showing your gums, and I’m sure that this groomsman doesn’t walk around with his mouth hanging open for all to see…

  5. How do you lose dentures? I’m not being an ass, I just don’t see a scenario when one would lose track of ’em. LW, I get your angst, but I agree with Wendy. The good thing about wedding photos is that you can take a ton of them with all possible mixtures of people. If it’s anything like the weddings I’ve attended, there’s going to be a least a couple of standouts in the crowd anyway. The last wedding I was in as a bridesmaid, our dresses that were so pretty and appropriate in the store ended up plunging down to there by the end of the night. With three DD bridesmaids. Oops. And my conservative 70 year old mother decided to get bright pink highlights and stand up and take pictures when I walked down the aisle. My friends and I laugh about it now. Good luck!

    1. Painted_lady says:

      Maybe something happened to them that cleaning wouldn’t fix, like they fell off the sink and into the toilet, or Justin’s dog ate them. Sometimes “lost” is an easier way to say “they were destroyed in a completely stupid way.” As a very accident-prone person, I do this a lot.

      1. That or say he took them out at night to sleep at a hotel or maybe even another setting where he wanted a break from them, forgot them and then they were gone when he got back. The hotel thing happened to one of my friend’s Grandparents. So it can happen!

      2. Skyblossom says:

        My grandfather lost his dentures in the toilet. It does happen.

      3. soooo reach in and get them. then boil them. it’s really not that hard of a problem.

    2. callmehobo says:

      As someone who once had prosthetic teeth, they are extremely delicate. Sometimes they break from just simple wear and tear, and yes, Like Painted lady said- Dogs do tend to like to chew on them. Seriously.

    3. I could see a situation where maybe they were broken or something – I had a roommate destroy a retainer because he left it soaking in the bathroom (in a container on the counter), and it got knocked down and broken. Or if the dentures didn’t fit well and were uncomfortable (which I hear can happen), he might not have worn them all the time and they could have been misplaced that way. Things happen.

      1. Thanks for the input…I’m a chronic misplacer of things myself, so I was curious. I knocked my toothbrush into the toilet last week. It took me a good several minutes to psych myself into pulling it out (and immediately threw it away). I am so not a morning person.

      2. hahahahaha – the “I know that isn’t going to flush…is there something I can grab it with?? Nope…..shit….ok…at least it’s an empty bowl” *cue cringe and reach*

      3. Exactly!

    4. A classic story in my family is that my great-grandfather used to get drunk and come home without his false teeth! So maybe it’s better that Justin start out the night without his teeth, rather than leave them somewhere at the wedding!

      1. Painted_lady says:

        Nothing against dentures, but any prosthetic is creepy without its owner. Can you imagine being the one to find them?

        We’ve actually got a similar story – my uncle was a flight attendant for years, and he had a passenger once who had a prosthetic leg. Somehow in all the maneuvering and wiggling you have to do to get in airline seats, the lady’s leg CAME OFF. She was really sweet, if a little embarrassed, but my uncle made a couple of inoffensive jokes and put it in the overhead bin (!). Well, next thing you know they hit a massive electrical storm, and in all the jolting, the bin came open and the leg flew out. He was so impressed that this woman never lost her patience, just rolled with it.

      2. Painted_lady says:

        Sorry, that probably sounded like an asshole line. A solo prosthetic without its owner anywhere near, without preparation, is creepy. Stumbling onto any disembodied limbs without warning is a bit off-putting.

      3. demoiselle says:

        I’m terrible, but the image of a woman “rolling with” her prosthetic leg, which flew out of an airline bin, has me in stitches…

      4. A paralympic swimmer once slummed it with my team for a while, and every time I entered the locker room I had a minute of “AAK! SOMEONE LOST AN ARM!” before my sense returned.

    5. I had a family friend who was a farmer… his daughter’s pet goat ate his dentures.

      …It could happen twice right?

      1. demoiselle says:

        Goats are miracle animals. When I lived a month in India, I developed a kind of awe for them. City-dwellers would have them, and they’d wander the streets during the day, eating coconut shells, watermelon rinds, weeds, and other rubbish, and as the sun started going down, they’d all start walking home, like magic. They’d gobble up all kinds of garbage–and voila–meat and milk!

        Everyone should have a goat.

    6. When I was young I went to the beach with my aunt and uncle, who is a rather older man. When he was walking out of the ocean a wave slapped him on his back and his dentures flew out of his mouth and were lost forever! I felt so badly for him but he was a good sport and my sister and I managed to suppress our giggles in his presence. We imagine that a fish must be using them now 😉

    7. Anonymous says:

      Our neighbor had his dentures on the front seat of his car (why I don’t know) and his dog grabbed them and ran off. Despite a massive search the dentures were never seen again.

  6. ReginaRey says:

    LW, I think you need to view this disfigurement as any other unfortunate disfigurement. Would you disallow a person in a wheelchair? Someone with only one arm? Someone whose face had been scarred by burns? If this man was born, or somehow tragically lost, all of his teeth, he’s no different than someone else operating without all of their god-given body parts. I doubt you’d think disallowing a wheelchair-bound person was right, so why is this?

    Also, it was EXTREMELY bad form to email your fiancee’s friend. If you were truly that concerned about your wedding photos being “ruined,” you could have at least asked your fiancee to kindly bring up the state and status of his dentures. Emailing him was petty, and I’m sure very embarrassing for him. How would you feel if someone emailed you, “Hi, I’d love for you to be in my wedding, but you have to lose 30 pounds first or else you’ll ruin my pictures,” or “Hey, I’d love to have you as a bridesmaid, but just be sure to strap on your fake leg, kay?”

    Emailing him was inappropriate, embarrassing and tacky, and I imagine that if you can make that ill-informed decision to email your fiancees friend, then your wedding may have far more “tacky” issues in its future than some dude’s lack of teeth in your pictures.

    1. Something More says:

      “I doubt you’d think disallowing a wheelchair-bound person was right, so why is this?”

      I’m kind of thinking she wouldn’t be OK with allowing a wheelchair-bound person in HER wedding…

    2. Yeah I kinda can’t believe she emailed him either. Asking the fiance to email him would have been way better though still inappropriate.

      1. For the record, I was very discreet and as kind as I could be in my email to him. Also, my fiance ASKED me to do it as he didn’t want to.

      2. theattack says:

        By definition, that email could not be kind.

      3. Precisely

      4. Beckaleigh says:

        I’m pretty sure that the fact that your fiance didn’t want to send the email should have clued you in that it shouldn’t be sent!

      5. Uh, yeah… his refusal should’ve been an indicator that this was an inappropriate move.

    3. Temperance says:

      I don’t think that it’s really fair to compare having no teeth (and wearing dentures) with being disfigured or using a wheelchair. He was wearing dentures and corrected the disfigurement with them. A lot of denture wearers tend to skip wearing them on occasion. I don’t think it would be unreasonable for her to ask him to wear them to a formal event.

      Telling a person who had a prosthetic arm that they needed to wear the arm would be assholeish. Dentures are cosmetic. It’s like requesting that someone wear makeup to your wedding or dress properly, as long as you KNOW that the person has the dentures; that’s how my extended family has always approached it, and there have NEVER been hard feelings about requesting that Grandma wear her dentures to X’s wedding, for example.

      1. Dentures are not cosmetic. You need them to eat solid food! Yeah, they’re not necessary all the time and do make people look more attractive, but they’re more than cosmetic. They’re like glasses for someone who would practically be unable to function without them (like me!).

      2. Seriously! How does this man eat? Is everything pureed?

      3. my dad didnt have any teeth for the last year during a complicated procedure to replace all his teeth (something about it takes that long for the gums to fully heal) and he said that he would just eat things that he would smush on the roof of his mouth with his tongue, but on the whole, yes- everything was pureed. lots of soups and soft food like enchaladas and over cooked pasta. he lost a ton of weight! lol

      4. demoiselle says:

        Would people be so upset about for instance asking a teenage attendant (sister of the groom or something) NOT to wear her retainer for the wedding photos? Or asking someone not to wear their glasses (I wear glasses all the time, but always take them off for photos so that people can see my eyes and there’s no glare)? ::curious::

      5. to be honest i never thought of asking anyone to any of those things in my wedding photos. my best friend wears glasses, my sister wears a retainer for jaw issues and my grandfather has tattoos all over his arms from when he was in the navy. and you know what i don’t see any of those things in my pictures. i see my friends and family. who cares if your teenage attendant has a retainer or someone is wearing glasses? i just don’t understand why someone would approach people in their wedding about things like that.

      6. I think it’d be kind of asshole-ish to ask somebody to remove their glasses or retainer or whatever– I understand the desire to have pictures look uniform (or at least, I get that this is a big deal to some people…) but if somebody is comfortable leaving their glasses on or their dentures out, then whatever.

      7. demoiselle says:

        I used to ask my dad to take his glasses off for photos, because he had transitions lenses and in photos they turned black or gray, and you couldn’t see his eyes or expression anymore. I have the same kind of lenses now.

      8. demoiselle says:

        ETA: Now that he’s gone, I’m always sad when I stumble across a picture of him where his lenses had transitioned, and I couldn’t see the expression of his eyes. But that’s because now I no longer have the option to look him in the eyes.

      9. Aw, I know the kind you mean– and yeah, even regular lenses give off a glare sometimes– but asking a family member to remove their glasses for a specific, understandable reason has a different vibe than a bride doing so for the sake of what only seems like picture uniformity

      10. I think people enjoy bring harsh in their responses. They are anonymous and get to say what ever they want in very harsh terms. I was thinking that maybe the bride to be doesn’t really like her fiancés friend and that is why his lack of teeth are bothering her so much. I suspect there something about him and his lifestyle that is causing her to feel this way.

  7. OUCH, Wendy. I know you’re probably kinda hormonal and sleep deprived now that you’re a new mommy (cute baby, btw), but MAN. No need to write three whole paragraphs that basically call someone a shitty human being because they asked you four help. This person just wanted some advice, not to be beaten up.

    Now that I’m off my soapbox, I think the general message of Wendy’s response was right. LW, You can’t very well ask someone so important to NOT attend a wedding becuase of something like this. Just deal with it, or offer to pay for the dentures. He’s not going to be in every pic, it’s not going to be the end of the world. I promise! 🙂

    1. ForeverYoung says:

      I actually wish people were told when they were being shitty people more often. I don’t think it needs to be rehashed because RR and others above have mentioned it, but in case you missed it – would your answer change if she asked one of her female bridesmaids to lose a few pounds? What about told them they had to wear spanx? What about not allowing a friend in a wheelchair to be a groomsman? What about someone that had adult acne?

      I don’t think the fact that she knows she’s being petty makes it much better either. I have a few socially unfavorable opinions about some things in life, and I just choose not to share them. If she knows she’s shallow why did she send that horrific e-mail? Obviously she is not nearly traumatized enough by her own behavior, so hopefully 3 full paragraphs will help.

      I get that it sucks to be told you’re a shitty person, but that’s totally avoidable – just don’t be a shitty person.

      1. ReginaRey says:

        Agree 100%. Also, it bothers me that Wendy gets accused of being overly hormonal or sleep-deprived because of her tough-but-true response. Maybe she IS hormonal and sleep-deprived, but don’t go accusing her of taking out her personal frustrations on letter writers. I think she’s proven over the past few months that she’s perfectly capable of giving measured, calm, meaningful response to many letter writers. If she chooses to be more tough, harsh or snarky in some responses…I think that’s her choice; not something she accidentally does because of her status as a new mother. I think she deserves more credit than that. Obviously this isn’t directed toward you, ForeverYoung.

      2. ele4phant says:

        I agree. While I’ve not had a baby and experienced that hormonal roller-coaster and lack of sleep, this seems similar to when people totally dismiss a woman’s anger or disappointment to her PMS.

        There is nothing more infuriating when someone says “Oh, are you PMSing” when I’m upset about something. No, my PMS is not making me react this way; its due to a completely legitimate and external cause.

      3. Agree. Just because someone is hormonal or sleep-deprived or what-have-you doesn’t mean that the other person isn’t a bitch. Still a bitch no matter what.

      4. “If she chooses to be more tough, harsh or snarky in some responses…I think that’s her choice”

        Wendy’s snark is why I keep coming back to read DW 🙂 (if also why I would be afraid to write in).

      5. Addie Pray says:

        It really, REALLY annoys me [as proven by my use of an extra all-capped “REALLY”] when people attribute a woman’s response/tone to being “hormonal and sleep deprived.” What an asinine thing to say. And demeaning. “Oh, a woman has a different point of view – and maybe even *gasp* raises her voice – she therefore must not be using her brain.” No, she may just passionately think you’re an asshole. And no, I’m not being bitchy just because I’m on my period. Assholes! Mwalt’s response is making me hateful.

      6. ReginaRey says:

        Agreed. I reserve the right to passionately think you’re an asshole without being gender-stereotyped.

      7. Painted_lady says:

        I’m totally using this.

      8. ForeverYoung says:

        Totally agree, it’s degrading to such a level that I didn’t know how to respond to that part of the comment. If someone doesn’t get why that’s a ridiculous thing to say then I don’t think I can convince them. But thanks Addie Pray and RR for trying!!

      9. Amen. I once worked with a guy who, whenever I would disagree with him (and he was an idiot, so it happened a lot) would make some comment about girls and their hormones and emotions. When I called him out on it, he told me we could consider the conversation when I was feeling more rational.

        I didn’t stab him with my pen. Thought about it though.

      10. katiebird says:

        the only thing worse than that accusation is being told that “you’re crazy and overreacting!” a guy would NEVER tell another guy that he was “overreacting”, i hate it i hate it i hate it

      11. I’m glad you said this. I was about to say something pretty similar.

      12. Addie Pray says:

        Wait, you mean some people DON’T wear Spanx and need to be prodded? Weird.

      13. ForeverYoung says:

        I have never worn spanx and really think I need to start. I only realized like 2 years ago that girls wore them pretty much everytime they wore a dress. I feel like i’ve been a little bit cheated in life.

      14. Addie Pray says:

        Eh, it hasn’t gotten me very far in life, I don’t think. And it’s very awkward to “discretely” remove then when you’ve already started making out with a hot groomsman. Ahem.

      15. Bridget Jones’ Diary, I believe, re: terrifying underwear.

      16. demoiselle says:

        Is that REALLY true? Do most women now wear Spanx under their dresses? I wore one for my wedding to prevent underwear lines, and it was UGH. Before I lost the a couple pounds, I also wore it under a pencil skirt, but I thought that was really freaky of me…

      17. If it is, then I am not most women! I’ve never worn them in my life, and my figure is not perfect. I just dress my body as best I can and if someone wants to remove my clothes I figure they already know what my body really looks like.

    2. mwalt, sorry, but I have to agree with Wendy.

      As a mother of four, I can’t say she’s being hormonal. I take exception to people accusing women of being “hormonal”, “sleep-deprived”, or “moody” when they are pregnant or after they have had a child when they think that a woman is being harsh or a little judgemental. Or use the “PMS” line. As women, we can and do control our hormones and almost always when we say something, it’s because we actually mean it, not because hormones or lack of sleep controlled it. If men prefer us to be dainty, polite creatures – those of you have another thing coming.

    3. I’m not a new mom, I sleep great at night and quite frankly I think Wendy was nicer than the LW deserved. This LW CONTACTED the friend to tell him PUT IN YOUR TEETH for my special, wondrous day. This falls under the “you’ve gotta be f-n kidding me” category. And saying how she never mentioned it at first since she was so polite – I guess that went out the damn window. The friend is a true gentleman. He handled that email with far more class than the LW deserved.

    4. GingerLaine says:

      There are few things more infuriating & demeaning to a woman than chalking her opinion up to “being hormonal.” That anyone still does that in 2012 is truly philistine. I’ll leave your rudeness at that, and say this: I agree with Wendy all the way, and I am neither sleep-deprived nor the hormonal mother of a newborn.

      For over 20 years, I had teeth that were severely overcrowded. When I was a child, I was very ill & had to be administered tetracycline orally. Between the two, my front teeth were badly stained about halfway down before the enamel had fully come in, and because we could never afford braces, I had to live with both effects. Only within the last 5 years have I been able to correct both issues. I began that process for my own wedding.

