It’s no secret that weddings are incredibly expensive and meant to be one-time events, so it stands to reason that the happy couple would hope for the event to be as close to perfect as possible.
But if the couple’s definition of “perfection” differs, it might cause problems on their special day, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor aitaweddingpics was looking forward to marrying his wife and had even hired a babysitter to help take care of his stepdaughter, so the happy couple could focus on each other that day.
But the babysitter didn’t prove to be as helpful as he hoped for, and all of the wedding photos ended up including a messy and tantruming toddler.
When the groom hoped to Photoshop a few of the wedding photos to celebrate just him and his bride, the Original Poster (OP) was shocked at how against it his new wife was.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for wanting to photoshop my stepdaughter out of our wedding photos?”
The OP had been excited to marry his wife along side his stepdaughter.
“I just married my wife. We’ve been together for almost two years. She has a daughter (almost two years old) from a previous relationship. Her biological dad isn’t in the picture.”
“The wedding was back in September. Her daughter was around 18 months old at that point. She was going to be our flower girl.”
“We had arranged for her regular babysitter to stay with her during the ceremony and take her home for the reception, but right when the wedding started, she had a meltdown and only wanted her mom.”
The wedding didn’t go how the couple planned at all.
“So my wife held her through the entire wedding ceremony. She got hungry and cranky during the ceremony, so my wife tried passing her off to the babysitter so she could have a snack.”
“She wasn’t having it, so my wife held her daughter while her daughter was eating a ziplock bag of dry cereal during our wedding ceremony.”
“She was also with my wife throughout the reception.”
“We just got the pictures back, and a lot of them have the baby eating cereal on my wife’s hip in them.”
The couple disagreed about what to do with the photos in their home.
“I told my wife I wanted to photoshop her out of some of the pictures and put the photoshopped ones up, and at least make it look like the wedding went the way we planned it.”
“My wife thinks the pictures with her daughter are cute and wants to hang those up. She doesn’t see why we would photoshop anybody out of our wedding pictures.”
“I told her I wanted the pictures to look a little more elegant and a baby eating cereal out of a ziplock bag isn’t exactly elegant.”
“She’s upset now because she thinks I’m trying to erase her daughter and is currently sleeping in her daughter’s room.”
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 immediately sided with the bride and thought the OP was being insensitive.
“YTA. Why are you trying to create fantasy photos of a wedding that didn’t happen the way imagined it might? What happened happened.”
“You married a woman with a young child, and that child ended up being right in the middle of things. Accept this with good humor and put up pix of the wedding you actually had. Things do not always go to plan.”
“The more you can learn to see the humor and roll with things and smile about them afterwards, the happier you will all be.” – PurpleVermont
“YTA. Photos of events are representative of said event; they don’t reflect our failed plans, but life as it was lived. Your stepdaughter was at your wedding. Your stepdaughter is part of your life.”
“I’m sure it wasn’t ideal, and I understand wanting a photo of just you and your wife. But I think the answer then would be to get a picture taken now if you both still have your wedding attire. It may not be on the actual wedding day but you can still have the “elegant” photo you want.”
“I think photoshopping the baby out of the picture sends a bad message. It might make your wife feel like you’re trying to erase her daughter from your life, even if that’s not what you intend.” – CrimsonKnight_004
“Why are you referring to the child as “her daughter”? You’ve been in her life pretty much since she was born, based on the timeline, and it seems like you are the only father figure. Is this not also your daughter? I agree with your wife that it seems like you are trying to erase her daughter.”
“There must be some photos without the baby in them. I assume you took the traditional wedding photos with various family members. Put them up and also include the ones with the baby that your wife clearly loves. Life is messy, especially when children are involved, and those photos capture that.” – Responsible_Wish1094
“NAH at the actual request, which I don’t see as unreasonable. I have a child myself and yes, I would absolutely Photoshop him out of a pic where, say, he was pulling a face while I was looking my best.”
“I am more concerned at you referring to your stepdaughter as ‘her daughter’ throughout your entire post. You’ve been in her life almost as long as she’s been alive.”
“Do you consider her your daughter? Is Photoshopping her out really because of the messy cereal or because you don’t truly view her as part of your family?” – 40Noob
But others understood why someone would want an elegant memento from their big day.
