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Bride Called ‘Selfish’ For Refusing To Let Cousin With Terminal Cancer Walk Down Aisle Before Her

Bride being escorted down the aisle.
recep-bg/Getty Images

We all have a “bucket list” of sorts.

Things that we hope to accomplish before we die, ranging from the frivolous or far-fetched, such as skydiving or riding every roller coaster in the world, to the more substantial, such as getting married and having children.

For most people, a bucket list is purely theoretical and is something they just always keep in the back of their minds.

Others, however, are a bit more determined to check off every item on the list, with some even needing to do so much earlier than they ever thought they would.

The cousin of Redditor No_Anybody_8997 sadly found herself diagnosed with a disease likely to cut her life tragically short.

Potentially preventing her from accomplishing one of her life’s goals.

As a result, the young girl turned to the original poster (OP) for help in this matter.

Finding this a strange request, however, the OP refused.

After being called “selfish” by multiple family members for doing so, the OP took to the subReddit “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“WIBTA for not allowing my dying cousin to walk down the aisle?”

The OP explained why she wasn’t comfortable fulfilling her cousin’s request:

“My(27 F[emale]) cousin (23 F) was diagnosed with leukemia and is not doing well.”

“I feel terrible for her, but I was never close to her growing up.”

“We grew up in different countries.”

“I’m getting married in March 2024.”

“My aunt came over two weeks ago to discuss something.”

“She wants me to let my cousin walk down the aisle with her dad before I walk.”

“I don’t feel comfortable with this because, yes, it’s sad that she won’t get to experience this, but isn’t it my day to shine?”

“My aunt says that I’m being selfish for not doing this.”

“She spoke to my parents about this, and they don’t seem too happy.”

“My in-laws are not pleased, too.”

“But they still want me to decide.”

“My fiancé doesn’t feel comfortable, too.”

“My aunt brought my cousin to my place to discuss it last week.”

“Cousin cried, saying she wanted to walk down the aisle and that I should let her.”

“I told her it was my wedding day, so it was not right for her to take over.”

“She then called me selfish and a bridezilla for not caring about her.”

“Like I said, we were never close, so I don’t know why she’s trying to do this on my wedding day.”

“I told her I needed more time to think, so She’s on IG posting cryptic stuff, obviously attacking me.”

“I talked to my friends for non-biased opinions, and they were divided.”

“Some want me to allow her to walk down the aisle because she would never get to experience that, and I’ll be doing something nice.”

“WIBTA if I say no?”

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

The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to allow her cousin to walk down the aisle at her wedding.

Everyone agreed that even if the OP was closer with her cousin, they were still way overstepping, and the OP had every right to say no to something she didn’t feel comfortable happening at her wedding:


“My bil died at 23.”

“It f*cking sucks doesn’t begin to cover it.”

“New pain happens daily.”

“He never got married.”

“He never had kids.”

“He never had much besides work and strippers.”

“Like any respectable dumba** at 23.”

“It f*cking sucks.”

“It was sudden.”

“We had plans.”

“I miss him.”

“My husband was shattered.”

“His mother is still nuts.”

“But part of the sorrow is the never.”

“They should throw her a family celebration of life party.”

“One where she is the center of attention.”

“She can plan.”

“I bet a church will donate space.”

“Where everyone can sign her dance card.”

“Say nice, wonderful things to her.”

“Have family bring her favorite foods on fancy dishes.”

“Bring her comfort items as gifts.”

“I bet Moms and Aunty have linens.”

“The kid is scared and needs love and attention.”

“Aunt is a bit nuts at the moment, but losing your kid does that sometimes.”

“With this, be graceful.”

“You are only responsible for your behavior.”

“Make it behavior you can be proud of.”- 14thLizardQueen


“What is she walking towards?”

“There’s no partner at the other end, there’s no one for her dad to ‘give her away’ to… by your post and the fact that she’s so focused on the ‘fact’ that she’ll never get married, I’m gonna assume she’s single- she needs to stop focusing on the marriage she doesn’t have and start focusing on enjoying her own company in the time she does have left.”

