When it comes to weddings, planning something that is manageable for most of your guests is usually ideal.
If you hold, say, a destination wedding, then you will likely get several RSVPs back with regrets.
But is it out of line to publicly call people out for declining your wedding invite due to time or budgetary restraints?
A Redditor recently clashed with her sister after explaining to her why so few people would be attending her wedding, so she turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if she was in the wrong.
“AITA for Telling My Sister It’s Her Fault She Wasted Money on a Wedding Few People Are Planning to Attend?”
The original poster (OP) explained her family’s age range and how it was playing into the wedding drama.
“I’m always unsure of how much information to put in a post here.”
“Some people get dragged for posting too much, but others have to answer the same questions repeatedly in the comments before finally editing the post. I guess we’ll see.”
“The important thing to know about our family is that it has a decent chunk of elderly people, and a lot of families. My sister and I are in a group of about five within our age range.”
“Most of our relatives are about ten-fifteen years older or younger. In other words, everybody else is already an ‘established’ (read non-partying) adult, or they are still kids who are too young to drink alcohol.”
The OP didn’t think her sister had her family in mind when she planned her wedding.
“My sister is a party girl, and it was clear from the start of planning that she was more concerned with making her friends comfortable than our family, which caused issues.”
“She chose a venue four hours from home but which is closer to them – and which allows alcohol to be served without the expensive insurance the venues at home are required to mandate.”
“So now, people are going to have spend at least one night in a hotel, on top of everything else.”
“That really isn’t likely, and that’s before you get into the fact that my sister decided to make the wedding ‘no kids,’ and that the invitation read, ‘Cocktail reception to follow.'”
“Okay, so you want us to rent at least one, if not two hotel rooms, pay for overnight childcare (I don’t even think that’s a thing here), go to a ceremony, and then you’re not even going to feed us? No way.”
After things went south for the OP’s sister, she turned to Facebook to vent her frustration.
“My sister and her fiancé invited 150 people to the wedding. So far, 107 have RSVP’d with no.”
“My sister went on an epic Facebook rant earlier, then called me to complain.”
“Apparently, they’ve already signed contracts with the vendors and paid nonrefundable deposits covering half of the amount of people my sister and future-BIL thought were attending, instead of waiting until after the RSVPs were returned.”
The OP’s blunt honesty about the situation only made things worse.
“After about the third-fourth hour on the phone of trying to calm her down, I finally couldn’t stop myself from asking her what she really expected to happen.”
“Did she really expect our 97-year-old great-grandpa to travel that far, then spend the night at a reception without food?”
“Did she really expect our cousins with the quadruplets to pay a babysitter to watch them for better part of two days?”
“She’s hysterical and made another Facebook rant. She posted about being the ‘black sheep’ and how nobody ever supports her, and how even I (in her words, ‘my own baby sister’) abandoned her when it came to ‘the biggest day of my life.'”
“I was feeling fine about what I said before, but that post is weighing on me a bit.”
“IDK (I don’t know), AITA?”
After getting some initial feedback, the OP added a few more details.
“Edit because I was unclear: I understand paying a deposit on the venue before sending out the wedding invitations.”
“The issue is that they apparently already paid a nonrefundable deposit to the caterer and bartender, etc. for half of who they thought were attending.”
“Second edit: I am getting a lot of people telling me that it’s apparently normal to pay a portion for the vendors, including catering, bartender, etc.”
“That’s fine. The issue still remains that my sister is upset about having paid a deposit for people who aren’t going to the wedding.”
“Third edit: Her fiancé’s family lives about an hour from ours, so, no, the location is not a compromise between the two families. It’s being held [by where] my sister and their friends live.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Many thought the OP did nothing wrong by being honest with her sister.
“NTA. While she has the right to have the wedding she wants (unless she’s using family money and going against their wishes), NO ONE is obligated to go, especially with how demanding she’s being.”
“You were honest and made good points.”—SolitaryTeaParty
“NTA, she needed a reality check. It’s the middle of a pandemic and she wants elderly people and people with young children to hire sitters for two days to drive for hours for a wedding.”
“Lack of food and hotel aside, no one wants to travel that long for a one time party in the best of times.”—xakryn
“Honestly OP is 100% right with her points.”
“Just because someone doesn’t have the means or is unable to attend a wedding because of things like ‘child free’ doesn’t mean they don’t support the bride/groom/couple.”
“A lot of people may not have the means, time or money to have an overnight babysitter or know someone trustworthy to babysit for that long.”
“It’s a waste of time and money for the family members and them to spend on that type of venue imo. Mainly because the family members probably won’t stay long at that party venue and just go back to the hotel early anyway because it’s not something they are into.”