“I was ready to be angry with you from the title, but you’re not trying to remove your stepdaughter from your wedding altogether… you’re trying to get some pictures of you and your bride on your special day that don’t include a tantrumy toddler and her snacks. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
“He stated he wants SOME photos to be edited while others will still include the stepdaughter.” – wanderingstorm
“I was initially going to go hard YTA from the title, but this seems kind of reasonable.”
“It doesn’t sound like you want to erase your stepdaughter from the event, you just want some nice photos to remember your wedding. That’s understandable. Idk why everyone here is all up in arms about this, people get their wedding photos altered and it almost never receives any backlash.”
“I would explain to your wife that you can still keep the original photos, there’s no reason not to. It’s not like photoshopping a photo instantly removes the original from history.”
“Or, suggest a photo shoot of your wedding attire? Get some nice professional photos done that way.”
“NTA.” – Floor_Face_
“NTA. Wanting photos of just the bride and groom isn’t trying to create a fantasy. I’m sure not all the pictures include parents, attendants and others, so why can’t there be some of just the couple?” – Sufficient-Dinner-27
“NTA. The babysitter was hired to avoid EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. Everyone here just needs to stop acting like he’s trying to ‘erase the baby.’ Good grief, people. He’s not saying that at all.”
“I’m just imagining what this thread would look like if the gender roles were reversed. Everyone would be screaming that the guy couldn’t put his kid down so the bride could have her ‘perfect day.'”
“OP is mourning the loss of what was supposed to be a day about him and his new wife. And instead, it became all about her kid. I feel like he just wants to be seen. And the new wife’s inability to do that may not bode well.”
“Unfortunately what happened, happened. There’s no changing it. But it warrants a conversation with the new wife. Hopefully, one she can engage in without acting like he’s trying to ‘erase her daughter.'” – GlistenBlue87
Some empathized with the happy couple and hoped they could find a middle ground.
“NAH. Both sides have points that I can see and are valid.”
“He wants a photo of the two of them embarking on their life together. She sees the photo as being the two people that are most dear to her, erasing her daughter hurts her, as her daughter has as much value in her life as her husband.”
“The compromise was offered to remove the cereal to make the photos more elegant. OP found the compromise unacceptable. Now there is an impasse, but neither is exactly wrong in their feeling. One or the other may be wrong in how they are presenting their argument for their side, but both sides themselves have a degree of merit.”
“Usually, a wedding has a picture of the happy couple it’s part of the classic representation. He wants that. Logically, I can see this point.”
“But No parent wants their child deleted from a photo especially just to meet some imaginary classic standard. Emotionally I can understand this point, and also understand she may be worried how her daughter might feel at some point in the future when she finds she was edited from a picture of her mother and her step-father. It could be problematic.”
“All in all, neither is completely wrong in their desires. They are simply incompatible wants.” – False-Importance-741
“NAH. I’m a marriage celebrant and this is SUCH a common experience. I always suggest that when there are kids under four, you have someone who can take the kid out of the ceremony space if they get overwhelmed (which happens almost every time because their whole day has been completely out of routine) and they get so stressed out that no one has a good time.”
“Most people don’t believe me, or insist that they’ll be fine to hold their kid through the ceremony, so what inevitably happens is that the ceremony gets put on hold while they try to calm the child down. The kid isn’t having a good time and fusses, the couple spends their time being parents instead of focusing on each other and their vows and the guests feel tense.”
“So I completely understand where you are coming from with your feelings. The ceremony was meant to be about you and your wife and it suddenly became all about SD. And it’s not anyone’s fault, it’s just the reality of being a parent. But I can see why you’d want just a couple of nice photos of just you and your bride.”
“But I can also understand why your wife would feel touchy about your request, especially since SD is not your bio kid, so there could be that worry about you not valuing her.”
“As others have suggested, a make-up couples shoot might be a better way to go. And hey, why not wear get more use out of your wedding outfits?” – Unlikely_Prince8624
“My dude, as a fellow step-parent (though I met mine as a baby, officially got them as my kiddo in their tweens), you have to respect your wife’s wishes on this. If she likes the pictures you have, don’t mess with them; you’ll only hurt her, and later on down the road, your stepdaughter, by photoshopping the pictures from the actual day.”
“If I can give you some advice, and you can play this super suave with your wife while you’re at it, why not suggest some professional photos being taken when you have a babysitter arranged for your stepdaughter (at home or at another location) in your wedding attire?”
“Give your wife another chance to get dolled up and put her wedding dress on, you get fancied up too, and then take her out to dinner afterwards, and preserve the memory of your wedding day as it happened, and get some professional photos of the two of you do as well (and make another happy memory of it).”
