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Redditor Balks After Fiancee’s Dying Sister Demands Her Own Father-Daughter Dance At Wedding

Bride and Father of the Bride enjoying their Father-Daughter dance
Lanny Ziering/Getty Images

We’ve all known someone who loves to be the center of attention. It’s frustrating, because it’s clear that they can’t handle someone else being in the spotlight, and it seems like they’ll do anything to get the attention back on themselves.

But hopefully, they wouldn’t go so low as to make up an illness, side-eyed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.

Redditor Snoo_61002 was looking forward to marrying his future wife, and he knew that his wife had lived her entire life being in her sister’s shadow.

So when her sister relapsed with cancer just weeks before their wedding, the Original Poster (OP) was concerned that she made up the relapse to steal their wedding attention.

He asked the sub:

“AITAH for getting annoyed at my Sister-in-Law, who is dying of cancer, for ruining my wedding?”

The OP’s sister-in-law (SIL) made a miraculous recovery from cancer.

“I don’t intend for the title to be so harsh sounding, but I don’t know how else to put it. I’ll also sound blunt, but I’m just posting the facts as presented.”

“I’m marrying my partner, ‘A,’ who is from another country. Her sister, ‘B,’ is dying of cancer, it is heartbreaking, and she is a young mother and wife.”

“Her diagnosis was about four years ago. When she was first diagnosed with a Stage 4 Lymphoma, she was given one to two years. Since we were in a different country, as B remained in her home country with her family after her sister (A) immigrated, we saved up some money and traveled to say goodbye to her.”

“It was about the one-and-a-half-year mark when we went to say goodbye, and we had gotten engaged soon beforehand. So we also went over to visit some of the family and ask them how long they needed to save to come across for our wedding, as our dollar is much stronger than theirs. They said two years, so that was agreed.”

“We spent a month with her, laughing, lamenting, spending as much quality time as possible with her. By the end of the trip, though, and with the chemo, she was exhausted. We said our heartbreaking goodbyes assuming we would never see her again.”

“And then she made a miraculous recovery, with a less than one percent chance of happening, which was awesome.”

“We, along with her other family members who had also immigrated (such as her father and brother) decided to put money together and support her to move over here to spend the rest of her life with us. That was about a year ago.”

When the OP’s wedding was on the horizon, he felt like his SIL was stealing focus.

“Now my partner and I are getting married in two weeks. All of her family are coming to visit, it’s a big joyous occasion with lots of travel, we’ve forked out thousands to help her family get here, and they’re all staying for a month or so to celebrate our wedding and spend time with us.”

“Two weeks ago, B got a bad diagnosis. They found lumps, and they said she has about a year left to live. She (for obvious reasons) didn’t handle this well and lashed out at us and our wedding, telling us not to talk about it around her.”

“My partner has always kind of lived in her older sister’s shadow, so she was really excited to be celebrated and made a fuss of for once.”

“But B has told everyone about her diagnosis, and has started saying, ‘This is the last time I will see most of you.’ Now the focus is completely off my partner and our wedding and is absolutely about B.”

The OP felt like his sister-in-law had ruined his wedding.

“I feel heartless and heartbroken, but I’m frustrated by this. She has been going out of her way to make sure the people who are coming across (who we have paid thousands for flights, not that it matters that much) are spending as much time with her as possible as this is ‘the last time she will see them.'”

“Now this period of joy and celebration has an undeniable black cloud hanging over it, and people very obviously have stopped making my partner feel special. On top of this, B has maintained her stance that we did not talk about our wedding around her.”

“But the big issue is that B got married during the pandemic, so she never got a father/daughter dance. She wants to have one at our wedding, after my partner has a father/daughter dance, with her own song which, to be honest, is sad as f**k.”

“I have said no, because my partner wanted to say no but felt too guilty so I had to be the bad guy.”

“I also told my partner that if we’re not to talk about our wedding around her sister, then I don’t want her sister talking about her dying around us.”

“Now I’m being called an a**hole. I do absolutely feel like one, but I also feel like this is grossly unfair to ask us to brush our wedding under the carpet because of this.”

The OP felt increasingly confident about his denial of his SIL’s wishes.

“The biggest problem we have is the song, because it’s gonna consume the entire feeling of the wedding, and it will no longer be a joyous celebration of our commitment to each other but a preemptive memorial.”

“I think that would be the worst thing for my partner. Some of her family are also not going to be able to travel again, for a long time if at all (grandparents, for example). The only reason they made it across at this point is because we’re subsidizing or paying for some flights.”

