Weddings have this weird ability to bring out the worst in people, but it’s also a time that seems to encourage people to make some pretty strange, questionable choices.
One of the most certain to go wrong is trying to reconcile a relationship during the wedding planning, side-eyed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
While planning her intimate destination wedding, Redditor Kaibethha felt guilty about not having a relationship with her aunt anymore, and despite the small size of the guest list, she decided to invite her in an attempt to become close again.
But when not only her aunt but also her mother caused a scene at her wedding, the Original Poster (OP) was shocked by how horribly wrong her attempt at good will had gone.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for canceling my aunt’s invitation to my wedding when she traveled the world to attend it?”
The OP recently hosted a destination wedding.
“My husband and I (26 Female) got married three weeks ago. My husband is from South Africa but I am French. So our wedding in the Savanah in South Africa was a huge trip for the 13 French guests.”
“We rented a beautiful lodge where you see lions, elephants, etc. And to thank everyone for coming all this way, we rented it for two days. Day One was for the wedding, and Day Two was a pool party.”
“We only invited 30 people, the people we love.2
“I had a huge argument with my aunt (38 Female) eight years ago and we cut ties ever since. But doing the invitations, I thought about how close we used to be. I decided to invite her.”
While her aunt was happy to attend, she disagreed about the details of the invitation.
“There were no plus-ones on the invitations for anyone and so I only invited my aunt. Not her partner or her kid since I barely knew their names.”
“My aunt said she was happy but insisted that we invite them.”
“I told her no, but my mom teamed with her and pressured me A LOT during the year. I explained that the ceremony meant everything to us and that we only want people we love to be present.”
“But my aunt booked flights for her but also for her family. She said it was a family trip but added that she heard some of my guests canceled so there is now space for her family.”
“I told her that it would not be happening but that her family could join us for the pool party the next day.”
“After that, I got even more pressured by my mom into inviting them to the wedding itself because ‘they are coming all this way.’ But I kept refusing and tried to finish my dress without my mom.”
The wedding did not go according to the OP’s plan.
“On the big day, after the ceremony, my husband and I left for an hour in the Savannah with the photographers to take a few photos.”
“As soon as we came back to the lodge, my aunt came to me, smirking. She was holding her kid, and her partner was behind her.”
“I’m not the scandal type, and I didn’t know how to react. In my disbelief, I kissed the kid hello and shook hands with her partner. I immediately felt sad for not defending myself.”
“I then heard my mom and grandma telling my aunt about the extra chairs and food we had and that her family must stay for dinner.”
“My sister lied for me, saying we don’t have enough chairs because some are broken.”
“So my aunt announced that they were leaving. I asked why she was leaving with them, she was supposed to stay for dinner, and they were only five minutes away.”
“She replied that she never intended to stay for dinner but that she would spend time with us when they came back tomorrow for the pool party day. I was shocked.”
The OP attempted to regain control of her destination wedding.
“I replied that I had a change of plans and that she and her family could not come the next day anymore.”
“My mom, usually lovely, lost it and told me that I had no right to cancel my aunt’s invitation to the pool party.”
“I reminded her that we paid for the whole wedding ourselves and that she has no say in who I host. And I walked away.”
“But she yelled at my back in front of everyone. She was screaming that the conversation was not over and that I better come back. My sister had to physically bar my mom from running after me.”
“I still stood my ground and kept my aunt from coming back the next day.”
“My mom and grandma were so angry with me for not letting my aunt’s family stay for dinner that they went to bed even before the dessert was served.”
“I had just realized and was about to get sad when we heard lions in the night not far from us. Everybody got excited and tried to see them, I just forgot about my mom and continued to have a nice time.”
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 reassured the OP that her mother and aunt had seriously overstepped her boundaries.
“This whole situation was just a classic example of ‘f**k around and find out.’ OP’s aunt counted on OP buckling to the pressure of this exact scenario: once her family is there, they wouldn’t be forced to leave and can attend the fun party of someone they don’t know at a pricey location.”
“OP did the only right thing: standing up for herself and showing her the door. To be honest, her aunt should have been removed from the first day as well as soon as she showed up with her family.”
“I cannot wrap my head around the audacity of bringing people to a wedding after explicitly being told not to by the bride.” – DotA-Mann
“The aunt could have said no to the invitation. She’s a f**king grown woman and she can decide whether she wants to attend if the invite is only for her. If she decides to come and bring her husband and kid along despite the invite only being for her, then she’s the AH for insisting on bringing them along.”
