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Bride Stirs Family Drama By Refusing To Hire Her Fiancé’s Cousin To Cater Their Wedding

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When a person is in the middle of their wedding planning, they have a lot of decisions to make in order to have the day they’re dreaming of.

Unfortunately, some people feel entitled to be a part of that day.

But it’s up to the bride and groom who’s involved, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Outside_Yesterday_12 recently had to figure out the most courteous way to explain to a family member that they would be hiring services from someone outside the family.

But when she received pushback for this, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she said the wrong thing.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not hiring my SO’s (significant other’s) cousin?”

The OP planned her wedding carefully. 

“I (28 [Female]) have been together with SO (significant other) (31 [Male]) for five years.”

“SO proposed to me last year and we’ve started planning our wedding right then, just to try and keep stress levels low.”

“Now the wedding isn’t far off and planning is mostly finished. One of the things I’ve thought a lot about is the food situation because there’ll be lots of mouths to feed (his family is BIG.)”

“One of my best friends suggested a caterer she’d hired for her own wedding and they’re literally perfect: not too expensive but good quality, very friendly through the whole process, and super helpful in planning out the buffet and doing taste-testings.”

“They also offer vegan options (my sister and her SO are vegan, as are a few friends).”

“Together with the bakery that’ll do our wedding cake and a sweets bar, I think it’ll be really perfect!”

But it turned out there was someone else making plans in the background. 

“Now Saturday, only a couple of weeks before the wedding, SO and I went to have lunch with my inlaws.”

“To our surprise, Kathy (37 [Female]) was there, too. Kathy is one of those cousins I’m not really close to – we only see each other at family gatherings.”

“During lunch, our wedding came up, and after a while, Kathy asked SO what our plans for food are because she needs to know soon.”

“I was a bit confused, but I told her about the catering service I hired and asked her why she wanted to know.”

“Well, turns out our dear Kathy thought it was a given that we’d hire her for the food.”

“See, Kathy has her own catering service, but it’s a tiny business, so I kind of never even thought about asking her.”

“She was clearly annoyed about my decision (I made it clear it was mine because she tried to question SO about it, who, bless him, would be okay with cold potatoes for a meal) and said that we should’ve told her that and that it should be family first and she’d been looking forward to it and had already drawn up food plans.”

“I tried to give her my reasoning, but I admit, I was getting annoyed at her as well for just assuming and then getting p**sed because she assumed wrongly.”

“I told her that she could’ve come forward if she wanted to cater for us and that the decision is final and I won’t change my mind about it.”

The OP wasn’t sure what to do after this confrontation. 

“She left after lunch, clearly angry at me.”

“Both my inlaws and SO told me that I’ve done nothing wrong, but FiL (father-in-law) also suggested I could hire Kathy for some extra dishes since it’s buffet-style and we can afford it (my parents are throwing a lot of money at us for our wedding).”

“But honestly, after her attitude, I don’t want to.”

“She’s SO’s cousin, though, and I think she might also be struggling with her catering service and could use the work?”

“AITA for not wanting to hire her for my wedding even though it wouldn’t cost me much?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said the OP was NTA since she already had a caterer. 

“NTA, oh gosh, do not hire her! do not reward her assumptions and entitled behavior just because she’s family.”KhalDragHeaux

“This is thoroughly unprofessional behavior on her part. It sounds like her fledgling business may be chaotic.”

“You dodged a bullet, OP. Don’t talk to her again – it will just prolong the drama. Any concessions you make will end up messing up your wedding somehow.”

“PS I wonder how the lunch with your inlaws came to be.”Swedishpunsch

“NTA. It’s your big day, you’re paying for it, you’re entitled to choose whichever caterer you want. She shouldn’t have assumed she’d be the choice and should have communicated with you prior to the lunch.”TinyRascalSaurus

Others recommended how the OP could soften the news for the cousin. 

“You don’t want her to cater.”

“Lie like the fey.”

“You’d much rather her enjoy herself as a guest at your wedding than be focused on catering for it. You’d rather her be a guest than cater. She doesn’t need to know that’s because you don’t want her to cater.”

“You can also say something about keeping business and family separate.”recyclopath_

“Can you think of it this way? Wouldn’t you rather host an event where all the guests, regardless of who they are, enjoyed themselves? If so, then it’s not lying to say you hope Kathy would enjoy herself as a guest. Perhaps:”

“‘We were already planning to have you attend as a guest (true) and, as a guest, we would want you to enjoy yourself (true). So we decided to just let our guests enjoy themselves and hire a professional to take care of those things.'”

“My best friend is getting married and is looking to hire a hairdresser to do her hair. I offered to do it for free (I’m not a professional but I am very good at hair), and she said, ‘It’s going to be so busy, I’m going to feel better knowing you’re not being pressed for time trying to do your hair and mine.'”

“Maybe she just wanted a professional because she thought they would do a better job, but the excuse she gave was nice because it was focused on my comfort and needs.”IstoriaD

“In your post, you described your relationship, and to be honest, other people’s cousins were never really friends with me either/know them in my serious relationships.”

“Also, no one leaves food for a large event to even 2 months before. It’d have to be a large caterer and even still, they all book well in advance from my experience – especially weddings.”

“You could rephrase it that you and your SO really want her to attend as a guest and be a part of the family event.”Ok-Manufacturer-5746

A few also pointed how the OP might violate rules with her current caterer. 

“NTA.”

“You have hired a caterer for your wedding.”

“You can’t hire her to bring ‘extra dishes’ to the event. That may be in violation of your contract with your caterer and is all sorts of wrong.”

“If you’re having a wedding rehearsal and dinner, why not suggest to your future in-laws that they can use her for that? (Assuming it’s traditional for the groom’s parents to host that event where you live).”

“Good Luck.”QuinGood

“I wouldn’t hire her for ‘extra dishes,’ but should you be thinking about that check with your caterer first. Some won’t work an event where there are other caterers involved (doesn’t include the bakery providing cake/desserts).”DifferentBee8

Though the bride had mixed feelings about how she responded at the lunch and how she may have made her significant other’s cousin feel, the subReddit affirmed her in her right to choose her own caterer.

Though she could soften the blow by assuring her that she wants her to attend and have a nice time as a guest, she still did nothing wrong in her wedding planning decisions.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.