“She had her wedding, she chose to have it when we couldn’t fly, and we’ve already paid an excess of $35,000 dollars just for everything required of the wedding. It’s my partner’s dream wedding. Not only would she never do it, but it’s a little insulting to say that we should gift that to her sister and suck it up.”

“To be honest, I’m really struggling with wondering if her diagnosis is as bad as she says it is, but if she makes another miraculous recovery, I’m going to feel like a massive d**k. Because everyone will be celebrating, and to be honest I’ll be furious, jaded, and distrusting. My father is a very distrusting man, he raised this exact same point and said he’s not sure he believes the diagnosis is as bad as she’s saying it is. But we’ll see, in the worst possible way.”

Either way, the OP knew he and his wife needed to act now.

“Today’s drama, we woke up and B had told one of our guests he’s not welcome because of something he said (it was a minor thing, she got a pretty nice new car recently and he said that it was easy for her cause her and her partner are living at B’s parents and paying no rent or expenses. The dad is covering all medical bills too). It feels like she’s completely taking over our wedding.”

“I’ve had it; I’m going to come down hard on this. She’s avoiding talking to me so I talked to her husband. He’s pretty rational and understanding about it. But when I get the chance I’ll clamp this s**t real quick.”


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 particularly perplexed about how the OP’s SIL was treating his guest list.

“Wow. So many red flags. It’s your wedding and your guest list. She has a lot of gall to uninvite people to a party she’s not hosting or paying for.”

“And who buys a fancy new car when they’re literally dying of cancer? This all feels very performative. I think you’re right to be suspicious and plan accordingly…” – kismitten

“She doesn’t get to dictate who is at your wedding. Especially not when someone told her a truth she didn’t want to hear.”

“Is she truly dying, or is she going to make another miraculous recovery when she’s had enough attention?” – GreenOnionCrusader

“NTA. She sounds awful and it’s being exacerbated by the cancer. The problem is that you and your future spouse are going to look like TA whatever you do and whatever you do won’t be enough for the sister.”

“You could make yourselves some Bingo cards with her predicted bad behaviors for the actual day (like ‘Demands some kind of In Memoriam tribute,’ ‘Tells strangers about her diagnosis and her medical history,’ or ‘Collapses during the vows to steal maximum spotlight’) and that might make it easier for you both to deal with the situation.”

“On your wedding, it’s your day. She is the AH for ruining that and making it all about her potentially dying soon. I don’t get why she can’t be happy for you, let you have your day, and at the same time she can enjoy the time with all the people you love around you.” – GhostPantherNiall

“This is a twisted question, however, is there proof positive she’s sick?”

“Hear me out, the timing has seen her immigrate on the dime of others. Her recovery was miraculous… Then right at the moment her sister is getting married, she has a relapse.”

“Even if you had proof she was sick initially, her relapse has let her get all of her sister’s wedding attention, plus all a redo on wedding stuff. I know I sound callous but from this platform, I learned people are capable of all kinds of stuff.” – 80hd_mother_son

“I recommend assigning a trusted family member or friend to B on your wedding day. Let this person handle B, e.g., do their best to prevent B from making any scene(s), escorting her out of the venue immediately if necessary. Be very solicitous to her to the point of aggravation: you shouldn’t mingle, you’ll wear yourself out. You shouldn’t drink, doctor’s orders.”

“Let B have her dance at the end of the event. Let the band/DJ/person in charge of the music know that B’s dance is not to happen until x time AND what song should be played. Let them know B is not to be given the mic under any circumstances.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if she says, ‘but I’m dying,’ and your response should be, ‘but you’re not dead yet, and today is about A.'”

“And do not allow her to wear white. Do not allow her to dim your joy. Do not allow her to dictate to you or A.”

“And finally, you may need to issue an ultimatum(s) to B: if she pulls any stunts, misbehaves in any way, or tries to steal A’s moment, you will have her escorted off the property immediately and barred from reentry. Including if she faints during the ceremony or other important moments. If she faints, call an ambulance/have her handler take her to the ER and refuse to leave until she’s seen a doctor.”

“It’s too bad, but you and your family/friends will have to be the ‘bad’ guys. Move quickly if B misbehaves. Redirect conversations. Like if B says, ‘I have less than a year to live,’ you should tell your family and friends, ‘You must be so thankful to see A get married today, isn’t she gorgeous?'”

