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Bride Irate After Cousin Turns Down Being A Bridesmaid To Attend Her College Graduation

Angry bride
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Spring and summer generally are jam-packed with events, from graduation season to prime-time wedding season to birthdays and summer vacation trips, and more.

It’s impossible to fit every single event in, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, but that doesn’t make any event more or less important than the others.

Redditor Sweethome171 was so excited for her graduation week, because the pandemic had impacted her high school graduation and first year of college.

But when she found out her cousin was getting married during that same week, the Original Poster (OP) started to worry that she couldn’t accommodate both events.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for declining to be my cousin’s bridesmaid because her wedding is on the same week as my college graduation?”

The OP was excited for her cousin to get married.

“My cousin, let’s call her Polly (24 Female) recently got engaged, and she announced that the wedding would be in Puerto Rico next year.”

“Polly is the first person in my generation to be getting married, so it is a very exciting thing for our entire extended family.”

“Growing up, we were not super close since our parents didn’t have a good relationship.”

“However, as we were the only girls in our generation, she asked me to be a bridesmaid for her, which I am very flattered by.”

She was also excited to graduate.

“The problem is that the wedding is on the same week as my college graduation.”

“At my school, graduation consists of week-long events, traditions, and ceremonies which I know may sound trivial, but I didn’t have a high school graduation due to the pandemic, and my entire first year was online, so I have been looking forward to the graduation festivities for the past few years.”

The OP didn’t think she could commit to both events.

“I told Polly that I couldn’t be her bridesmaid since I don’t want to miss my graduation and also that I probably won’t have the bandwidth to help her with all the bridesmaid duties leading up to the wedding.”

“I could still attend the actual ceremony, since it’s the day after my graduation, but I just wouldn’t be able to arrive before then.”

“My cousin got very upset and basically told me I’m being selfish for putting my wants over our family and threatened to not invite me to the wedding.”

“I lost my temper and told her that she should go ahead and take my name off the list then since I cannot be her bridesmaid.”

The family became divided over what the OP should do.

“Now my entire extended family is asking me to apologize to Polly and to agree to be her bridesmaid.”

“My aunt, Polly’s mom, actually suggested that I skip my graduation all together since they will just mail me the diploma if I can’t attend.”

“My parents were not very happy with what my aunt said, and now they’re having an argument with her and also said they would not attend the wedding either.”

“I didn’t mean for it to get to this and now my grandparents are also getting involved.”

“Yesterday, my grandma actually called me and offered to pay for my flight to Puerto Rico if I agree to be Polly’s bridesmaid. It really hurt me to hear her say that.”

“I’ve already made peace with the fact that she isn’t coming to my graduation since she can’t afford the extra plane ticket to fly from home to my college and then back to Puerto Rico.”

“The wedding is clearly more important to her (which I 100% understand), but now it just feels like she doesn’t even care.”

The OP felt conflicted.

“AITA for doing this? I thought I was justified for not wanting to miss graduation week, but now I’m not so sure anymore considering all the reactions from my extended family and especially my grandma.”


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 enjoy her graduation week.


“You only graduate once. And to miss it all for someone who can’t keep enough friends to fill her bridal party? No.” – EssentiallyEss

“NAH. College graduation and all its activities comprise a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You will remember those things for the rest of your life.”

“I (57 Female) am part of a big family and after attending and participating in many weddings, honestly, my memories have blended together. I remember things about each wedding, but heck, one wedding for a relative is pretty much like another. Different locations, different cakes, but well, it is normal for memories to blend.”

“It is a shame your whole family is getting up in arms about this. At the end of the day, you’ve been invited and you chose to say no thank you. That is not wrong.” – Narrow-Natural7937

“NTA, but let me fix one sentence there for you: ‘My cousin got very upset and basically told me I’m being selfish for putting my wants over her wants.'”

“She’s being a main character of the universe here. Enjoy your festivities; you’ve earned them, I’m sure.” – CmdrHoratioNovastar


“I skipped my undergrad ceremony to attend a cousin’s wedding. The important thing is that this was 100% my decision and my cousin wouldn’t have been upset with me at all had I chosen differently. I tried to figure out how to do both but with schedules and locations, it wasn’t really feasible.”

