Though they’re supposed to be happy occasions, weddings have a funny way of bringing out the worst in people.
There always seems to be someone who feels their opinions should be honored in regard to someone else’s wedding, or that they should get to be involved in some way, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Available-Guava-8360 was looking forward to her wedding day and honoring her relationship with her sister, as well as their late father.
But when her stepfather insisted that she let him walk her or dance with her, the Original Poster (OP) didn’t think she should have to make a place for him.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for wanting my sister to walk me down the aisle over my mother’s husband?”
The OP and her sister were never close to their mother.
“My older sister (30 Female) has been like a mom to me (24 Female) since our dad died when I was six and she was 12.”
“Our mother was very absent after dad died. Well, even more absent. Dad was actually the stay-at-home parent for the two of us and he was the more involved parent in our lives.”
“They were married, but it was just our mother was the parent who preferred to work and was overall more like the stereotype of a dad who works and doesn’t really do much for his wife or kids.”
The OP’s sister became her mother figure when their dad died.
“So you can imagine how hard it was when our dad died.”
“My sister had to learn to forge our mother’s signature after our dad died. Who was doing it before our mother remarried? My sister. She had no other choice.”
“Our mother did not do that stuff for us. My sister had to do a lot of stuff that was not exactly the best but she was the only one who was there to do that stuff at first and then we got used to it and wanted her to keep doing it. Not some new guy (how we felt back then).”
The sisters also did not bond with their stepfather.
“He tried. He would try to get involved and take over some parenting but that wasn’t something we were okay with.”
“He married the wrong woman. Someone who didn’t give a s**t about her kids but who had them with an amazing man. So we didn’t trust him because of his choice to marry mom and we disliked his efforts to try and be a dad to me. He didn’t try nearly as much with my sister because she was so much older than me.”
“I don’t hate him or anything. I just never grew to care or love him. I have been incredibly low contact with him since I turned 18.”
“When I was nine, my mother met Gavin and they got married the day after my 10th birthday. He was very ready to fill the role of a dad in my life, but I was used to my sister and didn’t really go to him for stuff.”
“Instead, I chose my sister. I also disliked him for trying because it felt like he was replacing my dad. He was very unsure of himself and didn’t really have the best guidance from my mother on anything like that.”
“But I did not want him to be my parent and I think even with better advice I would have resisted that.”
“He tried though and I can admit that and say I don’t think he had any bad intentions generally. I’m sure it was hard for him to want more but for me to never want to try back.”
The OP decided to honor the most important relationships in her life at her wedding.
“My sister and I both have a very low contact relationship with our mother as adults.”
“I had planned on not inviting her to my wedding at all, but a family member suggested I should invite her for appearance’s sake and be ready for her to maybe not come.”
“With inviting her though, Gavin is also invited, and when he heard I asked my sister to walk me down the aisle, he asked me about possibly doing it or having the father-daughter dance.”
Gavin didn’t take the OP’s choices for her wedding well.
“I told him I would be saving that dance for my sister so we could honor our dad.”
“He told me he would still like to do one of those things and that I am the closest he ever got to having a kid and he tried his best and he feels like I could do that much for him.”
“I told him I wanted my sister. That she and dad were the only two parents I ever knew. I acknowledged he tried but I said I never wanted him to be my parent.”
“He told me it was unfair to deny him this when I admit myself he tried. He said he feels like I take my mother’s lack of parenting out on him.”
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 reassured the OP she wasn’t wrong to focus on her relationship with her sister.
“NTA. The bond you have with your sister is such that you’ve already planned how your wedding will unfold.”
“Unfortunately for your stepdad, you only invited them for appearance’s sake. That’s very telling. If he insists on playing a role that was not intended for him, you may find that they may in fact not attend because you are under no obligation to alter your wedding plans for the sake of making a parental figure feel included or fulfilled.”
