A lot of thoughtful planning and decision-making goes into the creation of the perfect wedding day, and eventually, all that planning can lead to decision fatigue.
This is especially true if there is a family feud along the way, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Live_Appointment4219 was looking forward to his daughter’s wedding and specifically his role in walking her down the aisle.
But when she refused to let him do so, because she wanted to be independent, the Original Poster (OP) decided the most independent thing would be for her to fund her own wedding.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to pay for my daughter’s wedding because she won’t let me walk her down the aisle?”
The OP was having a disagreement with his daughter about her wedding.
“I’m a 48-year-old man and my 19-year-old daughter has always been an independent thinker. I raised her to be independent and think for herself, which I’ve always appreciated.”
“However, we recently hit a bit of a snag.”
“She got engaged and decided that she doesn’t want me to walk her down the aisle at her wedding.”
“She argues that her mother and I don’t ‘own’ her, therefore we have no right to ‘give her away.'”
The OP was hurt by his daughter’s decision.
“I feel hurt by this because we never treated her like an object or piece of property, rather we’ve tried our best to provide her with a wonderful life.”
“Her stance seems extreme to me, and despite discussions, she’s refusing to budge on the issue.”
“I respect her choices, but I feel she’s disregarding our feelings completely.”
The OP made a major decision.
“As a response, I told her that if she feels that way, then I won’t be paying for her wedding.”
“I don’t want to come across as controlling or manipulative. It’s true, I don’t ‘own’ her, and I also don’t owe her a fully-funded wedding.”
“She can pay for her own wedding if she’s insistent on this stance.”
“But I’m feeling quite conflicted about this.”
The OP later added more details to the original post.
“So, this isn’t about making the wedding about me. Walking her down the aisle (while all eyes are on her anyway) and then sitting down is hardly making the wedding about me.”
“It’s about her attitude. She’s had every opportunity in life so far, and to exclude us from this day is a spit in the face.”
“It’s a rejection of everything we’ve done for her, sacrificed for her, given her. It’s selfish.”
“90% of wedding traditions and symbolism had roots in things we don’t acknowledge today. Should we stop all of them? The rings, the flowers, the dress, the wedding party, the cake, the flower girls… a father walking his daughter down the aisle has been about respect, pride, love, and honoring the father/daughter relationship for far longer than it was about ownership.”
“Independent thinking does not mean rude or selfish thinking. Being an independent thinker does not give someone the license to disregard or disrespect the thoughts, feelings, or perspectives of others.”
“Independent thinking is about maintaining the ability to think critically and form one’s own opinions while remaining respectful and considerate of others. It is a balance between asserting individuality and engaging in meaningful and respectful interactions with others.”
The OP was also sure they’d get past this.
“Also, please note that our relationship is not so weak that this disagreement will ‘ruin our relationship.'”
“We are still close with each other in spite of this. There is zero chance of her not inviting us to her wedding (regardless of who pays for it) or cutting off contact and withholding grandchildren.”
“I feel sorry for anyone who suggests that as a possibility. Likewise, there is zero chance of us refusing to go to the wedding or cutting her out of the will.”
“In life, people disagree, even strongly. It’s a natural part of life. We don’t end life-long relationships over it.”
The OP was left to wonder,
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 questioned the OP’s motives surrounding his daughter’s wedding.
“I didn’t want my dad to walk me down the aisle for the same reasons as OP’s daughter. It’s just a gross custom to me and has nothing to do with my childhood or my relationship with my father.”
“But he pitched a fit and threatened to pull his money, and I was 22, so I gave in. And just felt gross the whole time we were walking in. (Divorced now and will not be making the same mistake in the future.)”
“So I’m also going with YTA. Primarily for making this into a personal issue instead of actually listening to what your daughter is saying. It’s not about you acting like you own her or having done anything wrong. It’s about the fact that the entire tradition is because women were treated as property, and she doesn’t want to perpetuate that.”
“And just to be clear, I should not have gotten married at 22, and I don’t think OP’s daughter should get married at 19. But it’s one of those situations where you have to let people make their own mistakes because you’re not going to convince her that she shouldn’t do it.” – ka-ka-ka-katie1123
“YTA. Why were you paying for her wedding? Because you love her and want her to be happy, or because you wanted to control the wedding?” – MC1R-OCA2
“YTA. I decided not to have my dad walk me down the aisle either. Slightly different from your daughter due to having lived on my own for a few years by then, but I understand her thinking. It’s not about ‘ownership.’ The tradition boils down to being handed over from one man to the other.”
“Obviously, people will wrap it up in whatever loving tradition blah blah blah but that’s literally what is happening in that tradition. Is she completely cutting you out? Will there be a father/daughter dance? Will you be included in the pictures?”
“Unless she’s not doing anything with you, you are being controlling by threatening finances. Do you really want to force your daughter to take part in something she doesn’t want on a day that is supposed to be a celebration about two individuals committing themselves to each other?” – RainbowUnikitty666
“YTA. And I quote: ‘It wasn’t until 1974, when the Equal Credit Opportunity Act passed, that women in the U.S. were granted the right to open a bank account on their own. Technically, women won the right to open a bank account in the 1960s, but many banks still refused to let women do so without a signature from their husbands.'”
