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Bride Hurt After Sibling Refuses To Come To Her Childfree Wedding Since It’s Not A ‘Family Event’

Shot by Cerqueira/Unsplash

When making plans for a special event, there are all kinds of reasons for who will or will not be invited.

But not everyone may appreciate the invitation decisions that are made, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Throwaway_Reddeddit wasn’t pleased with her sister’s decision to have a child-free wedding.

But when she considered not attending the wedding because of it, the Original Poster (OP) realized it was hurting the bride’s feelings.

She asked the sub:

“WIBTA (Would I Be the A**hole) if I just chose not to go to my sister’s wedding?”

The OP was expecting a wedding invitation from her sister.

“My sister has a wedding coming up this summer. It’s not a destination wedding, it will be in a local park/pavilion, and she just told us about it recently and told us to expect the invitations.”

“We knew it was a possibility, since I heard recently her boyfriend asked our dad about how he would feel if they got married (essentially asking for her hand in marriage, old-fashioned but I guess whatever).”

But she didn’t like what was included in the invitation when it arrived. 

“Well, when we received the invitations, it said this wedding will be ‘childfree.'”

“Once I got my invitation, I called my sister up just to discuss the wedding and give her my response by phone.”

“I didn’t mention the childfree part, just asked about the wedding and how her planning was going.”

“She seemed excited and told me she can’t wait to be the ‘center of attention’ on her special day.”

“I congratulated her, but I told her as it’s childfree and I have two sons, I wouldn’t be able to make it. I would send a gift with our parents though.”

The bride was surprised.

“She kinda got upset and asked why I wasn’t going to come.”

“I simply told her weddings are family events for me, and if it’s not a family event, I don’t see the point (i.e. kids being allowed).”

“Our parents are the important people to be there for her special day, so I don’t feel my presence as direly needed.”

“My sister was very unhappy about this, and she yelled that I never even tried to find babysitting or come to her wedding.”

“She got angry because last year I attended our cousin’s wedding, and she feels hers should be more important and one I should want to attend.”

The OP didn’t see an issue with this.

“I pointed out their wedding wasn’t childfree, my kids were there, they were very well-behaved, and it was definitely a family event.”

“I don’t feel that I should shell out money to have someone watch my kids, just to watch her get married, and honestly I just don’t want to.”

“I didn’t mention her changing the rule, I just told her I wouldn’t be attending.”

“She got angry and is now involving my husband and parents in my decision, saying if I choose not to come, she won’t speak to me again (her hill to die on, not my problem).”

“My parents would like me to come just to keep the peace, and my husband says it’s really my decision and he backs me either way.”

“Personally, I don’t feel like an a**hole because I’m not asking her to change anything, I’m just making a personal decision.”

“WIBTA for not attending?”

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 OP was way too focused on including her children at every event.

“YTA. Children do not have to be part of everything that happens. You are showing your sister how little you care for her.” – ollygollymolly

“The ‘If my children can’t go, I won’t go’ attitude rarely works out in the long run. This is how mothers end up losing their identity and being completely lost as their children grow up and become independent.”

“It’s also how they end up lonely and lamenting on social media how nobody invites them anywhere.” – bakerowl

“She’s the sister of the bride. She should make more of an effort to go than a regular guest.”

“It doesn’t sound like she wants to, because her stance is basically ‘I don’t go where my children aren’t welcome.'” – emi_lgr

“Her children won’t remember one afternoon they were with a babysitter for a few hours, but her sister will ALWAYS remember that she willingly chose not to attend her wedding.”

“YTA.” – beloved_wolf

“The kids probably don’t even want to go. Even if she hyped them up for it, eventually they would be bored.”

“Since it is outdoors, at a park, the longing to run around and do what kids want to do would be torture. If she lets them, it will be disruptive, no matter how ‘well-behaved’ they are.”

“OP seems to think that because it is at a park, the kids should go. I also find it fascinating that she has to put in a snide comment about the fiancé asking her dad for her sister’s hand. Why is it necessary to sneer?”

“Or even the venue? Or that they suspected the engagement was coming? It sounds like she’s salty about everything and is making this the point of contention.” – HappyLucyD

“That and all the sneering at the sister for being excited to be the center of attention on – checks notes – her wedding day. Like? Okay? She’s excited to have a big day celebrating her. That’s normal.”

“I was really excited on my wedding day, too, and I did sort of expect it to be more or less about me and my husband – not random family members and their children.”

“I mean, I had kids at my wedding, but their parents all kept them super in check. I was actually the one periodically reassuring parents that the kids weren’t bothering me and winking conspiratorially to the kids and involving them a bit more, because their parents were so, so careful not to let them run the show to the point of overcorrection.”

“Including my nieces and nephews. I have a feeling OP would extend no such courtesy.”

“I’m often in a supporting role in my daily life. Once in a great while, I do enjoy having people celebrate me and my achievements. On my day, I like having the day be about, well, me. That’s not selfish; it’s normal.”

“Not everything has to be about OP’s kids.” – boudicas_shield

Others said the OP was definitely wrong to not attend.

“This is her sister and the wedding is not a destination wedding. I’d be p**sed and hurt if my sister didn’t come to my wedding. No excuse. She has plenty of time to find a sitter.” – Aware_Voice_6043

“I remember when my brother announced his engagement, they asked us about anything that we needed to be able to attend (if certain dates were off-limits or whatever). My response to him was that the wedding could be on Christmas Day on the moon and I would still find a way to be there.”

“When you love someone, you are willing to do at least the bare minimum to attend their special events. In the case of the OP, that would be asking the children to stay home with their father for a single day.” – kennedar_1984

“Weddings seem to bring out the absolute worst behavior in people. I could not fathom missing my sister’s wedding even if I had hated the dude she was marrying (I don’t, my bro-in-law is great). I’d have had to be on my death bed.”

“OP – YTA and one of the reasons weddings have become toxic and s**tty.” – peteywheatstraw1


“Weddings are not a family event (by OPs definition must include children) by default. Also – did you know you can be a family without children (mind blown).”

“Another astonishing fact is that parents don’t have to do everything with their kids.”

“And the fact that you keep belittling it by saying “just a wedding” shows how little you care about your sister but then again it sounds like you don’t like her and am doing this to hurt her.” – Baaastet

“Fast-forward 16 years or whatever and your kids will be jumping at the chance to attend parent-free activities, and who will you call?”

“Certainly not your sister or any other friends who you let down by taking a moral stance against their child-free weddings or other activities. Relationships require an investment of time and effort and sometimes participating in special life events that you’re ‘not really interested in attending.'”

“YTA all the way and this is just dumb.” – RabbitHole-Ninja

“It’s fine for someone to not go to a wedding but to say ‘there is no point in seeing my sister get married it my kids can’t also be there’ is such an a**hole move.”

“Either you want to show love for your sister or you don’t. I get that sometimes money, travel, work, logistics, and even childcare can preclude attending a wedding, but just on principle to say, ‘if it is no kids, I’m not going because weddings are for families’ is such an entitled attitude.” – melodypowers

“OP seems a little jealous maybe that the attention for the day will be on sister. Seems weird she wouldn’t want to honor her sister’s choices on her own damn wedding day. Your choice if you don’t want to go, but YTA because your attitude sucks.” – starswar77

While the OP was insistent that it didn’t matter if she was at this wedding and that her sister had made her decision for her, the subReddit did not agree. To not even attempt to find a sitter was telling, and to speak the way she did about her own sister spoke volumes, as well.

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