      From the perspective of someone who had to learn to value themselves despite some very obvious flaws, YES, THIS PERSON IS BEING SHITTY.

      I guarantee that her desire to keep her wedding party/pictures looking good doesn’t even begin to compare with the embarrassment he lives with daily:
      – Wondering if every time he speaks to someone if they’re staring at his mouth
      – Thinking that girls probably won’t give him the time of day because why would they want the toothless guy among all these perfect smiles?
      – Making sure he eats before leaving the house because he doesn’t want to be a spectacle if he has to eat in public
      – Worrying that he’ll never be able to save up the money to permanently correct it
      – Practicing smiling in a way that hides or minimizes his missing teeth in the mirror to try to develop the muscle memory to do it again later

      And while his teeth may not always be on his mind, he probably thinks (or thought) that he’d surrounded himself with people good enough not to let that influence their opinions of him. In one fell swoop (over her damn wedding!), the LW ruined all that and basically confirmed for him that all of those negative things that he thinks about are exactly what people in public are thinking too. Sounds pretty shitty to me. And I don’t know what Wendy is supposed to say other than “Don’t be shitty.” My guess is that he probably wasn’t even going to smile because he would already be uber-aware of being the only person in the wedding party (parents included) without teeth. Now he definitely will. LW needs to let it go & deal with a real wedding problem like a seating chart.

      1. Perfectly said, thank you.

      2. ReginaRey says:

        Really great response. Personally, I’m REALLY tired of this trend when it comes to brides – Thinking that because it’s their wedding day, they get to be a “pretty, pretty Princess who gets to tell anyone and everyone what to do, wear, and say no matter what.” That it’s now come to brides telling people with disabilities what to look like blows my mind. It’s so callous and unthoughtful. It makes me hope that someone gives these brides a taste of their own medicine – “Hey, these bridesmaids dresses are heinous…not going to wear it!” or “Sorry to burst your bubble but that tiara is ridiculous.” It would be fitting, in my opinion.

      3. I can’t even stand it when a bride tells her bridesmaids how to style their hair and what color of nail polish to wear. Really? You need your wedding that perfect? I personally embrace differences. But I guess to each their own.

      4. ForeverYoung says:

        Ugh that annoys me too. The nail polish I kind of get, but the hair thing drives me crazy. I like my hair down because I have a really ugly scar on my back from when I was a kid and I am just dreading the day someone tells me I have to be uncomfortable and self conscious so the bridesmaids have matching hair.

      5. I annoyed my bridesmaids because I wouldn’t give them direction on these things. The only thing that I did ask was that they all wear the same dress and that it be black. I let them pick out whatever one they wanted (they actually settled on one more expensive than I would have picked) and they even decided together when I wasn’t there to buy the same shoes. But, I agree – ordering people to do this or that or wear their hair exactly this way or anything like that is a little obnoxious. I think the reason my girls were so good to me was because I didn’t do that. (Although my mother-in-law FLIPPED because my nephew had a mohawk and he was handing out programs. She didn’t even bother to ask me about it before going off on my sister. If she had, she would have learned that my sister asked me first and I told her I didn’t care).

      6. demoiselle says:

        Sometimes people do better when they are not ordered on how to match themselves. I guess your bridesmaids were already acquainted and thus decided to do this together. Very sweet!

      7. Fancy Pants says:

        Hahaha I told my bridesmaids what kind of hair to wear – “Not dumb”. Basically if a country singer in the 80’s ever rocked it, they should avoid it. End of guidelines. They had a laugh over it.

        As for their nails, I’ve never attended a wedding where I really looked that hard at the bridesmaids nails. I recommended that I’d rather they didn’t grow out only one pinky nail really long but otherwise same.

      8. SpyGlassez says:

        I have to say that I was once asked not to dye my hair before a wedding. It was my best friend from high school’s wedding, and at that time I tended to change my hair color every other week or so. Picking dresses had been pretty easy (we hit after-prom sales and bought ones that we all liked that matched in color) but my best friend did cautiously tell me she really liked my hair the color it was and that it went well with the dress, and that she’d appreciate it if I didn’t change it. That didn’t bother me, because she didn’t tell me to dye it to a “normal” color or anything.

      9. Wow, this was perfectly said. I admire how articulately you put it coming from a unique and shared perspective. Kudos to you 🙂

      10. Thank you for saying what I really didn’t want to say when it comes to teeth. I’m having another tooth removed next month and then another $13,000 worth of dental work done (and yes, I do have dental insurance). The worries we have when we have missing teeth is irksome.

      11. Thank you for this perspective! I had to go through 8 years at the orthodontist and my teeth still aren’t great. I HATE thinking about my teeth and having them brought up. Not everyone is going to look the same, get over it.

    5. Ah my daily dose of sexism. So refreshing!

    6. Some people need to be put in their place and and to have someone kick them in the ass once in a while. If i was were to be as shallow as this person i sure as hell would like someone to give me my wake up call. Keep it up Wendy!

  8. GatorGirl says:

    I definitely think this should be something discussed in person, or at least over the phone! messaging someone to ask them to be in your wedding? How impersonal.

    I agree with Wendy 110%. Your fiance’s friend should be included in your wedding. I understand where you are coming from, you’ll have these pictures for life. But if this guy has been his friend for the first part of your fiance’s life…chances are he’ll be a friend for life so he should be included. My guess would be he’s not going to smile with an open mouth anyways- so you won’t really be able to tell in the pictures he’s missing anything.

  9. callmehobo says:

    Wendy, I have to say that is literally the BEST stock photo in the history of dearwendy. THE. BEST. And I’m not going to lie, when I read the part about the groomsman losing his dentures, all I can think is about some janitor finding a lonely set of teeth in a gas station bathroom.

    That aside, LW, you need to get your priorities straight. I mean, is a “picture perfect” wedding really worth alienating your soon-to-be husband’s best friend? Really?? He’s not pretty enough to be in your wedding? (Also, in what reality is the best man in EVERY single wedding picture?) What if your husband’s grandmother showed up without her dentures? Would she be out of the wedding, too?

    Wow. I’m really shocked. Please consider not being a douchey bridezilla. Please.

    1. ForeverYoung says:

      Also there is no such thing as a picture perfect wedding. I am at the age where wedding season is at least 5 weddings a year and I have yet to be at one that went off completely without a hitch. Wasted grandma, lost marriage certificate, slutty bridesmaids dresses – things are bound to go wrong, and instead of setting herself up for disappointment, she should learn to love and laugh at the imperfections of life.

      1. callmehobo says:

        Here, here! Also, picture perfect sounds like not much fun. It sounds like an itchy sweater.

      2. Sometimes the slutty bridesmaids dresses looked so much less slutty in the store!! Honest!

      3. ForeverYoung says:

        No I agree! I don’t think anyone would plan for their bridesmaids to look slutty, but i’ve seen it happen, and it’s embarrassing – especially for the bridesmaids themselves.

      4. Slutty bridesmaids are the best – for the poor groomsmen that don’t really want to be there!

      5. ForeverYoung says:

        To elaborate I have had to be one of those slutty bridesmaids – and it sucks. I actually think the whole idea of matching style of dresses is kind of ridiculous since most girls aren’t cookie cutter versions of eachother. I’m really short and have pretty big boobs so the low cut dresses look appaling on me. The bridesmaid that was 5’8 looked classy and adorable. I have a short neck so it was all I could do to keep the twins in check. Needless to say I made my bridesmaids pick out any black dress they liked and fit and I would buy it. I just don’t get why every bride thinks the bridesmaid dresses need to perfectly match.

      6. Been there. And despite being short, someone always manages to take a picture of me in the dress from a low angle, which only emphasizes it. In my next life, I’m so going to be willowy! Or at least tall.

      7. Painted_lady says:

        Meh. Not all it’s cracked up to be either. Between finding pants that are long enough and the idea that “feminine” equals dainty and petite, I occasionally feel like a giant lumbering through life.

      8. So true. Just the other day I tried on some amazing pants. BUT of course they ended up above my ankle.:( THank goodness my husband is really tall, so next to him I donpt feel out of place.

      9. Painted_lady says:

        Yeah, my boyfriend’s tall, too. Although I sort of resent that I even think about it, on so many levels.

        The worst with pants is when you buy them and they’re PERFECT but then after a few washes – or one wash and a dry if you grew up with my dad, who liked to help with laundry – they’re all of a sudden floods.

      10. Oh man, I am SO WITH YOU on that last part. I’m 1.80m and I feel exactly like that at times. I am really glad my fiancé is 2.04m and makes me feel relatively dainty.

      11. Skyblossom says:

        One of my cousins let her bridesmaids pick black dresses the way you did and each bridesmaid looked fantastic and everyone of them had a dress she would wear again.

    2. TOTALLY the best stock photo. Sure made me smile!

      1. This is also one of my favorite pleas for advice ever.

    3. summerkitten26 says:

      I really think she wrote in hoping that Wendy and all commenters were going to say something along the lines of “no! OF COURSE you’re not an awful person, it’s YOUR day!”

      um, no. stop the batsh!ttery.

      If you AND your fiance (ya know, since it’s his life long friend) wanted to *kindly* approach “Justin” with a means of getting new dentures as a heartfelt thank you for being an awesome friend/groomsman present, that’s one thing. if “Justin” had previously made you uncomfortable in ways you hadn’t previously made clear to your fiance (and i’m talking groping you when you’re alone and being a sexist pig here, which doesn’t seem to be the case), you’d have a strong case for expressing to your fiance how unhappy you’d be to have him in your wedding party, much less attend. even in this case, you’d be out of line contacting Justin on your own to issue the “i’m not sure you should be a part of the wedding unless my needs are met” message.

      the fact that you’re being so superficial I’m really wanting to chalk up to Bridezilladom. I can’t even imagine how hurt your fiance’s going to be if/when he finds out you told his friend “look attractive or i’m not sure we want you” to his friend behind his back (in front of his face wouldn’t have been much better).

      Your wedding isn’t about being a spoiled hurtful diva. It is about joining in a hopefully permanent way your life with that of your fiance’s. And Justin is a big part of his life. If the lack of teeth make you uncomfortable, that’s actually quite fine, but you have no right to put forth decrees on who your fiance can bring into this new phase in your life (barring threatening incidents as mentioned above).

      phew. but i’m still horrified/angry/disgusted at this letter. I’ll stop now.

  10. I’m actually surprised that your fiance isn’t upset at your for sending his friend an email. Shouldn’t that have been something you asked him to do? I would compare this to another physical ailment, would you feel the same way if you’re fiance’s friend had a facial disfigurement of some sort? Would you cringe at the thought of it showing up in your photos? If so you really need to check yourself. I mean is the worst thing that is ever going to happen to you be that your fiance’s friend looks less than perfect in your wedding photos? If it is be thankful that nothing else went wrong at your wedding or in your life.

    And a side note I had NO idea how expensive dentures were until my Grandfather needed a new set. Crazy pricey and not covered by federal dental insurance surprisingly.

    1. spark_plug says:

      Agreed, the LW should be thanking her stars that she has such an understanding fiance. If I were to contact my boyfriend’s good friends without my boyfriend’s ok first about changing something outside of this control… nevermind, even something within his control.. I wouldn’t have a boyfriend shortly after. Unless you are really good friends with the friend, then it’s completely inappropriate, IMO.

    2. GingerLaine says:

      I can believe it! I just lost a top & bottom retainer. $600 to replace those bitches. I have dental insurance. Totally worthless dental insurance…

      1. Don’t get me started on dental insurance. Mine hardly covers anything. And I learned that the hard way. It’s costing me more than a pretty penny. *sigh*

  11. ele4phant says:

    Hey, if he’s gummy smile messes up your perfect wedding pictures, there’s always photoshop right? In other words, let it go.

  12. Buy him new dentures. Life without your dentures sucks, a grumpy wedding sucks, bitchiness sucks. Spend the money.

    1. wow, if you can afford to help him, that might be really wonderful : )

      your fiance should totally lead the charge on that one, though…. & if the gift should be offered with the caveat that he is welcome in the wedding party dentures or no dentures.

      man. i feel so glad to have teeth today ! : )

  13. Okay. I… okay. Calm. Caaaaalm.

    LW, the first thing you need to do here is apologize for being way, way, WAY out of line. To both your fiancé and ESPECIALLY his friend. You have been a completely rude and shallow bitch. And there is no other way to describe you.

    Now before you try and defend yourself, you should know that this comment is coming from someone who has had dental problems all her life. Due to genetic reasons, I am missing my two lateral incisors. I have been missing teeth. My whole life. As a kid, I had a lumber pile in my mouth, and as a teen, I had braces. Right now, I wear a flipper retainer with fake teeth attached that I now refuse to remove in the company of others even though it prevents me from eating certain foods. You know why? Because I look like an eleven-year-old girl (though please feel free to substitute “beaver” or “hillbilly” here, since I’ve been called both). Because our culture is obsessed with perfectly straight, white teeth. Because of people, like you, who will stare or make rude, inconsiderate comments. While some people have found this flaw of mine rather interesting, others have literally SCREAMED when I have taken my retainer out.

    Therefore, I have been self-conscious about my teeth and, more importantly, my smile MY ENTIRE LIFE. And I have zero doubts that your fiancé’s friend feels similarly. Zero doubts. I am floored at the patience and coolness he demonstrated in his response to you.

    Besides, since when does someone have to show their teeth to smile? I did toothless smiles for fifteen years so I wouldn’t look like a freak, so proof RIGHT HERE that it’s perfectly acceptable. Did you ever once think of that? I’m sure he has.


    1. artsygirl says:

      Sorry for the unkind comments you received Jaybro – I had one tooth removed in my bottom jaw because it was almost turned completely around (don’t ask my how my mouth managed to accomplish it) – and because of that my bottom teeth do not line up properly. Luckily it is not very evident, but it was something I was very self-conscious of for most of my teens.

    2. My husband’s family didn’t get him any dental care as a kid so his teeth are both crooked and stained, etc. I hate hearing some of the comments people to say to him. He tries to act like it doesn’t bother him, but I know it does, which makes me even angrier. I’m sorry you have to deal with this issue.

      1. Yeah, I hate how people feel like commenting on someone’s bad teeth is okay. You wouldn’t say something about… say, a burn scar on someone’s face, so why should you say something about someone’s mouth?

      2. It is totally not cool that people comment on people’s teeth, but unfortunately people do say things about scars on your face as well. I had 80 stitches over my eye when I was 6 years old after being in a car accident. My mother refused to let anyone other than a plastic surgeon operate on me so thankfully the scarring is minimal, but it’s still on my face and I’ve had people make all sorts of comments on it from the cruel to the blunt. The latter I actually prefer to people staring at it. Just ask me for crying out loud. I know you’re thinking about it.

      3. You’re totally right. People really will comment on anything, no matter how rude or hurtful they’re being, scars included. Bad example.

    3. callmehobo says:

      FLIPPERS FOR LIFE. I had a tumor in my mouth as a small child, which meant I lost my incisor AND one of my front teeth. I know exactly how it feels to be made fun of for dental problems (a particular favorite was “snaggletooth” and “white trash”) I never smiled in a photo until I was 16.

      Don’t worry jaybro- We’re awesome. Also, dental work is hella expensive.

      1. YES TO FLIPPERS!!! Been using mine for 6 years. It’s even fallen off the counter, broken, been repaired and still worked. Amazing little guys, those flippers!

      2. callmehobo says:

        I had a flipper until I upgraded to an implant when I was 16. Complete with bone grafting! I haven’t been afraid to smile since!

      3. Nice! So glad you’re proud of your smile now!

    4. Skyblossom says:

      Jaybro-I’m missing the exact same teeth in my upper jaw. It’s genetic, running in my mom’s family and I also have two first cousins with matching teeth and lots of second and third cousins with the same problem. Mine was particularily bad because my rather large eye teeth came in in that spot and were very prominent. My mom didn’t want to get me braces “just for looks” and so from 7th grade through 12 grade I was called Jaws after the shark in the movie. It is so hard to have an ugly smile in the US. Luckily for me, the dentist insisted that I be taken to the orthodontist when I was a senior in High School. They pulled my eye-teeth back to their proper position and I wear a partial plate with two false teeth on it. I chose not to have a bridge because they cut down the teeth on either side of the missing tooth so when I discussed it with the dentist I found that when the bridge wore out I’d be missing six teeth across the front rather than just the two. No way was I going to do that to my good teeth. They now do dental implants but I’d have to go back into braces for 6 months first and I don’t care to do that.

