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Bride Called Out By Brother For Picking Maid Of Honor’s Daughter To Be Flower Girl Over Niece

flower girl in white dress with flower petals
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Flower GirlDeciding on who is and isn’t in the wedding party should be up to the couple getting married. But invariably, family tends to weigh in.

Some want to be added, while others would prefer to sit it out.

Three roles that seem to be more hotly contested than others are maid of honor, bridesmaid and flower girl.

A bride who is facing family backlash over her wedding party choices turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

HoneycombHips asked:

“AITA for not letting my niece be the flower girl at my wedding?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I (25, female) am getting married next month. My brother and sister-in-law (SIL) have a 5-year-old daughter, Emma. They assumed Emma would automatically be the flower girl in my wedding.”

“The issue is that I have asked my best friend’s daughter Hannah (6, female) to be the flower girl instead. Hannah’s mom is my maid of honor and she is like family to me.”

“I would happily include Emma as a flower girl TOO or in another special role. But Hannah’s mom is my best friend my whole life and maid of honor.

“Hannah and I have grown up together her whole life and are very close. I am close to Emma too, but its special with Hannah… I don’t know how to explain that.”

“I love my niece and want her involved. But she’s not automatically entitled to flower girl just because we’re family.”

“When I told my brother and SIL that Hannah will be the flower girl, they got really upset. They said I’m choosing friends over family and breaking their little girl’s heart by not giving her this special role.”

“They are upset about all this. They think it shouldn’t even have been a question.”

“I tried to explain that I’ve known Hannah her whole life, too and it’s a sweet full circle moment to have her in the wedding. We have a very sepcial connection that I don’t have with Emma, even though I love Emma, too.”

“But my brother said I’m a selfish aunt and setting a bad precedent in our family. Now they don’t want Emma involved at all.”

“My parents think I should have just let both girls be flower girls to keep the peace. Which I thought was a cool idea and I initially didn’t think of that.”

“When I told my brother and SIL that this would be great, they declined and said they don’t want her to do it anymore at all.”


The OP summed up their predicament.

“I picked my friend’s daughter as flower girl over my niece. My family thinks I’m playing favorites.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors couldn’t agree, with some deciding there were no a**holes (NAH).

“Didn’t you also grow up with your brother? Wouldn’t you also have grown up around Emma her entire life?”

“You love your niece and want her involved but you specifically did not involve her. You do you OP, but if you have a good sibling relationship with your brother and want to keep it that way you should probably repair this situation by talking to him and not looking to Reddit for back up.”

“NAH, I guess, but that won’t save you from damaging relationships in this situation.” ~ ChicVintage

“NAH. I am just imagining my sister getting married and even though I would 100% not expect my daughter to be a flower girl/bridesmaid, I would be absolutely gutted if she wasn’t included.”

“I can see why they’re disappointed. Surely there is some way for everyone to feel special here, as you mentioned.”

“It’s up to you as it’s your wedding and you need to include who you want, however thinking only about the children, I would try really hard to include them both and make them both feel important for your big day.”

“Good luck for the big day! Hope it’s magical.” ~ ABitOutThere

“While of course you get to choose who is in your wedding, if you are as close to your niece as you mentioned I don’t understand how you think she wouldn’t be hurt. Having more than one flower girl would have made sense.”

“Too bad your brother rejected that solution out of hand. Sadly, this will go down in family lore. NAH, with brother close to AH.” ~ springflowers68

Others thought the OP was the a**hole (YTA).

“It kinda surprises me that you didn’t think of having 2 flower girls to begin with. I think YTA because you didn’t consider the feelings of Emma.”

“When you have a relationship later in life, it may hurt her to know you preferred another little girl over her. Weddings are about families coming together.”

“I hate to say it, but I think your oversight was short sighted and selfish. Others will say ‘it’s your wedding you’re allowed to be selfish’, but I disagree.”

“Don’t have a wedding if you want to be selfish. Weddings are about families/loved ones coming together and being included in new family structures.” ~ ThisPie666

“YTA. In my world, family does come first. But also, why would you ever think you could only have one flower girl?” ~ Remarkable-Station-2

“YTA. My niece is six and she’s been planning to be the flower girl at my wedding for two years now. She reminds me every time I see her that her dream is to be my flower girl and has been more excited about my wedding than me and my fiancé.”

“If your niece has been telling her parents this for a long time, only for you to completly shoot it down for no reason, I’m sure they have their hands full right now with a distraught child because you don’t want to include her in something she has her heart set on.”

“There’s no law that says you can only have one flower girl at your wedding, so why are you being so obtuse? Now you have to ask yourself if it is worth the deep damage to your relationship with your family just because you didn’t want to compromise.” ~ steffie-flies

Some felt everyone sucked (ESH).

“The parents didn’t necessarily hype their daughter up about being a flower girl because I remember being little and friends of mine wanting to be flower girls in their family members’ weddings for sure.”

“She’s 5, not stupid, and to dismiss it as her feelings don’t matter because it’s OP’s day is wrong.”

“The parents didn’t handle it properly at all, but yeah they have a right to be hurt. Yes, OP can make whatever decision she wants for her wedding day but that doesn’t mean that she’s free from the consequences of those decisions.”

