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Groom Balks After Brother Insists He Tell Nephew Why He Can’t Be Ring Bearer Despite Promise

A young boy at a wedding holds a ring in a box behind his back
Cavan Images/Getty Images

Child-free weddings seem to be more and more in fashion these days.

Now couples are allowed to invite and not invite anyone they want to their wedding.

But once you get older and loved ones start having families, the ‘no-kids’ rule can start to be an issue.

Case in point…

Redditor SuddenLight718 wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for insisting my brother explain to his nephew why he can’t attend his child-free wedding?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My (31 M[ale]) son is five years old.”

“About a year ago, my brother (34 M) reassured my son that he could be the ring bearer at his wedding.”

‘This conversation occurred after he heard us talking about mine and his dad’s wedding and was very offended he wasn’t invited despite the fact that he wouldn’t be conceived for another three years after the event.”

“My son really latched onto this comment.”

“Now, all these months later, my brother has proposed and is planning a wedding with his fiancée.”

“When I told my son that his uncle was getting married, he was obviously overjoyed and immediately launched into bragging to his younger brother (who wasn’t born when the initial conversation took place and was just giving him typical baby babbles in return) that he got the be the ‘ring bear.'”

“I heard the proposal news from my mom, and when I called to congratulate my brother, I also told him the story of how excited our oldest is.”

“My brother went on to tell me that his fiancée is pretty adamant about a child-free wedding, so the promise he made might not be doable anymore.”

“This was obviously hard for me to hear.”

“Not only would this break my son’s heart, but this would also make mine and my husband’s lives considerably harder.”

“We’re currently living abroad and didn’t think we would have to find childcare for the time of the wedding.”

“Our only options now would be…”

“Fly with our children and leave them in the care of people we don’t fully trust since all trusted family members will be attending the ceremony.”

“Leave both children with a trusted friend near our home and fly to the wedding.”

“Which is not ideal since, thanks to flexible work schedules, we were planning to spend a month with our families following the wedding.”

“Flying in for the celebration, flying home to pick up our children, and then flying back is too exhausting.”

“Them flying alone obviously isn’t an option.”

“Not attend.”

“My brother said he would try to get his fiancée to reconsider, but we spoke two nights ago, and he said she’s putting her foot down.”

“Admittedly, I was hurt over this on my son’s behalf.”

“I told him we would still try to make it, but it was unlikely that we could.”

“I also told him that if he even wanted us to consider coming, he would have to tell his nephew himself that he was going back on his promise and why.”

“My brother said it felt like I was issuing him an ultimatum and making him choose between family and his wife on what’s supposed to be the happiest day of his life and that I was being unfair.”

“I said he shouldn’t have made promises he couldn’t keep.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

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

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA, I think you summed it up beautifully.”

“Your brother made a promise that got the child all hyped up.”

“And now he wants someone else to deal with the emotional fallout when he reneges, because it would be inconvenient for him to deal with it himself?”

“That’s an a**hole move right there.” ~ ipofex

“Yeah, I honestly thought this was going to be OP being the AH because it’s up to parents to explain stuff like this… unless you’ve made a promise to a child that they’re really excited about.”

“I imagine the brother completely forgot about the promise, but now that he’s been reminded, he kinda has to explain and apologize.”

“Kids latch onto things, and it can be annoying, but in this case, he needs to explain so that the kid doesn’t latch onto hating his uncle.”  ~ haleorshine

“While I understand that people have the right to have their wedding child-free, I personally couldn’t imagine having my wedding without my nieces and nephews there.”

“I wanted the whole family there.”

“I only allowed kids who are related to my husband or me attend.”

“Looking at my wedding album and seeing my nieces and nephews in the wedding pictures is so special.”

“Now I have a kid of my own; she gets to see her cousins in her parent’s pictures and seeing how young they used to look.”  ~ TimeToMakeWoofles

“I kind of see both sides because I’m not personally a fan of kids, and I wouldn’t be very happy if my wedding was interrupted by a kid screaming and running around the whole time.”

“I’d never blame the kid for stuff like that, but I also know I wouldn’t be able not to be frustrated by it.”

“But I also get why people would want their whole family there and why people like to have kids at weddings too.”

“To be honest, though, I don’t really think kids enjoy weddings all that much.”

“I went to quite a few when I was a kid, all for close family members.”

“And all I remember from them is being forced to wear a dress I didn’t want to wear, being bored out of my skull, and being forced to talk to random family members I didn’t remember but who insisted they knew me.”

“Most of the weddings I’ve gone to as an adult, the kids are either bored as hell or are running amok, crying during the ceremony, interrupting the first dance, etc.”

“Some people don’t mind stuff like that, but others do, and I’d never call anyone an AH for wanting a child-free wedding.”

“In this specific case though, I think what makes the brother the AH is that he promised this kid he could be in the wedding and now, a few months later, is walking back on that promise and doesn’t even want to tell the kid himself.”

“That’s a massive AH move.”  ~ TurbulentWeek897

“I had to reread the issue. It doesn’t sound like the brother wanted it to be child-free, it coming from the future wife demanding it as such (put HER foot down).”

“So OP is NTA, but I cannot call the brother an AH over this either.”

“His wife is raising a few red flags on this.”

‘Having to explain why he couldn’t keep a promise isn’t an ultimatum either.”

“I fear he might become one of those guys that sacrifice their own happiness for his wife’s – no matter the cost.”  ~ RageTiger

“A sibling’s wedding comes with heavy pressure to attend though- excluding kids, when your sibling has two very young kids, and you are going to pressure your sibling to attend, is not kind.”

“Either you let people decline gracefully, or, if their attendance matters that much to you, you make it possible for them to attend.”

“The brother could have even found a local babysitter and arranged to babysit near the venue if he wanted OP to attend so badly and also didn’t want his siblings present.”  ~ PNW_Parent

“His brother is an AH for assuming OP would come in from another country and leave the kids behind!”

“Or go through the struggle of flying two small children internationally and then leave them in a hotel with a stranger.”

“It’s commonly understood that destination weddings are difficult for families with children, and they may not be able to make it logistically.”

“If having family at your wedding is important, you don’t put giant obstacles in their way!”  ~ htownaway

“NTA. Your brother put you into a difficult position (kids 101 don’t promise them stuff cause they can forget it, but they can also remember you it forever, and it’s 50-50).”

“If I were you, I’d skip their wedding.”

“You and your husband can have a vows renewal ceremony instead, with two ‘ring bears,’ do something cute, and invite friends and family that are close.”

“Excuse yourself from your brother’s wedding, explaining the situation to your family.”  ~ tatasz

“NAH. You are not wrong for wanting him to explain it, and he is not wrong for the change in plans.”

“This is actually a great opportunity for your son to start learning that sometimes plans change and things don’t work out.”

“And that’s perfectly fine to be disappointed, but that unfortunately these things happen sometimes.”  ~ PreferenceHungry8181

“You don’t promise someone a part in your wedding and then back out after.”

“If this post was about the brother backing out after promising OP to be best man, would you say the same thing?”

“Is it just because it’s a kid, it’s different?”

“Regardless, if you have a child-free wedding then you have to accept people may not be able to attend.”

“While I’ve seen worse reactions on Reddit, OP’s brother did not accept it with grace.”

“He should have said, ‘I’m sorry, I hope you can come, but I understand if you can’t’ instead of complaining about an ultimatum. NTA.”  ~ Pancakes176

“NTA. If he really needs to have a 100% child-free wedding, he should be the one to shoulder the blame and explain to your son that he can’t attend.” ~ ADAMISDANK

OP, Reddit is with you.

That’s a lot of planning and traveling to put in order.

Hopefully, your soon-to-be Sister-In-Law will come around, so this situation doesn’t get out of hand.

Good luck.