      1. Isn’t it weird how many people have this? I’ve discovered that it’s a lot more common that I had thought. And it’s on my mother’s side, too! My parents never wanted to get me the bridge either for the same reason. They don’t seem as reliable as the other methods, and you lose more teeth!! My dentist/orthodontist/oral surgeon (my TEAM) put me on the implant track from the get go, and the first surgery (bone graft) was quite the ordeal. My second one is coming up in a few months, so we’ll see how I feel about taking this track after that one. But no matter how awful it was, I am so blessed to have parents willing to pay the money for all this. Always nice meeting someone who has been through the same experience. 🙂

      2. *shudder*

        I worry at what I’m going to have to have done. I had my wisdoms pulled last year (all impacted and broken at the gum line) and a top tooth next to the wisdom pulled at the same time. Had my #15 pulled last month. Getting another pulled next month. If we can save the other teeth, I’ll end up having 3-4 root canals, some bridgework, fillings galore, pins, etc. All because my mother didn’t have the money for dental insurance and never took me to see a dentist. I’m nearly 30 and having problems now thanks to the lack of care as a kid, poor nutrition as a kid, drugs, multiple pregnancies, medications, etc.
        On the plus side, my kids see what I am going through and they are brushing like crazy and have gone over a year without a single cavity at their check-ups.

      3. Ugh, that sounds terrible. But just think about how beautiful (and healthy!) the end result will be! And having your children terrified into being good about brushing their teeth is a definite perk. 😉

      4. I saved the first 5 we pulled. They get pulled out on occasion to scare the kids into brushing.

      5. Parenting. You’re doing it right! 😀

      6. silver_dragon_girl says:

        Based on your comments yesterday, I brushed, flossed, and mouthwashed vigorously this morning! I hope all your dental work goes well. My dad is *always* having something done, so I know what a huge pain it is…and how painful 🙁

      7. Glad I could help somewhere 🙂

      8. theattack says:

        I’m in the middle of an implant process too. They had to go back and remove the implant Friday and redo the bone graft because of nerve damage. 🙁 So I’m stuck on pain killers and soft foods for awhile….

      9. OMG! That sucks! I’m so nervous that something like that is going to happen to me. Well, I hope they did a better job on you this time around. And I hope you feel better soon. Positive thoughts going your way~

      10. theattack says:

        Thanks! You probably don’t have much to worry about though. It’s my understanding that what happened to me is pretty uncommon. It was caused because the surgeon decided it was okay to do the bone graft & implant at the same time instead of in two phases. Plus my mouth is tiny and he put in a big implant, crushing my nerve. I’m sure you will be fine! And we’ll both be much better off afterwards!

      11. Ugh. I feel for you, I really do. *hugs*

  14. Honestly, This won’t show up in pictures at all. First off, the girls are in way more pictures then the guys. And most the time it is a large group that is far away. Thinking of my best man. There was one picture of him and the groom but we didn’t put it in the wedding album. Actually in all the pictures the groomsman in question kept his mouth shut looking debonaire. I wouldn’t worry about it. I think you are over analyzing.

  15. artsygirl says:

    Kudos to John for handling the situation with dignity. I am sure if I had been in his position, I would have been mortified after receiving an email (no matter how kindly worded) regarding a physical feature (be it weight, acne, or chronic bitch face). What did you think to accomplish with the email? John knows he doesn’t have teeth, and as you pointed out he wore dentures consistently and effectively for most of your acquaintance. Did you think a light would go off for me “hmm I have completely forgotten to wear them these last few months! I wondered why I was unable to eat hard substances.” My guess is that you do not want John in the wedding and his lack of teeth is just something physical to grab on to after all – between describing him as “okay” and “good guy” you also added that he is “kind of weird and a little transient/unfocused in his life”. I think that means he does not fit into the your imagined bridal party.
    Since you have managed to put your foot in your mouth – I am sure John will work hard to either save money for replacement dentures and/or smile with his mouth closed since he knows that his lack of teeth is something that bothers you. Besides letting your fiance pick out the groomsmen he wants, you need to apologize to John for being insensitive.

    1. caitie_didn't says:

      I really wish John had replied to her message with something along the lines of “Oh, you think my lack of teeth will ruin your wedding? How about that nasty case of chronic bitch face you have?”.

      He is a better man than I.

  16. Classic line: “Yeah, Bridezilla isn’t the only B-word for that kind of behavior.” Seriously, who cares? If your concern is that focus will shift from you to him, remind yourself of that line above. It’s like excluding someone because they’re missing an arm and the pictures will come off unbalanced. Have sympathy for the poor guy whose heart and friendship to your fiance means more than teeth…

  17. I haven’t read the other comments yet, so sorry if I repeat, but I was just married, and I have to tell you, that someone not having teeth will NOT ruin anything. If you’re concerned about how it’s going to look in the pictures, keep in mind a few things:
    1- Most guys don’t smile in pictures. His mouth will be closed- You won’t see anything.
    2- A majority of your photos are going to be of you and your husband, you and your families- it’s not like this guy is going to be in all the pictures!
    3- You can even let your photographer know about the tooth situation ahead of time, and maybe they can try to focus on only taking pictures where his mouth is closed.

  18. What everyone else said, LW.

    I mean, I get it, it’s your wedding, and you want this perfectly pristine, picture perfect wedding. I can understand how you would have that sudden impulse. I don’t necessarily think it makes you a bitch for just thinking those thoughts, after all, no one thinks sweet things about people all the time 24/7. That’s why they are our private thoughts.

    Having said that, to actually say something about it is a bitch move. To actually take that action is very shallow, rude, and inconsiderate. You admitted that this guy is a decent person and a good friend. What more could you ask for? He’s seriously not pretty enough to be in your wedding? I’m not trying to berate you, I’m trying to get you to see how pitiful your behavior comes across.

    Advice wise, get over it. If you make any more of a deal out of it, don’t be surprised if your fiancee ends up questioning the personality of the women he’s choosing to marry. Harsh, but just how I see it. At the very least, you should apologize, and accept that not every person you ever come across in your life or your fiancee’s will fit into a perfect cookie cutter ideal that you seem to have.

  19. Don’t worry! There’s this thing called smiling with your mouth closed!

  20. I absolutely agree with most everyone here that the LW’s behavior was shitty and superficial. At the very least, this should have been her fiance’s place to speak with Justin. I am sure it was extremely embarrassing for him to receive this e-mail, but maybe it would have been less so if it at least came from his buddy. My heart goes out to Justin as it must be very hard to go through life with this… especially in America… land of the perfect zoom-white smiles. Where a perfect smile is just expected of you. Some of the stereotypes include- ignorant, lazy, and hillbilly. This guy is probably none of these things- just had a lack of dental care as a kid and not a very lucrative job now. I had buck teeth as a kid and was bullied to the extreme for it. I was simply fortunate enough to have parents who got me braces.

    HOWEVER, since I always have to look at both sides of a matter… I think that the LW probably sees him not wearing his dentures as something less like a missing limb (which can’t be helped) and more like someone not showering or wearing stained clothes to her wedding. I personally think she is wrong and this guy clearly can’t help the issue… but I just think that is how she viewed it- more of a hygiene issue. If she wrote in asking about her fiance’s best friend who often refused to shower… we’d all tell her she was right. We’d say this person should have enough respect to be clean at her wedding. Please don’t get me wrong- I view these as very different matters. But, the LW having probably never been in a situation herself where she can’t afford teeth, probably just wasn’t really thinking about it in the right light.

    I am hoping all of these responses will give her the wake-up she needs and will hopefully develop much more sympathy/empathy for this guy. Be happy your fiance has someone in his life who is such a good friend. Send this guy another e-mail saying “We’d love to have you in the wedding, no matter what! The day wouldn’t be the same without you”. And then let the pride over your silly pictures go… everyone’s eyes will be on you and your man anyway.

    In the end… it’s your fiance’s face that you want to see the big smile on. It may be less bright if the friend he cares so much about isn’t there to share the day with him.

    1. moonflowers says:

      The way I read it, the LW didn’t know that the reason Justin had stopped wearing his dentures was that he’d lost them recently, so her understanding of their expensiveness isn’t really a factor. As far as she knew, he was being lazier with his appearance than usual or had decided he just didn’t care about having his teeth in or something – and in that case, then yes, it’d be like gently reminding someone to please shower before the wedding if they’re chronically unwashed. Her mistake was to assume things before she knew better – I doubt she intended to sound inconsiderate of Justin’s personal difficulties.

      I think the kindest thing to do now would be to get Justin new dentures as an apology/groomsman’s gift, and to apologize for leaping to conclusions about his motivations.

      1. moonflowers says:

        Oh yeah – not to say that telling people to shower or use deodorant isn’t already a messy situation. Generally best not to get into that, but I can see why someone would – it can get pretty unpleasant for those of us with really good senses of smell!

      2. It isn’t her place to tell Justin that he should have teeth in – if he had them on his night stand and chose not to wear them at all then that is HIS choice. It has nothing to do with her and is not comparable to a hygiene issue at all. Quite frankly even if it was a hygiene issue the LW is not the person to address it – particularly not for the sole purpose of having her wedding pictures picture perfect. She isn’t misguided – she was rude and wrong.

      3. Temperance says:

        Would you say the same thing if Justin chose to wear a sweatsuit instead of a tuxedo, for example? It’s an appearance issue, not a disability.

        Maybe it’s because I have some poor extended family members who wear dentures and need to be reminded to wear them, but I see this differently and am not about to judge the LW for doing something that various family members of mine have had to do in the past.

      4. By all means put formal attire on the invitation if that is what you want. But I have yet to see an invitation that says come with all prosthetics in place.

  21. sweetleaf says:

    I wonder how one loses their dentures..oh wait! I have a friend (only in his thirties) who lost his dentures in the garbage at a fast paced restaurant! He never did find those suckers, but he did get replacements and those are the prettiest teeth I’ve ever seen!

  22. that poor guy must be trying to get money to buy your denture to be at his friend’s wedding… i think he’s an amazing person for being polite and not telling you how shallow your petition was and show you class. as someone said above, apologize profusely to him and your boyfriend. i hope this turns to be a great opportunity to learn about empathy.

  23. BriarRose says:

    I can’t get past the concept of saying (or emailing) to a person….hey, you know that physical flaw about yourself that you can never forget and probably think about on a daily basis and would give just about anything to correct or not have to deal with? Yeah, everyone notices it and you should really do something about it. What an awful email that must have been to get. I once had a complete stranger (random teenage boy) yell at me from a passing car that I was ugly. I was probably about 14, and 18 years later….I still remember that. I still even think about it sometimes at my lowest moments. And that was just a stranger.

    You need to apologize, immediately, and never mention it again. And you also need to do some pretty serious soul-searching. If you’re really THAT worried about your wedding pictures, just think–I’m sure most of the wedding photos you will display in your home will be of you and your husband, not of a groomsman, so what does it really matter? I honestly can’t believe your fiance isn’t pissed.

  24. KarenWalker says:

    just curious, but is being a groomsman as expensive as being a bridesmaid? because if so, he may not be able to afford to be in your wedding since he can’t afford to replace his dentures

  25. As someone with bonafide hillbilly lineage, I take offense at the idea that all it takes is someone without teeth to make it a hillbilly wedding! There’s a lot more to it than that! But seriously, I actually have attended/been in a hillbilly wedding or two, and the people with missing/rotting teeth or whatever tend to smile for the pics with their mouths closed anyway.

  26. I’m a groomsmen for a wedding in March and it cost me renting a tuxedo (plus flight and hotel, but everyone has to do that that isn’t local to them)…if I’m forgetting anything then someone, please, for the love of God tell me so I don’t look like an idiot…

    1. This was meant as a response to KarenWalker.

    2. Make sure you have shoes to wear with said tux. Other than that, I think you’ve got it covered.

    3. Wedding present, bachelor party? At least guys don’t do wedding showers…I ended up kicking in 200$ for a cross-country shower that I didn’t attend. For the catered luncheon.

      1. Yea – the bachelor party was in New Orleans… wedding is in San Antonio …(lots of travel $$$). The groomsmen will probably go in on a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue as a combined wedding gift and then I’ll add another gift.

  27. I’m with the bride on this one. Here’s a possible solution–have ur fiance ask him nicely to smile in pictures with his mouth closed. Then advise the photographer quietly of this plan & to keep him out of the majority of pictures. There! Everybody’s happy.

  28. Soon after I married my Japanese husband, we attended his cousin’s wedding. Everyone was dressed in formal black kimono decorated with the family crest embroidered in gold. Except me. I tried unsuccessfully to remove myself from the photo-taking procedures, since I stood out like a sore thumb with my blond hair and purple gown in that sea of black. I felt bad for the bride to have such an obvious sport in her wedding photos.

    LW, I can certainly understand that Toothless Joe is just not part of the dream for your wedding day, but it wasn’t correct to contact him with a denture directive – that request should have come from your fiance, if at all. If having this guy’s pruny mouth in the photos or watching him gum his way through the wedding dinner at the head table is too much to take, maybe you should re-think your wedding plans to something less traditional. How about a fun and casual wedding/luau that doesn’t carry any of the pressure to be “perfect” or “fairy tale”? You can still have a great wedding and a great party without having to tick all the typical wedding boxes. It sure would be nice if your fiance could enjoy his special day supported by his best friend without feeling your unhappiness at the same time..Change your vision to fit reality, then you won’t be disappointed.

  29. PS–don’t worry too much abt hurting his feelings. This is YOUR day, and it’s his own damn fault he has no teeth or dentures. We are all responsible for taking care of ourselves.

    1. Wow. How is it his fault that he has no teeth? The LW specifically says that she has no idea of the history behind this.

      1. I’m pretty sure that was meant to be sarcastic…. At least I hope it was!!!

  30. Why doesn’t he just finance them? Most dentists will do this. A hillbilly is someone who has no teeth AND doesn’t care.

    1. Actually according to Wikipedia a Hillbilly is :a term referring to certain people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas of the United States, primarily Appalachia but also the Ozarks. Owing to its strongly stereotypical connotations, the term is frequently considered derogatory, and so is usually offensive to those Americans of Appalachian heritage.

      And someone who is only concerned with physical appearances is both shallow and a bitch.

      1. Having gone to college in the Ozarks, I have a soft spot for hillbillies. I think they’re wonderful.

    2. theattack says:

      It takes money to do that too. When he says he can’t afford them, that doesn’t necessarily mean “I can’t afford the whole price right now.” It could also mean that he’s got too many bills to add another.

    3. Betty Boop says:

      You can’t finance anything if you are poor or have no/bad credit.

  31. Landygirl says:

    I have no comment regarding the best man’s lack of teef as other posters have given good advice. I did realize something after reading this letter…It really irritates me that you referred to your fiance as “my man”. I don’t know why, but to me, that sounds more hillbilly than the notion of someone without teef.

  32. Wow. Thanks for making me feel like a terrible person for just asking how I should get over what I recognize is a shallow impulse. I’m sure NONE of you have ever had a shallow thought or impulse or have ever hurt anyone’s feelings, right? How is the view from that moral high horse you’re all sitting on?

    For the record, I am the exact opposite of a Bridezilla, in fact I wouldn’t even have a wedding if it were up to me, much less this “pristine, perfect” one you all seem to think I want. I hate weddings, I hate planning it, but my fiance wants a ceremony, so I might as well try to make it nice. Also, for the record, my fiancé is the one that wanted me to send the message to his friend about his teeth since he sucks at confrontation and was also concerned about the situation. You’ll notice that my question was not whether to allow him in the wedding or not, but rather, how to not let it bother me that he can’t wear his dentures – which no one answered because they were too busy telling me what a shitty, horrible person I am and that I am lucky that anyone is marrying me at all.

