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Bride Irate After Family Cancels Last-Minute To Attend Her Estranged Mom’s Wedding Instead

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Planning a wedding is a nightmare of scheduling and pricing and just ensuring things go well enough that you can look back on the event without too much regret.

If you’re Redditor Primary-Pepper1532, you also have the added issue of your estranged mother trying to upstage you. While it’s understandable that the original poster (OP) would be upset, how far can she go in retaliation and still hold the moral high ground?

She has a plan but isn’t sure if it’s too much. Shen decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about her revenge.

The question is complicated by involving money.

“AITA for charging a $70 fee to family members who last minute canceled their RSVPs to my wedding to attend my mother’s wedding?”

Should she charge family members for not going to her wedding?

“I (26F[emale]), just got married to my husband (30M[ale]). I have a rocky relationship with most of my family on my mother’s side. I haven’t seen my mother in roughly 7 or 8 years, we haven’t spoken, the typical strained mother-daughter relationship.”

“Regardless, I chose to invite some of my family from my mother’s side to attend my wedding. It was small and very intimate, so I wanted the important family to be there.”

“While I by no means have great relationships with the people on that side of the family, they did a lot for me when I was younger and I wanted them to be a part of this special day.”

“My mother was not invited, for a number of reasons. She’s known to steal the spotlight and cause problems, plus she has openly shot down and berated my husband to family members despite never meeting him on the basis that he is an artist, and that’s how he makes a living (he makes far more a year than she ever has, too. A little ironic).”

“So inviting her was just not a smart choice.”

“Anyways, after sending invitations, word of course gets out on that side of the family that I’m getting married. I get a call from my cousin, about three weeks before the wedding. She wanted to warn me that my mother had decided, for whatever twisted reason in her mind, to get married to her fiance of now a couple of years on the exact same date.”

“Keep in mind that my wedding was planned eight months in advance.”

“A week before my wedding I get a call from one of my aunts on that side explaining that she will be unable to attend, due to a ‘family matter that has arisen’. Code word for my mother’s wedding, of course.”

“As soon as I got that first call, I sent out a mass email to everyone explaining that anyone else who cancels last minute who has already RSVP’d will be charged $70 due to the catering and venue fees that would be wasted on them not being present.”

“I would be able to enforce this given that all parties had to pay an additional $25 for each room that we booked for them at the hotel, so I had all their information, and they were made aware of this charge (we paid for the rest of their room fees, BTW).”

“Logically, I wasn’t actually planning on enforcing this. It was more of an ‘I know what you all are doing and I’m really mad about it’ move.”

“So I spent about two days after that email dealing with non-stop phone calls from family on that side saying they ‘had to’ cancel, and it was absolutely ridiculous that I was forcing them to pick a side. I told them they had RSVP’d to my wedding months before my mother’s, and coming to mine was also just blatant common courtesy.”

“Long story short, that entire side did not show up (aside from my cousin who warned me of the whole thing). I’m still debating actually charging their cards $70, but I think it’s too petty and being honest, writing and even thinking about this on my honeymoon isn’t fun.”

“I spent the second night in f*ing France crying on my husband’s shoulder over this. So, AITA?”

On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for wanting to charge her mother’s family as cancellation fee by including one of the following in their response:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

OP might be a little petty, but it’s only in response to what her mother has already done. The threat was only made to get her family to hopefully understand how serious this is.

Legally, OP might not have a leg to stand on, but it sounds like she never planned to charge the fee.

The commenters voted that OP was NTA.

“Nta. But cut all contact with everyone but the cousin that warned you. What a bunch of horrible people to be related to.” – DragonsLoveBoxes

“Your mother is a piece of work. She worked hard to evacuate your wedding. This is her fault.”

“It’s unclear whether the people who went to mom’s wedding understands how viciously she snubbed you. If they knew and went along with it, I’d definitely reevaluate your relationship with them.”

“If money isn’t the problem, charging the cards is kinda petty, sometimes petty is ok, but generally it just adds to the drama.”

“You might just consider the $70 as a finders fee for figuring out who you never have to deal with again. NTA” – czexxi

“I don’t think I’m actually going to charge them, a lot of people have made the point that that could be considered fraud, but it was more the threat over everything else.” – Primary-Pepper1532 (OP)

“NTA, if you can afford it, eat the cost then go LC with everyone on your mom’s side (barring the cousin).”

“If you are really petty get everyone on her side of the family including your mom in a group chat and say that you will be more than happy to attend her next wedding, cause lets be honest your mom doesn’t sound like a pleasant person and odds are its not going to last.”

“She is jealous of her own daughter for petes sake.” – Dense_Homework2908

“I hope your chosen family is nicer than your genetic one.”

“What’s the out of pocket for you if you don’t charge them? I’d make a cost/blowback analysis eg.”

“It’ll cost $2k not to charge them but I’ll never have to speak with them again or attend any family events about them (marriages, baby showers, funerals). Versus I’m sure a lot of family politics and strain if you do charge them.”

“Also a friend who lived in Paris recommended going up Tour Montparnasse instead of Tour Eiffel. It’s one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen in my life because you look down over the city as well as taking in the Tour Eiffel.”

“Congrats, bonne chance, and enjoy your honeymoon and new life together.” – wasdcursor

Just to drive the point home, OP updated her post and verified she will not be charging her family’s cards.

“UPDATE: I will not be charging the cards because- fraud. Thanks everyone for reminding me that those charges do exist, and that my mother’s side would most likely press them.”

However, not everyone agreed. Despite the confirmation that she won’t actually be charging the cards, they pointed out that OP brought herself down to her mother’s level.

Even if she doesn’t charge the cards, she’s proven herself no better than her mom.

“ESH. Congratulations: you played straight into your mother’s hands and made yourself look like the unreasonable one instead of her.”

“I’m sorry it cost you this much to learn that you can’t count on your family of origin, but literally charging them for it will not change or fix that. Forget them and focus on the family you’re building with your husband instead.” – mm172

“Me three years ago would have probably agreed with you, but I learned over time that being the good guy and just letting stuff like this sit ends up making me hurt worst than vocalizing my frustration as well.”

“I’m not actually planning on charging them, again, it was far more of a threat then actually following through.”

“I knew they were never going to attend mine either way. It was more making sure that I put up a fight too and not just back down.” – Primary-Pepper1532 (OP)

“But what good has that done you? Not only did they still not show up, you spent the entire lead-up to your wedding fielding complaints, and you’re still fuming about it.”

“A simple ‘so be it, but don’t expect me to make the mistake of inviting you to anything again’ would’ve gotten the point across more effectively and efficiently.” – mm172

“To say nothing of spending the second night of the honeymoon thinking about this. OP, you were treated horribly. The best revenge is to live well.”

“Put your feckless relatives out of your mind and focus on enjoying your honeymoon with your new husband.” – puppyfarts99

“This is the best advice I’ve received so far. Thanks :)” – Primary-Pepper1532 (OP)

OP learned the hard way that sometimes you need to let things go. Holding onto that anger just brought her more difficulties while she tried to plan for her wedding, and ruined her first night in France.

Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.