We can all agree that when it comes to wedding planning, the decisions should be made by the happy couple for their special day.
But when it comes to safety, there are some modifications the couple should consider making, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
To honor her parents, Redditor aitalightsout wanted to have a lights-free wedding to represent the experience of being blind.
But even when it was pointed out that this would make the wedding less accessible to attendees with other disabilities, the Original Poster (OP) was preoccupied with the experience she wanted to create.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for having a ‘lights out’ wedding?”
The OP loved her parents, who were both blind, very much.
“I (27 Female) am the daughter of the most amazing parents that ever did amaze. No, they are not perfect, but they’ve literally done everything they could in their lives to make sure I was happy to the best of their ability.”
“They are also both blind.”
“Being raised by blind parents wasn’t without its challenges, but we always found solutions or compromises.”
“But the one thing that was often a point of contention (especially when I was a teenager), was clothing and fashion.”
“My parents have their own way of being fashionable, and rather than appearance, it’s by fabric/feel. This has resulted in them having a very ‘eclectic’ sense of fashion, but I honestly love it.”
“I admit that I hated it as a teenager (as I had no say over my own wardrobe purchases) but I realized (after I moved out) that I really did prefer to feel comfortable in my clothes over how I looked in them. Took many stupid expensive clothing purchases to realize this, but I digress. Nothing is mismatched anymore, but I have a super cozy wardrobe.”
She wanted to honor them at her wedding.
“With the wedding planning in full swing, my FDH (Future Dear Husband) asked me if I was going to be okay with the photos.”
“He did not mean this maliciously. It just didn’t occur to him that I was originally planning to buy them clothing to wear.”
“But the more I thought about it, the more I thought ‘wouldn’t a fabric wedding be special?'”
“Essentially, the whole wedding will be in the dark. I was inspired by that restaurant in the movie ‘About Time.'”
“I realized that I don’t want to dress my parents. I want them to be comfortable, and to enjoy our wedding the way they experience it.”
“And the more I thought about it, the more I realized I want to experience this special day as they would, too.”
“My FDH honest-to-God does not care. In his mind, the moment I said yes, I became his wife (I love him!).”
“To avoid accidents, we’re going to be using glow sticks lighting and everyone will be provided glow bracelets/necklaces. They light up enough not to crash into each other, but not so much as to light up the room.”
“We’re also hiring event staff with night vision for this equipment, too.”
The plan was met with mixed results.
“When we announced, most of the family was supportive.”
“My family goes without saying. Fiancé’s family is iffy.”
“His brother loves the idea and is going to come in a velvet suit a la Austin Powers.”
“Honestly, it’s his parents that are really against it. We had a huge fight over it when they argued that it’s not fair to ‘punish’ the guests because my parents are blind.”
But then the bride realized just how much some family members disliked the idea.
“The reason I think I may be TA is the fact that part of his family that is siding with his parents, and they are vowing to boycott if we don’t have lights.”
“My husband just thinks it’s their loss, and that his parents will attend, even if begrudgingly.”
“But I know it would hurt his relationship with them, and I don’t want that.”
“It’s not that this is a hill I’m willing to die on, but it’s ‘my’ wedding, and this would be really special to me (in quotations because my husband has told me he’d marry me in a Walmart if that’s what I wanted, he just wants to marry me).”
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 were concerned about the safety of the event.
“OP is completely ignoring and glossing over what a bad idea this is. There’s simply no way to run this event without a significant risk of someone getting hurt. YTA.” – staffsargent
“As a former caterer, this sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.”
“Night vision goggles? Are the cooks supposed to cook in the dark? Are the servers going to wear night-vision goggles in the bright kitchen and then walk into a pitch-black, crowded room wearing bulky, ill-fitting unfamiliar equipment while carrying 30lb trays of food on their shoulder?”
“How is that going to work successfully? In best case scenario someone gets clocked in the face with a tray full of chicken divan.”
“YTA for risking your guests’ safety for a gimmick.” – LJ_in_NY
“This type of concept is meant for things like eating a meal, not a full event. I’ve actually hosted a dinner like this to benefit organizations like schools for the visually impaired and training programs for guide dogs. It all has to be super coordinated. Having it at a wedding with so many moving parts is asking for an incident of some sort.” – CaimansGalore
Others agreed and were also worried for people with other disabilities.
“OP is ignoring all the other disabled people who might be attending the wedding. People with low vision, people who fall easily and need to be able to see their surroundings in order to move safely, people with bad hearing who use sight to make up for it, people with service animals…”
“This is a great idea for a party, and a terrible idea for a wedding.” – ThingsWithString
“And don’t forget people who are photosensitive and won’t do well in the dark with flashlights and glow sticks in their faces. Someone could easily have a seizure at this wedding.”