“You, your family, and your friends will have to make up to A for her family’s disinterest/lack of attention. Good luck, OP.” – messy_thoughts47

Others recommended a separate celebration to encourage the SIL to keep her hands off the wedding.

“How about planning a ‘party’ for her AFTER your wedding? A few days after.”

“Please listen to the advice on here. Make your future spouse’s day wonderful. Y’all deserve an amazing wedding and shame on her for doing her best to ruin it.” – justcelia13

“I would hope that since the family is staying for a month, neither they nor B will take away the joy from A and OP on their wedding day.”

“That said, if people start investing their interests in B during the wedding celebration, someone should be able to redirect interest back to A. OP and A should make their wedding party aware that if they see something, they should say something. ‘Today is for celebrating A and OP. Everything else can wait until tomorrow.'”

“Let’s hope that all the guests mind their manners enough not to affect A or OP.” – ex-carney

“It also may help to have a specific occasion for ‘tomorrow.'”

“Say, ‘Today’s for celebrating A and OP. But I was thinking with everyone staying for the month, we should have a family [brunch, dinner, low key family reunion] for all of us to just be together and catch up without wedding stress getting in the way,’ or phrased however you want.”

“I think when we have something concrete, even if you haven’t set a date yet, it becomes ‘the dinner’ or whatever. It’s not just, ‘Oh well, we’ll get to spend time with you over the next month, I’m sure.’ It sends the message: this is happening, this is a priority, this is what we’re doing to ensure we’ll have the opportunity to be together and this is when we can talk about other stuff.”

“I’ve seen this sort of thing work wonders.”

“As an added bonus, if they’re anything like my family, a few people will get really excited about it, maybe even B herself, and start quietly floating ideas while repeating lines like, ‘Oh yeah, we should see if we could do it at Aunt Whoever’s house, but obviously we’re not going to do it tonight and take away from the reception.’ It reiterates there’s something to look forward to, reiterates whose night it is.” – Adventurous_Ad_6546

“I would recommend considering a separate celebration for sister in which she can have her meaningful father-daughter dance and spend time with family members without the wedding celebration being about her. Maybe an event ahead of the wedding or after depending on what feels most right to you.”

“My instinct would be to have her celebration first. Doing so will show your care and compassion for the sister but also delineate between her situation and the wedding so that your partner may also feel celebrated. The tag team approach is so brilliant.” – AdRegular1647

“If the sister doesn’t want to hear about the wedding, then she can’t make any plans regarding the wedding.”

“If she is requesting a father/daughter dance, she can have it after the celebrations are done. When everyone is out on the floor dancing. That way, the focus was still on you as a couple, and she still gets her wish.”

“Cancer sucks, and people who are dying from it are understandably upset. I’m sorry that it spilled out on you. But getting mad at her will only reflect poorly on you.” – urbanlandmine

“Since so many of your fiancée’s family are flying in, and other family members already live in the same area/country as you, I assume there are also plans for some kind of reunion/get-together that isn’t your wedding day? Even if it’s an informal BBQ and beers at Uncle Bob’s type thing.”

“If so (and if not it sounds like it’s time to plan one), hijack that! Turn it into a ‘celebration of SIL,’ complete with whatever music she wants, food she likes, dancing with every male relative she has there if that’s what she wants… and shout it long and loud, hype it up! Just make sure it isn’t the day before or after your wedding if at all possible.”

Tell the family, ‘We would like to announce that SiL’s celebration will be on X day at X place. We all feel it would be too hard to both celebrate and commiserate on the same day – and unfair to everyone, SiL should be able to be happy for her sister without being reminded of the near future, and fiancée should be able to support her sister without worrying about guests from OP’s side and endless questions.'”

“‘So, we will be celebrating the wedding to its fullest, especially as it may be the last family event that SiL is here for. Let’s remind her how this family celebrates! We will also be celebrating SiL in all of her favorite ways, with as many of us as we can. Let’s remind her how this family loves its own!”

“We are so glad, in a way, that our celebration of love has allowed so many family members to be able to rally around and be present for SiL. Life truly does have huge highs and low lows, it’s just sucks that they all come along together.'” – Pandora840

While the subReddit could empathize with the OP’s sister-in-law’s future and what she must be feeling right now, they did not think that was reason enough to take over her sister’s special day.

Because their family was visiting from all over the world, there was likely going to be another day that they could dedicate to the OP’s sister-in-law, and the wedding day could be the wedding day it deserved to be.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.