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Bride Berated By Her New Husband’s Mother For Accidentally Having A Childfree Wedding

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Every bride and groom has the right to choose how they will plan their wedding day and reception.

Some people really think they should be allowed to weigh in, though, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor oopschildfr33 was surprised at how much she was criticized by some of her new family after the wedding, though their concerns were not her fault.

When they would not let it go, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure how to appease them.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for accidentally having a childfree wedding?”

The OP’s wedding plans had to change because of the pandemic.

“I (27 [female]) and my now-husband (29 [male]) got married a couple of months ago, but planning for the holidays this year brought up some past troubles we had regarding how welcome children are at our events.”

“We planned our wedding originally for 2020, but when that didn’t happen, we had to reschedule and re-invite for Summer 2021.”

Because of the changed date, a lot of people couldn’t come.

“We originally had no plans for a child-free wedding.”

“My siblings have kids, his siblings have kids, most of our cousins have kids. It was going to be a big family event with no one excluded.”

“However, after the re-invites were sent out, most of my child-having extended family couldn’t make it anymore.”

“The guest list of family members just kept shrinking and shrinking.”

The OP adapted the plans based on who could attend.

“My husband and I decided to redo the list entirely and invite some other friends we had locally who weren’t in the first round of invites.”

“Some of them are childless, some are child-free, and some do have kids.”

“As plans changed and the party shrunk, my sister said she was going to send her kids to their dad’s for the weekend, so she could stay later and party with us.”

“My brother was still planning to bring his kids (15 [male] and 17 [male]).”

The wedding ended up being… almost… childfree.

“The night of the wedding, we had most of our guest list actually show up.”

“I was worried about it but surprised, because I was afraid of having a half-empty house for my wedding and all that food going to waste.”

“No one brought kids, but I didn’t think much of it at the time.”

“The party went on until its scheduled end and was a great time.”

“The problem: my husband’s brother and his wife have two small kids, 3 [male] and 4 [female].”

“They were the only kids there. The kids didn’t have anyone to play with, no new family to meet or mingle with, and needed to be sat with or entertained the whole night.”

The OP’s mother-in-law (MIL) criticized her the next day.

“My MIL accosted me the next morning at brunch about there not being any other kids there and ‘family events.'”

“She said if she had known more about ‘my values,’ she would have put a stop to this wedding from the beginning.”

“She said my sister sending her kids away was the wrong move, and if she knew it was going to be a ‘wild and crazy childfree frat party, then her whole family would have boycotted.”

“I told her I had no idea what she was talking about, how it wasn’t child-free on purpose.”

“It most certainly wasn’t redesigned to be a frat party, and that I couldn’t control whether my friends brought their kids.”

The argument didn’t end there.

“We talked about the issue and I thought it was resolved.”

“But last week when we started talking about Thanksgiving and Christmas, a lot of passive-aggressive comments were thrown around about Thanksgiving kids tables and whether they should do the kids gifts before going to grandparents house for Christmas dinner.”

“I told them that I’ll be sure to tell my sister that her kids are invited to the holidays just in case there was any confusion, and it just brought up the fight again.”

“AITA?”

The OP shared more info about the updated wedding invitations in the comments.

“Part of MIL’s problem was that my invites didn’t say to ‘bring the family’ or offering child options for meals.”

“After that, there was a fight about her thinking we redesigned the reception into some throwback frat party since we invited old college friends.”

“And just last week I mentioned that I’d make sure my sister knows her kids would be invited to the holidays, and it blew up from there about why I didn’t specifically invite kids to my wedding, as if a 3 year old needs a personalized invite to a freaking wedding.”

The OP also shared some info about her infertility in the comments.

“I can’t have kids following some medical issues when I was a teen.”

“MIL knows and husband knows, it’s not a secret. It’s been sort of a sore spot for MIL since my BIL took his Wife’s name and she won’t have any with the family name.”

“We babysit all the time for both BIL and my sisters kids.”

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 didn’t understand why the OP thought she could be the AH.

“So you’re asking if you’re the a**hole for not pointing out that kids were welcome on your updated invitations, and/or offering special meals for kids? No, I don’t think that makes you an a**hole.”

“Your MIL sounds like she really likes drama and to foment discord, but something reads weird in your narrative here, too, making me wonder if you’re really telling the whole story.”

“In any case, if your MIL really would boycott her kid’s wedding (that she presumably isn’t paying for) because some stupid detail wasn’t exactly the way she thought it should be, it’s hard to imagine you being a bigger a**hole than she is.”fernAlly

“I know you’ve said this is new territory here for your MIL, but I’d be prepared for this type of overreaction in the future.”

“If you explained all of this to most people, they’d go, ‘Oh ok. Sorry. My mistake,’ and move on with their lives.”

“The fact that she still thinks this was some big conspiracy and is still stuck on it is concerning.”loz589985

Others were concerned by the MIL’s requirements for the wedding.

“Apparently some people expect the invite to say family or kids to let them know the family is invited. Otherwise, they assume don’t bring the kids, though they probably should just ask.”

“As far as child friendly menu, I hate that for the most part. Why can’t kids have a nice meal?”

“We’ve been invited over for steaks at a friend’s house who fed my kids (teen and pre-teen) and their kid hot dogs. I would never do that. If I’m eating steak, so are all my guests.”

“As far as MIL, I think you need to be careful and make sure this doesn’t turn into a regular thing.”

“This could be one off wedding craziness or MIL true personality. It is your husband’s responsibility to deal with his mother if she’s being ugly.”

“My mother can be obnoxious and I went no contact for 3 years over things she said to my wife. They are cordial now but nothing more in the last 15 years.”

“NTA”scooterbojanglesRT

“Your fertility reads as irrelevant to me. The issue here is that your MIL and BIL expected child-minders and activities at a nighttime wedding when literally everyone else had the sense not to think that.”

“Just because you babysit occasionally doesn’t mean their children are your problem, they should have gotten a babysitter.”NS_Tulkas

Some also thought the MIL was lashing out because of the OP’s infertility.

“The fertility issue actually transforms MIL from a regular AH to a crazy uberAH.”

“In turn, OP shifts from being NTA to being N-T-EFFING-H-O-M-G!!!!”gabgab01

“She hates she’s not getting grandchildren from you, is blaming it on disliking children not a health issue, and is trying to force the issue here.”

“You need to have some serious conversations with your husband about how to handle her comments in the future, because that is a disgusting thing to say to someone who is not medically able to have kids”sweadle

The OP was torn about what she should do next, and the subReddit understood why. Though she didn’t explicitly invite children on her wedding invitations, there are other issues here, like her mother-in-law being upset about her inferitility and not letting this situation go, that are far more concerning.

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.