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Mother ‘Throws Tantrum’ Over 17-Year-Old Daughter Not Being Invited To Sister’s Childfree Wedding

woman with wedding invitations
Ольга Носова/Getty Images

Childfree weddings seem like a standard option these days. In some cases, this includes an age cut-off.

People often choose the age of 13, 16, 18, or 21 as their cut-off.

But what if the chosen cut-off excludes only a single family member?

And what if that family member is only one month shy of the cut-off age?

A parent whose child was singled out turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Eastern-Second-2528 asked:

AITA for ‘throwing a tantrum’ because my child wasn’t invited to a childfree wedding?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My sister is getting remarried—for a 3rd time—and she wants a very small wedding with only immediate family.”

“Yesterday we got her wedding invitation, and to my surprise, it said that the wedding is childfree and my child isn’t invited.”

“My child is 17 years old, going on 18 soon.”

“By the way, my child is the only one under 18 in our family and in the groom’s family, so she is the only one being excluded.”

“I called my sister and asked her if she is f*cking serious. She said, ‘I’m sorry, but we have decided that we want a childfree wedding’.”

“I told her to just say you want a ‘my child’ free wedding and get it over with because this is exactly what you are doing.”

“The other cousins are all boys and all invited. My daughter is the only girl and not invited. The other ones are 18-21, so she is the only one under 18.”

“Funny, now that I think about it, she could say she wants a girl-free wedding, and she would have the same result.”

“We got into an argument and she told me to stop throwing a tantrum and my child doesn’t need to be included in everything.”

“My daughter will be a month too young to attend, not a year.” 

“I know my child is too quiet and doesn’t talk to people, so my family doesn’t love her as much as they love the rest of the grandkids. But for f*cks sake, they don’t have to show it!”

“I told my sister that we won’t be attending her 3rd wedding then. She called me an a**hole for not supporting her.”

“If my child isn’t invited, then I’m not going. Sorry, she needs to find another matron of honor.”

The OP summed up their predicament.

“I might be an a**hole for expecting my child to be invited to a childfree wedding because everyone else is invited.”

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

“NTA. You should tell her you can’t attend because you don’t have childcare for your ‘child’.” ~ jadeariel12

“This is awesome. OP: ‘Sorry I can’t be at your wedding, I can’t find childcare’.”

“SIS: ‘But Niece is old enough to take care of herself for a day’.”

“OP: ‘But she’s not mature enough not to get herself in trouble, so she needs to be supervised at all times’.”

“SIS: ‘Don’t be silly; of course, she won’t get herself in trouble. It’s only a few hours.”

“OP: ‘So you’re saying she’s NOT a child?’.”

“SIS: ‘…’.”

“NTA, OP.” ~ Styx-n-String

“Honestly, I think the OO’s sister might just have a strong smell of sexism with a lot of the choices surrounding her wedding.” ~ BeardManMichael

“Sister is entitled to invite who she wants to her wedding, but OP has the right to stick by their daughter also.” ~ Crazy-Jackfruit4311

“So what I am understanding is that you are the maid/matron-of-honor (MOH), your daughter is a month shy of turning 18, other young people between the ages of 18-21 are attending, those young people are all males, and your daughter is disliked for being too shy and quiet.”

“Yeah, I do think you have reason to feel insulted and excluded. I don’t know if there’s sexism involved, but it feels like it.”

“I don’t know why your daughter is quiet around her own family, and maybe there’s a critical back story that you aren’t including.”

“I also don’t know why your sister would alienate her own MOH rather than make it easier for her attend and enjoy the day.”

“But I’m still going with NTA. You definitely have the right to refuse to attend the wedding.” ~ DaxxyDreams

“Maybe OP’s daughter is ‘quiet’ because the boys are rambunctious and annoying. Maybe she isn’t extremely quiet, but just quiet in comparison to the boys.”

“Maybe the family, in general, is a bit loud and doesn’t understand someone who is more of an introvert.”

“These are all just possibilities, but I’m thinking that if a family doesn’t like her for being quiet, maybe it’s not that she’s quiet, but more that she’s just normal and not a loud extrovert. And that makes a family of extroverts uncomfortable.” ~ regus0307

“Extroverts just love to act like introverts have something wrong with them. ‘Why are you so quiet? What’s wrong?’ Nothing is wrong. I just don’t have anything to say. Also NTA, OP.” ~ konimahoney

“NTA. I’m childfree and all for childfree weddings, but setting a ‘no under 18s’ rule when there is exactly one relative about to turn 18 sounds deliberate. Your sister can set any rule she likes, but your family is free to not attend.” ~ irate_anatid

“Yeah, the fact she is hardly a ‘child’ and the only one not invited screams NTA.”

