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Woman Balks After Brother Expects Her To Wash Dishes And Play Chauffeur At His Wedding For Free

Angry woman washing dishes
Deagreez/Getty Images

It’s no surprise that planning a wedding would be expensive.

There’s nothing wrong with a couple saving money where they can, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of their loved ones, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Environmental-Ad3878 was fed up with her brother’s wedding planning, as he was expecting her to adapt her work schedule and life around the event.

But when he also demanded that she work for free at his reception, the Original Poster (OP) began to question if this was the right event for her.

She asked the sub:

“WIBTA (Would I be the a**hole) if I didn’t go to my brother’s wedding?” 

The OP wasn’t sure she could make the date of her brother’s wedding work.

“My (32 Female) brother (28 Male) just proposed to his girlfriend (22 Female) of six months.”

“They set the date for the date that they met, which is December 13. It will be 5:00 PM or 6:00 PM that night.”

“I have two problems with this. Number one, I live three hours away and am a teacher. I get one personal day a year. Not only is their wedding smack-dab in the middle of finals week for my district, but it would also require me to use all my personal PTO to attend due to the travel time involved.”

“I would have to split it between the 13th and the 14th. My family is demanding that I come, but I don’t think it’s fair to demand that I give up my one thing for my brother, and I will tell you why.”

The OP and her boyfriend were struggling financially.

“My boyfriend of three years bought a house when we met. He changed factory jobs last year to one with a more supportive work environment with more opportunities for advancement.”

“However, his company is currently experiencing an unexpectedly slow season due to the economy, and there is not enough work for everyone at the moment. He barely makes enough money to cover expenses, and this has been the case for a few months.”

“I am moving in with him over the summer to help with bills going forward and have been giving him whatever money I can spare.”

“I was hopeful for an engagement ring and/or wedding for next year, but some other financial setbacks associated with homeownership (new gutters, having to replace appliances that don’t work, etc) have almost completely diminished those hopes.”

The OP’s brother was also making cruel comments to her.

“Now to my brother. My brother has, in the three weeks since proposing, been repeatedly rude to me about his engagement.”

“He makes remarks about me being a spinster, how he could get someone to marry him in six months when I can’t get someone to commit in three years, and this makes him a superior person.”

“He’s stated how I am too mentally ill to be a good spouse (I have ADHD and depression), I am not successful like my brother is so why would anyone marry me, etc.”

The OP’s family volunteered her to work for free for her brother’s wedding.

“Meanwhile, he and our parents are telling me that I have obligations for their wedding.”

“I was a florist for a few years, so I need to make the centerpieces and the bouquets free of charge.”

“I have run a small business making custom jewelry for fifteen years, so I have to make the jewelry for the bridal party.”

“I have to be our elderly grandfather’s chauffeur.”

“I am expected to come early and set up. I am expected to stay late and clean up. I am expected to be a server and do dishes during the reception…”

The OP was beginning to consider no-showing at the wedding.

“I think I am well within my rights to demand some things change, given my brother’s attitude.”

“Namely, the bullying regarding my marital status (or lack thereof) and the demands they are placing on me when they purposefully picked a day that few people could attend.”

“I think they are demanding too much of me when they simply expect me to do things and won’t even ask if I can make it all work.”

“Since it’s finals, I might not even be able to take it off in the first place.”

“Would I be the a**hole if I did not attend my brother’s wedding?”

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 say no to the work and to the wedding.

“Here you go: ‘I am sorry, but I will not be able to attend nor help in any way.'”

“No is a complete sentence. Don’t do this to yourself. Just say no.” – Lynfran

“NTA. You don’t need to explain. Just decline the wedding invite as it’s not possible as a teacher to get those dates off in the middle of the exam period. Wish them all the best for their wedding day.”

“Don’t engage in any discussions about additional jobs they want you to do for them, you’re not available. Don’t let them make their problem (for free flower arrangements, free labor, etc) be your problem, because it simply isn’t.”

“This isn’t your wedding. They chose a date without consulting you, and you’re not available. My sister was a teacher, and I booked my wedding date after asking her.” – JSJ34


“The wedding date is short notice, AND your calendar simply doesn’t allow you to attend. By itself, it’s enough not to make you AH. On top of that, your family seems to see you as a simple provider and doesn’t respect your boundaries or yourself. Yeah, they are massive AH for that.”

“Also, why marrying someone a year after starting dating is a ‘romantic success’? Why the timing is determining if it is successful or not? Each couple has its own dynamic, hence works on its own timeframe!” – brisemartel

“Nope nope nope nope nope. There is no ‘clearing things up’ in this situation. This is you telling them firmly that you will NOT be attending, NOT providing flowers/jewelry/slave labor, and most definitely will NOT be discussing this any further. End of statement.”

