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Mom-Of-Four Stunned To Learn Sister’s Destination Wedding Is Childfree Days Before Ceremony

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When we receive an invitation for a wedding or another major event, we would hopefully be feeling excited for the days ahead.

But when the event planners change the arrangements out from under us, it can make the whole experience of the event a lot less fun, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Apprehensive_Week205 was shocked when her sister not only made her destination wedding childfree at the last minute, but when she was angry about her 19-year-old still attending.

When her sister demanded an apology, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she handled the situation poorly.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for taking my oldest child to my sister’s childfree wedding?”

The OP and her family were excited to go to her sister’s wedding.

“I have 4 kids (11, 14, 16, and 19). A while ago, we all received an invitation to my sister’s wedding.”

“That’s me, my husband, and all 4 of my kids. Her wedding was in a different country but it was at a good time so we could all go. We booked everything and were all ready to go.”

But when they arrived at the destination, plans had changed. 

“We got there a bit of time before the wedding. Quite literally a few days before the wedding, I was informed it was going to be a child-free wedding.”

“Look, I have no issue with childfree weddings. But, I was a bit frustrated. I mean, if I had known it was going to be childfree, then arrangements could’ve been made so that we all didn’t have to travel.”

“We were all invited, so I was just annoyed that things were switched up. But, I can also understand that weddings can be stressful and sometimes things are going to change.”

“I spent quite a bit of time trying to find a place for my three youngest to stay during the wedding, but I sorted it all out eventually.”

The day of the wedding, it was just the OP, her husband, and their oldest child.

“Okay, it was wedding day, no more changes had been made, everything was good. We were on our way when I got a message that my sister was excited to see ‘you two’.”

“I was a bit confused, because, of course, three of us were going. I just decided it was probably an error and didn’t worry.”

“We got there, and my sister seemed very surprised to see my oldest. And not a nice ‘surprised’ either, a pretty condescending ‘surprised’.”

“But, again, it’s her wedding day, she’s probably nervous, I’ll let it go.”

“During the wedding, I couldn’t help but feel she was ignoring us… I don’t know, if none of this ever happened I wouldn’t even care because, again, it’s her wedding and she doesn’t have to pay equal attention to everyone. But with everything else, it just felt weird.”

Apparently, the OP’s arrangements weren’t enough for the bride.

“After the wedding, she sent me a message that it was nice to see me there, but she would’ve appreciated if I had respected the ‘child-free part’.”

“I replied saying I was so happy for her and enjoyed every second of the wedding, and I thought I had respected it but if there was a miscommunication I was very sorry.”

“She told me that there was no miscommunication, that I had disrespected her and I should apologize.”

“I basically reiterated what I had already said, and didn’t apologize.”


“For those wondering about the invitation/RSVP: The invitation said ‘<bride and groom name> would like to invite <all 6 of our names>’ and we were all asked to RSVP by email (which I did), I had also seen my sister between this and the wedding and it was clear she knew we were all planning to attend.”

“And yes, this is about my 19 year old – I used the definition of ‘child’ as son or daughter, not as under-18.”

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 said the sister was wrong to use that all-inclusive wedding invitation.

“OP still found childcare on the spot and I believe she would have done the same if she knew beforehand.”

“And it’s very weird of the sister to write out the names of all the children on the invite and then to claim it’s childfree days before the wedding.”

“With the information given, OP did okay and her sister’s behavior is super weird.” – sveji

“I’m wondering if the sister had the intention of the wedding being childfree the entire time but knew OP might not go if that was the case. So she lured them all and then changed it last minute.”

“NTA. OP do not apologize – your 19-year-old is a legal adult.” – _Winterlong_


“So the wedding wasn’t initially child-free, and they just decided that it was a couple of days before the wedding AFTER you’d traveled with all of your kids when she’d initially invited everyone? That’s messed up.”

“Your sister needed to communicate that it was child-free well in advance if that’s what she wanted, that’s not the kind of thing you spring on your guests last minute.”

“Also, a 19-year-old isn’t a child. So you didn’t take a child to a childfree wedding.”

“Honestly, I don’t know what your sister was thinking. This whole affair sounds like a mess.” – cillianellis

“Even if she had not explicitly invited the children the sister would be the a**hole, unless she clearly communicates on the invite that it’s a child-free wedding. Had she not explicitly invited the kids and announced that it was a childfree wedding literal days before departure that would have still made her an asshole.”

