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Bride Sparks Drama After Refusing To “Cater” To Her Autistic Brother’s Specific Needs At Her Wedding


Wedding planning is not for the faint of heart even under regular circumstances.

But one bride on Reddit found herself with a particularly thorny wedding-related issue, which she posed to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by the username CaterwaulingKid, asked her fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not wanting to cater to my autistic brother’s needs at my wedding?”

The OP explained:

“(Throwaway account because family follows my other account)”

“So my brother (20M) is autistic, he has a lot of very special, specific needs from what kind of fabric his clothing is made of to what he will eat (and how its prepared) to the sounds and smells around him.”

“Because of his special needs he needs a lot of extra attention so growing up my parents were very much occupied with taking care of him. If things aren’t exactly how he likes them to be he will have a meltdown that usually involves screaming, crying and throwing things and its quite unpleasant. (I know he can’t help it, its just how it is)”

“Well I’m recently engaged and planning my wedding (which is in 2 years so fingers crossed the pandemic will be under control by then) and I’ll admit I’m being very selfish about it. I never got anything to myself growing up, everything always revolved around my brother and so I’ve decided I’m going to go all out with my wedding and serve the food I like, decorate how I like, play the music I like, etc.”

“My fiance is amazing about it and has no interest in helping plan the wedding (he just has a few things he wants to have a say in and he has already made those choices so we are good) and just wants me to be happy.”

“I visited my mother this past weekend to talk about planning the wedding and what I’ve chosen so far and my mother was shocked and appalled. She said the caterer I chose doesn’t have enough food options for my brother, he doesn’t like the flavor cake I want, the colors will upset him and having a DJ and lights will overwhelm him.”

“I got mad at her and told her it’s my wedding not my brother’s birthday party, that she can pack him a meal if he doesn’t like anything on my menu and bring him a cupcake so he can have cake and that there are back rooms in the venue that he can sit in while other people are dancing.”

“She’s super mad at me and said I’m being a selfish, horrible person for not considering my brother’s needs at all and basically making it impossible for him to enjoy himself at my wedding, that weddings are about family. She said I should know how hard things are for him I should have done better and I need to change everything immediately.”

“He hates parties and crowds, he would much rather sit in a back room and watch videos on his iPad than socialize, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for my parents to let me have one day where everything isn’t perfect for my brother and they should appreciate what I enjoy and want for my wedding.”

“I don’t have any plans on changing anything about my wedding because I honestly just don’t want to.”


The OP added a few extra details to answer common questions.

“EDIT: my fiance and I are paying for the wedding, my mom offered to pay for my dress and my fiance’s mom is paying for the rehearsal dinner.”

“Also there are foods my brother will eat on the caterers’ menu. It’s just there is only one meal he likes (chicken tenders and potatoes) and there will be other things there he likes like cookies, just the main cake will not be a flavor he likes”

OP’s fellow Redditors were asked to decide who’s in the wrong using the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

And the results were pretty much decisive—OP was declared Not The A**hole.

“NTA – if he hates crowds and noise nothing you do is going to make it fun for him. It sounds like you offered some reasonable solutions. Your mom is being awful.” —allaboutbird

“NTA- I get her asking maybe doing something private with him on the wedding day or maybe small changes to make it easier but that is about it. It isn’t his wedding so you don’t cater to him.” —Shadyside77

“Mom doesn’t want to have to stay home and miss the wedding. Not OP’s problem.”

“NTA” —WhoIsYerWan

“NTA. I agree, OP’s mother is stupid to live out her fantasy of a baseline child who is not autistic ever-present in every aspect of life despite explicitly being a lifelong buzzkill for OP when the event is literally supposed to be the most special day of OP’s life.”

“For f’k’s sake, has the mother even asked what the brother wants?” —Galaxy_Convoy

“NTA. Your wedding is about you & your fiancé. It’s not selfish to want that. Your mom probably thinks you’re being selfish, but I would counter with so is she…” —EleanorOfAquitaine-

“OP says the brother hates crowds so no matter what she did he’d still hate it. Honestly it’d probably be better if he wasn’t there and OP had a small celebration with her family before/after the wedding to include the brother.” —silke_worm

“And what about the enjoyment of all the other guests? Can you imagine? ‘No, we won’t have dancing or a dj or music bc OPs brother…'” —TGNotatCerner

“…Mom has forgotten that she has another child.” —JadedSlayer

“NTA Please show your mom these comments. She’s revolved your entire family’s lives around your brother and isn’t stopping.”

“Your mom is in real danger of losing you, and maybe that might not be so bad. You have a life to live and she’s stifling it.” —Tapioca44

“NTA – yes, weddings are “for family,” but they’re ABOUT the bride and groom. Not your brother, not even your mother.” —goeatacactus

Here’s hoping the OP and her family find a solution that allows everyone to enjoy the wedding.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.