Many a dilemma has been experienced by couples and wedding guests over child-free events. A good argument can be made on both sides—and usually is.
Is there anything more controversial in the plethora of wedding drama than whether or not the kiddos can come?
Well, it turns out for one soon-to-be bride there’s a far more pressing issue. She had the absolute gall to not include her cousin’s dog’s name on the wedding invitation she sent.
The dog is a pet, not a service animal.
Not content to simply relegate the cousin’s canine companion to anonymous “plus one” status on the invite, the bride went further and decided she’d have dog-free nuptials. Sure, the venue has a policy, but the bride could ignore it and risk losing her venue so her cousin can bring his pet, right?
When her cousin and her own mother called her unreasonable, she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for a sanity check.
“AITA for stating no pets at my wedding?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“I’m getting married next year, in an outdoorsy nature reserve in some woods with a barn.”
“Because it’s in a nature reserve, the venue let us know that we couldn’t have dogs at our wedding, unless it was very specifically OUR dog who they met before to check they would be well-behaved, would stay on the lead the whole time, etc…”
“Our dog is a rescue and actually still a little nervy around new people so we decided it was best if she stayed home with a sitter and we just had a dog-free wedding.”
“We sent out save the dates last week and a couple days ago I got a message from my cousin asking if we’d forgotten to put his dog’s name on the invite.”
“I won’t lie—this was the most unhinged part for me.”
“The thing is, his dog is not at ALL trained.”
“He jumps up at people, barks and whines constantly if he’s not getting attention, has extreme separation anxiety (to the point where they can’t even both go to the bathroom at the same time or he will destroy furniture), has been known to nip when he gets excited and is generally just not well-behaved.”
“This is completely my cousin’s fault for getting a high-energy breed and then not doing any training with him, but my point is that if I were to invite ANY dog, this is the last one I’d choose because his behaviour is not suited to a group event where it will be loud and stressful for the dog.”
“I replied and explained we couldn’t have dogs, unfortunately. At this point he kicked off and asked if I was expecting him to pay for a new suit, travel, hotel etc… AND now a weekend at a kennel, and if his dog wasn’t invited he wasn’t going to come, because his dog’s separation anxiety means he cannot be left with anyone else.”
“I was pretty pissed off but replied and said I totally understand that travelling here would be an expense for him and if the extra money needed for a sitter/kennels meant he couldn’t come, I was sad he won’t make it but understand and would be great to catch up some other time.”
“He never replied and I left it.”
“I was shocked he would even want to bring his dog in the first place. Like, they’d have to spend large portions of time sitting still, not allowed to run around, lots of loud music etc… Just a dog’s worst day out, surely.”
“I really didn’t think I’d done anything wrong to be honest but now I’m being hassled by multiple members of my family who are telling me I’m being a stubborn a**hole for not making an exception for this one dog.”
“My mom’s argument is that if we’re not taking our dog, my cousin’s dog can be there instead, and that I’m causing a huge family row because we’re being ‘bridezilla-y’. Sometimes I can be a bit clueless and will definitely apologise if I am in the wrong.”
“So, Reddit, am I the a**hole?”
The OP summed up their predicament.
“I told my cousin his dog wasn’t invited to my wedding. My family think I’m an a**hole because I COULD invite his dog, I just don’t want to.”
“Now my whole family are acting like I’ve started World War 3.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors unanimously declared the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).
“NTA—it’s a VENUE rule not yours. Even if it wasn’t a rule it’s YOUR wedding and YOUR choice.”
“Too bad your cousin can’t come but no reason to ruin your day or lose your venue over an untrained, ill behaved dog (and this is coming from a HUGE animal lover).” ~ EbonyDoe
“I also love my dog very much, but even if this was a perfectly well behaved dog, I’m with the boomers on this one. Dogs shouldn’t go everywhere with you.”
“If you love your dog you will train it. It’s not OP’s fault that the cousin is a sh*tty owner. NTA.” ~ maplestriker
“Maybe it’s a cultural thing but the idea of having to tell people not to bring their dog to a wedding is quite astounding to me. No, NTA.” ~ Moose-Live
People were astounded by the cousin’s invitation question.
“I’ve never in my life heard of a guest bringing their pet to a wedding, much less the pets being formally included on the invitation! I’d be gobsmacked if somebody reached out to me asking if I forgot to invite their dog.” ~ onsereverra
“I’m stuck on: Who the f expects their dog to be invited to a wedding‽‽‽”
“The obvious response is that it’s a venue rule and has nothing to do with OP’s feelings or wants and just like with kids, cousin can come or not, and no offence taken. NTA.”