“Your own mother undermined any type of bond you may have had that might have grown had she been more present and maternal. Now, you are just being gracious and the bigger person by including them which is extremely generous on your behalf.” – roxywalker
“NTA. It’s not your job to cater to anyone’s wishes on your wedding day. It’s YOUR day, YOUR wedding, you should do whatever you want to without feeling pressured by anyone. Stepdad shouldn’t make this day about him. And I think it’s very sweet you want your sister to walk you down the aisle.” – Frosty-Sugar03
“NTA. It boggles my mind that grown adults think they can marry whomever they want and then their kids will magically have all the feels for that person.”
“Your wedding, your choice. Congratulations.” – Tomboyish717
“NTA. It’s your wedding. I don’t know why people on here are saying give him a chance since he’s one of the good ones. While it’s great he was a decent person (really bare minimum here), it’s still your wedding above all and I think it’s a great way to honor your sister and dad.” – Full-Day-7643
“NTA. Why do people seem to tell bridal couples how their day should be? Couples choice only.”
“When I got married, I wanted my only brother to walk me down the aisle. My dad had died long before. My mom remarried to a man who I’ll always call an AH.”
“My mom loved him and insisted he walk me down the aisle or they wouldn’t come. I should have taken her up on that. You can see the tension in my face in the photos and video. I didn’t want him there.”
“My brother died a few years later and I regret not having him do this with me.”
“Please for your own peace, and have your wedding your way.” – Beginning_Ad_6800
“I wanted my Dad as my best man when I married. He is literally my favorite person in the whole world and I barely had any friends.”
“My dad’s wife (not my mum) told me I couldn’t have my Dad. I thought it was because of some wedding rulebook or whatever so I chose my cousin who I basically hated but there was no one else.”
“I’m divorced now and I wish I had chosen my Dad to be my best man and not listened to anyone else.”
“You want your sister, she was there for you, this is your day. Do the d**n hell what you want. NTA.” – Binaryhextechdude
Others encouraged the OP to at least be empathetic to Gavin, though.
“NTA, but be gentle with Gavin. Gavin clearly wanted to do the right thing. From everything you said, your lack of attachment to Gavin had less to do with any issue on his side, and more about your own relationship with your sister and your father’s memory.”
“You could certainly tell him you appreciate his offer, but you decided on your sister.” – LotsOfCatsFI
“I would tell Gavin, ‘I am thankful and appreciate the efforts you’ve made, and I understand how it must hurt to never get what you expected out of our relationship. But it was never fair to expect a kid to deliver so much after suffering such a loss, and as an adult, in such a pivotal moment in my life, I have to defend that kid who went overlooked.'”
“‘I hope you understand this is not me blaming you or resenting you, but me doing right by myself and by the wounds that were not tended to when they should have.'” – liluindef
“The wedding day belongs to the bride. Do want YOU want to do OP, and don’t worry about other people. NTA.”
“Just a thought, but you could do the daughter-father dance with your sister, and then do another with your stepdad after. It sounds like he’s trying, has no ill intentions, and just wants to be included.”
“Being a stepdad myself, I get it. My stepson’s dad is in his life, and I never made any inclination that I was trying to replace him. That being said, I would be ecstatic if you wanted me to be included in his wedding. Just food for thought.” – ElectricHolstein
“NTA. Gavin is trying to give himself a role that he never had. ‘Trying’ is both not good enough and too much, since you never wanted him to try.”
“It is a far leap from being invited at the last minute to playing a key role in the wedding. Does Gavin know that he was invited as one of the last ones?” – FragrantEconomist386
After receiving feedback, the OP was leaning toward a decision.
“My mother was never really part of our family to begin with. She was never a mom. Just a mother. She gave birth to us and provided, in some ways I guess. But we were no family. It was my dad and my sister and me and then it was my sister and me.”
“After thinking this through more after posting, I am closing in on the decision to uninvite her which would uninvite him by extension. The people who know me already know I have next to no relationship with my mother and I think it would be best for me to have none at all now.”
The subReddit supported the OP’s decision to do her wedding her way, and they found her relationship with her sister, as well as their desire to honor their father’s memory, to be beautiful.
But some could also understand why Gavin was hurt.
The OP made it clear that he had tried, but unfortunately, that does not mean he should be entitled to a place in her wedding day. Forcing his way in wouldn’t be a good look.