Children at weddings seems to have become a major bone of contention in the world of wedding planning.
Most controversies center around people wanting a child-free wedding, but what if the engaged couple wants the opposite?
While other couples might exclude children from their guest list, should the child-friendly wedding omit those friends and family who’ve expressed their dislike of children?
A soon-to-be bride turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback after her wedding plans created conflict with her older sister.
The Redditor bride asked:
“AITA for not inviting my childfree sister/brother-in-law to my child friendly wedding?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My sister is the 3rd born out of 4 siblings, with me being the youngest, and we have 2 older brothers. Both our brothers have kids, and I have 2 kids of my own, and whenever our sister finds out there’s a baby on the way, she acts like it’s the worst thing in the world.”
“She doubled down on this with me, because I’m a woman.”
“Once the kids were born, she wouldn’t let them call her auntie, which… OK. Said she’d never willingly babysit, which no one ever asked her to do.”
“Then she started making comments which she presented as jokes, e.g. calling the kids ‘leeches’. She won’t interact with any of her (7 total) nieces & nephews.”
“She attends events with them there, but ignores them the whole time except for when she complains that she came out to talk to adults, not deal with little kids. Her husband is the same.”
“I’m getting married, I want my kids there, as well as my nieces/nephews, and a handful of other kids from both families.”
“I also don’t want my sister moaning about being surrounded by kids, as they probably make up about 1/3 of the guest list. So my sister isn’t invited.”
“However, I figured I had to have a conversation with my sister and brother-in-law to tell them what I’m planning, so they aren’t blindsided when the invites go out in a few weeks.”
“Sister is treating this as an affront. She is highly offended that I won’t be inviting her, and that she was being ‘excluded over [her] lifestyle’.”
“I said ‘it’s not the lifestyle, it’s the attitude’.”
“She’s saying I’ve not even given her a chance and that as I was her bridesmaid, she should at least get an invite, and has said I’m being a huge arsehole for excluding her from my wedding over this.”
“I said that if she wasn’t such an arsehole to the kids then I wouldn’t need to exclude her in the first place.”
“Dad agrees that I should invite who I want, but mum sides with my sister, saying it’s unfair I’m excluding her and that she should be invited, plus it’s not like she’ll do anything, and the worst thing she could possibly do, given her history, is tell another adult that she isn’t a fan of all the kids there.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors ultimately decided OP was not the a**hole, but they had questions.
“INFO: What is your relationship with your sister like outside of this issue? Do you have an interest in maintaining a positive relationship with her?”
“It strikes me as odd that she considers you guys to be close enough to make you a bridesmaid, and you have no issue not inviting her.”
“I do think you should be prepared that this may have permanent consequences for your relationship with your sister.”
“That said, if you think that’s healthiest for you and your family, that’s okay.” ~ CompetitiveYoung9
The OP responded to the questions with a bit more insight into their sister’s dislike of children.
“I try to have a good relationship with her, but it’s hard. I’ve been home with my kids the whole last year given lockdown, so she hasn’t come over or videochatted with me once, because the kids are here and would want to say ‘hi’.”
“Before lockdown, we’d meet up maybe once a month, but it depended on when I could leave the kids with someone, as she wouldn’t meet me if the kids were there.”
“She also hates even hearing about the kids, and always insists we change the subject to work or adult relationships, so I can’t even mention my children in passing.”
“I do want a relationship with her, but we haven’t been close since I had my first child, over a decade ago, and she’s made clear that she doesn’t approve of me having kids in the first place, so it’s difficult to balance her hatred of children with children being a key part of my life.”
Given the information provided, Redditors decided the OP’s sister made the situation a choice between her or the children and the couple had the right to choose the kids.
“Has she ever heard the phrase ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’? If she can’t learn to hold her tongue then she is too rude to be invited.”
“Imagine if she was always talking about how much she hated immigrants, or disabled people, or X race of people whenever she saw one, calling them leeches and b*stards, and those people were your family members?”
“I certainly wouldn’t invite that sort of rude behaviour to my wedding.” ~ Tattycakes
“Right? I mean, I can mildly relate for the first sentence or two with OP’s sister.”
“I can’t have children myself. I badly wanted them though, and I have admittedly developed some coping mechanisms via actively enjoying a not-child-friendly lifestyle. I prefer not to be around children (and especially babies) because, try as I might, it is still incredibly painful for me to do so.”
“I can’t do Facebook or most other social media anymore, largely because at my age damn near everything from my peers, society, media or advertising is all parenting, babies, and kids.”
“So I get the desire for solely Adult Time.”
“But the behaviour of OP’s sister is on a whole other level. She’s not just resistant or uninterested, she’s actively hostile.”
“And she’s not just hostile to people who have chosen to procreate, she’s genuinely nasty and hostile towards children who have done absolutely nothing wrong. I don’t care who you are, that makes you a SERIOUS a**hole.”
“I mean, she can’t suck it up and even be civil or just ignore the kids outright? For ONE damn day?”
“She can’t put a lid on her vitriol or step off her soapbox for ONE social gathering? She expects people to censor themselves at all times while within her presence. She insults and abuses her family members overtly.”
“And yet she still expects to be welcomed like a reasonable and well-behaved guest/loved one, like she hasn’t shat on every previous attempt at a healthy relationship from a great height? Wow.”
“The absolute audacity of this ridiculous person is astounding, and OP is a saint verging on doormat.” ~ Self-Aware
“This solidifies my vote. She’s not really interested in your life and you as a person.”
“You have children, she chooses not to spend time with you because of those children. She could come by for coffee and after everyone says hi you send the kids off to do their thing.”
“But she won’t even visit or video chat because the kids will be there?That’s really sh*tty. NTA.” ~ queenoreo
There isn’t a way for the OP to not invite her sister without conflict.
But if she wants a happy, child-friendly wedding day, her sister didn’t seem to give her any choice.