“I feel this would be a relationship breaker between OP and her sister. I hope the bride changes her mind.” ~ BaronOfCray

“I feel like normally it would be a ‘their wedding, their rules’ situation, and I’d say grow up and get over it, BUT this is not that situation. Your grown (pretty much) child is literally the only one being excluded.”

“I can’t even imagine what is probably going through that 17-year-old girl’s head right now. She’s probably wondering why her family doesn’t like her.”

“You should definitely talk to her and make sure she knows that some people are just ridiculous about their stupid wedding and that she didn’t do anything wrong. Make sure she knows this is not her fault somehow. NTA.” ~ __Grim_The_Reaper__

“NTA. She can make her invitation decisions and she can also deal with the consequences of those decisions—like her MOH withdrawing because the bride intentionally excluded their daughter.”

“Your daughter is watching. Don’t be the second female family member to let her down.”

“Your sister is the one creating the situation. She can have the downside consequence and awkward conversations with family.”

“If your family asks, just say, ‘Bride did not want my daughter to attend. I do not want to take part in an event that hurts and excludes my daughter. It is what it is, and I’m sure the bride will have the lovely day she’s planned for.” ~ SlinkyMalinky20

“NTA. Personally, I’d be a petty b*tch.”

“I’d very publicly—where the entire family can read or hear—RSVP with, ‘Thanks for the invite, but we’ll wait for your 4th wedding. My daughter will be old enough to attend your next one’.” ~ Reddit

“I was also the quiet kid in my family and some people also didn’t like me because of it. It even took my parents years to understand and accept my personality.”

“Thank you for stepping up for your daughter. NTA.” ~ chibisaurier

“Fellow quiet kid/now quiet adult here. The way we are judged is crazy.”

“The things people said about me when I was young still hurt to this day. Good on you for standing up for your daughter. NTA.” ~ Less_Volume_2508

“NTA. 17 going on 18 in ONE MONTH isn’t a child, and when your sister’s rule exclusively targets your family you are completely within your right to stay home. I don’t know if she’s being spiteful or just foolishly stubborn, but the result is the same.” ~ Open_Mortgage_4645

“NTA. I get the idea of child-free weddings—mine was one with the exception of a couple of newborns that couldn’t be separated from their parents yet. But honestly children 14 and up are really ‘teenagers’ in this context, they know how to behave generally.”

“But yeah, I wouldn’t go to a wedding if my 17-year-old child was the only one excluded with a ‘childfree’ rule. That’s not a childfree wedding, that’s purposefully excluding one person.”

“She can make whatever rules she wants for her wedding, but she needs to accept who will and won’t come because of it.” ~ Kittenn1412

“Sister getting married for the third time, you’re the maid of honor; sister doesn’t want to invite their niece/daughter of a maid of honor who is a month short of being 18 and will be the only ‘child’ not invited.”

“NTA, f*ck that, you wanna target my kid? Maybe we can resolve this on the 5th marriage.” ~ knowledge84

“NTA. Don’t go. Send back the RSVP as a decline. And don’t send a gift.”

“Don’t communicate about this further with her. She extended an invite and you declined said invite. Make other plans and say ‘sorry, we are busy’.” ~ Cerealkiller4321

“If somebody asserts their position is ‘her wedding her rules’, then the immediate response is it has to go both ways. If she has autonomy in setting the guidelines for her wedding, then invitees do not forfeit their autonomy and whether or not they want to attend.”

“She absolutely has the right to say, ‘If you attend my wedding, you have to break dance on the front steps of the church and dip your head in a bucket of honey’.”

“And the invitees have every right to say ‘No, I’ll pass, thank you for the invite’. NTA.” ~ Important_Return_110

An invitation is a question, not a summons.

So, any invitation can be answered with ‘no, thank you’ for any reason or no reason at all.

No one is obligated to attend—or be part of the wedding party—just because they were invited.

While the bride and groom can make whatever rules and set whatever boundaries they want for their wedding day, they can’t force people who don’t like their rules to attend.

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.