Bride who went viral for mother-in-law's matching wedding dress reveals backstory: 'It was a shock'

A woman went viral for wearing a wedding dress to her daughter-in-law's wedding, and the real bride is explaining why. (Photo: Getty Images)

When Amy Pennza answered a call from talk show host Jimmy Fallon to share crazy #WeddingFail stories on Twitter, she accidentally made her mother-in-law — who wore a bridal gown at her wedding — break the internet. Now Pennza is exposing why the woman wore the controversial ensemble.

On Wednesday, Pennza, a mother-of-four in Ohio, tweeted a photo of her and her mother-in-law standing next to each other at Pennza’s wedding. Both women were dressed in beautiful white gowns, the older woman wearing a white floral hairpiece. The image appears to capture two brides on their big days — except only one was getting married.

The photo killed on Twitter and everyone was Team Bride. “I hope you told a bridesmaid to fight her,” wrote a follower. “That’s seriously weird AF,” said someone else. “Is she for real??”

Twitter begged for more information and on Wednesday night, Pennza delivered, with heartening anecdotes that illustrate the logic behind her mother-in-law’s dress.


“I didn’t know what my mother-in-law planned to wear,” Pennza tweeted. “I didn’t think to ask.” But when the woman made an entrance, Pennza stammered, “You....you could be the bride.” Meanwhile, Pennza’s loved ones tried to distract her from noticing the competing dress.

“I'm happy to report the wedding unfolded without bloodshed, or anyone being shoved into the champagne fountain,” tweeted Pennza.

And this is why: The woman wasn’t trying to attract attention — she just stumbled on a bargain deal. And because she grew up in “extreme poverty,” and ate matches, due to, what Pennza describes as an eating disorder called pica, the dress was a steal.


“She’s a bargain hunter to the bone,” Pennza wrote. “For example, she takes the olives and celery out of a Bloody Mary and saves them for salads...she once walked casually to the table where I was eating a subway sandwich and put my discarded cold cuts in a baggie because ‘someone will eat them.’”

Pennza added, “When Sally Jesse Raphael was popular, she didn't have the money to buy red glasses, so she painted hers with red nail polish.”

Pennza says her mother-in-law feels “terrible” about wearing the white dress, but she’s still looking for ways to make a profit. “...She also told me, ‘I think I’ve still got it. We should raffle it off.’”

Fortunately, the woman isn’t bothered by her daughter-in-law’s call-out. “...When I told her about this getting a lot of attention, and said I worried it might hurt her feelings, she waved it off. ‘Whatever makes me famous,’” Pennza tweeted.

“And, because I'm a romance author,” Pennza tweeted, “I'd be remiss if I didn't add: And they lived happily ever after.”

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