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Single Father-Of-Three Called Out For Not Attending Cousin’s Childfree Destination Wedding

Photo by Mélanie Villeneuve/Unsplash

Weddings are meant to be a time of joy and celebration.

It’s a time when love is all around and you want everyone join in and bask in the glow of your love.

But sometimes it isn’t always easy to be a guest who gets to bask.

Life can have a way of “getting in the way” of arrivals.

That’s when weddings can lead to some stressful situations.

Case in point…

Redditor coltonjordangrace wanted to discuss his story for some feedback. So naturally he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for saying my cousin can’t be upset with me?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My cousin, Thomas, and I were pretty much raised together.”

“My parents were in and out of my life, I spent a lot of years with my aunt.”

“As a result, we were very close.”

“Back in May, Thomas got married to his long time girlfriend.”

“It was a destination wedding that would’ve required me flying out.”

“It’s important to add, I’m a single father to three kids.”

“The wedding was child free, which I respected.”

“But I said there was no way I could go.”

“All my family that usually babysits is going to the wedding.”

“I also couldn’t afford to pay a sitter on top of travel and hotel.”

“I let Thomas know and he was not happy.”

“I tried to get other family to split the cost of a sitter that could watch all the kids, but most were leaving them with in-laws.”

“I didn’t ask for my kids to be invited, just said with it being a destination child free wedding, I couldn’t afford to go.”

“He was really hurt. I sent a gift and my regards.”

“A few months later, Thomas and his wife put up the pictures on Facebook.”

“I saw that there were three kids there. I didn’t say anything as their wedding, their choice.”

“Around Christmas, I saw Thomas and he was talking about his wedding. “

“He mentioned he was still hurt I didn’t come. I explained why again and then added that other kids were there.”

“Thomas got defensive, saying two were his wife’s siblings and the other was the flower girl, a friend’s daughter.”

“I repeated I understood but he can’t be upset with me when I had no feasible way of going.”

“I added if he really wanted me there, he could’ve made an exception for my kids too.”

“Thomas feels I’m an a** for saying this and that I’m making excuses.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole. 

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA – If you couldn’t afford it, which is reasonable, then that’s the end of story.”

“If you plan a destination wedding, you have to expect that not everyone will be able to make it.”

“I can understand him being disappointed you weren’t there, but he doesn’t need to direct anger at you for doing what’s best for your family.” ~ JohnKeatsCybrid

“As far as I’m concerned, a destination wedding is a flagrant hint that the bridal couple wants as few guests in attendance as possible.”

“You choose a destination wedding because it will result in a smaller guest list.”

“Few busy adults will be able to drop everything for several days and shell out hundreds/thousands of dollars to go to a wedding, even if they’re close to the people getting married.”

“Maybe you can expect your parents to make that kind of commitment to see their child get married, but that’s about it.”

“Anyone else is a bonus.”

“If cousin really wanted certain people to be able to attend the wedding, he would’ve made sure he knew what those people could manage before choosing the date and the venue.”

“If you don’t bother to find out what will make your wedding accessible to your most valued guests, you can’t be surprised when they don’t come.” ~ DiTrastevere

“NTA Your first responsibility is to your children.”

“Going into needless debt over a wedding goes against the interest of your children, because it will limit how well you can provide for them should an unexpected emergency (medical, loss of employment, etc.) or opportunity (providing private lessons to develop a natural talent, etc.) arise.”

“Right now he’s just focused on what his immediate family has done for you.”

“As someone who saw first hand how your parents repeated abandonments affected you, he should also understand why it is especially important to you to provide financial stability for your children.” ~ Fantastic_Nebula_835

“NTA. If people have child free weddings that are also destination weddings, they have to accept that some people they care about might not be able to come.”

“That’s just reality.”

“Your cousin needs to get over it.”  ~ CrystalQueen3000

“And yet OP has been really respectful all the way along.”

“He didn’t pressure the groom to change the rules for his 3 kids, tried every reasonable option, and seems to not have made it awkward with the family.”

“OP seems to only have said this when really pushed/confronted by the cousin.”

“OP is a saint! NTA.”  ~ sleepy-popcorn

“NTA. People who throw childfree, destination weddings need to understand that their choices will mean that some people aren’t able to attend and deal with that gracefully.”

“If it was SO important to him that you attend his wedding, he needed to either make an exception for your kids or help you pay for a sitter.”

“You legitimately could NOT attend.”

“While he’s welcome to have whatever feelings he needs to have, he needs to stop guilting you about it and taking it out on you.”  ~ cillianellis

“NTA, but I don’t understand how you could have afforded 3 additional plane tickets for the kids if they were allowed but couldn’t afford a sitter if they weren’t.”

“If you were not comfortable with leaving them with a sitter overnight or something that’s understandable, but if it was truly a financial issue then it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.”

“I have paid a sitter/nanny 600-800$ to stay with my kids for a few days and no way I could have got 3 additional round trip plane tickets to any likely destination wedding location for less than that amount.”  ~ Mysterious_Prize8913

“NTA full stop.”

“Seriously though, I’m tired of people having destination and/or child free weddings (which is 100% valid and their prerogative, my wedding was child free).”

“And then getting upset when people can’t afford to go, can’t find a sitter, can’t take time off work, etc…”

“If they really wanted everyone they wanted there then they shouldn’t have had a destination and child free wedding.”

“They can’t have it both ways and just want to pass the blame off.” ~ TATastyFood

Destination weddings aren’t easy for everybody to attend.

It’s especially tricky the older you get, once career, kids and finances become an issue.

Looks like OP has Reddit for his back up.

Let’s hope eventually OP and his cousin can come together and get past this moment.

They already have a lifetime of good memories to share.