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Groom Livid After Brother Gives Up Best Man Duties At Wedding To Compete In Tennis Tournament

Man playing tennis
Nisian Hughes/Getty Images

With our society becoming so busy, it’s not even surprising anymore when someone already has a prior commitment when we ask them about their availability.

But not all events are weighed equally, even if they weren’t the first commitment made, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor super_lunchtrey had already committed to a recreational tennis league tournament alongside his teammates.

But when his brother announced he was getting married the same day as the next tournament, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure which event to pick.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for skipping my brother’s wedding to play in a tennis tournament?”

The OP knew his team was relying on him to be able to compete in a tennis tournament.

“I (26 Male) play in a lot of adult tennis leagues in the area I live in. If your team wins the league, you get to go to a big tournament later in the year at a big tennis complex in the middle of the state.”

“A men’s team I was on won our league two weeks ago, and the big tournament is in four months. In order to play at this tournament, you need at least six players to be able to make it.”

“Of the nine people on my team, six including me have said they can make it, while the other three can’t make it for various reasons, so we have just enough players, or we won’t be able to go.”

“One of them mentioned he had a business meeting on the other side of the country that weekend and couldn’t make it. I don’t know much else about that.”

“One ironically enough is getting married the weekend of our tournament, but he had the date and venue picked out a year in advance before any of us knew what date this potential tournament would be on, and obviously, we didn’t even know if we would make it at the time.”

“Another is in graduate school for physical therapy and has a conference that weekend he has to attend for school, but he knew about that before the season started so we knew he couldn’t make it.”

The OP’s brother was also relying on him to participate in his wedding.

“Four months ago, my brother (24 Male) got engaged to his fiancée (23 Female).”

“I was super happy for them, and when he asked me to be his best man, I of course, accepted.”

“They don’t want to wait too long and almost immediately started wedding planning. They plan to just have a small ceremony with close family and friends.”

“But last week, my brother told me they were finalizing a date after much delay and mentioned three dates on three separate weekends the same month I have my tournament, one of which was the exact weekend of my tournament.”

“I told my brother that I already had plans that weekend and that the other two would be better, though I understood it was their wedding.”

“He sounded like he understood, but three days ago, he announced to everyone attending that the wedding would be on the weekend of my tournament.”

The OP had to break some bad news to his brother.

“I asked him privately why they picked that date, and all he said was, ‘It felt like the right date’ to his fiancée.”

“The wedding and tournament are not geographically close to each other at all, so I can’t attend both.”

“After thinking about it for the last two days, I told my brother yesterday that I can’t make his wedding.”

“I had already committed to my teammates, and if I didn’t go, no one could since we wouldn’t have enough guys.”

The OP’s brother did not take the news well.

“My brother was very upset and called me various names and said he couldn’t believe I would miss his big day.”

“He told my parents, and now they, along with a bunch of other relatives, are giving me grief for my decision.”

I feel really bad and want to be there, but I also did commit to the tournament first and don’t want to let everyone on my team down.”


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 pointed out that the OP should have been clearer about his scheduling conflicts.

“He told him one date, which… would be less than preferable.”

“The OP said, ‘I told my brother that I already had plans that weekend and that the other two would be better, though I understood it was their wedding.'”

“Let me rephrase what OP said, ‘I’d like you to pick weekends A and B, but if it must be C, I understand and I’ll be there.'”

“He gave his brother an out. If he wanted his brother not to pick weekend C, he should have been emphatic and honest. He was too nice. So now, in this context, OP: YTA.” – cymballin

“If someone said this to me when I was wedding planning (specifically, as copied from OP’s post, ‘I already have plans that weekend so either of the other two would be better, though I understand it’s your wedding’), I would interpret that as ‘I’ve already got plans on one of those weekends so either of the other two would be better, but as it’s your wedding which is important to me, I’ll change my plans on that one weekend if required.'”

“I’d assume that even more so if it were an important guest like my brother and best man.”

“Now, I’m not arguing that I’d be correct to assume this, I’m just pointing out how I would comprehend this statement.”

