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Parent Called Out For Upstaging Son’s ‘Cheap’ Wedding With Blowout 50th Birthday Party

A cupcake with 50th birthday candles.
CherriesJD/Getty Images

Many people tend to go to great lengths (i.e, spend a lot of money) to make a celebration, such as birthday parties or weddings, memorable.

In the end of the day though, it’s not the amount spent on food, decorations and entertainment that ultimately determines if the party was a success.

The only thing that truly matters is whether or not the guests had a good time, something achievable simply by human interaction.

Redditor Low-Membership1699 recently held a party to celebrate her 50th birthday, something she’d been planning for years, and spared no expense in planning it.

Unfortunately, the original poster (OP)’s son decided to have his wedding shortly after her birthday party, and unlike his mother, he was a bit tighter with the budget.

The OP’s son and daughter-in-law. (DIL) became increasingly frustrated by comparisons made between their wedding and her birthday party, for which they largely blamed the OP.

Wondering if she had done anything wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for telling my son/DIL that it’s not my fault their wedding was upstaged by my 50th birthday party?”

The OP explained why her son felt that her 50th birthday party put a damper on his wedding:

“In my social circle your 50th birthday is a huge deal.”

“I haven’t celebrated my birthday for a while.”

“My last real birthday party was sweet sixteen.”

“Overall I have been saving for this party for years and all the family knows.”

“My son and now DIL told me about a year ago that they were going to get married about a week after my birthday.”

“I told them that it will happen after my 50th and he has been to these parties before and they are a big deal.”

“He literally got blasted at his aunts 50th before.”

“I told him I am also not going to tone it down and he said he didn’t care.”

“My party has over 100 guest and had a lot of bells and whistles.”

“My son’s wedding was this weekend, and both events got compared.”

“It was basically what people were talking about.”

“My son and DIL were cold to me during the wedding.”

“I got a call from my son and it basically boiled down to I need to apologize for outshining their wedding.”

“That people were calling his event cheap and overall seemed to prefer my event.”

“I told him I am not apologizing, that I warned him months ago, and he said he was fine with the party.”

“That it is not my fault that it was upstaged by my party.”

“They chose the date knowing how those parties are.”

“This started an argument, and they both told me I was a huge jerk.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

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

The Reddit community was somewhat divided on whether or not the OP was the a**hole for throwing a birthday party that was much more lavish than her son’s wedding:

Many agreed that since the OP’s son consciously chose to have his wedding the week after his mother’s birthday and was given full warning that she was throwing a big party, the OP’s son had no right to be as upset as he was, with many pointing out that the true a**holes were the ones bad mouthing the OP’s son’s wedding so openly.

“NTA, but anyone who is trash-talking your son’s wedding is TA.”

“I’m turning 50 next year, and (in my friend group) it’s a huge milestone.”

“We do parties, trips, we constantly talk about being able to join the Golden Girls squad.”

v”As we get older, we have few things to get excited for.”

“50th birthdays are a big deal.”

“You have every right to celebrate it how and when you choose.”

“Your son is NTA for hosting his wedding near your birthday.”

“Again, he and his finance have every right to celebrate where and how they choose.”

“But who are these AHs that are going to trash talk a wedding and make your son and his wife feel bad.”

“Heck, they just had two events with free food and booze.”

“They should just enjoy and appreciate you all thought highly enough of them to include them in both of these wonderful milestone celebrations.”- HeatherAnne1975

“Likely NTA.”

“Sounds like they had all the info to see this coming and assuming you were fully supportive and celebratory about their nuptials.”

“Unless you’re not telling us everything and your party was unexpectedly ‘wedding-ish’ or oddly competitive in a way you would have anticipated and should have avoided.”- Justsaying0000

“Who is this rude?”

“WHO would ever be so rude and ungracious as to attend a wedding and then call it cheap and subpar, compared to the groom’s mother’s birthday party?”

“Who ARE these people and why would you continue to socialize with them?”

“NTA.”- _hootyowlscissors

“You’re NTA for having your 50th birthday party a week before their wedding, but eeeeeverbody who was comparing the two events and calling the wedding ‘cheap’ is a gigantic a**hole.”

“You got some sh*tty friends and family, I tell you what.”

“Just out of curiosity, did you try to shut down the nasty comparison talk while at the wedding?”

“Because that would definitely be my first reaction to hearing people calling my son’s wedding ‘cheap’.”- LoganBluth


“But the people calling their wedding cheap *are* TA.”

“Two very different events shouldn’t be compared in this fashion.”- goblynn


“It’s not awesome that people in your lives were judging your birthday party against your son’s wedding.”

“That isn’t okay.”

“Your son and DIL are at a different point in their lives than you.”

“You are turning 50.”

“You have been planning financially for this party for a long time.”

“Your son and DIL are starting out in their lives.”

“Unless one or both sets of parents were covering the cost of the wedding- or son and DIL are doing very well financially- this was always going to be a very different event than your party.”

“Those are 2 very different places regarding what you can spend on the shiny and the glitz.”

“That doesn’t automatically make one party better than the other.”

“And while it may have made more sense for your son and DIL to put off their wedding for a few months, at the end of the day- I can’t say it speaks well of anyone who would compare the two very different events.”- rak1882

“I’m sorry but your family and friends are 100% the a**holes here.”

“Who goes to a wedding and openly compares it to the mother of the groom’s 50th birthday party?”

“And does it so blatantly that it gets back to the bride and groom less than a week after the events?”

“You’re NTA for having your party a week before his wedding, but personally I would be apologizing for the fact that my guests were completely classless.”- Scary-Fix-5546


“But damn what AHs do y’all have in your social circle that just goes up to the newly wedded hosts and says ‘this party is so cheap compared to your mother’s’?”- canyonemoon


“Your son was very clear on what 50th birthday parties are like in your world/social circle, and from your comment that your party was basically ‘a big pool party for adults’ and therefore not remotely wedding-ish in any way, you did nothing wrong here.”

“I do think your friends and family suck for openly comparing your birthday party to the wedding, especially where your son/DIL would find out, but that’s not your fault and you don’t have anything to apologize for here.”- hannahsflora

Others had a bit more trouble sympathizing with the OP, who they felt should have stood up for her son at his wedding a bit more.

“YTA but not for the party.”

“For just ‘moving the conversation along’ when people were comparing and not calling out sh*tty behavior.”

“And for continuing to associate with ANYONE who told your son his wedding was cheap.”

“I would be outraged and immediately stop speaking with any a**holes like that.”

“And saying ‘not my fault your wedding was upstaged by my event’ instead of ‘how could any a**hole compare a wedding to a beach birthday party, what pricks were saying that?'”

“You should have been more on your son’s side in all of this IMO.”

“My next birthday party would have a hell of a lot less than 100 guests if ANY of them were acting like this.”- Arkavien

It is shocking that anyone would openly compare someone’s wedding to another recent event they attended.

Let alone the 50th birthday party of the mother of the groom.

Even so, it’s hard not to point out that this could have all been avoided had the OP’s son not chosen a date so close to his mother’s birthday.

One can only hope he’s happy enough in his marriage that the cloud of his mother’s birthday party will eventually pass.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.