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Woman Stunned When Parents Demand She Change Her Wedding Venue To Accommodate Disabled Brother

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Though weddings are meant to be happy occasions, wedding planning can bring out the worst in some people.

It could even bring up truths we never really wanted to know, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Zealousideal_Run_330 was shocked when she heard her parents’ reaction to her wedding plans.

They were completely resistant to her ideas, no matter how the Original Poster (OP) tried to accommodate them and her younger brother.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for asking my parents not to bring my brother to my wedding?”

The OP struggled in her relationship with her family growing up.

“I (26 [female]) am getting married this spring! He’s the love of my life and I’m honestly so happy.”

“The issue comes from the fact that I have a brother (20) who has several conditions and disabilities. I want to make it clear: I absolutely, positively, love my brother with all of my heart.”

“My problem, though, is that when we were growing up, everything was always about him, and I was the backburner kid because I was older and able-bodied.”

“My parents also wouldn’t let me participate in anything that he couldn’t be directly involved in, too, so that made it hard, especially because I loved things like camping and road trips that I remember us doing before he was born, but all of that came abruptly to an end.”

She wanted her wedding day to be about her, for once.

“When we look back on memorable events, such as my graduation photos, it’s always remarked on as, ‘Oh this is when brother was getting xx done,’ or ‘That was the year brother did xx.’

“I was also relied on a lot for care, and they’re so busy planning for his future (which is admittedly more expensive), that what was put away for me before he was born has been used up and they’ve never been able to plan for mine.”

“They weren’t bad parents or anything, but my brother just needed more everything.”

The OP created a great life for herself.

“Fortunately, I managed to get into a decent college on a scholarship, and that’s where I met my fiance!”

“He’s really into outdoorsy things, too, and we are in the process of planning and saving for our dream wedding with the help of his wonderful parents.”

“We plan on getting married at a national park about two hours away by car from my parents’ house and plan to have about 30 people at the wedding.”

The OP and her parents could not see eye-to-eye.

“My parents have told me that this won’t work. It’s too hard to take him that far, the wedding times we have planned are too long, the guest list is too much, and the environment and activities we have are not friendly for my brother.”

“My mother asked me to get married at a local courthouse down the street instead and to only invite my parents, his parents, and my brother (excluding my fiance’s siblings), and we can then have a “reception” back at their house, and I said no.”

“My dad counteroffered with a small, local place with a courtyard, but I said no.”

“I’ve dreamed about being married at the national park.”

The OP made the only other suggestion she could think of.

“After much back and forth, I just finally asked my parents how they’d feel about maybe my brother not going to the wedding, and we would cover half of the cost for making sure he has the care he needs for the event.”

The OP’s parents did not take this suggestion well.

“They were shocked and called me selfish.”

“I tried to explain that I just wanted this one day to be about me.”

“They just told me they were disappointed in who I’ve become, and thought I was more mature and understanding than that.”

“My fiance is on my side, and in-laws have offered to help us cover the cost of care for the wedding, but my parents said they can’t support me if I can’t support him.”

“A couple of family members reached out to care for him on the day of, but some others said they won’t be going to my wedding unless he comes, too, and that I have no heart.”

“AITA?”

The OP also added a few more details.

“I don’t know if this is important or not but I want to add that I, fiance, his family, and our friends do not live in the same state as my parents.”

“A lot of people have been asking. One of my brothers’ disabilities is nonverbal Autism, but he is wicked smart. He can read and type.”

“I’ve told him previously about the wedding, and he responded with some brother humor.”

“My parents often make decisions on his behalf and baby him a lot.”

“Looking more into this, I actually think he might be more embarrassed knowing that they made me change my entire wedding to be quick, small, and safe. I’m not sure how to bring that up to my parents at this point.”

“My parents have a very firm belief that any level of ‘accommodation’ that doesn’t make him completely able to enjoy the activity or whatever exactly how everyone else will, is only going to make him feel disabled, and therefore they want him to be there for the full celebration, as is.”

“I’d be more than happy to livestream my wedding or do something with just him, but these aren’t seen as okay.”

“Not to mention, we live in a different state, so I can’t just fly home a month later to have a second wedding.”

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 insisted the OP have the wedding she and the groom wanted.

“Have your dream wedding, lady. They’re preoccupied. They’re not going to change.”

“Might as well have the wedding that you want, even if you have the wedding they want, it’s going to be about them and your brother, not you and your future spouse.”byneothername

“NTA. You’ve tried to accommodate your brother’s needs and do a separate event with him. You’ve offered to financially cover the cost of a carer to give your parents a night off to celebrate YOU.”

“Your fiancé 100% has the right to have as much input to the wedding as you do, and for his own family to be present for his wedding.”

“Sounds like your brother would much rather attend a smaller event to celebrate with you, so it’s less stressful all around.”Responsible_Cloud_92

“Absolutely not an a**hole, you seem to already have sacrificed so much for your brother.”

“You deserve to have YOUR wedding day be all about YOU (and your partner) and not about your brother.”

“Stand firm in this, maybe offer to have a separate reception a different day with your brother and family?”chelsea_matthews

“They sound like great parents to him, but they also sound like they aren’t great parents when it comes to you.”

“And you said it perfectly, ‘They’ve gone above and beyond to care for him. I just wish that they’d take the time to notice me.'”

“This is your wedding and I hope it is absolutely amazing and that you have your dream wedding.”

