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Dad Called Out For Refusing To Use His Daughter’s College Fund To Pay For His Stepson’s Wedding

Ian Ross Pettigrew/GettyImages

Raising kids that include stepchildren can be a delicate balancing act. It often involves efforts to avoid a child feeling less important than other members of the family.

Redditor BigTea45—a father with a biological daughter and a stepson—found himself in such a position.

After making a decision showing favoritism, he visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, where he asked:

“AITA for not using my daughter’s college fund to pay for my stepson’s wedding?”

The Original Poster (OP) wrote:

“My stepson is getting married yet he doesn’t have the means to pay for any of it. He’s broke and he expects his mom to pay for it since his bio dad is dead.”

“There is no way my wife has the money to pay for a wedding that meets my stepson’s standards. They went to me since I was his dad to ask for the money.”

“I don’t have the money except for my saving that I have for my daughter’s college. There’s enough in there for an extravagant wedding and still much left over to put a down payment on house.”

“I’m not doing that though. It wouldn’t be fair to my daughter. “

“I offered instead to pay for his wedding just not the extravagant one they wanted. Both my wife and my stepson have called me an a**hole and a cheapskate.”

“I still offered to pay for the wedding and he refused it anyway so it’s not my problem anymore.”


Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:

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

Many Redditors believed the OP was not the a**hole in the situation.

“NTA. Your step son needs to lower his expectations on his wedding, you don’t get what you can’t pay for, him expecting you to use your daughters college fund is extremely entitled, he’s lucky you even offered to pay for a less expensive one after his attitude.”

“He can either have a less expensive wedding or save up and wait for the wedding he wants like most couples do.” – that-bro-joshy

“NTA. Have you tried phrasing it so he can understand what’s wrong? Tell him that he cannot steal his step-sister’s college money because he wants his wedding to be fancier.”

“That may still not get through to him though.” – jrosekonungrinn

“People like this don’t respond to reasonable (or any) dialogue. They believe they’re owed everything they want in life simply for existing.”

“Edit: since this seems to be getting a little bit of attention, if OP sees this – make sure your wife and stepson don’t have ANY access to that money.”

“Change any passwords or even move it to another bank if you have to, because it’s likely they’ll try to get their hands on it any way they know how.” – wheres_jaykwellin_at

“Can’t have champagne tastes on a tap water budget. He wants to have an extravagant wedding, he can save for it himself.” – Nomegusta111

“NTA. Your stepson is old enough to get married, he’s old enough to save up for it. Your daughter still hasn’t used her college fund so is a minor and cannot save up for it. plus a wedding is an expense and a college education is an investment.”

“Your son and wife spit on your reasonable offer to pay for a toned down wedding. Now they get to have no wedding paid by you.” – CakeisaDie

“NTA. Your step son needs to lower his expectations on his wedding, you don’t get what you can’t pay for, him expecting you to use your daughters college fund is extremely entitled, he’s lucky you even offered to pay for a less expensive one after his attitude.”

“He can either have a less expensive wedding or save up and wait for the wedding he wants like most couples do.” – that-bro-joshy

“NTA your stepson shouldn’t have such high standards for his wedding if he’s broke. He can delay and save up or take your exceptionally generous offer to pay for a simpler one.” – redditor191389

“NTA. Your step son is entitled. Blowing money on an insane party (that’s all it is) is incredibly short sighted given a home appreciates and a degree opens doors. Both lead to better outcomes.”

“A 30k party (or whatever he is asking for) doesn’t do anyone any good except bragging rights. Totally NTA.”

“You saved, they didn’t. They need to compromise and have a cheaper wedding.” – Thediciplematt

“NTA. If he’s old enough to get married then he’s old enough to pay for it. Parents do not have to pay for their children’s weddings in this day and age.”

“Your wife shouldn’t be criticising you for valuing your child’s education over her child’s glorified party, especially as you’ve offered to contribute.” – walnutwithteeth

“NTA. Ask your wife where her savings are for her son? You’re not cheap, you’re reasonable.”

“Weddings don’t need to be ridiculous.. the sooner your step son realizes that, there better. Everyone I know who spent a ton on their wedding, regrets it.” – carrot-top90

“NTA you earmarked and saved that money for something that is without question incredibly expensive.”

“However, it’s not hard to have a wedding within your means.” ~ Ziako24

“NTA, besides won’t that marriage be rocky if they don’t have any money? That could create serious relationship problems and possibly lead to divorce.” ~ Strawberry_cat_1

“Absolutely NTA. If stepson can’t afford a fancy wedding then they should have a simple marriage at the local courthouse and have a fancy renewal ceremony later when they *can* afford it.”