“Soft YTA from me too.” – Teevell
“Add claustrophobia to the list of issues. I would have to reject the invite as a mild claustrophobic.” – Numerous_Team_2998
“I wouldn’t come to this with my daughter, assuming it’s not childfree anyway. She would be so absolutely bored sitting there in the dark for ages. Or would want to play with the glow sticks.”
“And you don’t even have the option of giving them your silent phone if they start to get fussy like you could if you sat in the back at a regular wedding. And a sheer nightmare if you need to leave quickly because of a meltdown.”
“Absolute no as a mom, but maybe they don’t want kids there anyway and that’s a moot point.”
“I probably still wouldn’t go even if I didn’t have my daughter, though. Just sounds like an accident waiting to happen, and I’m the clumsy, graceless person it would probably happen to.” – acgilmoregirl
Some thought the bride didn’t think this one through.
“I recently went to a wedding where the bride’s father passed away last year. He was a jolly guy that loved to eat and drink and vodka was his favorite drink.”
“When we got to our tables, there were trays of vodka shots. They kicked off the reception with a toast to him and a vodka shot.”
“I thought it was fabulous, remembered him without getting too heavy. There are lots of things OP can do to acknowledge her parents.” – kiwigirlie
“This seems like a great idea but logistically it’s terrible. There are experiences people can have like this – the ‘invisible museum’ in Sweden or ‘dining in the dark’ events.”
“But the thing is these things are heavily curated, and when you attend, it is made very clear that you are being led by (and need to listen to) staff.”
“You are hosting a wedding, where there will be lots of people, lots of bags, jackets and other trip hazards, moving furniture, food and drink and dancing and movement.”
“Your parents know how to navigate the world without sight. Your guests do not. Even the guests who are excited by this idea will struggle to function.”
“I don’t see why you couldn’t compromise. Have the fabric wedding, and ask your guests to dress for texture, e.g. velvet, silk, linen, satin, faux fur, etc. choose food options with a range of tastes, smells, and textures.”
“And if you really want to honor your parents, maybe have a small amount of darkness. Get the venue to turn the lights down, and say a few words about the wonderful and unique humans they are before getting everyone to join you in a toast.” – ali_stardragon
“I don’t think OP is the AH, it’s inherently a bad idea but everyone has bad ideas. If OP goes through with it then yeah, a bit of an a-hole.” – Flaky_Tip
After receiving feedback, the OP shared some clarifications and an update.
“I feel like I keep seeing these points brought up, so I’d like to address them.”
“1. We’ve hired a wedding planner whose literal job it is is to make sure this event runs smoothly and safely. They are literally being paid to factor in any contingency to ensure the safest experience.”
“2. There will literally be staff wearing night-vision goggles monitoring every table to ensure everyone’s safety, and so that if anyone needs help or guidance, they will provide it. Be it for serving food, to escorting, to assisting other guests.”
“There were 200 invites sent out, and 121 have RSVP’d yes. Each table is set to seat 6, so at this time, we’re paying for 20 extra hands to cover the tables for 121 guests. This isn’t counting our table or the exits.”
“3. I’ve heard a lot of people imply that glow bracelets and glow necklaces won’t be enough. Having been to many nightclubs and raves in my teens and early twenties, I can promise you that 121 people wearing these is enough to ‘see’ with. And the staff will manage the rest concerning tripping hazards and direction.”
“4. A lot of the YTAs are making very valid points, and I’m discussing them with my FDH (Future Dear Husband).”
“I’m also making a list of strong points to go over with my planner tomorrow.”
“But for those people whose only argument is that they wouldn’t be comfortable not being able to see, that’s literally the point. You’re not supposed to see. If someone came in a giant, furry, Sully (from ‘Monsters, Inc.’) costume, I’d be thrilled when I ran into them.”
“The wedding isn’t going to be focused on visually enjoying the experience. It’s about hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling it. I know for a fact that enjoyment isn’t dependent on sight.”
“5. Amendment to 4: Please know when I said ‘that’s the point’ I didn’t mean the point is to be uncomfortable, and I can see how it came across that way. I want to apologize for that. What I meant is that it’s literally the point to attend with limited visibility.”
“When people tell me that they’re uncomfortable with not being able to see at a lights-out event, it sounds the same to me as if someone is saying (for example) they’re uncomfortable being naked at a mandatory nudist beach.”
“If you’re attending, you’re attending knowing you will be naked, or in this case, nearly blind. So making a complaint about not being able to see, knowing it’s a lights-out event, doesn’t make any sense to me.”
It was clear that none of the subReddit would be attending this wedding if they were invited, as they were too concerned about the precautions the OP wasn’t taking for the many people who would struggle in the dark.
While they could agree it was her wedding, it wasn’t one they’d want to be a part of.