“This is why your daughter doesn’t want to be ‘given away.’ Women were quite literally seen as the responsibilities of the fathers until they were their husbands. It was actually legal to deny women credit and bank accounts until 1974 without a husband.”
“Also, it’s HER wedding, and your feelings about the ceremony don’t matter. Hers do. Have you even tried to compromise on participating in some other way that shows the bond of your relationship?”
“For someone who doesn’t want to make her feel like you’re controlling her or she’s your property, you’re doing a s**t job by not respecting any of her beliefs or wishes.” – alilminizen
“Hey, OP. My father was in your position. I was uncomfortable with being ‘given away.’ Know what he did? Accepted it and did something else meaningful at my wedding (gave a great speech and we had a dance).”
“He didn’t renege on his offer to pay. Had he done so, we would have simply had a cheap wedding without parents in attendance.”
“Oh, and for the record, by the time my second wedding rolled around some years later, I was happy for my dad to walk me down the aisle, and he did.” – Sweeper1985
But others understood the OP feeling hurt or placing conditions on his finances.
“NTA. I think your stance is perfectly fair here. Sure, this tradition originated from ‘giving the bride away,’ but nowadays it has nothing to do with that; it’s a way for parents to be involved in the ceremony and be there for their child.”
“If she doesn’t want you to walk her down the aisle because she’s an independent adult, then she can also pay for her own wedding like an independent adult.” – Far_Quantity_6133
“Honestly, he can still walk her down the aisle without being asked, ‘Who gives the woman to be married?’ He can just walk, kiss her cheek, and sit down.”
“OP, NTA. Your daughter needs to learn that she can’t have her cake and eat it too.”
“Also, should add. My dad refused to pay for my wedding because I was so young. Offered my $10,000 not to get married and wait until we graduated college. He was dying of cancer when I told him, at 38, I was going to get divorced. He had his last lucid moment.”
“He looked at me and said, ‘That’s sad, hate to hear that from anyone. But you are too late to get the $10,000,’ with a big grin. Man, I miss that man.” – wino12312
“He is NTA for placing conditions on his financing of what is, essentially, a party for two adults. But he is at least an a**hole adjacent for not seeking compromise.”
“It seems as though the daughter’s objection is based upon the patriarchal and misogynistic implications of the tradition of a father walking his daughter to the altar.”
“If this is the case, there is an obvious and quite simple compromise. Have all the parents accompany their children to the altar or officiant or whatever. That would remove the sexist undertones and ought to make everyone happy.” – inplayruin
“NTA. But you don’t necessarily have to ‘give her away’ to walk her down the aisle. You know that, right?”
“With older Brides, or Brides that are escorted by Men Who are not their fathers, the gentleman just walks the bride down the aisle. When they get to the altar, he sits down on the first row (in this case next to her mother). And the minister doesn’t ask who gives this woman; the escort just sits down.”
“I think this is the most realistic thing to do, and that would honor both of you.” – Bebe_Bleau
“NTA, OP. As she stated, you do not own her. Independence comes with a price, and that price is to be able to pay your bills and your expenses.”
“My niece recently told her parents that as a new grad, she was a grown woman, capable of making her own decisions and living her life like she wanted, she informed her parents they had no say in her life anymore… because we all know that 22-year-old new college grads know EVERYTHING!”
“Okay, cool. She had to get her cell, utilities, and car insurance all transferred to her name. She was removed from the Amazon and Whole Foods Account and the joint debit with her Mom. I sent her a prepaid $300 prepaid debit and told her it was break in case of emergency, ie her car broke down on the side of the road at 3:00 AM emergency.” – stinstin555
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update from him and his daughter.
“For all the YTA people out there, I’ve decided to give my daughter a gift in the same amount as her older sister’s wedding cost. She can use this for whatever she wants.”
“For the NTA people out there, thanks, most of you get it. My daughter has also agreed to figure out a way to include us in a way that doesn’t involve ‘giving her away.’ We are still in the early wedding planning stages, and she is almost 20. So she will likely be 21 before the actual marriage. Thanks for the concern, I guess. I approve of the groom-to-be if that matters to anyone.”
“We disagree, but that doesn’t mean it’s a relationship-ending event. My daughter is laughing hilariously at all of you that are saying she will disinvite us from the wedding or cut us off from grandkids. I just feel sorry for you all. THAT is petty and manipulative, and regardless of what you all say, I’ve raised her better than that.”
While the subReddit could understand the OP wanting to be involved in his daughter’s wedding, they weren’t sure that demanding his daughter preserve a tradition she wasn’t comfortable with was the way to go.
Perhaps there was some other way that the daughter could include the OP.
But expecting her to change her plans, and to dangle her wedding fund over her head, was not a good look for the OP.