“The couple obviously have a choice to what their wedding entails but when making wedding plans RVSPs are a ‘yes or no’ response for a reason: because sometimes the wedding plans just don’t work for everyone on the guest list.”
“Unfortunately their plans don’t work for more than half the list. But that still doesn’t mean that those people don’t support the couple and those people don’t deserve to be b*tched about online for something out of their control.”—TheoryAddict
But there were some, however, who weren’t so forgiving.
“ESH Your sister shouldn’t have gone on those Facebook rants.”
“She also probably should have been a little more realistic about RSVPs when she was booking venues, but I’m not going to hold that against her. It’s hard to estimate especially if you have a lot of obligatory invites who you’re not close to.”
“That being said, nothing about your sister’s wedding is unreasonable. It’s very common for couples to have their weddings near where they live (you also didn’t mention where her fiancé’s family lives…could this location also be a compromise for both families?).”
“It’s not unreasonable to have a kid-free wedding. It’s not unreasonable to expect guests to travel a few hours. And a cocktail reception, if you serve enough food, can end up being just as filling as a meal.”
“Had she not made the public posts and instead just vented to immediate family this would have been a y t a for me.”—Ms_Cats_Meow
“Piggybacking off of this in regards to the location. Finding a place that fits what the couple wants, fits their budget, fits how many people they think will show up and fits location wise is not going to be perfect or ideal for everyone.”
“Unless vast majority of guests live close to each other, invitees will end up having to travel. Sure, you try to find a place that doesn’t suck to get to for too many people, but unless you have an unlimited budget, there won’t be a perfect location that fits.”
“It sounds like OP hasn’t experienced that many weddings or the ones they have attended have been super local.”
“There’s a reason why there are hotels located in so many random towns and cities that aren’t really tourist spots or business hubs. They are propped up by local venues such as wedding venues.”
“The sister sucks for the fb rant, not providing food (if that’s actually true) and for what sounds like poor planning on their part on the guest list. The rest of the complaints from OP regarding location, hotel, and alcohol seem unnecessary and a bit judgy.”—RamenNoodles620
Several pointed out that traveling for a wedding is a fairly common thing.
“YTA for the judgmental attitude. I’m having a hard time understanding why everyone here seems to think someone is an a**hole for planning their wedding in the town they live in, or how serving alcohol makes someone a ‘party girl’ lol.”
“To have well over two-thirds of your guests decline to attend has got to feel f**king awful.”
“With those sorts of numbers, it sounds like almost the entire family has RSVP’d no and only their local friends are coming. What a kick in the gut.”
“To me, getting a hotel room for a single night is an expected expense of attending most weddings. It’s not ridiculous.”
“Attending events when you have kids is always hard, but it’s not like it’s impossible. Get a grandparent or other family member to watch them, or have the parent who’s a blood relative of the family attend while the other stays home, or bring the kids and have a local babysitter watch them for a few hours in the hotel, etc.”
“It makes things harder for sure, but it’s not an impassable roadblock for someone who really wants to attend. In fact I literally just read another post from the parents’ perspective where everyone seems to be in agreement that several months is enough time to come up with a compromise or childcare to attend a childfree wedding.”
“So why is it that the bride is entitled for planning a wedding where she lives and requesting that people from her hometown travel a few hours and have childcare, but the invitees aren’t entitled for expecting her to plan an event that’s not local to her (a logistical NIGHTMARE) and plan it around their children?”—pomegranategladiator
“Agreed. I can’t imagine not going to a family wedding 4 hours from where I live.”
“I’ve flown and spent money to go weddings that wouldn’t be my first choice of things to spend my PTO on, but it’s family, you go. I understand the elderly not being able to travel, but my god that many family members refusing to attend is devastating.”
“It’s not like this is some destination wedding. It sounds super normal and reasonable.”
“Also makes sense she made it near her friends because they seem to be the only ones that care about her. YTA.”—stateofgrace17
“YTA. I may be biased as I’m currently wedding planning but wow yeah you and your family are a**holes for sure.”
“It is super common to have to get a hotel room and childcare for a wedding. In fact I’m also doing a child-free wedding where everyone will basically have to spend the night at a hotel.”
“Similar size wedding and I’m also in a cluster of the family where everyone is either older or younger than me.”
“Deposits need to be paid before you know your exact numbers that’s just fact of the industry. Because you’re planning a year out usually and don’t send invites until a month out from the wedding.”
“Generally you expect a regret rate of about 15%. So yeah, I’d be super pissed if I put down all this money for a huge life event only to find that my family won’t show because they’re too selfish to find a sitter and get a room for the night.”—tploeger1
It seems like Reddit is pretty divided on this one, so the OP may not get the validation she was hoping for.
Hopefully the OP’s sister can find a way to enjoy her wedding, even without the majority of her family present.