    I have to say that this is second time I’ve written in for advice and the second time that I have been absolutely REAMED in the response and the comments. Maybe that’s because I’m an awful human being like you all seem to think. Or maybe it’s because the anonymity of the internet gives people license to judge people based on a few shreds of information and be horrendously mean to others without shame.

    1. In your defense, I do give you and everyone who writes in for advice credit for putting yourself out there and opening yourself up to criticism. I’m sorry if you feel you were reamed twice. But I do hope you read some of these comments thoughtfully and see where you could handled the situation better. Especially read GingerLaine’s comment up-thread. She gives a very eye-opening perspective of what it might be like having no teeth. Reading that comment made me especially sad for your fiancé’s friend and how he must have felt getting your email asking him to wear his dentures at your wedding.

      Look, we all say and do things we feel bad about later. I just hope you DO feel somewhat bad about emailing the poor guy and likely making him feel worse about something he’s already self-conscious about. Maybe feeling bad about it will make you consider your actions in the future and behave in a more thoughtful, compassionate way.

      As for your question about “how to not let it bother you that he can’t wear his dentures,” I believe I did answer that. You just didn’t like the answer. I said to suck it up and deal with it. Sometimes being a little bothered is the price we pay for not being a shitty person. If that still isn’t a satisfactory answer, focus your attention instead on all you have going for you — an upcoming marriage, for one thing. And thank your lucky stars you have teeth! Maybe if you spend more of your energy on the good stuff, you won’t have so much left over for the bad stuff.

      1. demoiselle says:

        It can also help to make a list of things you like about Justin (or, in absence of anything *you* liking anything about Justin, a list of things that John likes about Justin) and consciously replace your negative thoughts about his teeth with an item from your list. If it is particularly the idea of pictures that bother you, refocus every single time on how much it will mean to John and you in ten or twenty-five years to be able to look back and see someone of great emotional significance standing beside you.

        Weddings are often the only time friends and family from both sides get together–other than a funeral. My mom’s wedding pictures are the last photos of her extended family together before the older generation died. I’ve had friends die, and I’m only 31. So focus on the specialness of having loved ones (for both of you) captured for the distant future, no matter what they look like now.

      2. GingerLaine says:

        I don’t want to minimize this comment… but OMFG a shoutout from Wendy!! Thanks, Wendy. 🙂

        You know, I feel really, really blessed that I have the means to have corrected the issues with my teeth. And to have found love, respect, and kindness from a number of people, despite those issues. Some are not so lucky. There are even times that I feel blessed that I grew up with stained, crowded teeth. I learned that appearances are meaningless because good people come in all packages. I learned to be confident & outspoken, even when the whole world told me I should keep my mouth shut. That sometimes it’s not that people don’t want to change, but that they CAN’T. I’ve learned that a kind word and an inclusive attitude to those who need it may make all the difference in the world to someone who’s used to receiving the opposite. Would I give anything in the world to have grown up with perfect teeth & not have spent THOUSANDS of dollars (with thousands more left) on dental work? Absolutely I would. But having bad teeth made me a better, kinder person and for that, I am truly and daily thankful.

    2. Perhaps you should rethink your word choice and how you presented the issue. When you say things like big toothless grin and call people a hillbilly people are going to take it the wrong way. If you were really trying to look for ways to get over it maybe you could have left those stereotypes out and changed your wording some. The way the letter was presented it made you seem shallow. That’s at least why I responded the way I did.

      1. I can see how my poor wording would give that impression and I thank you for your constructive comments.

      2. I acknowledged above that I didn’t think you were in the wrong simply for thinking that shallow thought. But if you reread your letter, you absolutely came off as shallow. Yes, it’s an important piece of information that it was your fiancee who asked you to send the email, not you who did it of your own accord. Sure, the anonymity of the internet can cause people to be a lot more harsh than they may be in person.

        However, if you have written in twice, and gotten reamed both times, I don’t think that’s just us being mean to you. Take it for what it’s worth.

      3. I have also written in twice, and was certainly not “reamed”. On one of the letters a few commentators questioned my devotion to my SO, but in a way they were right. But I was definitely not ‘ganged up’ upon or anything. so… yea. i think its prob you :/

    3. caitie_didn't says:

      Sure, all of us have shallow thoughts. But we usually don’t act on them by sending someone an email that says, essentially “your hideous, ugly mug is going to ruin our wedding day and deface our photos. Please fix it.”. Because of things like….I don’t know, compassion and self-control.

      If you’ve written in twice and been called out for your behaviour in both letters? Then, yeah, your behaviour is probably exceptionally shitty.

      1. That’s a pretty big assumption that I told him he was ugly and he was going to ruin my day. Just so that everyone is clear, this is what I said:

        “So, I wanted to let you know that John and I have set a date for the wedding for of this year. He hasn’t asked you yet, but I know that he wants you to be a groomsman. I would love to have you in our wedding, but I wanted to talk to you about something first.

        This is a little awkward, but I understand that you use false teeth and the last time that we saw you, you didn’t have them in. I just wanted to ask if you could wear them that day if you are able to come. I’m sure that you would do this anyway but I always try to err on the side of direct communication so I just wanted to address it.

        It would mean a lot to us if you could be there and especially if you can stand up with John as you have been a long time friend and we would love for you to celebrate with us.”


      2. I’m going to step away from this now. Writing in was a mistake. You all are entitled to your opinion and I have apparently not presented myself in the best light, so that’s my bad.

        Thanks for your time Wendy.

      3. You’re welcome.

      4. CottonTheCuteDog says:

        My gosh – the fact that you pressed send or actually no, the fact that you even typed out this letter is really shitty! I feel so bad for your friend.

      5. Yes – sarcasm notwithstanding – you were so mean. Your problem isn’t that you feel shallow – your problem is that you ACTED on it to the detriment of someone else and addressed something with him that you had no business addressing. And if you did it with your boyfriend’s blessing then shame on him too. If you don’t want to be characterized as someone shallow, mean, without empathy or bitchy – then the answer is simple – don’t act that way. That is the key – your actions not your thoughts. Wishing for a perfect wedding picture is no sin – hurting someone else who likely was already hurting is. Perhaps get past your self righteousness and read what some of the commentators have written -particularly the ones that took the time to share with you their own stories of hurt and what your actions likely meant to Justin. No one here is perfect but I would hope that when confronted with hurt they cause they would own up to it and seek to remedy it instead of trying to justify it.

      6. ForeverYoung says:

        Yeah sorry, I don’t see you in a better light even after your further clarification. If you have to type out the words – “so, this is a little awkward” that should be your first red flag that maybe you shouldn’t be sending the e-mail at all.

      7. ele4phant says:

        That was very kindly worded, but as someone else pointed out, the very fact you sent it was rude.

        He undoubtedly is aware he is missing teeth, I’m sure people stare at him every day. If he had his dentures, I’m sure he’d be wearing them out and about in public. This email just brought attention to what is surely an insecurity.

        I also want to quibble with this “direct communication” thing you’ve got going. Now, I am from the passive aggressive Northwest so maybe I’m not the best judge, but I think when people say “I’m just direct” or “I have to be honest at all times” is just an excuse for people to be rude. Sometimes biting your tongue is the harder and most appropriate thing to do.

        But what’s done is done, you sent it and he either didn’t mind or is letting it go, so you should do the same. Just let it go. Chances are you’ll be so busy and focused on what’s actually important during wedding day (like the fact you’re getting married!) you won’t notice.

      8. I agree, people who often insist on being “direct” all of the time are more hurtful than they realize. More often than not, that person you’re addressing about their issues (and in this case, one they can’t help, which is awful) is already well aware of what that issue is and is likely very self conscious about it. With friendship, a person’s appearance should never be an issue. This letter made me so sad for Justin.

      9. LW, I am sorry you feel “reamed”. But you also put the blame on your fiance for the sending of the message, which still does not make it an appropriate thing that you did. Even if you both were squeamish about his dental shortcomings, you should have both discussed it and decided that to mention it to him would be terribly hurtful. I don’t care how nicely it was worded, I would have been remarkably wounded if a dear friend or his fiance sent me a message that was anything like that. It was still wrong, and he should still be apologized to, no matter whose idea it was to send the message.

    4. Hi LW!
      For the record, I don’t think you’re a horrible person.
      I think the practical advice that is interwoven in the comments mostly had to to with pictures – take lots of them, and hope/ask that he smiles with his mouth closed. Or finance some dentures if you guys are financially able to. In terms of changing how you feel about it, try to focus on his positives as a friend to your fella. Maybe have him tell some stories about him that will inspire warm fuzzies, or spend some more time together. I worked with a guy who was missing a tooth, and I stopped noticing it after a while. If it were me, I’d be cracking up over the situation with my sister (something we do over every snag I’ve hit in wedding planning) – not laughing at your groomsman mind you, just over the stuff that comes up while wedding planning. Anywhoo, good luck.

      1. Yeah, I feel the same way. I think she’s been really unfairly ripped apart by the commenters. And I “speak” as someone who spent a total of 3 1/2 years in orthondontic gear because of my hillbilly teeth, so I can see his side too. 🙂

    5. ele4phant says:

      Look, I understand you are upset, and not unjustifiably so if you are being picked on for things that were misinterpreted/unclear in the initial letter.

      I do want to comment that perhaps you should look at how you are presenting yourself/the situation in your letters. If this is the second time you’ve written in and you’ve been “reamed”, perhaps you need to look at how you are writing/presenting yourself. As I long time reader of DW, not every letter writer gets the response you did, so its not just that people can hide behind anonymity – if that was it then EVERY letter writer would get this treatment.

      Look at your letter and see if there isn’t something in the way you wrote it or presented the situation that might cause people to go off. I’m not saying its YOU, but perhaps you aren’t painting the best picture.

      1. ele4phant says:

        I also have to wonder – why if you got such a mean, spiteful response last time, why would you write in again? If I felt I was being unfairly and hatefully attacked, I’d never try that again.

    6. If your fiancee is the shallow one and needs you to solve his problems because he’s too chicken to do it himself(not that this case should even be a problem for him),then you should have said so.There is nothing in this letter that even SUGGESTS your fiancee is the one who asked you to send the email.

      1. demoiselle says:

        Yeah, the fiance probably should have talked to Justin at some point, especially when he noticed his friend had suddenly lost his dentures. I’m surprised that he didn’t know what was going on with such a close friend . . .

    7. FancyPants says:

      You know, I thought from reading your email that you were rather shallow but at least semi self aware and felt a little bit bad for you – obviously you are a person going through some growing pains.

      And then I read this comment. Honey, grow up. Defensiveness is not attractive. If you’ve written in twice and gotten reamed, and felt that Wendy was sort of harsh, maybe there’s something to that. The world isn’t out to get you – anonymity goes both ways, and perhaps the people in your life aren’t willing to speak up about your bad attitude because they have to deal with you in person. Regardless, one of the reasons I like reading Wendy’s site is because she’s never hard on people who don’t deserve it (unlike Amy Alkon and occasionally Carolyn Hax) – if she’s been hard on you twice maybe you should reflect on yourself as a person.

      Listen, I get it, it’s your wedding. You want it to be nice, you want the pictures to be nice. I’m getting married this year too, and have quite a colorful wedding party (a transitioning bridal attendant, a groomsman exiting rehab for a painkiller addiction right before the wedding, a bridesmaid who will be recovering from eye surgery with a patch, a maid of honor who usually has roller derby badges of honor, etc etc.) but you know what – I want them all in the pictures, as they are because I love them and they’ve been good to my fiance and I.

      So here’s my advice that you feel no one gave you: Consider him without his teeth in your pictures as a good lesson about marriage. Loyalty when life isn’t so pretty. Because marriage is long and hard and you’re going to both grow and change and have times in life where things aren’t picture perfect. And you’ll get through it if you adjust your attitude to always look at the big picture about what’s important. Congratulations and I hope your wedding is beautiful and your marriage is a happy one.

      1. Love your last paragraph. Also, your wedding party sounds awesome.

      2. CottonTheCuteDog says:

        Love the last paragraph!

      3. Britannia says:

        Honestly, I think the wedding pictures will be UGLIER if they’re missing this beloved groomsman than if they have him in there, smiling away because he’s happy that his best friend is marrying a (hopefully) good woman… because, for the rest of LW’s life if she chooses to not allow this guy in with his toothless smile, she’s going to look at those pictures, see that the groomsman isn’t there, and realize what a trifling b-word she was being by forcing him out of the wedding party over cosmetic “discrepancies”.

        Basically, what she’s doing is considering the possibility of forcing a beloved friend out of one of the biggest days of his best friend’s life because of some misfortune that happened to him in the past that affected his appearance. That is SO not cool, no matter how you slice it.

      4. Yes, your wedding party does sound totally awesome!

    8. I’m surprised you haven’t noticed before that anonymous Internet commenters are far better at jumping to unwarranted conclusions than they are at reading comprehension or empathy.

      I’m married to a man who for the first 7 years of our relationship had catastrophically bad teeth. I won’t pretend it never bothered me, although I never said anything about it. And it bothered him, too, as he refused to smile in photos, etc. I dealt with it by acknowledging to myself that it was a shallow but human and understandable response, not judging myself for it, and then just ignoring it. In the end he finally decided to have his teeth fixed.

    9. You deserve to be reamed. If you wrote in once before and were reamed, I suspect that you also deserved it then. The most prolific commenters on Dear Wendy tend to be far more likely to be too kind to the letter writers (especially if they are women), rather than too mean. I doubt that the anonymity of the internet, while often contributing to ugly human interaction, is the culprit here.

      It is not a “moral high horse” to ask people to be considerate of others and think about someone other than themselves before they take action in a potentially hurtful manner. It isn’t a thought that you’re being damned for (although you should be terribly embarrassed that it was anything more than a momentary, fleeting concern), it’s an action. It’s contacting the friend, it’s dwelling on the situation.

      It is not always wrong to judge people. In this case, your actions are well deserving of harsh judgment. I’m not particularly surprised that you would post this type of defensive response (if you weren’t self centered and oblivious there wouldn’t be a problem in the first place), but I’m still appalled by the response when I read it.

      1. GingerLaine says:

        I’m so glad you said this. There is nothing in my response that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face. Because we all THINK shallow things. Like how I really hope that morbidly obese lady doesn’t sit next to me on the plane, or that I don’t get stuck behind the person in the wheelchair while I’m walking in a hurry to get somewhere. And I’ve even tried to break myself of that – I’ve made a point of saying to myself OUT LOUD, “That’s a horrible thought” because surely that obese lady KNOWS that no one wants to sit next to her on the plane. And I bet that person in the wheelchair would give anything to be in my situation and actually HAVE functional legs, no matter how slowly they had to use them.

        How hurtful would it be if the obese lady walked up to the seat next to me & I said, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you are simply too big, and I won’t be able to enjoy my flight with you next to me”? Or “Excuse me, sir, would you mind steering your wheelchair toward the edge of the walkway? I can’t get around you and I’m kind of in a hurry”? Those things are presented politely, but still outrageously rude – because there’s no reason to say them! There’s no reason not to simply shut up & deal, or change MY circumstances rather than being hurtful & judgmental of someone else who really really wishes their circumstances were different.

        For all the anonymity of the internet, it occurs to me that the LW is being hurtful without anonymity. Sometimes, the people you know won’t tell you the things you NEED to hear. And this is one of them. There was NO reason to call someone out on their appearance because a change in their appearance would make you feel better. How was mentioning his dentures helpful to Justin? Just woman up & admit that it wasn’t. The only person being helped in the sitaution was you, LW. And that’s what makes it especially offensive to everyone here. You wanted someone to correct their physical flaw for your own gain. And that’s beyond rude – it’s just plain sad. I feel badly for you that you lack the empathy to see where & how you were wrong.

    10. Well said. Same thing happened to me. More like no empathy around here at all.

    11. Oh dear LW, we of the internet realm are picking on you, aren’t we. Well, put on your big girl panties. Your “man” (oh how I hate that term of possessiveness) appears to lack the testicular fortitude of making mention of this contrived situation himself. If your story is true, then your “man” is the shallow one, and the manipulative ass who shucked the onerous duty of broaching the subject on to you. Making YOU look like the shallow one. Then you have the consumate gall to get mad at us for getting mad at you when your original letter does not state that your “man” was the one who put you up to it (set you up, really). You should be mad at your darling “man”. He who lacks the manhood to say “hey dude, do you need help with paying for a new set of dentures before the wedding instead of getting some lame-ass cufflinks?” and be done with the whole affair.