“If they start to yell/guilt you or whatever their abuse of choice is, simply say, ‘We’re done here,’ and leave. Right that minute. Never mind if you were supposed to have dinner together or whatever. Get the f**k out and go LC/NC (low contact or no contact) with them. Life is too short for this bulls**t.”

“You got this, OP. Stay strong! I know lots of us are rooting for you.”

“And you are MASSIVELY NTA.” – CrazyOldBag

“NTA. Your ‘family’ sees you as a slave like they own you and should live n breathe for them. Even a three-year-old thinks this is bulls**t.”

“Take your brother’s words and put it against him: ‘NO, Sorry, but I won’t be doing anything or going to your wedding because like you said I’m mentally ill and incapable. BYE-BYE!”

“I always do use their own words that hurt me against them. Words hurt.” – Personal_Jacket_8425

“From what she says, she would be NTA to go NC (No Contact) or very LC (Low Contact) with the whole lot.” – ravynwave

Others agreed and questioned the respect the family held for the OP.

“NTA. If you’re so bad and mentally ill in his eyes, why would he want you there? If he’s superior to you and more successful, why does he need your free labor?”

“Nah, I wouldn’t do a thing for him, let alone show up after those comments and expectations. If they wanted you there and needed your help so badly, they should’ve been more considerate.”

“Maybe I’m an old, grumpy man in a 30-year-old woman’s body, but I’m not going anywhere, especially not a wedding, on a Wednesday night. I have work the next day. I’m going to sleep, thanks!”

“But I agree with another commenter that you should just say no, and that’s final. Don’t explain yourself because they’ll just find excuses and try to find a way to guilt trip you.” – PoutineQueen1992

“This sounds like they want your services, not you. Your brother is already an AH, and it sounds like your parents are just happy to have a wedding, which of course, excuses their behavior.”

“During finals? F**k no. You’re already going to be tired, cranky, and then you have to grade them before the holidays hit.”

“OP, sounds like he’s got a touch of the Golden Child syndrome, and he likes to rub that into your face. You do you, which means say No. End of story.”

“NAH, as long as you don’t give in.” – thonman

“They aren’t asking anything of you. They are demanding you make a sacrifice so they don’t have to. I say that if you don’t go, you are NTA.” – 13Luthien4077

“NTA. They are just using you so they don’t have to pay the florist, a server, a jewelry vendor, a driver, and a cleaner. These services would easily cost USD$2-3k or more if they had to pay.”

“Such an expensive gift is beyond the means of someone in your position. As the sister of the groom, you and your boyfriend should be honored guests at the reception, not unpaid serfs.”

“Put your exams first, and let your brother and the rest of the wedding party find a way to pay for what they want, or maybe throw the party they can afford. Maybe send him a gift. Or not.” – FeedbackCreative8334


“I was at NAH until the mean remarks, but even that could be chalked up to siblings’ misplaced jokes that hurt. The workload they gave you is insane, and let’s say your whole family is equally involved and even that’s normalized…”

“What really put the nail in the coffin for me is serving and cleaning DURING the reception…”

“He basically doesn’t care if you celebrate with them so much as do the work for them.”

“It really hurts. The practical limitations are a great and simple explanation they can share with other guests as to your absence. Everything above is just fodder to ease any guilt you may feel, in my honest opinion, even if you could go without inconveniencing your work and using the limited time you get off.” – mayfeelthis

A few challenged the OP to think about how she’d feel to miss out on the wedding.

“ESH. Your family for being demanding jerks expecting you to give large amounts of free labor without your consent, your brother for being a tasteless and hurtful bully, and you for being unwilling to take the time off to attend a once-in-a-lifetime event that is important to your family.” – MarketingManiac208

“ESH. You have to decide what you can live with long term and live with the consequences of those choices.”

“A wedding typically is a once-in-a-lifetime event (maybe two for some people), and while I get that you aren’t particularly close to him, that he’s placed a lot of demands on you, and that it’s not a convenient time.”

“However, imagine how you would feel if your family didn’t come to your wedding. I’m sure you’d be angry, hurt. I’m sure your brother feels that way, and if he decides after this to not talk to you any longer or any other family members feel the same way, you need to be able to live with that.”

“I guess what I’m trying to say is, think before you act. This choice really will impact a lot of family relationships for years to come.” – learningto___

This was a great example of the subReddit not understanding why someone would become so entitled during the planning of their wedding, and they completely understood why the OP was upset about what was happening.

Not only did they understand why the OP was reluctant to attend the wedding as an unpaid assistant, but they also understood the practicalities of a teacher not being able to attend an event like this during the week. But the brother’s comments were completely uncalled for and likely reason enough not to attend.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.