in ,

Bride Asks Guests To Write An ‘Application Essay’ In Order To Attend Her Destination Wedding

Smug bride with an idea
HbrH/Getty Images

Wedding planning is one of those experiences that’s meant to be really fun but is actually stressful.

To make matters worse, people often forget what is truly important while planning, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Flodomofo was left shaking her head over her sister’s pandemic wedding planning when she decided to uninvite many guests due to venue restrictions.

But when her sister introduced an application process for her wedding guests, the Original Poster (OP) thought this surely must be a first in the wedding industry.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for refusing to RSVP to my sister’s wedding because I’m required to write an ‘application essay’ just to attend?”

The OP looked on as her sister planned a destination wedding mid-pandemic.

“I know this sounds insane but I’m living in it. My (27 Female) sister is getting married next February, a destination wedding no less.”

“I have doubts about whether this wedding is actually going to happen with the pandemic and everything but she is totally set on moving forward.”

“Anyway, because of the pandemic, her original venue has made her cut down on guests because they’re cutting capacity by half.”

The OP’s sister was doing something she found questionable. 

“As a result, she’s sending out ‘re-invites’ that ask everyone to RSVP again.”

“But in order to figure out who to invite and who to cut, she’s asking all confirmed guests to submit two 250-word ‘essays’ to two questions.”

“The gist is that they’ll use these essays to choose who can come or not, based on people’s enthusiasm. People who don’t write essays at all will be automatically disqualified.”

“Also, my sister has framed these essays as ‘surveys,’ but there’s a word limit requirement so if you don’t reach it on the Google forms, you can’t even submit it.”

“Our parents think this is perfectly reasonable, nice even, because my sister is letting everyone have the chance to attend.”

The OP was not interested in this approach.

“I just feel really insulted by all of this.”

“The questions aren’t even pandemic-related. They cover broad topics like ‘Why do you still want to celebrate this day with us?’ and ‘What will attending our wedding mean to you specifically?'”

“So she’s blatantly looking for people to kiss a** and tell her why they REALLY want to go.”

“My sister also did tell people that presents are still welcome, even if they can’t attend (because they’re no longer invited!).”

The sisters could not agree about the situation.

“I told her in advance I’m not writing 500 words on why I NEED to attend her wedding, spend my own money on plane tickets/hotels, and buy her a present.”

“This has really rubbed her and my parents the wrong way.”

“She’s said that to keep things fair, if I don’t fill out the RSVP correctly, I won’t be saved a spot.”

“I said fine with me.”

The OP’s family sided against the OP.

“Then my parents said if I don’t show up, I’m going to be in big f**king trouble with all our relatives so they said to just write the essays.”

“My mom completed the whole form for both her and my dad. My sister’s whole point is that EVERYONE has to do it so it’s fair, and no one’s getting preference just because they’re family or closer.”

“I sort of get where she’s coming from in not wanting to tell already confirmed guests they’ve been uninvited, but I feel like people would understand regardless. Making people fill out this dumb form like it’s some kind of lottery is way worse, in my opinion.”

“AITA if I stay stubborn on this? I’m already annoyed at the thought of spending thousands and coming home to quarantine. But I will not belt out 500 words on how this is totally my choice.”


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 could not believe that the bride thought this was a good idea.

“It’s ridiculous to ask anyone to do this. You invite people to your wedding because you want to share your important moments with them not the other way around.”

“Frankly, anyone who spends time out of their day to write an essay begging for the privilege of a wedding invitation is a giant doormat.”

“I swear, she’s gonna be getting RSVPs from one creepy friend that has been secretly pining after her for 12 years, a distant cousin whose mom made him do it cause everyone else was doing it, a couple of 9-year-olds whose parents were too lazy to write theirs themselves, and a greeting card poem in the mail from grandma cause she can’t use Google surveys.” – sarasa3

“Who does this? Obviously, it sucks the venue is cutting down the numbers, but who the h**l thinks an emotional thunderdome is the right way to pick who goes?”