      Instead, it’s a drawn-out BS drama, wherein you have now earned the psuedo-wrath of a portion of the DW-populace, stressed yourself out, and are still no closer to a real answer. Some “man” you have there, sweetheart. And trust me, I’d tell you this to your face, whether you were my friend or not. I am just as honest in person as I am on the internet (much to my family’s dismay).

    12. “how to not let it bother me that he can’t wear his dentures – which no one answered because they were too busy telling me what a shitty, horrible person I am and that I am lucky that anyone is marrying me at all.”

      LW, i gotta be honest- just the fact that you need a method to not let this bother you makes you a shitty person. this is a very cherished man, right? a guy who has been an amazing friend to the person you are about to promise your whole life to- and the only thing you can think about is the flaw in how he looks?

      that is why everyone is mad. you are making this all about his looks. and whether or not we are all on high horses- you’ve been called out on it. now you have to take steps to fix it. i would apoligize PRONTO. then tell him how you didnt know that he had lost them, and its not a big deal anyway because if he isnt there the wedding wont be the same.

      atleast, my wedding wouldnt be the same if one of my fiances very best friends werent there just because how he looks.

      also, you may want to do some major damage control with him, have a nice heart to heart or something, because if I was him, i would never be able to be comfortable around you again after what you had said. it doesnt matter how “kind” you tried to be- it just matters that you brought it up at all.

      1. theattack says:

        Your last sentence is spot on. There is no way it’s possible to be nice while bringing this up. The fact that his teeth are coming up may be embarrassing. It’s even more embarrassing for him that the LW questions whether or not he might think their wedding is enough of an occasion to put in his dentures. If the LW didn’t know he lost his dentures, then she instead thought he didn’t know he should wear them, which IMO, is even worse.

    13. Hey LW,
      Good news, being a shitty/awful human being is not a permanent, irreversible condition! First as Wendy and ForeverYoung astutely pointed out if your main concern is people calling you out on said shitty behavior, just don’t openly voice such ridiculously shallow opinions.

      HOWEVER, if you really want to be a better person and be less to prone to making impulsive superficial judgements you’ll probably have to latch onto the concept of COMPASSION. In my opinion, the ability to roletake (aka to put yourself in another person’s situation and imagine all the obstacles and difficulties you would face if you were faced with the same predicament) makes it much harder to entertain unkind, selfish thoughts.

      For example, I fly a lot and I am VERY particular about my personal space bubble so on occasions when I have been seated next to a significantly overweight person on a plane and had lift my armrest to accommodate the other person, my first impulse is to be annoyed at the discomfort of having another person touching me for the next 3+ hours. However, that annoyance lasts for approximately 7 seconds as I realize that the discomfort I face is miniscule compared to that of my seat mate’s. I imagine if I were that overweight I would DREAD flying – each time having to anxiously anticipate how full the plane might be, wondering if I would have to purchase another seat, worrying what the people on plane might be think or say (because from what I have observed it seems that if you inconvenience people in the slightest, many feel they have right to shame you with looks, sighs, and rude comments). Anyway, when I think about how this society views and treats overweight people and how difficult even a simple thing like taking a flight can be, I quickly forget my own anxiety about seat sharing and instead feel grateful that I have never had to experience that stigma which also motivates to do whatever I can to help mitigate my seat partner’s discomfort. So yeah, I guess if I were in your situation I would be more concerned about how this groomsman feels about his appearance (especially after that vile e-mail) than how he actually appears to you.

      I think this Plato quote is a great mantra to have when interacting others:

      “Be Kind, For Everyone You Meet Is Fighting A Hard Battle”

      Also, I highly recommend you read Truth and Beauty: A Friendship by Anne Patchett . It’s a memoir she penned about her dear friend and fellow author Lucy Grealy. Grealy had part of her jaw removed due to childhood cancer and spent the rest of her life struggling to overcome the resulting physical challenges(i.e. eating is much MORE difficult without teeth) and social stigma. I suggest you read it not because I want you to feel even worse about yourself but because I hope it might open your eyes to how difficult it might be to be your fiance’s friend and that by focusing on such superficial attributes you are probably eliminating a lot of great people from your life. Oh and if you buy this book you should definitely use Wendy’s amazon link as a thank you for her giving you a MUCH needed wake-up call!

      1. Oh, I love that book so much. Have you read Grealy’s autobiography? That’s a good one too. Maybe Truth and Beauty should be a DW book club book.

      2. ForeverYoung says:

        I love everything about your response! The personal shout out helped- haha, but really. I feel the exact same way on airplanes. It would be so easy to be annoyed and think what a bummer it is to have someone’s arm on you for the next 3 hours, but then I think about how they probably feel knowing someone is thinking that, and it makes me want to cry. It is not my place to judge why they are bigger than maybe necessary, and they probably are on a much crueler life journey. I don’t know why but things like this really get to me and make me want to hug a stranger.

      3. GingerLaine says:

        I was reading the responses in page order, so I didn’t see your anecdote about the airplane. I had a very similar thought & comment above. Good for you, EB. I hope the LW can understand. If we’ve lost all of our empathy, I want to stop this ride & get off right now.

  33. as a person from a hillbilly family, with multiple people without teeth, or have dentures that are too painful to wear, I say, get the hell over it. you seem to know how shallow you are already, so what’s the problem? why do people keep worrying about what other people think? honestly. Not everyone can ‘finance’ them as the person above suggested.

    If you truly like someone, their teeth should not matter. And I think you already know that, but you’re looking for people to tell you it’s ok to be an asshole to your friend, even though ‘it’s your day’. You already crossed that line too, because i can guarantee you he was already self conscious about it, and you just made him feel worse about it.

    1. ForeverYoung says:

      Agreed about the finance – and to even suggest that someone should finance (which, lets face it “financing” is a fancy word for debt) something for a friends’ wedding is atrocious.

  34. Wendy, you need to stop being so harsh. She realizes she is being shallow and yes, because she reached out to you, there is some finger wagging allowed. But spending so many paragraphs chewing her out for being human is absurd. You make mistakes too so get off your high horse and offer some worth-while advice. Maybe the “b-word” you were thinking of could be applied to you too…

      1. Temperance says:

        I’m writing out a comment to you down below that will be positive. LW, I disagree with most of the commenters here.

    1. ForeverYoung says:

      I find it sad that you think not wanting a dear friend in your wedding pictures because of a lack of teeth (that they can’t afford) “being human”. Go punch a fat chick while you’re at it. And don’t invite the grandparents – their wrinkly skin is disgusting.

      1. Temperance says:

        Seriously? She didn’t KNOW that his dentures were missing, she thought that he was choosing not to wear them. There is a difference.

      2. What’s the difference? If he chooses not to wear them – for whatever reason – that’s his business. He doesn’t owe her an explanation.

      3. What I meant by being human is making a mistake. We as humans are all flawed and I agree that the LW is not being sensitive to her fiance’s best friend. But everyone makes mistakes and it would be a better use of everyone’s time to help people understand why their behavior is wrong. People say and do stupid things, and as people who have all done stupid and shameful things, we should try to approach LW as someone who needs to take a step back and reevaluate, rather than all of us acting like we are so much better than she is. We aren’t.
        Everyone is entitled to moments of weakness and bravo to you LW for seeing what you did was wrong. And shame on those who chose to focus on her reaching out for help and support. She messed up. She knows that. We can all nod our heads and say “Yes you did. You messed up big time. Now how can you make things better? How can we help you to not repeat this mistake again and to learn from it?”

      4. ForeverYoung says:

        Yeah that would be great if she really thought her reaction was wrong and inappropriate, but based on her defensive response above I doubt she get it at all.

      5. moonflowers says:

        But it’s precisely because the feedback she’s getting is so harsh that she’s turning defensive. No one opens up to criticism easily to start with, and being called a bitch over and over again doesn’t help her be willing to listen. I don’t think what she did was particularly nice either, but I think it would help her more to at least try to establish some rapport before criticizing her, so that she’d listen to advice and maybe take it to heart instead of making her sound incurably bad (at which she’d probably just want to give up). We’ve all had shallow thoughts before – let he who is without sin tada blah.

  35. Ok so I’ll admit I’m feeling very emotional right now but in response to the letter, Wendy’s response, along with everyone else’s response, I feel so bad for the toothless, denture-less friend I want to cry! Poor guy! How bad would it suck to be the person who other people don’t want to have, (or are hesitant to have) in their wedding because of how they look? On top of how hard his life probably is right now without the teeth with eating, people staring, treating him differently, etc. I’m sorry, LW, that you’re upset with people’s responses to your letter, but I feel a lot worse for your fiancé’s friend 🙁 if I were you I’d channel any discomfort or embarrassment you have towards him being in your wedding into sympathy for his very embarrassing predicament.

    1. ForeverYoung says:

      I know, maybe i’m “PMS-y” but this really struck a cord with me too because I have a physical imperfection too. I have a huge scar on my back from a barbed wire fence as a kid and I would seriously cry if I even THOUGHT one of my friends considered not having me in their wedding because of it. It’s like that time I was 16 and some random chick yelled out the car window that I was fat that I will NEVER forget. I was 5 feet tall and 140 – which granted I could have been smaller – but the embarrassment alone caused me to lose like 10 pounds on the spot. (Technically like 3 weeks but still). I just don’t understand what is wrong with people.

      1. Britannia says:

        As a person with a lot of heavy scarring due to events beyond my control, I just want to say (pardon my language) a big old FUCK YOU to people who judge anyone based on physical imperfections, especially scars. No matter what the story behind physical imperfections, no one has the right embarrass you for having them.

      2. Agree with you there. Scars are the souvenirs of life. Shows we’ve lived, even if it was rough. A mile marker of sorts. I may not LIKE some of my scars, but I wouldn’t want them to just disappear out of convenience. I earned my wounds, for one reason or another, proudly or not, and they are the price of the lessons I learned.

  36. LW, I’m with you on this one. It would bother me immensely as well. And it’s your own wedding–you don’t have to be PC and pretend that his hillbilly toothless grin won’t bother you. Wishing you luck!

  37. theattack says:

    You shouldn’t be surprised at the responses, LW. Of course the responses are going to be more about how you handled the situation so rudely. Your question was about how to deal with it, but there’s not a whole lot to say to that. The answer to “How do I deal with it?” is to DEAL WITH IT. Get over it. Realize that you love your fiance, and by extension, you should love and respect anyone who has consistently been a good friend to him.

    It is very unkind to send someone a message like that. Can you imagine if you had been the recipient of that message? I myself am currently going through a series of very expensive, very painful surgeries because of my “hillbilly” teeth. In fact, I’ve spent two out of the past four weeks under sedation and on painkillers. I’ve got percocet in my system right now. At 22, my teeth issues are things I can’t help, and I’m very embarrassed about them. Honestly, if my friend’s fiance (or even my friend) approached me asking me if I would have my surgeries completed for their wedding, I would be incredibly hurt. In fact, I would probably consider backing out of the wedding because of it. Your fiance’s friend is very patient and understanding with you. But don’t be surprised if he’s no longer supportive of his friend marrying you.

    So you recognize that you’re being shallow. That’s great. Keep recognizing it and ignore that feeling. Be happy that your fiance has such a good friend. That is the answer to your question.

  38. 6napkinburger says:

    I have to say, guys, wow on the harshness.

    One of the reasons I like this site is that the people who respond seem to be real people. With flawed logic and selfish impulses and pet peeves. And good hearts.

    People writing in almost always know what they SHOULD do, in the best world where everyone’s an angel and no one gets annoyed or offended or hurt by anything. But down here in the real world, our officemates have BO, we can’t stand our BF’s beautiful girl best friend for no reason, and we care about how our wedding pictures look.

    We all talk a good game about celebrating our differences. But part of that celebrating involves NOTICING that we are different and that that difference isn’t always the most convenient for everyone. No doubt that it is way less convenient for the actual person suffering, but it is a lie to refuse to acknowledge that some disabilities inconvenience others. And it doesn’t make you a bad person for being aware.

    I have a confession. I have not told anyone this because I know that people will think I’m a horrible person. And I guess I’m ready for that judgment.

    I hate when the bus is 20 mins late in the morning and I am late to work because, and only because,the bus had to stop to pick someone in a wheelchair. There I said it. Tomatoes away.

    Does this mean I hate people in wheelchairs? No. Does this mean I don’t think they have the same rights as everyone else to get where they are going? No. Do I think that the world is probably aa shit ton harder to get around for them than for me and that the fact that all buses now are equipped to take on handicapped people is probably a god-send for them? Yes. Do I think that because they are in a wheelchair, I don’t have the right to be annoyed that i am now 20 mins late? No. I’m sorry, I don’t. (And with the bus kneeling, and flopping out the thingy and pulling it up and strapping in, and strapping out, and flopping again and kneeling again, its about 10-15 mins, and about 15-20 mins when there is more than one person)

    If it were traffic, I’d be allowed to complain. If it were the presidential motorcade, I’d be allowed to complain. If it were bus maintainance or a roadblock, I’d be equally powerless, but I wouldn’t be an asshole for asking the universe to hurry the f’ up already, that my boss is probably not so happy with me. But the fact that when I see someone in a wheelchair at an upcoming stop, I cringe as I check my watch, make me a bad person.

    Because good people don’t have any negative feelings that arise from dealing with something like disability or race or religion or socioeconomic status or other PC-protected things. But real people do, and I don’t think it makes you a bad person. It matters what you do with it.

    This LW wrote to a usually fair-minded group of people, who have flaws, and admitted one of her own. She expected Wendy to tell her that she could not “ban” him from the wedding, and probably hoped for some advice about what to do then (like, have your bf ask him to smile with his mouth closed or something).

    But for some reason, everyone seemed to err on the side of “holier-than-thou” rather than “let he among us without sin…”.

    And there’s been a secondary problem, rampant amongh advice columns, which does not usually plague this site: the all or nothing approach, it’s the “if you don’t like that she spits when she talks, then don’t be her friend or deal with it.” Prudie’s comments would say that. But commenters here usually would say “tell her privately that she spits at you and you don’t especially like it. If she can’t stop, tell her you’re going to back away when she speaks. so you don’t get hit. If this ruins your friendship, it probably wasn’t that strong.” I bet the girl who’s friend spits at her knows she could deal with it or could drop her and that it isn’t a very big deal. That doesn’t make her any less wet. She was looking for the nuanced answer and we usually provide that.

    ESPECIALLY when it comes to weddings. There is such a backlash against having a prefernce for things that differs from your friends/family that any request to conform to request is considered an affront to all individuality and idiosyncracies, and it is horrible with advice columns. It’s the “if you don’t like her somewhat inflammatory tattoo on her neck, don’t ask her to be your maid-of-honor” advice, instead of “go to sephora and see if that new spray make-up covers it.”

    I would be a little worried whether or not someone in my wedding party not having any teeth would look in my pictures. (I mean, I’d be worried if someone I hang out with all the time didn’t have any teeth , how does he chew or eat? how has her fiance never told her what happened? I’d be so freaking curious). Would that bit of worry make me a horrible person? I say NO! I say it makes me realistic! But then, you get over that and you deal with it. You either get over it totally, or you somewhat unavoidably rudely ask for him to smile with his mouth closed. But you get to have a 5 second moment where you are like, damn, what am I going to do? The same way I think you get that 5 seconds when the flowers are the wrong colors or the linens aren’t what you ordered. You get to NOTICE that stuff isn’t how you pictured it. Most people just want validation. (“mom, these are not lilac!!!! you agree, right? Yes honey, they are defininetly blue. Ok good, phew, I knew I wasn’t crazy. Let’s put them near the Ice scupture so they look frozen.)

    So I will validate it. Yes, I don’t think you are crazy for noticing that one of your groosmen has no teeth and might look weird in the pictures. Yes, its not as ideal as if you didn’t have to handle the situtation (the situation mainly being your feelings about it). So figure out if he’s shy enough to smile closed mouth on his own, and if you care if he doesn’t. Then act accordingly. But you aren’t a horrible person.