“She is disrespecting every person who logically was going to assume their children were invited and thus had bought tickets and what not for this destination wedding.” – Thuis001

“OP ask for a refund on your kids tickets and hotel. Tell her that you will apologize after she has refunded all the money you wasted because she had a change of plans just days before the wedding.”

“If I was in your place, I would have had taken all my kids and made sure that they sit with their aunt for the whole day.” – kris9a

“It doesn’t even sound like a miscommunication, OP says they were explicitly invited on the invitation, so it’s not like a conversation was had and there was confusion as to who was invited.”

“It sounds like sister just changed her mind and either did it a couple of days before the wedding or didn’t bother to tell OP until after they had all already shown up in a different country entirely. Sister sounds awful, to be honest.” – locke0479

“Since the invitation was sent to the entire family, that means they were all invited. The disrespect was from the bride, not OP.”

“I suspect there were some cost overruns and the guest list needed to be pared down. If that’s not the case, the bride needs to be asked why she invited all 4 kids if it was a child-free wedding.” – mswoodlander

Others agreed and assumed the sister messed up during the wedding planning. 

“I’m guessing she expected more people to RSVP No and decided the easiest way to cut that guest list down was to just make it childfree with no warning.” – NoNeinNyet222

“I think something went ‘wrong’ (got badly planned?) and recalculated on the fly.”

“I mean, OP comments that the original wedding invite was ADDRESSED to all six of them – which means that they RSVP’d for six … this is not ‘new news’. And to then turn around and say ‘child free’ and flip about a 19-year-old?”

“Nope, something happened, Sis is freaking out and covering her stress by attacking other people. Human, but deeply s**tty.”

“OP is VERY NTA, and sis needs some help.” – Sasha-Dice

“I think she expected the 19yo to be babysitting the others since she expected you to leave them for the day in a foreign country at short notice! NTA your legally adult child had every right to the at a wedding they were invited to!” – sexesam

“This is the part that makes OP’s sister TA. She invited the entire family to a destination wedding, then declared it child-free once everyone has arrived?”

“If I were OP, I would be absolutely livid. If arrangements could have been made beforehand, the flights and lodging would have been considerably less expensive.” – commandantskip

“No way this is the bride’s honest mistake; this is too big a change to be mere miscommunication. My guess is bride overinvited and the venue wouldn’t budge on numbers so she had a last minute panic.” – kifflington

“I don’t think it was a miscommunication. I think it was a last-minute change. Maybe they needed to cut the guest list due to more RSVPs than they expected, and kids were an easy way to do so?”

“The bride is an a**. She had you all come out to another country and disinvited the underaged three at the last minute. And then she got mad that your eldest is no longer a child. Was she so strapped for cash that she resented having to put out a plate for him?”

“Sounds like she couldn’t pay for her wedding and was taking it out on other people. What an asshole, when she had people take international flights to get there.” – AQualityKoalaTeacher

A few pointed out the 19-year-old shouldn’t even count as a child anymore. 

“Like I’m failing to see how a 19-year-old isn’t LEGALLY an A-D-U-L-T!! Like, has the sister lost her mind? Does she need help to clarify what an actual adult is?”

“NTA OP! DO NOT APOLOGIZE!!” – CoffeeBean118

“I had my own child at 19 (and a job, and in college) but lived with my parents. I wonder where I would fall in this dumb logic.” – slanid

“I was 18 and couldn’t go to my cousin’s childfree/adult-only wedding… They said only 21+.”

“I mean, I wasn’t upset, I didn’t want to go anyway and it meant I got a weekend alone without my parents, but I thought it was stupid (I haven’t seen this cousin since before her wedding and she now has 2 kids).”

“19 is definitely not a child. NTA.” – dogmombites

“They decided to make it childfree after OP and her family had paid to travel to their wedding. This was not only rude, I would have asked for travel reimbursement for the 3 kids along with babysitting costs.”

“OP didn’t need to bring them all and the invitation was very clear they were all invited. The sister is TA, especially since 19 is an adult. NTA” – babcock23

The subReddit was just as confused about what happened with the OP’s sister’s wedding planning as the OP was, and they didn’t see any issue with bringing a 19-year-old, who might not be able to legally drink yet, but who would otherwise be considered legally an adult.

Whatever happened at that wedding, it would probably stay between the bride and the groom.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit