Weddings are known for being full of endless joy.
Even if that joy always comes in tandem with a significant amount of stress and anxiety.
And that anxiety is often owing to money.
Sometimes from the cost of the wedding, or in the case of Redditor destinyweddingthrow‘s family, the expense of merely getting there.
But concerned he might have been rather too unsympathetic towards his family, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), asking fellow Redditors:
“AITA For not contributing to my family’s expenses related to my wedding?”
The OP first filled fellow Redditors in on his and his fiancée’s wedding plans and the joy and challenges they posed.
“My fiancée (26 F[emale]) and I (28 M[ale]) are getting married at a destination wedding next summer.”
“The destination is special to my fiancée as she vacationed there with her family a couple times when she was younger and it holds sentimental value to her.”
“I was open to the idea since I am pretty indifferent when it comes to wedding planning and this seemed like an easy way to check a lot of boxes at once, plus the added bonus of my fiancée getting a wedding she dreamed about.”
“Of course, the downfall of a destination wedding is that people might not be able to attend.”
“We expected this and had a lot of conversations about making sure we don’t take anything personally if people can’t attend and were very clear to the people we asked to be in our wedding party about the cost and expectations.”
“There were a couple friends I asked to be groomsmen that had to decline due to them having young kids and I totally get that and respect it.”
“I’m not an idiot, my wedding is not more important than your kids to you.”
However, the OP revealed his family had different expectations as to how this situation would be handled.
“This hasn’t been as much of a problem with my fiancée’s side as her family comes from money and destination weddings are kind of the norm for them.”
“In the time we’ve dated I think 4-5 of her cousins have had destination weddings, but we only attended one of them and there was no fuss on anyone’s part about the ones we didn’t go to.”
“My family however, does not come from money.”
“When I told my parents and siblings about our wedding plans, they all kind of freaked out about not being able to afford it.”
“I get it, my siblings have kids and expenses too.”
“I told them I understand if it’s not something they are able to afford and I while I would love for them to be there, I won’t hold it against them if they can’t make it work.”
“My parents have guilted me over it a little bit, but have assured me they will be attending.”
“However, they told me that we should all pool some money together (and by ‘all’ they mean mostly me) to make sure all my siblings and their families can attend.”
“I told them there is pretty much no way I can do that.”
“My 2 sisters got wind of this idea (probably from my mom) and they said that the only way they can attend is if I help pay for at least half of their trips for their whole families, kids included.”
“I kind of laughed at that and told them there is no way I will do that.”
“They said that since I am the one who decided to have a destination wedding that it is my responsibility to make sure my family can all attend.”
“I told them that I love them and would love to have them at my wedding, but I am not funding vacations for their entire family.”
“I said the only way I would even consider it would be if it was just them and their spouses, no kids. They said that excluding their kids was not acceptable.”
“They told me that I have turned into a stuck-up a**hole since I got engaged and I am rubbing my fiancée’s money in their faces.”
“They accused me of having a destination wedding on purpose to rub it in their faces that they can’t afford something it.”
“It was suggested to me that I add a comment I made to this post.”
“‘It hurts them to watch you choose money over their participation in your life; it hurts them to be excluded from the wedding of their close loved one.'”
“Meh, they don’t really show much interest in my life anyway.”
“Sh*t, when my sisters face-timed me to complain, it was the first time either of them had taken the time to call me in almost 18-months.”
“I am 10-years younger than my older sister and 8-years younger than the other.”
“I have been an afterthought in their lives ever since they started having kids.”
“I don’t hold it against them, I get it.”
“Their families are the most important things in their lives.”
“I make sure to send cards for each of their kids on every birthday, gifts for every kid at Xmas.”
“I don’t even get a text from them on my birthday.”
“Maybe you’re right.”
“Maybe I’m kidding myself into thinking I actually want them there and this is just my subconscious reminding me that they DGAF about me unless they think they can get something out of it.”
“But for them to act like they actually care about my important life events kind of makes me laugh now that I think about it.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they felt the OP fell in this particular situation.
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors were somewhat divided on the OP’s behavior regarding his family and the wedding.