    1. theattack says:

      The problem is not that she has these feelings. The problem is the way she’s dealt with them.

      1. ele4phant says:

        I have to agree with theattack. People were appalled by her behavior, not her feelings. We are all human, yes, but to draw a parallel to your example of waiting on the bus, I too get irritated when I am headed to work and we stop for a disabled passenger. It does take a long time. But you would *never* say to them “You know, I’m really in a hurry today and it takes you a long time to get off, would you mind staying on until I get off?”

        There’s an impulse -that’s only human -, but then a recognition that the world doesn’t revolve around you, so you squelch it.

      2. Exactly–> People were appalled by her behavior, not her feelings.

        Had she not written and SENT the email, our responses would have been totally different. She should have written in asking how to handle the situation, not asking how to make herself feel better after she hit send.

    2. I really liked this comment. I applaud your honesty and willingness to look further into this than I feel a lot of people did.
      And while I think the LW acted quite rudely towards Justin and is absolutely focusing on things she needs to stop focusing on, I don’t think she is the moster people seem to be making her out to be.
      Yes… we are ALL human.

    3. I always love your comments. They’re so thoughtful, logical AND honest. Even if I don’t agree with everything you say, I dig your point of view.

    4. Two thumbs up 6 napkinburger!

    5. If someone said to me ‘i’d like you to be my maid of honor, but you need to cover those tattoos’ I would tell her to go fuck herself with all the spray makeup in the world.

    6. Jess of says:

      Wonderfully put 🙂

    7. I think like other commenters have said it is her actions that have people upset. And her tone in the letter. If she was truly trying to to learn to deal with this shallow impluse as she stated why would she continue with the stereotypes and say things like big toothless grin. Like you said we all have thoughts like these that cross our minds but it’s how we act upon them that matter. As well as how we treat those people outside of our own thoughts.

      I think if you wrote in and said I get really annoyed when handicap people have to ride the bus with me. How do I deal with these thoughts. People would probably react the same way.

    8. It’s not that you think those ideas, it’s vocalizing them. All it really takes is putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Which is a pretty simple concept that I believe most of us were taught as children. You may get slightly irritated that you have to wait at the bus stop for someone in a wheelchair but I bet you’d never tell that person that them getting on the bus is inconvenient for you. Because, in reality, who’s to say that your needs (getting to work) are more important than their needs? Perhaps they’re on their way to visit their husband in a nursing home. Or perhaps they’re on their way to a doctors appointment.

      Also, I think asking someone to cover their tattoos gives off a “holier than thou” attitude. I’d be offended if a friend asked me to change who I am to fit into her wedding party. I think the moral of the story is to be accepting of your friends the way they are and try not to change them.

      1. 6napkinburger says:

        Re: the tattoo, I think it matters on the friend and the relationship. I guess I disagree. I would feel comfortable asking my best friend in the world to cover up a tattoo for the picture if I found it particularly jarring, or to wear a shawl in the pictures or up at the front. I would also feel comfortable with her telling me that she doesn’t feel comfortable covering up who she is. Or not. But I won’t know until I ask. Because maybe she doesn’t care . (my good friend with 10 tattoos, all of which she designed herself and which she sees as part of her, is very willing to cover them up to be in her somewhat prissy best friend’s wedding). But If I was best friends with Rainbow, I’d probably not ask. Because I know how she feels about it. and then I’d have to choose which one matters to me more. (and would most likely go with rainbow, because she seems nice).

        I guess I just disagree with “deal with it or leave” approach as a default. If you’re going to leave anyway, you might as well ask before you go. Nothing lost. (But I am also way less offended about things like that; if I want want I want, I had better be ok with other people doing the same.)

      2. ForeverYoung says:

        Right – these are your close friends. She is telling this to her fiance’s friend – someone she clearly can barely tolerate.

    9. Thank you for your comment.

      What I was really upset about is that I have been a commenter/reader of DW for a while and really liked the community here. So, when I ran into this conundrum, I thought who better to take it to? I expected that I would get chided for my shallowness, but that the general camaraderie would prevail. I did NOT expect to be turned on and ripped to pieces, although in retrospect maybe I should have. It was a surprise though, which is why I think I reacted so defensively. When you expect a slap on the hand and get a punch in the mouth instead it can make you reel a little bit and act in ways you wouldn’t otherwise.

      In any case, I am moving on and this is my last comment. For what it is worth, Wendy did make me second guess myself so I sent an apology to Justin and was told that he was not offended or hurt in the slightest. He will be in the wedding, I’m not buying him dentures and I’m pretty certain that I’m not a horrendous person, despite all of your efforts to convince me of the contrary. I can recognize that I worded my original letter poorly in an effort to make it interesting and will own that mistake. I still don’t think that writing to him was that terrible and would do it again. I am, by nature, a blunt person and that’s actually something that my fiance loves about me. People spend so much time and energy masking their true thoughts and feelings from others, when generally if you’re just honest about it people will understand. I think the world needs a little more honest and direct communication rather than all of the passive aggressive, under the table nonsense that usually happens.

      1. “I think the world needs a little more honest and direct communication rather than all of the passive aggressive, under the table nonsense that usually happens” seems a little ironic considering the direct communication that Wendy gave you didn’t sit well.

      2. Wendy’s response and most of the comments on here are pure bitchiness. The world needs less of that.

      3. Sure. Unlike the LW, I have enough self awareness and am woman enough to own and acknowledge when my behavior is bordering on bitchtastic. In this case, while my first comment was relatively polite you better believe I was thinking EXACTLY what some of the more aggressive comments asserted and would have said it myself had that sentiment not already been expressed.

        Like the LW, I can be overly-opinionated and blunt to the point of being rude. I am also unfailingly sarcastic and realize this combined with my cynical and often flippant attitude can rub many the wrong way . In most cases I don’t particularly give a fuck (i.e. this case. The LW is angry because “we” were mean/wrong/haters *eye roll* ).

        However, when I’ve realized that my behavior might have genuinely and deeply hurt another person(i.e. not in a tough love for their own good sort of way) it’s like having a bucket of ice cold water dumped on me. The comprehension that I might have caused a fellow human being unnecessary pain through my actions(intentional or not) is a GIGANTIC wake-up call to seriously check myself and re-evaluate how I treat other people. I fully realize that patience and kindness don’t necessarily come naturally to me but even I am ashamed when my inherently critical mind crosses the line into downright cruel territory . So I guess I am baffled how the LW after reading all these accounts of people, who personally identify with Justin’s plight, break down exactly how EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL it would be to receive that e-mail, can decide if given the chance, she would SEND IT AGAIN!?!!

        Also, LW since you appreciate honesty: this letter and your follow-up comments have made me more depressed about the world and how people treat each other than any other letter to DW in recent memory*

        *Yes, this is bitchy but I am so appalled and sickened by this LW’s attitude (frankly it’s making me question the humanity of the world as a whole) that I can’t summon enough energy to mask my disgust any longer

      4. I think we already discussed in another thread how people who take pride in “being blunt” and “telling it like it is” and think of it as a good trait are usually:
        A.- rude and self-centered.
        B.- offended when they are expected to take the same kind of “honesty” in return.

        There’s nothing wrong with being honest. But it won’t kill you to mix in some compassion from time to time.

      5. ele4phant says:

        I am geniulely glad that everything with Justin is fine and he wasn’t offended.

        I have to disagree with this though: “I think the world needs a little more honest and direct communication rather than all of the passive aggressive, under the table nonsense “.

        Direct, blunt statements would work in a world where people don’t have feelings. But they do. And being blunt, direct, and showing no regard for how your words can impact those around you can be hurtful. In this instance, Justin wasn’t, but people often can be. There is a reason for not letting every thought or desire you have bubble out, there is a purpose for this “passive aggressive under the table nonsense.”

        By all means, if its something consequential or unjust, be assertive and speak up. There is no reason to never voice an opinion or be direct, just evaluate how your words will impact someone and if its really worth it.

        I think people need to apply a filter more often, its not enough to say something hurtful and then just say “Hey, I’m just blunt and honest, that’s just the way it is. Sorry if you didn’t like it” People need to think before they speak.

        All the best to you, and have a wonderful wedding.

      6. ForeverYoung says:

        There’s a difference between being blunt and people a total biotch. I hate when people defend their totally rude and unnecessary actions by saying, “i’m just real” or “I hate passive aggressive behavior” or “I’m just honest”. Yes, you were honest, and if you honestly feel that someone that doesn’t live up to your physical standards shouldn’t be in your wedding, you honestly don’t deserve to have anyone standing up with you. Just keeping it real over here.

        But like you, i’m over this thread. Clearly you didn’t want advice, so continue on thinking you’re “just blunt”.

  39. Chaotonic says:

    My husband is missing one of his front teeth, my family during the wedding pulled me aside and asked me what happen to his tooth. I plastered a big smile on my face and quite proudly told them I knocked it out in a hockey game. It was no one’s business that he was born without a front tooth, and we’re in the final stage of a long drawn out process to get one of the implants. Who cares if someone is missing teeth, no one will notice and if they do hopefully they’re gracious enough not to say anything.
    Its really not a big deal.

    1. theattack says:

      I mentioned my surgeries above. They’re for an implant as well! Best of luck to your husband. I’ve had some complications with mine, so I sure hope his goes well!

    2. I hate to say this, but in AK – that is actually something that could and HAS happened to a few grooms (and more than one bride!). “Friendly” hockey games with friends, falling off a snow machine or four-wheeler, a broken leg during a wood-chopping competition at the fair, etc.

      In Talkeetna, there’s the Wilderness Woman Contest…

  40. Temperance says:

    LW, I am going to take a different stand from Wendy and the rest of the commenters. I don’t think that you’re a Bridezilla or rude.

    You didn’t realize that he lost his teeth, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable for you to request that he wear them to your wedding. Maybe it’s because I have a lot of family members with dentures or whatever, but I don’t consider it to be totally unreasonable to ask someone to remember to wear their teeth. My family has to do it regularly, because we have family members who find them uncomfortable and don’t wear them often. It’s not seen as anything different than requesting that someone not wear a ratty sweatsuit to your wedding, for example. My FFIL’s girlfriend had all over her teeth pulled, by choice, because she hated dental work that she needed. She doesn’t always wear her dentures.

    A lot of people seem to compare dentures to medical equipment like wheelchairs or burn scars or something, but I don’t see it that way, at all, and I am guessing that you don’t, either. I don’t find your request unreasonable.

    I also have some admittedly shallow impulses about wedding photos; I decided long ago that I wasn’t going to have Mr. Temperance’s sister as a bridesmaid because she’s 9 inches taller than me and thin and gorgeous, and being around her makes me feel like a short, fat troll. (She’s also a douchebag loser, so that makes it easier). So, in short LW, you aren’t alone.

  41. i just wish people cared about what happened in a wedding and not what it looks like.

    one of my best friends has mild CP and so has a little bit of a deformed right side of her body. if she isnt at my wedding, it wont be complete. my “thing” in my future wedding is that ALL of my friends will be there- whether they can afford to be or not.

    i dont even care what they wear! i just want them there.

    i get that this isn’t the worst ever case of being a bridezilla, but i seriously wonder about the marriages/relationships with the friends that ensue after these kinds of situations happen. as the friend, i would never be able to be comfortable around the LW again, much less feel welcomed at the wedding…. dang.

    1. My best friend and her husband chose his nephew to be a groomsman. I’m not sure exactly why, but he wears a large brace under his clothes and has an extremely noticeable limp. Anyway, nobody noticed or cared, including the bride and groom. Honestly, nobody really pays that much attention to the bridesmaids and groomsman.

      1. i honestly dont understand why people would make anything out of it. as a guest, your sitting there, and you see him walk down the aisle, and what do you think? “oh, look at that poor guy. why did they choose him as a groomsman? he looks ridiculous hobbling down the aisle!”

        that is just not something normal people think.

        you would think, “the wedding is starting. there is one of the groomsmen.” and then you’d check the program to figure out his name.

        its not like bridesmaids and groomsmen are ornaments! they are supposed to be real, living, breathing people that love you and are supporting you on your big day!

  42. KarenWalker says:

    Any pictures from the event where he showed up without his dentures? Is it really noticeable? Does he smile with his mouth open when he’s not wearing dentures?

    Remember, the pictures could always be worse – you could be the one with a toothless smile or some other imperfection. And if you really don’t like the pictures the groomsman is in, don’t frame those particular pictures – no one said you have to put them on display. Most wedding pictures people want to see are of the bride & groom, anyways.

    Also, I understand why you feel people are being harsh. Re-reading your letter, I can see that you’re stressed about this situation because you know the toothless grin shouldn’t bother you because it’s really not that big of a deal. You know that, but feelings aren’t always rational, unfortunately for us. I will say I think it seemed a little unnecessary to confront Justin after seeing go without the dentures only once – seems kinda like making a mountain out of a molehill kind of thing.

    Ultimately, you cannot control this particular situation. Excluding him from the wedding party would be hurtful not only to him, but also to your husband, and ultimately to your relationship. Include him and try to ignore the toothless grin. Keep yourself busy with planning your wedding & your future with your fiancee while still living your usual life and you probably won’t even have time to think about his teeth. And who knows, maybe by the time of your wedding, he’ll find an extra source of income and be able to replace his dentures?

  43. I just have one question…how does a person like this get an engagement ring but I don’t? SMH. It’s pretty tactless to tell your fiance that his best friend isn’t attractive enough to be part of your wedding, which is supposed to be a special day for BOTH OF YOU not just you! How special is it going to be for your fiance if his best friend isn’t even invited? This letter still has my jaw on the floor.

    1. moonflowers says:

      To be fair, the fact that LW acted snippy here says nothing about whether anyone else is worthy of being engaged or not.

    2. I know its not kind, but I did think something similar, but of course It was a fleeting thought in anger at my unengaged state, so there you have it, a shallow thought begotten by a shallow letter.

      On more related note, I had a ex boyfriend who used to jokingly refer to my friend with a cleft lip as ‘spaghetti lips’ He is now my ex and I have no regrets. Life isn’t perfect and if he thinks its funny to joke about one’s disabilities that is not ok. He is not someone I want to have as a partner and go through all the messy gross realities of life with. I mean, god forbid we had a gay child who didn’t fit his definition of perfect. Or that our child be born with a physical disability, I can never trust him to not be judgmental, and would always wonder if he loved our child less because of this. I think life is full of crap, why saddle myself with a partner I’d always worry about judging situations…

      I guess my only advice to LW would be to view this as minor in the grand scheme of things. Being worried about physical issues, that may or may not be helped is a legitimate concern, but also a learning moment where you can learn to focus on other aspects of wonderful but less than perfect people. Marriage is forever, and I can guarantee you that your husband or yourself won’t be perfect forever, so maybe Justin can teach you a lesson, to look beyond appearances. I’m sure that mentality will serve you well in married life, parenthood and all other areas as well!

    3. Probably because you see yourself as in competition with other women for a fiance. (They can tell.)

  44. moonflowers says:

    I think one point people have missed is “how to get over this shallow thought” – so I’ll try to address it here in the hopes it can do some good and salvage this situation.

    Ask yourself a few questions – in the greater scheme of things, what is more important to you – flawless photos, or Justin’s feelings and his cheerful support of you and John as a couple? How important really would the lack of teeth be in ten or twenty years? At that time, will anyone remember or care anymore?

    Also, why do you think Justin’s lack of teeth reflects badly on you automatically? Why do you feel personally responsible for his appearance when you are you and he is he?

    Something that helps me take a step back and gain proper perspective is to ask – do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy? Sure, being right feels good in the moment, but being happy is longer lasting and more satisfying for years to come.

    The real thing that question gets to is “do I want to control people, or do I want to love them?” Because, as Carl Jung says, the two are incompatible – if you’re trying to control, you’re not being loving, but if you seek to truly love someone, you’ll never seek control over them.

    1. moonflowers says:

      Also, I get the undertone that the LW is merely tolerating Justin because of his longstanding friendship with John, but isn’t fond of him herself. It’s time for her to examine her true feelings about Justin – does this criticism about his teeth stem from deeper disapproval (ie she thinks Justin is a bad influence on her fiancé, or she thinks Justin disapproves of her and John, or something).