“It’s beyond entitled to expect extravagance on someone else’s dime.” ~ Wyshunu

“NTA. If he financially cannot save up the money to pay for the wedding he and his bride to be really want, then how is he going to handle other major life expenses?”

“Things like purchasing a house, a car, moving, a kid or kids? Saving up to pay for your kid’s college education is a more solid investment because even if they accept a low paying job, there is little chance they will be leaning on you in 6 months when the payments are due.”

“A wedding, however, is just money spent. Furthermore, the wedding itself is something that he and his fiance should have saved up the bulk of the money for.”

“My wife and I had an amazing wedding on a budget and kept things casual for our guests so everyone was comfortable.”

“As far as the wife goes, you should be working towards making her your ex wife. That kind of entitlement means she is more about your money than you.”

“Divorce sucks, but being flat out broke and being used as a personal ATM or 0% interest loan factory sucks harder. NTA at all.” ~ gobbler69420

“No, you are right. Your daughter’s education is too important.”

“If they can’t afford an extravagant wedding, they don’t need one. It’s about how tight that knot gets tied, and that should happen no matter what or where.”

“I got married in my aunt’s home. My sister and sister-in-law paid for a few decorations. I bought a sheet cake at the grocery store.” ~ LeslieWal

“Why do people feel entitled to have others pay for their wedding? Aren’t y’all adults?”

“Should y’all really be getting married if you can’t act like adults & handle your own responsibilities? Pay for your own f’ing wedding.”

“Easy NTA and I’m glad you didn’t cave. Also, shame on your wife for not backing you on this.” ~ tameles_over_tacos

“NTA. Draining your daughter’s college fund, a fund established to enable her future, just to provide your stepson an extravagant one-day event would be insanity.”

“No one should be able to ask this of you with a straight face unless you’ve enough money that you wouldn’t miss it.”

“But that is NOT the case here, and based on their petulant demands for the unreasonable, I’d be reluctant to help them at all.” ~ ronearc

“NTA. If he wanted a big fancy wedding then he should have been saving up for it. At the end of the day that is money YOU saved for YOUR DAUGHTERS higher education.”

“In fact you would be the a**hole if you did use it for this ungrateful spoiled brats wedding. If mommy dearest thinks you’re the a**hole and cheap because you won’t pay for an outlandish wedding for her snot nosed kid then maybe show her how cheap you can really be while saving up for a divorce attorney.”

“You offered to pay for a small one, he should be grateful since you didn’t even have to do that. Since he refused your offer of a smaller wedding stand firm and pay for nothing.” ~ brb270

“NTA: the thought of a party being more important than an education is the lowest class train of thought I can think of.”

“Second, a wedding doesn’t have to be expensive. I’m not wedding planner, but a friend’s ex wife is.”

“Where they got married for example, it was $75 per person to have an open bar. At 135 people, you’ve crossed a $10,000 alcohol bill.”

“Plus that site only allowed certain people to bring food. You could NOT bring your own, you had to use a catering company they suggested, and thus more jacked up prices.”

“F’k all of that! Rent an empty warehouse, rent your own tables, chairs, DJ, cater whatever BBQ company you love, have your friend bartend, or hell, simply have beer in buckets, etc…”

“You can have fun without funds. People make the wedding great, not a $50,000 bill.” ~ somedude456

“Definitely NTA. It’s not your fault they want more than they can afford. I never understood spending all your money on a wedding.”

“College goes a lot further. With the way he sounds step son may not be married for long anyways.”

“If I was looking on return on investment. Definitely the college way. It doesn’t sound like you are easily swayed!”

“It’s very interesting when people think you owe them for something you yourself wouldn’t spend money on.” ~ ZombieHunterAsh

The OP clarified:

“I don’t know where her savings are. Also I think you mean ex wife”

More questions followed.

“NTA. Do you have a will? Because if you died tomorrow without one it all goes to your wife.” – kreeves9

In response, the OP wrote:

“I have a will. I had equal assets split between my wife and my daughter plus stepson. I’m changing it as soon I can.”

bamf1701 asked:

“NTA. By asking you to use the college fund, your stepson is not asking you to pay for his wedding, he is asking your daughter to pay for the wedding. It isn’t fair unless your stepson is willing to pay for your daughter to go to college.”

“You have been more than generous offering to pay for some of the wedding, but he is being extremely selfish by continuing to demand that someone else pay for his dream wedding. If he wants this, he can pay for it himself.”

OP said:

“I offered to pay for the wedding but since he was so rude about it I just said f’k it and went about the rest of the day.”

Many Redditors sided with the OP and agreed his stepson needed to lower his expectations and accept the offer that was generously presented to him.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo