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Bride Called Out For Excluding Sister With Service Dog At Wedding Due To MIL’s Allergies

Woman with service dog
Jim Craigmyle/Getty Images

At this point we all know wedding are the pinnacle of drama.

Redditor Legal_Strawberry_764‘s was no exception when she specifically scheduled when her sister and her service dog could attend.

A fully predictable disagreement drove the Original Poster (OP) to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

She asked:

“AITA for making my sister feel left out at my wedding because of her service dog?”

She went on to explain.

“My sister recently completed training her service dog to help with her heart problems.”

“My mother-in-law is severely allergic to dogs, having trouble breathing and several bad reactions.”

“I got married 2 weeks ago and I wanted to have both of them at my wedding, but I had this allergy problem.”

“I talked to my sister and explained to her that I would love to have her at the wedding, but I would have to make some adjustments to the ceremony and party because of my MIL’s allergies, because I know she must bring her dog.”

“I made a commitment: My sister wouldn’t sit in the first row (row of parents and sibilings) but a little further away and her table at the party would be further away too.”

“(There was a table for her parents and one for sibling, she would be at the siblings).”

But as my MIL wouldn’t stay long at the party and after an hour she would leave (right after the mother-son dance)…”

“After that it would be ll, I would like her to feel at ease.”

“But with my MIL, she would have this limitation on distance until she’s gone, because just as she is my sister, my MIL is my husband’s mother.”

“She didn’t look very happy, but said she understood my conflict and accepted.”

“My wedding day was wonderful, my sister was at the religious ceremony, but I heard that she didn’t stay at the party, even though my MIL stayed for 1 hour.”

“After I got back from my honeymoon, I called her up to talk and she said I made her feel left out and bad by having to take her service dog, preferring to make her totally uncomfortable for my MIL’s sake.”

“I don’t think it was that, because it was a health issue and I tried to compromise, but I don’t know, my family is a bit divided.”


“Making it clear that I didn’t ask my MIL to leave early, she and my FIL are not party people and don’t like to stay too long on these occasions.”

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 decided:

“NTA. You did everything you could to accommodate both your sister and your MIL.”

“You were caught between a rock and hard place: the dog is medical equipment for your sister so the dog needs to be present.”

“But your MIL experiences breathing difficulties and other issues due to a dog allergy.”

“Your MIL needed to be front and present to see her child get married; as far as seating is concerned she would take precedence.”

“Your MIL also stayed for only one hour at her child’s wedding reception. One. Hour. That’s it. Sounds as if she was more than accommodating.”

“Your sister should appreciate what you did.” – Beck2010


“‘So, good sister, what should I have done? Force my husband’s mother to go through severe allergic reactions during her son’s wedding, all so that you could sit a little closer?’”

“‘Is that what you wanted me to do?’” – NOWiEATthem


“‘I called her up to talk and she said I made her feel left out and bad by having to take her service dog, preferring to make her totally uncomfortable for my MIL’s sake’”

“Your sister is being incredibly selfish. Yes, she needs her service dog for her health, but the dog would’ve made your MIL seriously unwell.”

“This was a very tricky situation for you to manage and if you hadn’t made these (entirely reasonable) arrangements, one of them either would’ve been in medical danger or excluded entirely from your wedding.”

“So, what exactly did she want you to do? Rescind your MIL’s invitation? Tell MIL to suck it up and suffer through severe allergic reactions to the dog?”

“Sister is going to have to understand that she isn’t the only person in the world with a condition that requires accommodations.”

“And there may well be other occasions in the future where she isn’t able to be front-and-centre at events because of someone’s serious allergy to dog fur.”

“[EDIT] Apparently I suck at reading today and totally skipped over the fact OP had to be told by someone that her own sister wasn’t at her wedding reception.”

“This is very strange, OP.”

“I personally would notice my sibling’s absence at an important event like this and I’m now starting to wonder if her comments are coming from deeper feelings of being pushed aside by you.”

“Can you elaborate on that?”

“[EDIT 2] Replies to my first edit have pointed out that apparently it’s normal to not notice missing siblings and that the reception could’ve been so big she didn’t notice.”

“So I suppose I’m speaking purely from my own experience. No offence meant, OP.” – ImStealingTheTowels


“Congratulations on your marriage!”

“You did your best. And it sounds like you had a good plan in place and everyone was included.”

“I know it sucks at the moment because your sister feels bad, but like I said you did your best and I feel with time she will be OK with that.” – princessofIreland

“NTA. You did what you could to accommodate two important guests with health issues.”

“Unfortunately, MIL takes precedence, the wedding was for both you and your husband, not just you.”

“You even told her she would be welcome closer at the party after an hour, it was on her for leaving.” – MistressLiliana

“NTA. I can understand sis saying she felt YOU were leaving her out.”

“Please reiterate that your husband was THE OTHER most important person in your wedding, and he deserved his mother there.”

“When push comes to shove, parents take precedence over siblings.”

“You made the right choice – as much as you love and would maybe even die for your sister, you were not marrying her.” – StraightJacketRacket

“NAH. You did what was best for your MIL, who also had a right to be there. However, I understand your sister being upset, because it’s not like she brought in her dog for no reason.”

“It is a service dog and that was his job.”

“None of you are the a**hole for your decisions and feelings. Your sister has a right to feel she was being excluded and that she shouldn’t have her service dog with her.”

“However you were going to make someone upset anyway as the other option would be for your MIL to feel terrible because of her allergies, or get knocked out using allergy medicine.”

“You were between a rock and a hard place.” – journeyintopressure

“NTA. This is pretty open and shut, you made a compromise, thought everyone agreed to it, then learned after the fact that your sister wasn’t okay with it.”

“If she had issues with the arrangement, it was her responsibility to say something, and she didn’t.” – TheHelixYT

“NTA – your sister and your MIL have just the same rights to be there and celebrate with you and your husband.”

“It seems to me you really planned this out and did your best to accommodate so just remember that.”

“I understand your sisters health complications – but in the nicest way possible it’s not your problem and you did your best to ensure everybody you love and wanted there, was there.”

“Congratulations anyway! You did what was right for you on YOUR special day” – Evieneve1999

“NTA. Why? All things being equal (assuming your MIL is not a nightmare) mother of the groom should always trump siblings.”

“This is her son. She has roles to play that are meaningful to both her and her son. Your sister was a guest.”

“Prioritizing a guest over the groom’s mother, even during the reception would have been a recipe for future conflict with your MIL.”

“That you made compromises to try and accommodate for both is something your MIL will remember in a positive way.”

“I get your sister felt left out.”

“While she does have a right to her feelings, it’s not reasonable to expect you to damage your relationship with your in-laws just to make sure your sister got all the warm fuzzies she wanted.”

“At the end of the day, a wedding is essentially a tiered event. At the top is the bride and groom, then the parents. These are the main characters.”

“Everyone else is there to celebrate the union and are there as supporting characters.”

“Again, all things being equal and assuming little to no drama between people, the reality of life is that when you marry, that becomes your immediate family.”

“You and your husband are the center. Everyone else exists in ever expanding circles around that…parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, etc.”

“You shouldn’t have to apologize for doing what you thought was a reasonable way to accommodate the GROOM’S MOTHER while also including your extended family.” – cachalker

Congratulations to the OP and her new spouse.

Hopefully her sister will be able to put things behind them.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)