      If you’re marrying John, LW, then Justin does come as part of the deal, and even if you can’t see yourself becoming BFF with him, it’d be good to try and see what your fiancé sees in Justin instead of just barely concealing your dislike for him out of respect for John. People are rarely all bad or all good – he must have some good points that you yourself can admire independently of “he’s John’s buddy.”

      1. i think your onto something with that… just the way she describes him:

        “Justin is an okay guy — kind of weird and a little transient/unfocused in his life”

        he hasnt actually done anything to make me not like him, but he is weird and has no purpose and/or job

        “and has been a good friend to my man which endears him to me”

        i only tolerate him because he is my boyfriends friend

        “John has stated that he still wants him to be a groomsman despite this.”

        i really dont want him in the wedding at all, but my boyfriend still does.

        “Justin is a good friend to my man and I’m a firm believer that this is his wedding too”

        i dont want him in my wedding, but he is my boyfriends friend and so i cant really say no

        very interesting….

      2. Painted_lady says:

        Yeah, “I’m a firm believer that this is his wedding too” caught me off guard. Really? Was this up for debate?

        Also, “I don’t want to be all Bridezilla and say no.” That’s where I was finally like, “Oh hell no.” Even by saying she doesn’t want that, she’s implying that if she had to pull rank, she would. If it was “I would never be all Bridezilla and say no,” or “I’m not going to,” but it was “I don’t want to.”

  45. Sounds like a job for mini marshmallows!

  46. My uncle has basically no teeth left. He’s never had a lot of money and couldn’t afford dental work, leading to his tooth situation. He’s really embarrassed by it. But honestly, you can’t really tell unless you’re looking. A groomsman can easily smile for pictures and stand in front of the guests without it looking obvious that he has no teeth.

    I get that the LW knows she’s being shallow, but it still makes me feel bad for the groomsman. If he was already embarrassed by it, then being asked specifically to wear the dentures for the wedding, probably made it a lot worse. How would the LW feel if someone told her that as a bridesmaid, she should wear her hair down to cover gigantic ears or something?

    As for the LW getting over her shallow thoughts, I think you let the groomsman in the wedding, dentures or not, and go on about your life. I seriously doubt she’s going to be thinking about his lack of teeth on her wedding day.

  47. bittergaymark says:

    A bigger problem than lack of teeth is lack of both humanity and tact.

    Moreover the LW is clearly an idiot. I mean, come on. Odd’s are, he will smile with his lips closed. God knows I would. At any rate, I hope her actions give her fiance’ pause. I know I would think twice about marrying somebody who was so unbelievably shallow and narcissistic.

    1. Seems from her response above that both her and her fiancé share those shallow impulses. So maybe they are perfect for each other?

      1. It might just be me, but I imagine the conversation something like this:
        LW: OMG, Justin had better wear his dentures to be in my wedding!
        BF: Yeah, probably
        LW: Tell him now!!! He´s not going to ruin my photos!!
        BF: NO, I´m not going to tell him that

        LW goes off to send the FB message.

  48. “How can I get over this shallow impulse?”
    Step One: Recognize there’s a problem and admit you need help. (Done)
    Step Two: Accept when people call you shallow and listen to their advice.
    Step Three: Back away from the urge to defend every little thing…it’s the internet, no one knows you in real life. It doesn’t matter at the end of the day.
    Step Four: Hope that you don’t wake up the day of the wedding with a huge pimple or stye or something.

    1. Step 4_ wouldn´t that be karmic justice.

  49. has anyone here considered that this letter may be fake?

    1. demoiselle says:

      It seems very real to me. I feel sort of sorry for the LW. She got a harsher pile-on than she deserved, and is trying to do the right thing. Most of us have hurt someone unintentionally through lack of understanding of the true nature of a problem, or a moment of self-centeredness.

  50. demoiselle says:

    Now that the LW knows why Justin is suffering from having no dentures (and I realize that she knows that her facebook message was tactless, and also that she didn’t realize he had LOST them), why doesn’t she and her fiance consider doing a little drive to raise money to fund replacement dentures? They could perhaps contribute a small amount from their wedding fund, and if Justin has been such a good friend, there may be other loved ones who would be happy to help out with a small amount of money. If they knew the cost of replacing the dentures, then perhaps they could give Justin a gift which would make his life a lot easier.

    It would be a hell of an apology (which should also be verbal) for the embarrassing but somewhat understandable gaffe. Next time the LW encounters a situation like this (whether poor dress, or bad shoes, or discolored teeth, or scotch-taped glasses, or a bad, bad wig…), I am sure she will think of the possibility of loss or financial distress first, and slovenliness second.

    1. demoiselle says:

      *why don’t she and her fiancé consider…

    2. Just wanted to pipe in and say that I don’t believe the LW does realize her email was tactless as you and others are arguing. If you look up-thread, she has a comment where she defends her email. Yes, she realizes she’s superficial and feels bad about that, but in her mind she thinks she’s doing the right thing by being direct. There’s a disconnect there. She doesn’t seem to understand that tactful people may have less-than-kind thoughts, but they don’t act on them (especially out of self-interest). That’s the issue I and many others have.

      To tell someone you’d like to have him in your wedding under the condition that he fix the way he looks is … well, it’s cruel. It’s much crueler than my response or any of these comments directed toward the LW. Inconsiderate behavior can be easily be fixed. Replacing one’s expensive dentures when one can’t afford do cannot be so easily fixed…

      1. demoiselle says:

        True, Wendy. When I wrote my above response, I had not seen the LW’s quoted message yet.

      2. demoiselle says:

        That’s the problem with working backwards up the thread. 😉

      3. I don’t necessarily agree with that. I agree that LW defended her actions, looking prospectively from the vantage point of only knowing that he had recently stopped wearing his dentures. I don’t think we have enough information to say whether LW would still send the message, knowing more about his situation. (I’m assuming not.) And I’m more sympathetic to the former situation than many other posters: obviously, it’s not the kindest path, but I can see analogizing denture-wearing more to appropriate attire than to “don’t be visibly disabled at my wedding.” Clearly it’s a mistake, and hopefully one LW won’t make again, but I don’t think she’s defending having sent the message, now that all the facts are known.

      4. “I still don’t think that writing to him was that terrible and would do it again. I am, by nature, a blunt person and that’s actually something that my fiance loves about me. People spend so much time and energy masking their true thoughts and feelings from others, when generally if you’re just honest about it people will understand. I think the world needs a little more honest and direct communication rather than all of the passive aggressive, under the table nonsense that usually happens. ”

        This is directly from her response. She would absolutely do it again. Sounds like there will be more fortunate folks in the future on the receiving end of her much-needed “honest and direct communication”. 🙁

      5. But “would do it again if I were in the same position I was in when I sent it”? Or “would do it again even now knowing all the circumstances”? I think it’s still ambiguous.

      6. KarenWalker says:

        ironic that she can’t appreciate the “blunt,” “honest,” and “direct communication” style responses she’s getting here

      7. 6napkinburger says:

        I guess I also don’t understand what is so wrong with asking someone who you know has dentures to wear them on a particular day. (your wedding). I think it seems more like telling your friends in advance that you’ll be taking pictures, so remember to blow dry. I would appreciate the heads up. That you might REALLY want your friends to blow dry and be kind of pissed if they don’t doesn’t make the email itself rude, if you didn’t say that in the email. The fact that he lost them changes expectations, for sure, but she didn’t know that when she sent it.

      8. We’ll have to just agree to disagree on this issue. It would be one thing if the fiancé — John — asked his friend to be in his wedding and then — face-to-face — discussed his denture situation in a sensitive manner. It is quite another thing for the fiancée — the LW — to reach out to Justin over email and tell him they’d like to have him in their wedding BUT FIRST they need to make sure he’s going to wear his dentures, as if his years of being a good friend and a decent person isn’t enough qualification for the position.

      9. also, theattack pointed this out-

        “If the LW didn’t know he lost his dentures, then she instead thought he didn’t know he should wear them, which IMO, is even worse.”

        basically insulting him by saying, oh by the way, our wedding is kind of a big deal, and we want you to look normal- not like the slob you usually look.

        i think that is exactly the same as asking someone to “blowdry” for your wedding… of course people are going to dress up, its your wedding! asking them to is kind of an insult in itself… as in, your usually pretty ugly, and so we will have to do somethin about that for the big day!

      10. 6napkinburger says:

        Oh yeah, blow dry for the wedding I agree. I didn’t mean wedding pictures, I just meant in general pictures. Like, hey, I’m bringing my camera tonight! Though I guess that’s your point. I would be a little insulted if someone assumed I didn’t know not to look like a shlub. Fair enough, good point.

        I guess I didn’t think there was anything all THAT wrong with WANTING the dude to wear dentures that he owned, that fit him well, that he decided to buy, to her wedding. And somehow letting him know this, in the most tactful way possible would also be ok, mainly by the fiance finding out if he was planning on it. So I agree now that the email/facebook message itself was ill-thoughtout.

      11. 6napkinburger says:

        Ha! I just edited it and added both of those! But I didn’t see your response!

      12. 6napkinburger says:

        Though I do think the means of communication was a little not-awesome. If it was going to be, it should have been face to face and it should have been her fiance.

  51. silver_dragon_girl says:

    I’m not sure I agree with all the people suggesting that the LW and her fiancee help Justin pay for some new dentures. I think if it were me, that would just make it worse. Because then on top of feeling horribly embarrassed about my teeth, I’d be horribly embarrassed about taking charity from my friends.

    LW, if you really want to stop having this issue bother you, and stop feeling so shallow, you’re going to have to work on YOURSELF. First, apologize to Justin, sincerely. Say you had no idea he’d lost his dentures, and you realize now that it was out of line for you to even mention it. Then, try spending some time with him one-on-one. It does, as another commenter pointed out above, kind of sound like you just tolerate him for your fiance’s sake, but don’t much like him yourself. Well, if he’s such a great guy, why don’t the two of you get to know each other better? Go on a “friend date” with him or something. The more time you spend with this guy, the more you will start to see the whole package and stop focusing on his physical attributes.

    1. summerkitten26 says:

      I really agree with your second paragraph. and the first, actually, but in my opinion if it’s such a big deal for her/her fiance, it’s an option they can consider.

      And LW, I can understand how you feel attacked because honestly, we did attack you. and it has A LOT to do with how you presented your situation. if you had written in to say that yeah, it’s not PC, but the lack of teeth made you horribly uncomfortable and you were afraid about how it would make your wedding pictures look and it would dampen the atmosphere of your wedding, I honestly believe that most of the commenters on this site would have responded with something along the lines of “yes, that’s not PC but everyone thinks it!” and would have suggested some ways to minimize how front of mind for you. Some married DW commenters would have shared with you their fears leading up to their big days and assured you that no matter how big/awful/stressful something seems to be, on and after the wedding it almost doesn’t become a big deal. Even if you had written in saying that yes, you sent that message but now realize how out of line it was and you wanted advice apologizing and making the toothlessness a smaller deal for you, I really believe people would have responded with “wow, yeah that was way wrong, but here’s how we would recommend making amends.”

      But that’s not what you did.

      You wrote in (neglecting to mention that it was a joint effort between you and your fiance to have you send the letter, which, um, what?) and used mean, disparaging terms to describe Justin which by your own words, were without basis. Your attitude in your original letter and your response did not convey an iota of awareness of how cruel you and your fiance were to Justin; the tone was more “How can I get over this feeling now I know he’s unable to fix his face” rather than “How can I get over this feeling since it’s not one you can respectfully carry out?” That’s how I took it, at least, and because of this I really do stand by my original response.

      What would I recommend to get over the feeling? I would have asked my fiance (as Justin’s friend) to casually inquire about the teeth in a hanging out kind of situation so that I had more detail and take it from there. Since the letter has already been written and responded to, I would *sincerely* apologize. This is really something that could affect Justin’s relationship with you and your fiance, no matter how gracious he’s being about it. Like Silver Dragon Girl said, make an effort to spend time with him. Tell the photographers about his and your unease and leave the making pictures beautiful to them-after all, that’s what you’re paying them for. Focus on Justin’s other qualities and the fact that he’s a normal human being who deserves respect. It may not seem like it, but the teeth issue will fade into the background as you realize other things about him that you may like. Focus on planning bigger parts of your wedding. I haven’t been married myself, but I’ve planned a number of close relatives’ receptions and holy **** there are bigger things to worry about that could have you pulling your hair out. You might be focusing on Justin *because* of these bigger issues: it’s something that seems small and fixable, but it’s not, and not without damaging something larger like a friendship. and like I said, on the day on and after, the teeth issue will be such a small blip on the radar.

    2. demoiselle says:

      I guess it would make sense to ASK the friend first whether help would be appreciated. Such a conversation would have to come after an apology and a good time spent listening nonjudgmentally to Justin’s situation. I can imagine some people being hurt by such “charity” but for others, it might be greatly appreciated.

  52. LW, I know you’re currently upset with this seeming dilemma, but your husband’s toothless friends is actually a potential boon. What you’re missing here is an opportunity to get CREATIVE with your wedding portraits! When I got married, my husband and I had a nice stoic group portrait with his friends, the Toxic Pirates. Yet the portrait of all of us I treasure more is the one where all our personalities showed through, including the Kung-Fu Scotsman striking a fighting position in his kilt, a friend wielding a knife in strike mode (in all fairness though, he also brought out the knife in the stoic picture too) and everyone just generally acting goofy and having a grand time.

    So your friend can’t currently afford dentures, yet he wants to be a groomsman still. If the thought of seeing his toothless grin is that bothersome, tell him to smile with his mouth closed in the stoic portraits – the ones you’re going to give grandma. If it were me, and I really wanted to see this guy in the wedding party portraits, I would think of a creative way of covering his mouth and still emphasize the FUN I want conveyed in the wedding pictures – maybe a wedding party portrait (or maybe even the WHOLE wedding) with EVERYONE sporting wax lips or fake felt mustasches/goatees. The last thing I would do LW, which you already did, is single the guy out over his situation that can’t be helped.

  53. I know I’m probably late for the party but since I’ve been on the receiving end of a bridezilla lookspolice request I wanted to chime in with my personal experience.

    Three years ago two of my best friends got married. A month before the wedding the bride approached me at a party to say “you know, our whole family is going to be there, so please wear something discrete”.

    Now, I go for the demonic whore look from time to time, and I really like combat boots, fishnets and sequined bras, but I had already picked my dress for the ceremony and it was a lovely (and very discreet) vintage piece my grandmother used to compliment. And it really hurt me to realize she thought of me as a situation to be kept under control instead of someone who would do her best to help them have the best wedding they could, and that she didn’t think I was capable of making an effort without being pushed for it.

    So when the day came I put on my lovely vintage dress, showed up to the church part of the ceremony, congratulated them politely, didn’t stay for dinner and never saw her again. Not because I was resentful, but because her behavior made me realize:
    1.- She was shallow as hell.
    2.- She was paranoid, and/or didn’t know me at all after all the years we had spent as friends.
    3.- The reception would suck. Because that’s what happens when you design a party out of the blue and then push people to fake it to fit in it, instead of making a list of people you love and figuring out what kind of party will make everybody feel connected and welcome.

    So if this man is anything like me (I don’t think he is, though, since he didn’t tell you to go fuck yourself, and that’s what I would have done if you told me my health problem would ruin your wedding pictures) it’s probably too late, and he doesn’t want to be in your party anyway.

    1. There really is no impeccable way to looks-police for special events like this, is there? Even done with the utmost of care, it’s the inherent message that carries the bulk of the offensive content. But of course, there’s still a part of me that’s a bit sympathetic to the nice person who doesn’t make the request and then the friend shows up in a Jessica Rabbit dress and people can’t stop talking about it. (Obviously, the real solution is for the guests to ignore Jessica, but who’s ever done that?)

      1. ForeverYoung says:

        I think the problem is that brides need to keep looking at their guest’s flaws as a reflection on their “OMG PICTURE PERFECT DAY”. If someone shows up in a ridiculous dress, on the father of the bride is wearing flip flops, that is a reflection on them. And so what if all night people can’t stop talking about the girl in the crazy dress? To me all that means is that the wedding is boring and in my opinion that is a much larger sin than someone not wearing teeth.