“On a more personal level, I would have been devastated if my brother had missed my wedding purely because he had a competition for his hobby. I know there are lots of NTA people here and honestly, you do you. I’m just pointing out how I, personally, would feel in that situation. Truthfully, I don’t think my relationship with my brother would ever be the same after this.”

“All of this, though, is my own personal experience and feelings. And feelings aren’t facts. You know the dynamic between yourself and your brother, you know what your sibling relationship is like and you know how important you are to him, so only you can really decide whether pulling out of being best man at his wedding so you can play tennis makes you an a**hole or not.”

“I personally think YTA. I have a suspicion that you’re only posting here because deep down you know YTA. Whatever you decide, I hope your relationship with your brother recovers/survives this and that you make the decision you can sleep with at night.” – randommcrandomface2

“YTA. You accepted to be the best man, and I’m assuming you have a good relationship with your brother. You’re telling your brother you value your tennis teammates more than your relationship with him.”

“For what? What happens if you win? Bragging rights? Maybe a name on a trophy in some clubhouse somewhere?” – Beck316

“Definitely YTA here. It’s a f**king adult recreational league tennis tournament!”

“I highly doubt he’ll even have any relationship with any of his ‘teammates’ in three to four years once they all start having families of their own and real-life commitments (like the three other guys who can’t play that weekend!).”

“He’s willing to destroy the relationship with his brother over an adult recreational league tennis tournament. What an a**hole.” – GoldPotential6298

“Adult League Tennis Tournament is more important than Brother’s (whom you have a good relationship with) Wedding?”

“Really?! This is the story we are going with?”

“I get that your word is your bond, and it’s not all about you, but your brother’s wedding isn’t enough of a reason to be the exception to the rule? No one can substitute in? If OP is in multiple leagues, he must know someone who can sub in if allowed.”

“But even if you can’t have substitutions, I say a family member you have a good relationship with’s wedding trumps amateur league tourney teammates. YTA if your brother is a great guy, and you don’t attend his wedding because of recreational league tennis.” – hiphopahippy

But others felt the OP was right to honor his commitment to his team. 

“NTA. It was a preexisting event. You told your brother. He planned it on that date anyways. If he really wanted you there, wouldn’t he plan the wedding around it since you had already committed to the tennis tournament?” – bhill595

“NTA. You have made a commitment to your team. I would recommend trying to find a replacement if possible.”

“However, you did notify your brother you had an event that weekend. He chose the date with that knowledge. If he really wanted you there, he would have picked the next weekend.”

“I get a wedding is a big deal and moment in someone’s life but he choose that day, knowing you had a prior commitment. It would be one thing if they had a reason for that besides… ‘that day felt right.'” – Voidg

“NTA. You told him about which date didn’t work. The entire point of asking people about the date, when you really want them attendance of your wedding, and in your wedding party, is to ensure the date actually works with their schedule!”

“His fiancée sounds like a piece of work.”

“Several people in this thread have mentioned that the OP just said the other weekends would be better, and therefore didn’t imply that he was actually busy…”

“He basically said, ‘Bro, I have a tournament/plans this weekend so the other two weekends would be better.’ That wording allows the OP to figure out if he’s willing to skip the tournament for his brother’s wedding should it come down to that or not, which in the moment kind of makes sense.”

“But the brother should have also decided: if he wanted to put his wedding against his brother’s current plans or not.” – PracticalPrimrose

“NTA. If I was getting married, I would try hard to make sure the people who meant the most to me would be available, especially if they shared they have something on the day. You told him and he still picked it. Maybe future SIL feels some kind of way.” – Skilled_Squish_626

“Personally, I would say NTA, because if I were the one planning my wedding again, and I asked the wedding party which day out of three would be best, and they said they had plans on one of them, obviously that date is out of the question, because if it were soft or easily canceled plans, I doubt they’d even mention it.”

“He definitely should have been clear and told his brother that he had plans that day, and if his brother chose that day for his wedding, he wouldn’t be able to attend. But I don’t think he’s the AH overall, and his brother could have listened more closely.” – Lanky_Musician2408

Everyone could empathize with the OP that the tennis league was important to him and something he wanted to continue to participate in, but some questioned if tennis could be more important than his brother’s wedding.

While he may have committed to the league first, it was his brother’s big day and would hopefully be the only time he could attend.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.