“Your wedding. You pick who attends.”

“It would be fine to, for instance, say, ‘Hey, we need to cut down numbers because of the pandemic, so we would like to check in and see if people are still attending’ since people’s work, finances, school, and everything else are turned upside-down.”

“But treating attending your wedding like it’s a prize in a contest is legit crazy. NTA for sure, OP.” – gpele13

“I can barely manage RSVPs (and from what I hear, I’m not that rare), even those that include a return-addressed envelope and all you have to do is check a box.”

“I really want an update on how many people write these d**n essays. She’s gonna have the oddest assortment of guests, in my opinion.” – i_was_a_person_once

“NTA, and I hope no one writes the essay so she can see how ridiculous she’s being.” – hamzy996

“Another reason this idea is obnoxious is that she’s trying to offload a difficult decision that is solely hers and her fiancé’s onto other people.”

“They need to decide who does and doesn’t get to come to their wedding, and instead of making the difficult decisions involved, they’re trying to push the burden to other people, hoping that some self-select. They need to suck it up, be grown-ups, and make their decision(s).”

“It might make sense to send a quick note to people explaining the situation, and asking that anyone who has reservations about spending the money or time involved let them know, and they can remove them from the guest list, but the basic chore is theirs, and they just need to do it.”

“And in the unlikely event that more people fill out the essay than the number of spots available, how do you judge? Is there a grammar component? Do you really cut out a close relative with subject-verb agreement issues, in favor of a business acquaintance who writes eloquently? They really didn’t think this through at all.” – fernAlly

Others thought immediate family and close friends should still get automatic invitations.

“It’s one thing for your sister to ask friends or extended family to do this, but immediate family should be automatically invited. This is ridiculous.” – justauser34

“If any of my friends expected me to write an essay on why I should be invited to their wedding, they’d get a text from me that was longer than the essay I wouldn’t be writing for them, saying something along the lines of, ‘Dude, what the f**k, I’m not writing an essay to convince you to invite me to your wedding!'” – WolfgangAddams

“If anything, demanding an application would tell me our friendship or familial relationship (beyond blood) was in question and THAT is why I have to write an essay.”

“I don’t keep people around who make me have to prove my ‘devotion’ to them like giving offerings to a golden calf.” – d20sapphire

“I’m guessing the only people who are going to apply are both sets of parents, the best man and maid of honor (because if you’re best friends with these loonies, you probably see it as reasonable too), perhaps a desperate sibling or two with no self-confidence or ability to say no, and maybe an overbearing aunt or uncle and their kids?”

“I can’t see friends, work colleagues, or distant family even bothering in the slightest.”

“I actually hope she does this and then realizes she’s having a wedding of ten people max and suddenly change her mind and send out invites, just to be turned down once again!”

“I think destination weddings are selfish anyway, never mind having to apply to go to one!” – peachesthepup

“I wouldn’t be surprised if she relents and invites the whole family, because nobody else filled out the essays anyway, and she doesn’t want an empty venue.”

“People are crazy about weddings, and have completely forgotten that people who come to your wedding are doing YOU the favor, not the other way around.” – fernAlly

A few suggested going the malicious compliance route.

“NTA. I would definitely send in two essays.”

“The first would say, ‘Mom/Dad said I have to come or I’m in BIG trouble’ over and over again until you hit 250 words.”

“The second would say, ‘I’m your sibling’ repeatedly until the word limit.” – sc1293

“I would post something random like the ingredient label for Cheerios or something.” – mksarj

“OP, please send the entire ‘Bee Movie’ script.” – Hey-Kristine-Kay

“You should write, ‘The reasons I would love to come are best expressed in the following traditional Roman wedding poem: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet […]'” – hooliahan

“Copy and paste ‘I am Groot’ until you hit 500 words.” – krissil

The subReddit could not believe the audacity of asking people to RSVP again after already having done so, let alone in essay form. Imagining that people wanted to go to someone else’s wedding so badly that they would be willing to write not one, but two, essays seems pretty out-of-touch.

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