      2. ForeverYoung says:

        *brides need to QUIT* and *OR the father of the bride is wearing flip flops*

      3. This happened at my best friend’s brother’s wedding. There was this couple (the guy we all knew from high school, but weren’t really close to any more), and she showed up in a stripper dress that was fire-engine red and extremely short and revealing… It did make a few people raise their eyebrows, but 5 minutes later we were all focused on something else, and the wedding turned out pretty well.

      4. 6napkinburger says:

        Dude, a random date-of-a-guest girl wore a full length, satin “light pink” dress to my cousin’s wedding… which was white. Light pink my ass – it was basically white in full light and unquestioningly white-looking in any darkened room. Full length. Satin. To her boyfriend’s cousin’s wedding. And she looked great. Something tells me this girl thinks that she has has the ability to sense what’s appropriate,and boy did she miss the mark. So its hard to just trust that everyone will know what to do.

        Though in Rainbow’s case, I would have just asked to see her dress in advance. Not in some “inspection” kind of way, but in an excited, “you got it? let me see!!!! do you have shoes yet??? what color bag are you thinking?” kind of way. Then you can see for yourself if you need to say anything without offending anyone. I ask to see my friend’s dresses all the time, even with pics and stuff if they’re not nearby.

      5. 6napkinburger says:

        I ask to see their dresses all the time becasue I’m curious about what they’re wearing and usually try to match my dressy level to theirs Plus I like seeing dresses. Not because I am constantly holding stealth -inspections.

    2. Landygirl says:

      When you say you never saw her again, did she try and contact you and you didn’t respond or was it mutual?

      1. She invited me to drop by the next time I was in town a couple of times (I moved to a new city a month after the wedding), but besides that none of us has made any effort to keep in touch.

        I think she’s upset that I didn’t go to the party (I never explained to her why I didn’t – her dad was dying and she wanted him at her wedding and she wanted it to be perfect for him too and meh, so there was enough drama already).

  54. I dont understand why this had to be a huge deal. Has the LW considered at all that Justin would be more upset than her about his own appearance and probably smile with his mouth closed?

  55. Yeah, I feel a little late to this & just made my way through all the comments– I see that the LW feels attacked, but come on– this isn’t like a mob-mentality internet anonymity thing. Most people are bringing up a variety of good points, and acknowledging that everyone has shallow impulses or thoughts sometimes. It’s just that she’s asking us how to overcome something she ALREADY ACTED UPON by sending the message. I agree with Wendy’s comment above– the LW seems to have no clue how tactless that behavior is. Somebody having NO TEETH is not a “this-is-awkward-but…” situation– save that verbal dance for a groomsmen who has toilet paper stuck to his shoe, or a bridesmaid whose dress split or something. I think the Wendy’s response, and the overwhelming response in the comments, are only so harsh because it seems like she needs a wake-up call.

  56. This is a WEDDING. You’re not casting a play or choosing models for your fashion show.

    To reiterate the purpose of a wedding: to join your lives together, and share that joyous moment with the people you love. Attendants are chosen because they are your very closest of friends or family, and you want them standing with you as you begin the next phase of your life.

    It doesn’t matter what they look like in the pictures. It doesn’t matter if there ARE pictures. If you think the wedding pictures are more important than your fiance’s best friend….and that the wedding pictures are worth hurting your fiance’s best friend the way you did, and embarrassing your fiance the way you did….

    The only thing you can do now is to apologize profusely to the friend, and to your fiance,and claim temporary wedding-induced insanity. And be grateful that he hasn’t postponed or called off the wedding. Because if the person I were going to marry sent my best friend a message like that, I’d be seriously reconsidering whether I wanted to marry that person.

    The wedding is not more important than the people in it. Ever.

    1. My best friend who is half Japanese and half Pakistani, about 5’2″ with dark hair was told by her closest friend from high-school that she couldn’t be in the girl’s wedding party some years ago because she was not Polish and blonde like the other attendants and it would ruin the pictures. (Of course, that didn’t stop the bride from giving my best friend the running around to do – including altering her dress when the too small size she ordered didn’t fit – for free). Fast forward a couple of years and the marriage fell apart when the husband cheated. She remarried recently and my best friend ended up being the Matron of Honour at the new wedding. I thought my best friend was a good woman to stick around to begin with but it was nice to see the bride finally getting her priorities straight.

  57. Okay, concrete advice from someone who doesn’t want to call the LW a shitty person (since I firmly believe that most people sink to this level of shittiness on the regular, if not about this particular subject):

    1) Apologize. I also picked up on the vibe that you’re not independently enamored of this person, but regardless. (I don’t think any of this would necessarily have happened if you were independently enamored of him as a person, actually, but YMMV.) You need to email him back and say, Oh, Justin. I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize that you’d lost them. I was totally out of line for even bringing it up in the first place and I hope you’ll forgive me. I hope I didn’t make you too uncomfortable; you know how thrilled John and I are to have you in the wedding. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do.
    2) Talk to your fiance (who helped get you into this mess, to be sure). Explain what happened and how badly it went. If I were you, I’d discuss the possibility of helping Justin get new dentures–feasible for y’all to help in any way?
    3) Have John talk to/email Justin. Regardless, he needs to reiterate how sorry you both are that y’all/you sent the message in the first place and how much he particularly wants Justin as a groomsman. AND, if you guys are in a position to do anything about replacement dentures, John says: One thing I didn’t know, though, was that you’d stopped wearing them because you lost them, and I know you told LW that you couldn’t afford to replace them. Are you interested in replacing them? If you are, (I)/(LW & I) [depending on how the apologies were received] would really appreciate the opportunity to help you out. Not because of all this wedding bulls**t, but because you’re our friend and we want to help. We didn’t know before and now we do, and we want to do what we can. I guess if anything good can come out of this, it’s that we found out about this and have the opportunity to help you.
    4) Help, if okay with Justin. If not, ignore the whole situation assiduously.

    And look, some people are not going to be interested and that’s fine. But I think you’ll feel better about this if you take the above steps.

    1. demoiselle says:

      I like the way you suggested approaching this issue.

  58. What I don’t understand is that you are not at all bothered by the fact that your fiancé is so shallow as to hurt a lifelong good friend’s feelings in exchange for a few pretty pictures and a day out of your lifetime together… You do realize that you are not going to always look perfect?? And if he does not have the common courtesy and empathy for his good friend, what makes you think that he will have it for you?

    ” Dear LW, we have set a date for our wedding and I would love to have you in our wedding, but I wanted to talk to you about something first.
    This is awkward, but I have noticed that lately your left boob looks a bit larger then the right one. I understand that you usually wear a prosthesis to correct this, but you didn’t the last time and I just wanted to ask if you could wear it that day if you are able to come. I’m sure that you would do this anyway but I always try to err on the side of direct communication so I just wanted to address it.
    Please come and celebrate that day with us, we would love to have you!”

    How does that sound?? Do you really not see that there simply was no proper or polite or kind way in hell to bring this up?? Do you not see how cruel, heartless, selfish, shallow, rude and incredibly stupid that was?? The fact that neither of you apologized to the guy shows that at least you and your fiancé deserve each other, and that you also deserve every single comment you have gotten here. And if I were you, I would seriously hope that you have an amazing ability to always look pretty, because you ”man” doesn’t sound like someone who would have any empathy for you should you look less then perfect.

  59. I agree with the minority opinion here that the harshness was way unwarranted. Far more shallow letter writers have come on here with far more moronic questions about foolhardy situations who received more respectful replies. I don’t get it.

    Sure, she should get over it, and sure she shouldn’t have mentioned the dentures thing in a FB message, but in the grand scheme of things, it ain’t that big of a deal. And I say this as a former hillbilly who grew up in Kentucky with jacked-up teeth of my own.

    I have a thing about teeth myself, having spent 10 grand over 5 years to fix mine, and also helping one of my best friends pay for his new dentures currently. And I bring this up because: I sense that Wendy and a lot of others piled on because this situation pushed their own buttons regarding times they’ve been criticized, mocked, or rejected over one of their “things.” People don’t like being reminded of their own imperfections. So this letter hit people too close to home; in contrast, these LWs who bust out with shite like “my man has 6 kids by 5 different women and he’s a crack dealer in the Mexican mafia and OMG I love him what should I do??!!” get their chops busted far less because normal people don’t identify with that sort of problem, thus no buttons were pushed.

    1. theattack says:

      I disagree. We jump all over the people with crazy boyfriends too, and beg them to have a reality check. The difference in responses comes from the fact that they’re only hurting themselves by continuing in those relationships. In this letter, the LW has actively hurt someone. Someone who’s been nothing but wonderful to her future husband.

      1. yea- I also think that the majority of people here are very much anti-bridezilla, and anything that even hints at being a bridezilla makes us all crazy here. i know it makes me crazy….

  60. I’m sorry, I’m still reeling from the fact that someone is willing to do this over a photo. I can’t count the number of stories I’ve read of incredibly hurtful, shallow, selfish behavior over wedding pictures. Bridesmaids being dumped because they weigh too much, etc.

    Memo to OP, and brides-to-be everywhere: nobody but you cares about the wedding pictures. In a year or two, those group shots will be in photo albums that nobody looks at anymore, stuck on a shelf. There will be a portrait of you and the groom on your mantel, and maybe on your parents’ mantel. All those pics you spent a fortune on and gave to your friends and family? They’re shoved in a drawer.

    In five years time, half of the people in your wedding won’t even remember who your attendants were, let alone that there was some guy in a photo who didn’t have teeth. If they even noticed in the first place.

    But I promise you, Justin will remember that hurtful message forever.

    1. That is so true! There’s usually one or two pictures that make it on to your mantle and your parent’s mantle, and the rest just slowly turn to dust in a photo album under all the magazines on your coffee table.

  61. For what it’s worth, while I still disagree with looks-policing “for the PICTURES,” I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to assume that someone concerned with the pictures wants “a perfect-looking wedding party” and hates people who aren’t 10s on the scale of conventional attractiveness.

    The issue, rather, I think is one of attention-drawing. Someone with an unusual physical feature, be they full sleeve tattoos or a complete lack of teeth, will attract more visual attention than someone without. (Even if they are the most beautiful tattoo sleeves in the world and everyone agrees that they make that bridesmaid a 10 rather than a 9!) Brides especially resent this, I think, because the whole point of white-dress-matching-bridesmaid-dresses etc. is for the bride (and groom, to a lesser extent, whee!) to be “the center of attention.” That’s easy when your eye can go to the white-dress girl and ignore the periwinkle-dress girls, but when periwinkle-on-the-far-left has magenta hair and ocean-themed sleeves…yeah. Your eye goes less to the white-dress girl than it would otherwise.

    Not to say that some brides don’t just hate tattoos or the toothless or the different-looking and simply want their pictures to be full of conventionally-attractive people, but I think the majority of what animates these looks-police requests is really the underlying I-am-the-center-of-attention mandate that is an inextricable part of the mass-media meaning of “bride” in 21st century America. I find that to be slightly more sympathetic than the other type, but that’s just me. (And to reiterate, not something I condone. Just something I have sympathy for, while not condoning.)

  62. Addie Pray says:

    Best. Thread. Ever. It was a joy to wake up this morning and read all the comments – even the ones that pissed me off. I love Dear Wendy.

  63. Buy the guy dentures–if he’s been such a great friend to you both, then you should spring for him. And while you are at it, you should say it just like this, “Justin, I am sorry about what I said before. You are such a good friend, and I am so sorry you lost your dentures. Can we please buy you new ones? I don’t care if we get them in time of the wedding or not, but you deserve to have a new pair.”

    This will not only make you feel better, but in the long run, I think will make him feel better as well.

  64. Holy mother effing sh!t. Yea, when I read the letter yesterday I thought the LW was a little tactless with her email to the guy, but the comments on here are so much ruder and meaner than anything the LW did. Even Wendy’s comments. The LW acknowledges that her feelings are shallow, and she’s asking for help on how to deal with them. So she’s already taken an action that apparently most people on here think is the cruelest, most evil thing anyone has ever done. What ever happened to “well you didn’t handle the situation in the best way possible, but here’s how I think you could remedy it.” Instead everyone’s saying “you’re an awful, heartless bitch who doesn’t care about anyone’s feelings. Why would anyone want to marry you?” No. She made a f^cking mistake. People make mistakes every day. People say things that are unintentionally rude all the time, and the world doesn’t end, and they’re not sent on the express train to hell.

    Ok, breathe. Now then, I’m sure the LW isn’t even reading the comments on here anymore because everyone is being so ridiculously mean to her, but here’s some constructive advice. I have a feeling that what the LW is really concerned about is not how a toothless groomsman will reflect on her or her wedding in general, but on her fiance. Even though she doesn’t say it, I get the sense that the underlying fear is that she’ll have her entire family at this event, and they’ll see a toothless groomsman and automatically form stereotypes, which unconsciously could lead to the question “why is my niece/granddaughter/second cousin marrying a guy who hangs out with hillbillies?” If that is a big part of your concern, then I would suggest just letting your family know about it ahead of time so it doesn’t catch them off guard. You can tell them that your fiance’s friend has a condition that has left him toothless, and has fallen on hard financial times and can’t afford dentures, but please leave your stereotypes at the door and just talk to him – he’s a really nice guy. If I’m reading much too deeply into this and you really are just concerned about him ruining pictures, I think the only thing you can really do is just keep reminding yourself that he’s always been a good friend to your fiance and just suck it up.

    1. ForeverYoung says:

      I guess I disagree that she was looking for a way to remedy the situation. I think she just wanted validation that what she did was okay – and it’s not.

      And I don’t know how to give someone advice about how not to be a shitty person – just stop doing shitty things to people. Her defensive response essentially saying she would send the e-mail again didn’t exactly endear anyone to her either.

    2. I don’t think most people consider something a mistake if they WOULD DO IT AGAIN.

      to quote the LW’s comment above:
      ” I still don’t think that writing to him was that terrible and would do it again.”

      You are right, she clearly feels awful about her behavior. After witnessing that level of remorse, I take back everything I said. *eye roll*

      1. Yes, yes, yes.

      2. *clapping*

        EB, you are so right! I read the letter, and my first reaction was – buy that guy a new set of dentures, he’s a good friend, you set aside some money for the wedding anyway. I did not focus on the LW’s shallowness at all.

        Putting myself in LW’s shoes now – when a large group of people – people whose opinion you trusted and respected in the past – , tells you that you did something wrong, you’d better fucking BELIEVE them. This large group of people also patiently explained why it was wrong and how you can fix it. And you’re still going to do things your own way?

        I should add though – I would never be in the LW’s shoes. I’m more of a “focus on the positives” person, rather than “something very little and quite unimportant is not perfect in my otherwise perfectly controlled life, and I can’t sleep until I fix it” person.

        I wish the LW would look up the definition of the word “empathy”. Many people in the DW community have it, and it looks like she needs a large dose of it.

        After reading all comments today, I feel so bad for the guy. I wish I could help him buy a new set of teeth.

  65. Gah, so many comments. I’ve nothing to add. Or maybe I do. Let’s all go read Invisible Monsters, it’s about a girl that used to be a model and then loses her jaw.

    Sorry, that’s all I could think about while reading this :>

    1. GingerLaine says:

      I love Invisible Monsters. It was my second Chuck Palahniuk book. (Of course, Fight Club was the first.) Good comment addition! 😉

  66. Came across this in the 12 Favorite Posts of 2012. I know it’s almost a full year old, but wow.

    I don’t understand the animosity against this LW. She could’ve handled her interaction with Justin perhaps with more grace – or had NO interaction with him about this – but I don’t think she’s wrong for thinking what she thought. In answer to her actual question, regarding how to not be bothered by this anymore, I agree with Wendy that the best way to get over something bothering you is to simply actively decide to get over it.

    But I am missing teeth myself. Luckily they are my molars, which were removed due to a deformity in my jaw. If the missing teeth were visible, I’d die of embarrassment until I had a prosthetic. In fact, I’d be emailing people to reassure them I WOULD have the prosthetic before the big day!

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