When it comes to something like a wedding, especially one that’s expected to have more of a party atmosphere, it can be important to have some party tricks or topics of conversation at the ready.
But like anything else, these tricks and topics will go over better with some people over others, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
After spending a lengthy period of time in the wedding industry, Redditor planstowed had developed a talent for accurately predicting the future of marriages.
When his sister wanted to know his predictions for her wedding, the Original Poster (OP) was hesitant to tell her the truth.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for pulling out of planning my sister’s wedding, causing her to lose her wedding venue?”
The OP had an intriguing party trick as a wedding planner.
“As a wedding planner who has been in the industry for many years now, my (31 Male) party trick amongst close friends and family is being able to guess how long my clients’ marriages will last with pretty alarming accuracy.”
“If you ask anyone in the industry, there are specific indicators while working with a couple that allows us to be able to gauge compatibility.”
“I can usually get down to around a six-month window when predicting when photos of each other will disappear from socials.”
“This is not me taking joy in crashing and burning of relationships. Working in this career field can actually leave you feeling jaded about relationships in general, which is why I’m reluctant to work for friends and family. The specific stress wedding planning puts on some people and couples can bring out the worst in them that you don’t see in everyday life.”
The OP broke his own rule and hired his sister as a wedding client.
“My sister is getting married early next year and practically begged me to plan for her despite my stance on clients I know personally.”
“I finally gave in and we began the process back in March.”
“Last week, while we were meeting and finalizing a few things, she asked me about the party trick I mentioned. She said since I had been working with her and her fiancé for months now, I could give my prediction as to how long they were going to last.”
“I laughed and tried to move on. I thought she was joking, but she continued to press the issue.”
“After her continually bothering me about this for at least 15 minutes while I was trying to move on (I DID have work outside of my specific appointment with her that I needed to get to), I finally told her I thought they would last forever.”
“She claimed she didn’t believe me and wanted my real number.”
“So I shrugged and told her the truth: A year and a half.”
The OP’s sister did not appreciate that answer.
“She was livid.”
“I felt incredibly uncomfortable with the whole ordeal, especially with how little she respected my boundaries in what is supposed to be a professional setting.”
“So I tried to usher her out of my office.”
“Instead, she began ranting about my own marriage and said she gave us until the end of the year before we break up, and accused me of being a homewrecker.”
The OP realized he shouldn’t have hired his sister.
“She finally left, and I emailed her, saying I would no longer be involved in her wedding planning.”
“I gave her the contact information for all of the vendors we were working with but told her the venue would no longer be available as they only book to people they have existing relationships with and my involvement was necessary.”
“I have had to ‘break up’ with clients before, but this felt particularly rough.”
The OP’s sister tried to set the family against him.
“She has since told our parents that I am purposefully sabotaging her wedding and that I was unforgivably rude to her when she just asked a playful question.”
“I feel very silly for letting a person disrespect my boundaries over and over again, something I typically wouldn’t tolerate, but now I’m wondering if I’m in the wrong.”
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 thought the sister shouldn’t be asking questions she doesn’t want answers to.
“If you push and push to be told information, you alone are responsible for the consequence that hearing it brings. NTA.” – south3y
“She pushed. You gave a perfectly acceptable answer of ‘forever,’ to which she didn’t like and wanted a ‘real’ answer. But what would she have been happy with? 20 years? 10 years?”
“It sounded like she is a constant boundary pusher. You didn’t want to plan the wedding, but she pushed it. You didn’t want to answer the question, but you pushed it. This is on her.”
“That said, don’t expect your family to see it that way. They probably will take her side because people enable shitty behavior from brides.”
“Good luck.” – cuervoguy2002
“There’s a reason for the saying, ‘Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to.'”
“The sister gets mad and starts unleashing h**lfire against OP when she didn’t get the answer she wanted to hear and yet still can’t see her own behavior as the reason why OP has such an honest response.”
“NTA.” – jasperjamboree
“The OP could have said something like, ‘I’m not a fortune teller. Marriages are hard work but if you put the effort in, yours could last a long time. But if you don’t and you don’t learn to deal with conflicts effectively, it probably won’t. The power is all yours.'”
“That’s not lying AND it’s not telling his sister that her marriage is going to fail immediately, lol (laughing out loud).” – jsmooth7
“Almost any answer would have been better than the one he gave. It’s not hard to be tactful, especially when it comes to your job.”
“‘I already told you.’ ‘You guys genuinely seem perfect for each other.’ ‘At least 20 years.’ ‘I have to get back to work.’ ‘I’m actually just bulls**tting when I give these predictions, I have no idea.'”
“Like come on, it’s really not hard.”
“She probably wanted to hear ‘forever’ in the first place. The reason she didn’t accept it is most likely because OP’s tone or body language betrayed his feelings. YTA.” – DehGoody
“He tried changing the subject and then when pressed lied with the only acceptable answer to that question and then she wouldn’t settle for that even.”
“What was he supposed to say? Five years, a decade, twenty years and he’ll ditch you for a 20-something when he has his midlife crisis?”
“Seriously, what was the sister hoping for? She was an insufferable idi*t, asked a question she didn’t want the answer to then refused to accept the placating answer.”
“NTA. This is all on her. This is why you don’t work with people you know personally. You had a very good reason for that policy. She proved it by being an idi*t.”
“Kinda a side trip but I’m curious:”
“If you have a friend/family member that your trick tells you their relationship will actually go the distance, would you do that wedding?”
“I’m just curious.” – acegirl1985
Others didn’t think the OP was the AH, but they thought he’d made multiple mistakes.
“OP was the AH to himself here. No matter what any client says, a wedding planner should never divulge this info. Ever. And she was a client.”
“Now she can tell others about you silently predicting their failure horizon, and it will actually be true. Bad bad business. There was NO way this would go well. And if this was the one time in a thousand he was wrong, it’s even worse.”
“Yes, his sister asked for it. But if OP couldn’t maintain professionalism, he should have held firm that he couldn’t work with her. Now he’s just risked his whole reputation because she got under his skin.” – myironlions
“I think that where OP went wrong was in accepting to plan his sister’s wedding when he has a ‘no close relations’ policy. He should’ve said something like, ‘I’d be glad to help you with [insert some detail here] if you’d like, but I can’t be your wedding planner,’ and held firm to that boundary. But oh well. Still doesn’t make him the AH.” – MauriciaBabilonia
“I think the OP went wrong in divulging that party trick period. There is no way that I would ever tell anyone I had this trick if I were a planner. I agree that it doesn’t make him TA here, but not sharing that talent is the one sure way to avoid that situation.” – beaglemomma2Dutchy
“In my opinion, gossiping to your friends and family about this ‘party trick’ is so unprofessional, immature, and arrogant. People’s marriages are not party tricks.”
“And if OP could already predict this relationship won’t last, why did they even bother accepting the sister’s request instead of flagging their concerns?!”
“ESH.” – DianeNguyenPNButter
“There had to have been a better way to diffuse his sister’s inquiries.”
“‘Forever.’ ‘No, really.’ ‘Okay, fine, 60 years.’ ‘Come on, really!’ ‘Okay, 50 years…'”
“And if they keep complaining, just say you can’t predict the future and need to get back to your work.”
“Of course saying a year and a half will start a fight, even if it is a stupid question.” – YupOkLetsJam
With a party trick like this one, it’s clear why the OP should keep his wedding planning and party tricks separate from his immediate circle, especially if he’s predicted their relationship not lasting forever.
Unfortunately, mistakes have already been made, and all the OP can really do at this point is share his side of the story and, if he’s feeling generous, he could help his sister find alternate venues that don’t require his affluence in order to book.