“Your parents are acting pretty s**tty right now, and I hope they come to see your side of things.”livin_comfy

“Unfortunately OP, they are not going to change. They have already tried to make ~your and your Fiance’s wedding~ about your brother and his needs.”

“While you don’t think they suck, they actually do. You’ve been put on the back burner ever since your brother was born and they are trying to keep you there on YOUR WEDDING DAY.”

“Please stop and think about this for a minute. Your family expects you to put your brother and his needs first on the day you get MARRIED.”

“This is a day that should be about you and your Fiance. I get that you want your parents and family there, but unless you cave and give up your and your Fiance’s plans, they aren’t going to come.”

“Please put your husband-to-be and yourself first.”

“Stand your ground and don’t change your plans. You DESERVE to be first, especially on your wedding day.”fraggletart

Others agreed and didn’t understand the parents’ idea for the reception.

“It doesn’t make sense that your parents want you to have a smaller wedding that excludes people and then want that to be the only reception that you have. Maybe have two receptions and only invite your parents to the one your brother will be at.”Hungry_Pup

“Info: If you changed to everything they ask, what are the odds that your wedding day is forever known as ‘The Day Brother Went To The Courthouse’?”

“I’m seriously asking.”

“NTA”GoodNightGracie999

“They tried to exclude the groom’s siblings, so it’s her parents and brother and groom’s parents.”

“Basically they want to make it about them and brother, not OP and groom.”

“It’s like OP cannot have a single day about her. Her brother must be the most important.”jess1804

“They actually don’t sound like wonderful parents to me.”

“He has communicated his wants and needs and what HE considers to be reasonable accommodations for the day, and his parents have unilaterally decided that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about regarding his own needs.”

“They aren’t listening to him. They’re doing what THEY think is best for him, but they are not actually taking what HE thinks into account at all.”

“That is controlling, not wonderful.”cheeezncrackers

Some also took the time to point out the OP’s parents were not “good” parents.

“If your brother needs lots of time to become familiar with new faces, then it’s your parents’ responsibility to get him that time.”

“Regular visits with your fiancée until your brother is very comfortable, followed by regular visits with FMIL (future mother-in-law)… followed by regular visits with FFIL (future father-in-law)…”

“These people will be part of your brother’s family, and if your parents refuse to introduce your brother to them then your parents are denying your brother the chance to be part of your new family.”

“This can be made to work, but it will be hugely hard work!”

“As a question, what do your future in-laws feel about the situation with your brother?”first_i_of_infinity

“Photos and video calls exist. He could easily be shown various new in-laws or chat with them so he knows them by face/name.”

“I think your parents have done you and your brother a disservice. Have you asked your brother what HE would like to do?”

“‘Want to watch a live stream of the wedding with your favorite carer without mum and dad?’ ‘H**l yeah!’” – InkyPaws

“There is no reason, zero, nada, for them to have not met your in-laws. If nothing else, they could have met them one at a time, with the other parent taking care of him. Two lunches would have done it.”

“Make sure they have long-term care plans in place. Ones that do not involve you. Do they expect you to ‘take over’ when they’re old?”

“There are long waitlists for such places. They’d better get on them now. You are not going to do said care. You have done enough and you are done.”Helenium_autumnale

“Your parents need to understand that his limitations shouldn’t dictate everyone else’s lives too. Including theirs.”

“How lame is it they haven’t even met your in-laws because of your brother? That’s insane.”

“They need a separate life and backup plan for things without him.”coldbrewcream

After receiving many comments, the OP shared an update.

“I spoke again with my brother (I sent him the post, too).”

“He heard from my mom something about me not wanting him at the wedding, but he was horrified to hear the details and said he would be mortified if I went along with my parents’ plan.”

“He and I discussed some reasonable accommodations for the day (such as where we could go/ how we could get him out if he needed) and he brought that up to them.”

“My parents didn’t think that was appropriate that he might have to spend time alone/with one of them somewhere while everyone else had a good time, so it was shot down.”

“My brother ended up saying that he’d like to go, but my parents weren’t really budging, and he said I should just have my wedding, so long as I promise to show him the video.”

The OP also had a follow-up conversation with her dad.

“I spoke to my dad this morning, and he told me I shouldn’t have gotten my brother involved because he’s sensitive to stuff like that.”

“He seemed to feel like I made my brother compromise on a lot of things.”

“With all of your advice, I explained that I love my brother very much, and would love all three of them to be there, but that my life cannot always revolve around him, and that I’m tired of being unimportant to them.”

“His response is that because I don’t have disabilities, I should be able to understand and accommodate.”

“I told him that it’s beyond accommodation and it’s bordered neglect.”

The OP made a tough decision.

“I spent over an hour having a conversation about this, and the result of the whole thing has made the choice very clear that I would like to go no contact with him and my mother.”

“My mom tried to talk to me, but I haven’t answered. I took the day off work to just relax from the whole thing.”

“So yeah, unfortunate situation. Still talking to my brother. He’s giving me updates.”

“I don’t know who is going to walk me down the aisle, but I honestly don’t care at this point. Maybe one of my fiance’s and I’s friends or something could do it.”

“Thank you all for your kind words. I feel all of your love and luck for my wedding!”

Though the OP’s initial question sounded terrible, the subReddit sympathized with the OP’s situation.

She wanted one day where she could be the center of attention and to feel her dreams coming true, and the sub agreed, she’d waited long enough for that.

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 www.mckenzielynntozan.com.