“It’s ridiculous to me that the cousin is this upset that she won’t be a bridesmaid even though she can still come to the wedding. And who on earth thinks that someone should be a bridesmaid under duress? That will end up being an awkward unpleasant experience for everyone.”

“OP is in a no-win situation because, now no matter what, she’ll always be blamed for ‘ruining the wedding.’ OP, don’t take that on your shoulders, enjoy your graduation, go to the wedding if you’re invited, but don’t accept any blame in any of this.” – sleverest

“As someone who has multiple Master’s degrees (and has had many graduations, most of which I wish I would’ve skipped) I’m gonna weigh in, people may not like my opinion, but it’s my opinion so they don’t have to.”

“If this is an associate graduation and you intend on getting another higher degree in the near future, then in my opinion, YTA. You’ll have another, likely more important/meaningful graduation is the reasoning.”

“If you are graduating with an associate’s degree and don’t plan to continue on then, for sure NTA, this would effectively be your final graduation and very important not to miss.”

“The same thing but applied to a bachelor’s degree, but if it’s master’s graduation, then definitely no, NTA. I wouldn’t have missed my master’s graduation for anything in the world.”

“Basically, how important the degree/graduation is to you, should determine if YTA or NTA. If it’s important to you then in no way could you be the AH here. If it isn’t that important to you, then by default you’re TA.”

“Sounds like it’s super important to you so I’m voting NTA, I’m also hella proud of you for educating yourself. Be proud of that!” – herro_rayne

Others agreed and felt the two women needed to enjoy their own events.

“Her wedding is HER important event, your graduation is YOUR important event.”

“Never prioritize other people’s events over your own significant events. Yours matter too. Equally.” – Entire-Beat-423

“NAH. Your graduation is important to you. Her wedding is important to her.”

“I would personally consider the benefits of all the graduation ceremonies if your family won’t be there (I’m not saying it’s not worth it, but if celebrating with your family is what’s most important, that might change your perspective).”

“Everyone’s current big event feels like the best thing to happen in your life and more important than anything else, but that doesn’t mean other people aren’t also experiencing extremely important events.”

“My graduations have been important to me, but much less important for my whole family (they only all showed up for high school and I just got my Master’s, so I’ve had three ceremonies). Just choose what you think you will be happy with in 20 or 30 years.” – No-Objective-5566

“NTA. Your cousin is being selfish. Both are exciting life milestones, but one is yours and the other is not. Put yourself first.”

“You guys aren’t even close so I’m puzzled as to why she’s so adamant for you to be in her wedding party to the extent that she’d not invite you at all if you were merely a guest. The main character syndrome seems strong in this one.” – Sooreghee

“I think OP was being super transparent about not being able to be a bridesmaid for a perfectly legitimate reason and not having the bandwidth for the duties either.”

“I don’t get why people can’t take a polite and justified no and move on. Brides expect a lot from bridesmaids and OP should all be able to say no thank you and not cause family drama as a result. Why would you want to force someone who can’t fully commit to being your BM anyways? Choose another friend, bride!”

“A wedding and graduation are both equally important affairs to the people who are involved. It’s really annoying they can’t respect OP’s choice!”

“OP, you are NTA. Congratulations, I really hope you have a wonderful graduation week.” – Lutenihon

“NTA for declining the bridesmaid role. You did your cousin a favor by being realistic about not being up for the expectations of the job.”

“Since you weren’t close, maybe she’s embarrassed at not having close females friends or family to ask. YTA for losing your temper back and refusing to attend.”

“Don’t fold to family pressure to be a bridesmaid.”

“But do be the bigger person and try to mend the relationship.” – taxguycafr

The subReddit was fully in support of the OP for experiencing her graduation, especially since it was an important event just like a wedding, and because she and her cousin were not particularly close. With the wedding being a year away, the bride had plenty of time to create her dream wedding party.

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.