When it comes to planning weddings, a great deal of thought will be put into the wedding party list.
But where some happy couples will want to include the most important people in their lives, others will be pressured to include their family members for appearance’s sake, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Ill-Wear-3488 had already been reluctant to be a bridesmaid in her stepsister’s wedding, but the whole situation was made worse by how her stepsister treated her throughout the whole process of planning the event.
But when she found out her stepsister had been pressured into including her in the wedding, so they’d appear to be closer than they actually were, the Original Poster (OP) decided none of this was worth it.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to be my stepsister’s bridesmaid after I found out my stepdad made her ask me?”
The OP had never been close to her stepsister.
“I (25 Female) have a stepsister, Victoria (26 Female), who is marrying her fiancé, Jake, early next year.”
“Victoria and I have never been close, but we’re civil. Our relationship took dips when we met our respective partners (we both met them through each other, sort of, and there were a lot of kerfuffles each time), but we’ve since repaired that.”
“That said, I was surprised when she asked me to be a bridesmaid.”
“I didn’t really want to, since I live far away and I’m busy in a couple of months leading up to the wedding, but I was so surprised that she asked and thought maybe she didn’t have anyone else to ask (since she didn’t even seem that pleased about it), so I said yes.”
The OP quickly regretted her decision to say yes to playing the part.
“A few days ago Victoria, her mother, the other bridesmaids, and I, went shopping for the bridesmaid dresses.”
“Victoria was awful to me the whole time. She accused me of choosing dresses to try on to spite her and upstage her (I didn’t pick any of the dresses, her mother and Maid of Honor did).”
“In every dress I tried on, she nitpicked my appearance in it and made it the reason she didn’t want to pick that dress.”
“When one of the sales assistants brought out a dress, Victoria started crying, saying she didn’t want to see me in that dress on her wedding day.”
“I was getting a bit fed up and I was still jetlagged, so I pulled her aside and asked if she’d rather I just not be a bridesmaid. I said I’d be happy to help with planning in any way I could, but I didn’t want her worried or this upset about bridesmaid dresses.”
“Victoria then snapped that she needed me as a bridesmaid because her dad (my stepdad) and Jake wanted me to be one (apparently for the optics since Jake’s sister is also a bridesmaid and we’re both from families who value the ‘close-knit family’ image). Her dad is paying for the wedding.”
“I just said, ‘Great, neither of us wanted me to be a bridesmaid, I’m out.’ And I left.”
Victoria then regretted what she had said to the OP.
“Victoria is now blowing up my phone, begging me to be a bridesmaid again.”
“Her dad is furious with the way she treated me and how she told me about him wanting me to be a bridesmaid and is now being (according to her) very tight on the purse for the wedding.”
“Apparently, she feels that the extended family will also judge her for not having me as a bridesmaid.”
“I told her I was not doing it, partly because she was awful to me out of resentment for something I didn’t know about, and partly because I never wanted to do it in the first place.”
“Victoria says this is going to stop her from having her dream wedding.”
“AITA for not wanting to do it?”
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 encouraged the OP to hold her boundary of not being a bridesmaid.
“Neither of you actually want you to be a Bridesmaid, and after this, I would be surprised if you even want to attend the wedding.”
“The real AH here is your stepdad. I sort of understand what he was trying to do and wants all parts of the family involved but forcing your Step Sister to ask you and insisting was very wrong.”
“Just tell her you will attend as a guest only.” – theitguy1968
“NTA, Victoria can’t have it both ways.”
“She treats you like garbage because she doesn’t want you in her wedding due to what appears to be jealousy. But she also treats you like garbage when you don’t participate in lying to strangers (i.e.: close family bulls**t) while being verbally assaulted.”
“Looks like Victoria f**ked around and found out.” – Lacroix24601
“NTA. She has the chance to apologize when you pulled her aside. This apology she’s giving you now is entirely transactional. Blaming you for not getting her dream wedding shows she hasn’t learned anything.” – geth1138
“NTA. If she needs you as a bridesmaid, then she should at least be neutral to you and not p**sy.”
“If you want to help her out, you don’t have to. You could stand next to her as a kind of ‘bridesmaid’ at her wedding. But you will not do anything else a bridesmaid has to do and she has to pay for your dress, make-up, and hair, as she gets more money from her stepdad for the wedding than this would cost. And in return, she is allowed to tell people the two of you made up.”
“Otherwise, don’t think twice about it.” – Trevena_Ice
“Life advice: ‘When you say yes to others, make sure you aren’t saying no to yourself.’ Paulo Coehlo.”
“In this situation, you are quite literally saying no to your feelings and signing up to be disrespected at every step leading up to the wedding and the wedding day.”
“In life, people treat us the way we allow them to. Her behavior on the day you went dress shopping was deplorable, nasty, mean, and bratty. You should never accept that behavior from her or anyone else.”
“She does not want you in her bridal party, she only wants the optics. The optics are of zero concern to you.”
“Attend the wedding if you are so inclined as a guest. In life, I go where I am celebrated, not tolerated.” – stinstin555
Others agreed and felt the OP needed to also discuss this with her stepfather.
“NTA. But you should talk to your stepfather and tell him while Victoria acted like a petulant child, he had no right to force her on who is in her wedding, and it is your choice whether or not you participate.” – DerpDevilDD
“I don’t understand why the stepdad is pushing this so hard. This was such a negative experience I don’t understand how stepdad OR fiancé would think this would be a good thing? Just for the way it looks?”
“I don’t know, I personally feel it would be weirder to have someone in the bridal party who will basically ruin the day than deal with MAYBE one or two questions of ‘why wasn’t X a bridesmaid?’ Which, by the way, could easily be answered with, ‘she lives too far’ or ‘work was too busy,’ easy peasy!”
“It just seems weird that stepdad and fiancé are so insistent on such an obvious negative. OP, NTA but good luck with this hot mess, lol (laughing out loud).” – Neautre_Nerd
“NTA. So not your problem. Victoria should talk to her dad about this; he can’t force this. And she can add another bridesmaid she actually wants to have so the numbers add up.”
“I wasn’t a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding. He never asked, I didn’t expect to be, and I don’t live near him/his wife. A few nosy relatives asked why when her brother and his wife were groomsmen/bridesmaids.”
“I just said I lived too far away to take part like that and oh, wasn’t the bride/the venue/the ceremony absolutely stunning!” – CalicoHope
“It is not OP’s responsibility to put herself in a situation where she is responsible for stepdad paying for the wedding.”
“Her stepdad is the a**hole times 10. Stepsister is an a**hole. OP is not a bargaining chip and these people have put her in an untenable situation without her knowledge. You can remove yourself from it and refuse to play along.”
“OP, you are NTA and I hope you only do what is best for you. Personally, I would want nothing to deal with this mess and send a nice card with good wishes and no apologies.” – mrngdew77
“You need to have a stern word with your stepfather here. Let him know you weren’t particularly interested in being a bridesmaid anyway and certainly not just for optics. A wedding is not going to bond the two of you together.”
“He’s an AH for making her invite you, then making the finances conditional on your acceptance. Stepsister is also an AH for being petulant and critical of OP rather than graciously accepting her as a bridesmaid.” – Infusion-delusion
All the subReddit could imagine was this being more of a nightmare than a wedding, between having to put up with a stepsister who clearly didn’t like the OP and a stepfather who had made it his life’s mission to bring the two women together on a day that was supposed to be magical.