“But I’d still be replying with: why would you be expecting that‽‽” ~ LimitlessMegan
“‘Hmm, my cousin didn’t specifically invite my dog by putting his name on the invitation, surely this is an oversight’.”
“WHAT THE EVERLOVING F—‽‽‽‽” ~ snootnoots
“Now brides are having to stipulate no dogs at their wedding? What next?”
“In any case, apart from the bride’s wishes, which should be paramount, the venue does not allow dogs. NTA.” ~ divamentalis
“WHAT DID I JUST READ‽‽”
“NTA. Since when did people expect to bring their pets to a wedding‽‽ I never even thought to mention pet free when I got married. The entitlement is breathtaking.” ~ DrMamaBear
“I have seen this issue several times and cannot believe the audacity. It’s amazing you now have to stipulate your wedding is pet-free, and even crazier that people will argue over it.” ~ MidCenturyMayhem
“Seriously! I’ve never gotten a wedding invite and wondered, ‘Hmm, maybe I should bring my dog’.” ~ RetroKida
“We have a ‘Velcro’ dog. I would never, EVER, expect to bring her to someone’s wedding.”
“This is beyond entitled and the fact that the venue specifically forbids it means that it’s not even in your hands. It’s ridiculous for anyone to argue with you about it. NTA.” ~ JLHuston
“NTA. I love bringing my dog to places where she’s allowed, but I would never, in a million years, think, ‘A wedding! That isn’t mine! I should choose that as the hill I’m gonna die on!’.” ~ i_raise_anarchists
“Literally your own dog isn’t even going!!! Crazy to expect their dog to be the exception.” ~ Healthy_Brain5354
“NTA. One, when I’m invited to a wedding my first thought isn’t ‘I’m going to bring my dogs…to a wedding’.”
“Second, I’m getting married in December and everyone I know from me to both sets of parents, to friends all have dogs. Never has come up.”
“And even if a venue did allow dogs, why would you want to bring your dog?”
“I’m sorry this is weird. You are NTA.” ~ Horror_Nurse
“NTA. It never ever occured to me that people would expect to bring their dogs to a wedding. It’s not like this is a casual bbq in a public park.”
“I love pets, and my cats are totally ‘my babbbiiieesss’, but they aren’t actual babies/children and I never would expect them to be on an invite to a damned wedding.”
“Same if I had a dog. Not all places are places where pets should be.” ~ fallingintopolkadots
People also took exception to the OP’s mother supporting the cousin instead of her own child.
“NTA and never in my life have I heard of inviting pets to a wedding. Your cousin is nuts and your mother is not far behind. Stick to your no.” ~ Leopard-Recent
“NTA. Your mom needs to get some perspective, sometimes the person making all the noise is the problem, not the person they are complaining about.” ~ chrestomancy
“NTA! Tell your critics ‘Thank you for making us aware that a dog is more important than us and our special day, despite this being a rule of the venue due to protecting local wildlife’.”
“‘Please feel free to spend our wedding day with said dog because your invitation is rescinded. Once again, thank you for making sure we are aware our priority is lower than that of an untrained, badly behaved dog’.”
“‘We will know to respond to this information accordingly going forwards. Have the day you deserve’.”
“Might want to give your mom a head-up that you intend to burn bridges and she needs to decide which side of it she is on before you start torching—but only because it’s your mom.” ~ pandora840
“NTA- this isn’t your rule, it’s the venues. Does your family want to whole party to be thrown out on the day because of a dog???”
“If your mum doesn’t want to upset the family she can stay with the dog at your cousin’s house, whilst your cousin attends the wedding. Seems fair to me!!!” ~ Ritocas3
“Nothing makes a wedding more special than an unruly dog barking, snapping and terrorizing little children.
“From one mom to another, hey OP’s mom, why are you supporting a**hole cousin and not your own daughter on her wedding day? Maybe mom should stay home too.” ~ Mereadsalot
The venue—a nature reserve—has rules about dogs for a reason.
Apparently mom missed the part about pre-screened and approved well-behaved dogs only.
While her daughter could lie about who owns the dog, that doesn’t eliminate the main issue—cousin’s dog is the furthest thing from well-behaved and will never gain approval from the venue.
Why OP’s family expects them to lie and not follow the venue’s rules so her cousin’s dog can attend her wedding shall remain a mystery.
Maybe her cousin can bring home a literal doggie bag?