“Regardless, congratulations, and I hope the three of you have a happy life as a family.”
“NAH.” – SheparDox
“What we do know is that they spent money on a wedding, and OP wants to see what some of the photos of this moment look like photoshopped, hoping for an elegant one he can hang.”
“There’s nothing here saying ‘photoshop her out of everything, hide the photo’s that include her’; those will likely make the wall and album along with all the other memories of the day; but it’s not unusual for couples to blow up a favorite wedding portrait and it’s not unreasonable for the groom to want one that focuses on their romance, not their responsibilities or the cute mishaps one can expect with young children running around.”
“A kid throwing up all over their Christmas outfit might be something you can expect to deal with as a parent, a good parent would take it in stride as the bride did, wouldn’t blame or shame the kid for being a kid – but you’d also expect that’s not the pic they want on the Christmas card.”
“Personally, I’d have found an alternate solution to holding her for the ceremony (but different strokes for different folks) and I think it’s quite charming and relaxed that they went along with it as they did.”
“NAH, congrats to both of you, but navigating these conversations may be a minefield OP. You need to be sensitive and reassuring to the insecurity your wife has revealed regarding her daughter and you.” – greatfullness
Others challenged that both of them could do better, especially being newly married.
“NAH or ESH, I can’t decide. You both make good points, you are both being stubborn and inconsiderate of the other person’s POV (point of view).”
“If I may suggest a possible de-escalation solution:”
“Our photos of the day were disappointing, with no good formal or elegant ones. We booked a studio shoot the following weekend with just the two of us. (The bouquet just survived). So we have two sets: informal of the day as it was, and formal portraits of the couple alone.” – notforcommendinohgoo
“You didn’t manage a single photo of just the two of you? If pictures are that important to you then I assume you did the usual wedding photo shoot with various combinations of friends and family? Did your wife refuse to hand the baby to someone else for the few seconds it would take to grab a picture of just the couple?”
“It sounds like you married a helicopter mum. Holding her baby throughout the ceremony? That’s very inconsiderate of you. The babysitter could have taken the fussy little one out of the room for just a few minutes. Asking to photoshop baby out of some of the pictures was a stupid move. Whatever made you think that would be okay? I facepalmed as soon as I read it.”
“I’m going ESH. The babysitter for not removing the fussy child, your wife for not being considerate of you on your wedding day, you for even asking something like that. You two need to apologize to each other and book a separate photo shoot.” – Entorien_Scriber
“The babysitter could have left the room when the child had a meltdown.”
“It is as it happened, the pictures are a representation of the day.”
“The photographer could have pushed it a little to take a few photos of only the two of you.”
“Someone could have stepped up and taken care of the child for a while.”
“It seems there are a lot of people who failed to make it a fine day for everyone.”
“Yes, I am married. Yes, our baby was there. Yes, my wife has ‘babysat’ during a wedding.”
“So I go with ESH.” – Gnoom75
“I’m going with ESH. Normally it would be a YTA because when you marry someone with kids, you’re marrying a package deal, and it’s never right to try and erase kids, but honestly, I don’t think asking for a couple of pictures of just you and your wife on your wedding day is an out-of-order ask.”
“Most people who have kids together and then get married will have pictures without the kids in them, and I don’t see why it should be any different for stepparents, and I think your wife is being a bit selfish of only thinking of what she wants.”
“Where you trip into the AH category is by trying to only put pictures of you and your wife up. I see no harm in a picture of you and your wife and also have a picture of you, your wife, and stepdaughter up together, and then everyone is happy.”
“But just as you should be able to have a picture YOU want on your wall, so should your wife, you are being equally selfish by wanting only your vision on display. Compromise is always the way forward.” – history_buff_9971
This situation had the subReddit evenly divided in all directions, with some valuing authenticity over elegance. The key to many was the fact that the OP didn’t want to edit his stepdaughter out of every photo, but only a few, so that the happy couple could have a few elegant photos to display in their home alongside the more authentic ones.
While there’s nothing wrong with being proud of “hashtag mom life” and “hashtag dad life,” there’s also nothing wrong with occasionally wanting some fancier things. As long as the OP wasn’t trying to completely remove his stepdaughter’s memory from his special day, which he didn’t seem to want to do, it seemed like the couple should be able to strike a balance somewhere.