“This consequence is her family being hurt and upset. ESH.” ~ Fairynightlvr

“I’m torn because it is very much your choice and they were definitely too pushy. Should not have told their daughter about it before you asked them, and should have accepted the no (even if that meant viewing you differently).”

“But it does feel odd that you didn’t think to make them both flower girls or think of another role on your own. That seems like such an obvious solution to have them both do it.”

“And to be honest it doesn’t seem like a good call to tell your brother you love this other girl more than your niece (or that you’re closer to her or however you phrased it). It seems like you used this as a justification, but my guess is the whole reason your brother was hurt in the first place is he feels that your niece isn’t special to you.”

“And it kinda feels like you confirmed that by saying you have a more special bond with your friend’s daughter.”

“I don’t know if you’re an a**hole, but I don’t get the impression you love your niece very much. And if your brother feels that too, then I can’t completely blame him for being hurt.”

“I think I’ll say ESH cause I think all parties could’ve done better.” ~ Necessary_Dark_6720

Some couldn’t pick just one judgment.

“Like sure, no one is entitled to have a role in your wedding. But by that logic, we are entitled to very, very little—to human rights, contracts we’ve signed, maybe basic politeness, and not much else.”

“It also doesn’t mean that people won’t feel hurt if they are excluded. For example, I may not be entitled to an invite to my sisters wedding, but if I didn’t get one it would definitely damage our relationship.”

“I also think a lot of people are missing the mark on 5-year-old psychology. There is a wide range of personalities, but overall the age group can be absolutely obsessed with fairness and extremely sensitive to any perceived exclusion.”

“I have worked with kids that age, and they well tell you endlessly if they think someone is getting special treatment. Even about the dumbest thing, like you could cut a cake and someone gets extra icing decorations and they will tell you how unfair that is.”

“5-year-olds are definitely able to come up with concerns about being excluded on their own, even if their parents are actively working to calm things down.”

“To be fair to 5-year-olds, they are trying to learn rules for how the world works and they struggle to understand why adults talk about fairness when its about then sharing their toy, or sharing attention with their new baby sibling, but then this fairness rule doesn’t seem to matter for the things they care about like the extra piece of icing on the cake or not getting to have a cool role in a wedding.”

“I definitely remember being hurt to not be included in my uncle’s wedding at that age!

“All that to say, I totally understand why your brother initially wanted to leave Emma at home if she isn’t included. If she does go he won’t really be able to hide that flower girls exist and you chose someone else.”

“If it’s in her personality to be sad about that, there isn’t necessarily anything he can do to make her feel less hurt by it. ‘Aunt OP just wanted to pick someone else’ will not be a compelling explanation to a 5-year-old.”

“I also can’t blame your brother for feeling hurt that you explained you just feel more connected to this other kid, apparently enough so that you didn’t even consider having both girls which would have been normal.”

“I also don’t think it’s that surprising he would assume she would be included given it is extremely common that if you have kids in the wedding, nieces & nephews around that age will get a role.”

“I do think he’s being dramatic by not being willing to go back now she is included, but I do think he’s justified to reevaluate how close the relationship really was.”

“This is somewhere between a mild ESH and a NAH.” ~ Thunderplant

“‘…she’s not entitled to flower girl because she’s family…’.”

“Totally correct, although it is so very very common in many places that you can’t fault your family for making assumptions. I’m not saying they are right for insisting, they are not, but to me it seems like an obvious assumption that your one and only niece would be included in the wedding.”

“I get y’all are in the mood of ‘OP’s the bride, it’s her day and no need to consider anyone else’, but having important roles for close family is rather normal.”

“But you flubbed it by not proactively thinking of one and offering it. Instead this feels like an afterthought (which it is).”

“And obviously your family is picking up on how much more you love Hannah than your niece.”

“NTA for wanting something different for your wedding, YTA for how you went about it.” ~ antizana

But a slim majority decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA. I hate the ‘keep the peace’ bullying. It only means your feelings mean nothing and the other party’s feelings mean everything.”

“The suggestion of 2 flower girls was fine until the ‘to keep the peace’ crap.”

“Your brother was out of line trying to dictate who should be in your wedding party. And his little temper tantrum now is even more out of line.”

“My suggestion is stop trying to smooth anything over. You did nothing wrong. You don’t owe him any apology.”

“You don’t have to go running after him begging him to let your niece be in the wedding, or for them to come, or anything. Just say ‘well, sorry you feel that way’ and continue on with your wedding.”

“As for anyone else trying to push this. Tell them: ‘they made their choice. Leave it alone’.” ~ FuzzyMom2005

“NTA! Your brother and his wife seem to have forgotten that this is your wedding.”

“No one is entitled to a role at your wedding except you, the person you are marrying, and the officiant.” ~ candycoatedcoward

“NTA at all! You’re choosing someone meaningful to you, and it’s not about favoring friends over family.”

“It’s about personal connections and the special relationship you have. You also suggested a compromise that’s sweet and could have fixed everything but they were being difficult.” ~ TwirlPoodleParfait

While the OP didn’t get a definitive ruling, they got plenty of perspectives to ponder.

Hopefully their wedding goes off without a hitch.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.