Some took the OP’s side, saying he was doing the right thing by giving his fiancée the dream wedding she always wanted, particularly as he doesn’t seem to be very close to his family.
“A wedding is about the couple getting married, not the people attending.”
“If OP truly doesn’t care about how/where they get married, and is fine with letting fiancée have her dream wedding, then who cares what anybody else thinks?”
“OP, don’t start your married life by catering to people who use but family to try to get more from you than you’re willing to give.”
“You and your fiancée are beginning your own little family unit now, and your loyalty needs to be to one another.”
“You offered a reasonable compromise that was very generous.”
“Yes, it might be disappointing to ‘miss out,’ but they’re adults.”
“They’ll get over it.”
“Your family can still attend virtually, and it would be super easy to set it up.”
“They could come up with all kinds of creative ways to be involved if this was truly about wanting to be there for you.”
“A video montage. Pre-recorded ‘toasts.’ A blessing from Gramps/Grams if you’re into that.”
“Chipping in for the honeymoon suite to be decked out with fiancée’s favorite flowers and OPs favorite wine/treats/whatever, or vice versa.”
“Family looks for ways to contribute to a couple’s happiness.”
“It’s your wedding, do what you want, and if people are more upset about how you get married than they are happy for you that you are getting married, I wouldn’t waste my time and energy worrying about them.” – ScarletPimprnel
“You would be the ah if you expected people to come.”
“I think a lot of people forget the point of a destination wedding is it can be a great wedding but cuts out a lot of drama/ cost.”
“When you have one it’s with the understanding a lot of people can’t come.”
“Your siblings aren’t really involved in your life.”
“I guess a way of looking at this is if they really really wanted to they could find a way.”- Boring_Match40
Others felt the OP should have taken into account his family wouldn’t be able to afford the trip when he and his fiancée started planning.
“I’m torn between E S H and N A H.”
“You’re allowed to have the wedding you want.”
“Your family shouldn’t demand you fund their travels.”
“But you can’t pretend you didn’t know they wouldn’t be able to come.”
“It’s okay that you don’t mind, but they might mind not being able to attend your wedding.”
“It would be a very nice gesture to later have a reception locally that family and friends who couldn’t travel could attend.”
“You don’t have to. You’re not the a**hole if you don’t. But it would be nice.”
“ Given the update, I’d say NTA.”
“But if you DO have a good relationship with your parents and want them to be there, it would be very kind of you to help them out in some way, if you can comfortably do so.” – dealbreakerstalkshow
“It sounds like you have carefully crafted expectations where you are understanding if people don’t or can’t come.”
“But you didn’t anticipate there would be people who wanted to come and feel unable to do so.”
“While you have made peace with proceeding without them in attendance, they feel hurt because, although invited, they are unable to attend.”
“If you truly feel that contributing to the pot makes you a defacto vacation underwriter, then offer to do a smaller gathering more local to them.”
“Essentially, they are family and want to show up for you.”
“If you dismiss their attempts as unnecessary and aren’t bothered by their absence, then it is what it is, and they’re likely expressing the underlying hurt behind that fact.”
“Imagine your wedding day surrounded by your fiancée’s family and all the photography and memories on that day will reflect those people in attendance.”
“It does set up an expectation of pay to play that will leave your family out.”
“Distance in expenses and budgets can cast long shadows in not only participation but expectation of events and social connections.”
“Money has an odd seductive power that can command all kinds of things.”
“Is that what you want driving the bus or would you prefer other values to be acknowledged and included in your decision making?”
“Ask yourself if you are comfortable establishing a pattern of hosting events where her family is comfortable but your family is unable to come.”- purpleit11
“Yeah, sure, it’s your wedding.”
“No, you don’t need to pay for anyone to attend.”
“But saying you’d love for them to come is deeply disingenuous when you’ve set this up (or allowed it to be set up, rather) in a way you know only really works for your fiancee and her family – and while I’m not recommending you throw her under the bus, I think you need to stop treating your family like idiots and just acknowledge you don’t actually care whether they’re there or not.” -mm172
One can only hope the OP can come to a resolution with his family where there is no love lost.
And whatever the outcome, here’s hoping his wedding day is a happy one.