“This request (and I’m using that word generously, since your aunt and cousin have made it clear that it was far more of a demand) is weird as hell, and you are 100% within your moral rights to say, ‘with respect, fuck no’.”

“It’s not her day.”

“She doesn’t get to be the center of attention, she doesn’t get to do the things the bride does, and she doesn’t get to try and guilt-trip you for saying no.”

“‘Cousin, I’m sorry about what you’re going through’.”

“‘But my empathy doesn’t extend to going against the wishes of myself, my fiancé, and both our families in order to give you this experience’.”

“‘Considering you’d be walking to the altar where my fiancé is waiting for me, asking feels uncomfortable on so many levels- and your tactics to try and convince me feel cheap and tacky’.”

“‘Please don’t ask again, I’m not going to change my mind’.”

“I’d be fully prepared for her to wear white to the wedding.”

“Or for her to try and spill something on your dress.”- yalldointoomuch

“My thoughts?”

“Your aunt is being VERY manipulative and putting an unreasonable amount of pressure on you.”

“Your cousin deserves her own day, if not a wedding, she can have her own lovely large ‘celebration of life’ party.”

“She doesn’t need to be in your wedding.”

“And if she does this at your wedding, half the guest (your in-law‘s side) will wonder what the hell is going on, and the other half (your side) will be talking about your cousin’s imminent passing.”

“It’s a crap way to alter the wedding completely.”

“It’s a lovely idea IF everyone loves it.”

“But it wasn’t your idea, and thus, you aren’t expected to gift it to her.”

“Yes, it would be a nice thing to do, but you need to satisfy MANY families on a wedding day – your own new one, your parents, and your in-laws.”

“And all THREE of those combinations are leaning away from this, so it’s an easy ‘No’.”

“NTA.”- Particular-Try5584

“NTA from any angle.”

“This request is beyond inappropriate and very much the start of an ‘if you give a mouse a cookie’ scenario.”

“If you give your aunt this walk, she’ll want her daughter to wear a white dress.”

“If you say yes to the dress, she’ll want to add music.”

“If you say yes to the music.”

“This also creates an entire culture around the event of how many ways you can be the bad guy and essentially turns your wedding into a memorial service with the late guest of honor very much on time and in attendance!”

“The aunt must be out of her mind with grief and grasping for ways to immortalize her child.”

“But that doesn’t mean it has to be your job to fix it or you have anything overshadowing your event.”

“The absolute most you could offer, depending on where the wedding is and if you want to, is a professional photo of the parents and the cousin standing at the start of the aisle before they are shown their seats.”

“That’s the moment of what is now and what is wished that could have been.”

“That is going to be what the experience would have eventually become in their memory anyway.”

“Telling the photography team (and DJ, etc) that there is danger of someone trying to overtake attention at the event will be a good idea.”

“The photographer can frame it (no pun intended) so it comes across as ‘the bride wants a special photo of her cousin with her parents’ ensures the focus stays on you and there is no spiraling out of control (constantly accompanied by usher, photographer, usher again, people talking to them once seated).”

“But only if you want to.”

“It’s possible none of this may matter at the time of the wedding.”

“But handling it in a way you can feel comfortable with is also necessary.”

“Especially if the timing happens in a way that means family coming to two events close to each other.”

“Good luck and congrats on the upcoming nuptials.”- ItWouldntWorkAnyway

“Who wants to bet that were OP to agree to the walking down the aisle, there’d be further requests?”

“Cousin to dance with her dad as she’ll never experience it.”

“Cousin to be allowed to wear white as she’ll never experience it.”

“What’s happening to the cousin at such a young age is cruel and tragic.”

“But, they can’t just hijack another person’s wedding day to have some sort of a morbid ‘I’ll never have this life’ party for her.”

“I agree with another commenter who suggested organizing an entirely separate celebration of life for her.”

“With her own friends, family, everything, where she can celebrate on what she has and what she experienced, not mourn already what she will never have.”

“NTA.”- Final_Figure_7150

It’s heartbreaking that the OP’s cousin might not live to accomplish many of the things she hoped to do in her life.

Even so, it’s not the OP’s responsibility to ensure that she can fulfill some of her dreams.

Especially not at her own wedding.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.