“She conveniently forgot she and OP fell out after a huge argument eight years ago and had zero contact with OP, and now she gets an invite from OP, a decent person would think, ‘How lovely; despite our unfortunate lack of contact due to a row, I will decide whether to go, if I can’t I will send her a lovely wedding gift.'”
“But no, the AH aunt decide to f**k around and bring her hubby and son, and she’s surprised OP not putting up with it. Honestly, just because someone is related to you family-wise doesn’t mean you put up with their bulls**t, especially on your own wedding day.” – DimSumMore_Belly
“To be fair, they have been no contact for the last eight years after a bad fall out. Even so, OP invited her aunt and made it perfectly clear for a whole year that it was the aunt and only the aunt that was invited. It was the aunt’s decision to s**t on that and buy tickets and fly with her family who was NOT invited. How’s that OP’s fault?” – puchungu
“The OP was super gracious in inviting them to the pool party day initially after finding that out. The Aunt then tries to force her hand by having the family there for the dinner and assumed she would allow it to ‘not make a scene.'”
“No longer wanting to host someone who is continually disrespecting you AT YOUR WEDDING is completely understandable. What the Aunt did is incredibly insulting and rude. OP had been fairly gracious and flexible up until this point and is well within her rights to stand up for herself.” – AwkwardDuck77
But most felt that everyone except the OP’s sister was a little bit at fault.
“ESH, this is petty. France to South Africa is a trek your aunt perhaps didn’t want to make alone. It’s wild to me when people have really difficult wedding locations and don’t seem to appreciate the effort, time, and expense it takes for guests to attend.”
“Of course your aunt was impolite here. She asked, and you said no, so that should have been that. It’s an awkward situation. Everyone was inflexible and everyone sucks here.” – ActiveWeird8085
“ESH. Your aunt and your mother for making a scene at the wedding (and here I think your mother was worse).”
“You because inviting someone on such a trip, wedding destination not only in another country but also on another continent without your SO (significant other), without your family, is not very polite in itself.”
“And the truth is you didn’t want her there anyway; you just had to stick to your opinion and invite only those who didn’t mind leaving their families at home. Theoretically, you can do anything because it’s your wedding and your party, but in practice, it doesn’t mean that you are always right just because you are a bride and everyone should understand everything.” – Key-Flatworm1578
“You are all AH. For many different reasons…”
“It’s pretty petty inviting someone you cut contact with to a destination wedding, then not wanting to meet their partner or child because why? Why didn’t you do this before actually inviting her? Seems like you were trying to one-up her somehow.”
“You claim to have only invited people you ‘love’ so you invite the person you haven’t talked to in eight years. WEEEEIIIRD.”
“Your mom and your aunt are clearly still close, and judging by the unorganized event (or how you present it in this post) it seems that people ‘walk on eggshells’ around you. You had cancellations from people you really “love” and somehow your aunt knew? I’m thinking those people are closer to your aunt than you, as well.”
“Your aunt and mom are AH because they keep dragging this little tift around involving you without actually hashing it out with you properly. In this case, it is unfair for you.”
“This whole situation should have been handled well before you decided to give an ‘olive branch’ to someone you clearly didn’t want there. What a mess.” – bc4040
“So let me get this straight. You haven’t spoken to your aunt for eight years, I’m assuming because you don’t get along, and for some reason, you decide to invite her halfway around the world to your wedding, and then you’re all surprised Pikachu face when this person you haven’t spoken to in eight years is still the same person and causes a scene?”
“I’m not sure who the AH is in this situation (I’m leaning towards everyone, except your sister, she’s awesome) but I definitely know who the id**t here is.” – MrRogersAE
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.
“The more time passes, the more I aligned myself with the comments saying my mom was maybe worse. My aunt has always been like this and I made a mistake by inviting her but my mom’s behavior was unbelievable.”
“Several people have said to me, ‘When a person shows you who they are, believe them,’ and I’ll try to remember that going forward. I do realize I made a mistake by inviting my aunt. My resolution for this year is to stop trying to mend relationships that are from the past.”
“Yes, soon this incident will be forgotten and the only memory left will be the ceremony, the love, and the Savanah.”
“Have a lovely new year!”
This situation was a great example of how something we decide to do with positive intentions can go horribly, horribly wrong. Perhaps a wedding isn’t the best place to try to re-establish an important relationship.
But it seems the OP is in good spirits and looking forward to the new year, even if her relationship with her aunt is back off of the table.