Planning a guest list for a wedding is always a challenge.
As of course, everyone wants to invite all their nearest and dearest to join in celebrating their special day.
Which more often than not simply isn’t possible, based on how many people the venue permits, not to mention the sheer cost of it.
Of course, on the flip side, brides and grooms-to-be also frequently find themselves agonizing over whether it would be wrong not to invite someone.
Such was the case for Redditor throwawaynoplusone, who did not see eye to eye with her cousin’s fiancé, and thus did not want him at her wedding.
But wondering if this wouldn’t go over well with her cousin and the rest of her family, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Would I Be The A**Hole” (WIBTA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“WIBTA if I don’t give my cousin a +1 for my wedding and intentionally excluding her fiancé?”
The OP first explained how her and her fiancé’s determination to have a small wedding was complicated by the fact that she had a big family.
“My fiancé (32 M[ale]) and I (33 F[emale]) just got engaged three weeks ago and are planning our wedding for fall of next year.”
“We’ve started on the guest list: must invites, maybe invites, and who gets +1s.”
“We’re trying to keep things as small as we can, but I have a HUGE family.”
“Between my mom’s side of the family and my dad’s, I have 19 cousins, the youngest being 12 and me being the oldest.”
“While I’m not close with most of these cousins, I am close with the 5 on my mom’s side.”
Further complicating matters was the fact that she explicitly did not want the fiancé of one of her cousins at her wedding, and made no secret as to why.
“The second youngest cousin on my mom’s side, Julie(19 F), got engaged in November to Jack(21/22M).”
“To put it nicely, Jack is the scum of the earth.”
“And yes…that is being nice.”
“Jack is a misogynist, a racist, anti-LGBTQ, anti-vax/science, a hypocrite, and a compulsive liar.”
“He openly makes his opinions known and ignores requests/attempts to change the topic when he is being openly offensive.”
“He has ‘joked’ about assaulting women, ripping out IUDs, mocking SA victims, etc., and has made homophobic remarks in front of Julie’s bi and gay siblings.”
“He often becomes combative when called out as well.”
“But Julie is head-over-heels for him.”
“Ah, young love, am I right?”
“My fiancé and I do NOT want Jack at our wedding and have no intention of giving Julie a +1 for him.”
“Even if they get married between now and then, we still don’t want to invite him.”
“Her three older siblings are all getting to bring the significant others [SOs].”
“The two oldest are married, and the third will have been with his boyfriend for about 3 years, they’ve known each other for about 10 years now, come next fall.”
“We adore all three of these SOs…they’re all genuinely good guys and we like being around them.”
“We don’t plan on blatantly putting on the invitation ‘Jack is not welcome’ or anything like that…the plan would be to only put her name on the invitation with ‘RSVP for 1’, and if she asks about bringing him, just telling her no.”
“‘No’ is a complete sentence, after all.”
“My fiancé and I both know this will upset Julie, especially if we don’t give her a reason why.”
“And we certainly don’t plan on telling her the true reason that he will not be welcome.”
“So, WIBTA for not giving my cousin a +1 for our wedding?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring.
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
While the Reddit community was somewhat divided on whether or not the OP was the a**hole, everyone was generally in agreement that the OP probably should think twice about her plan.
The general consensus was that even if the OP was justified in not wanting Jack at her wedding, it was probably wise to discuss the situation with Julie before sending out an invitation, or possibly not invite Julie either.
“I will say NTA.”
“BUT I think you should tell Julie why you’re not inviting him.”
“I just think leaving her in mystery about it isn’t necessary.”
“Jack makes violent and offensive comments and is unwelcome at your wedding.”
“I agree his views are abhorrent, focus on his behavior and not his views though when presenting it to Julie.”
“Alternatively, I think you could also just choose not to invite Julie as well, since she seems to be ok with his bullsh*t?”
“Anyway, NTA.”- andromache97
“NTA, but I agree with people asking you to consider whether Julie should be invited either, considering that her being engaged to Jack is a tacit endorsement of his views, in that silence is complicity and certainly so is choosing to marry the guy.”
“And whether you do or don’t agree to invite her, you should be open with her about why Jack isn’t welcome under any circumstance.”
“I don’t think a person who ‘jokes’ about pulling out an IUD would hesitate to crash a wedding.”-CafeConCajeta
“NTA, and you need to step back and take a larger view.”
“This isn’t really about your wedding.”
“It’s about your young cousin.”
“If you are close to her, it’s well past time to sit down with her.”
“Tell Julie that you are worried about her.”
“She stays silent in the face of Jack’s awful rants.”
“There are very few options here:
“She believes as he does.”
“She thinks she can ‘save’ him.”
“She is being abused and doesn’t know how to leave him.”
“She is being controlled by him and starting to believe the same things, as he warps her thinking.”
“Lay that out, and see what she says.”
“If she tries to deflect (‘He doesn’t really think that!’), then say you don’t know what’s in his heart, but you know what he says and does.”
“Bring it back to being worried about her.”
“Press hard on her integrity, on living her values.”
“Right now, she is a person who tolerates that kind of bigotry.”
“Is that who she wants to be?”
“She will become known as the woman married to that ___________________ .”
“Is that what she wants?”
“Life’s too short–and she’s too young–to waste one more day of her life with that guy.”
“You might have the power to help her see that.”- karskipellis
“YTA for not telling your cousin why.”
“NTA for not wanting him there.”
“I read your explanation.”
“Tell your cousin just that.”
“She needs to learn people will cut her off if she stick with him.”- MerlinBiggs
“It is your wedding and your guest list.”
“You can allow or disallow anyone you wish for any reason or no reason.”
“Specifically as it relates to that invitation question, NTA.”
“However, if you continue as is, be prepared to lose the relationship with Julie.”
“There is no way for her to take this other than a direct snub because she is being singled out.”
“If you have a good relationship with Julie, it may be worth your while to tell her that you would love to have her at your wedding but that you cannot invite Jack.”
“And tell her exactly what those reasons are in a clinical non-confrontative way.”
“This way you are respecting her as a person, she may even learn about toxicity as she is forced to examine Jack’s actions, and you ensure he is not a guest.”- sucksatchess666
After reading what the Reddit community had to say regarding this situation, the OP later offered an update as to how she planned to proceed with this rather delicate issue.
“First off, I have read every single comment, even if I haven’t responded to them all.”
“After reading so many comments stating this, I realize that it would be a**holeish for not at least having conversation with Julie and to just send her a solo invitation.”
“I think I needed a solid smack to the back my head to recognize that my tendency to avoid confrontation is only going to cause more problems in both the short and long-term.”
“While I am very open and communicative with those I am closest to (my sister, fiancé, parents, closest friends), I usually avoid the ‘icky’ stuff when it comes to people I’m slightly more distanced from and in this situation, that just won’t work.”
“I appreciate all of you that gave me that much-needed nudge.”
“A lot of you gave me some great advice on how to open this dialogue with her and I’ll be stealing some of the wording you gave me.”
“I said in one reply that along with being non-confrontational, I also tend to lean more on the emotional side, which often leads to rambling and not being able to make myself clearly understood.”
“My fiancé is the exact opposite and has said that while he agrees with me entirely, Julie is my family, so any decisions on this are ultimately my call, and though he will be there with me if I want him there, it is a conversation that I have to start.”
“The ideas given by some folks perfectly encapsulated what I want and need to say without letting emotions get the better of me.”
“So thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
“Never having been on the sending end of initiations and with this being such an unfamiliar situation from my side, I had no idea how to even being plotting the best course through the unknown territory.”
“Even at 33, it’s easy to get lost sometimes and that’s exactly what had happened to me.”
“Thank you all again!”
It’s easy to understand why the OP doesn’t want Jack at her wedding, or why she was hesitant to explain why she didn’t want him there to her cousin.
But as many members of the Reddit community pointed out, this issue seems to be much bigger than whether or not Jack deserve’s a spot on the guest list.
So unpleasant as it’s likely to be, it’s a conversation the OP and her cousin need to have.
Here’s hoping it goes as well as it can, and that the OP’s wedding is a joyous and conflict free day.