Another day, another dose of wedding drama from the Am I the Asshole subreddit.
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If you didn't know, r/AmItheAsshole is a place where people share their stories and ask others to weigh in on whether they're the ones in the wrong. It can get pretty juicy.
This edition has to do with both family expectations and bridal party expectations, which has been a pretty hot topic lately since we're currently in the wake of wedding season. Basically, Reddit user u/supposed_golddigger (or OP, for original poster) wants to know if she's being an A-hole for refusing to be a bridesmaid in her sister's wedding. Let's get into it:
Apparently, OP comes from a rather large family. "There are 24 female cousins and 17 male cousins."
"Half of the cousins are already married. When the first one [to get married] asked me to be a bridesmaid, I declined. When I attend a wedding, I want to have fun, eat food, and dance. In exchange, I will get you a gift. I do not want to spend my energy, time, and money on your big day. And when I get married, I will not have a bridal party, nor will I expect a bachelorette party."
"All of the cousins understood, there were no hard feelings. And, to be honest, with that many cousins, it wasn't even an issue."
"Now, my younger sister is getting married. She asked me to be a bridesmaid, and I declined. I did it very gently. I told her sorry, but with working full-time, being in the final stages of preparing my thesis, and teaching some summer classes, I wouldn't make a good bridesmaid."
Also, OP's sister is apparently a "total bridezilla" (her words, not ours). "The dresses she's looking at for her party are $450, she expects a weekend bachelorette in Vegas with all the bells and whistles, and wants everyone to attend dance classes to learn this elaborate dance to 'surprise' her with. I do not have the energy for all that."
FWIW, the expectations put on bridal parties (both emotional and financial) have become A LOT in recent years. According to a 2017 study by Wedding Wire, the average cost of being part of a bridal party is $1,200. And that study was done five years ago, before the record-setting 9.1% inflation. You do the math.
Sadly, OP's sister didn't take the "no" all that well. "Now, she says I'm not invited to her wedding, and if I'm not willing to put forth the effort to make her day perfect, then I don't deserve to be there. Honestly, I don't care. But my mom and some aunts are calling me [an asshole]."
There was LOTS of chatter in the comments section of the thread. Many people felt that OP did the right thing dipping out on being a bridesmaid, and called out her sister for being so self-centered.
"You don't 'deserve' to be there? Jesus, how full of herself can she be? After a comment like that, I wouldn't go to that wedding if she paid me."
"You are so smart to buck the trend. You made it a rule never to be in a wedding party. She needs to understand that. Also, do not go to the bachelorette party. That is, if she invites you.
"Weddings are not a summons, they're an invitation. Meaning you have an option. Not sure when it became accepted to try and force someone into a wedding by emotional blackmail."
"Apart from it being your decision to be a bridesmaid or not, you even gave her a good reason why you wouldn't be a good bridesmaid. Probably your mom and other family call you the AH because she's your sibling, but being her sister does not mean that you should be a bridesmaid. From what you already told here about the wedding, you really dodged a bullet there."
Others pointed out just how outlandish and expensive being part of a bridal party has become.
"Wedding parties have gotten ridiculous these days. We've gone from a bridal shower to a shower and a bachelorette party, to a bachelorette weekend at an expensive destination. Not to mention the wedding day with the dress, shoes, hair, and makeup. If you know that it's more effort than you're willing to put forth, then you'd be an [asshole] if you agreed to be in the wedding party."
"What happened to the days where being asked to be an attendant just meant you were acknowledged as someone important to the bride/groom, and the main thing they cared about was that you were present to share their special day? My bachelorette was only 13 years ago, and we just spent an evening going to various bars. I didn’t realize it was common for it to be a several-day vacation. No wonder a lot of people don’t want to be attendants anymore."
"Being [maid of honor] used to mean standing with them at the wedding. Now, it seems to mean planning parties, planning showers, and dropping $2,000 on unnecessary stuff."
One person suggested that OP consider just how much stress her sister is under, and maybe try and see her side of things.
"If you love your sister a lot and want to come out of this with a decent relationship, you’re going to want to tread carefully. Especially if this behavior is weird for her. I’m going to try to give you some sane advice."
"Some things to consider: Does she normally act like this? Is she under an immense amount of stress? Are other things going on that are making her a little quicker to anger? ...If you don’t care and want to cut ties, I wouldn’t worry. If you want to maintain the relationship, you two need to have a talk."
And finally, some suggested that maybe there's a way for OP to still be a part of her sister's wedding without taking on too much stress/responsibility.
"Maybe OP could even agree to help with one thing, if that would make the sister feel like she cared. But, OP is also totally within her rights to not even want to make that many compromises."
"FWIW, I always suggested that I do something else for the wedding, like a reading or handing out programs. Something like, ‘Sis, I’m so sorry I can’t handle all the responsibilities of being in the wedding party. I’d hate to let you down while I’m busy with XYZ. But, if you want, I’d love to do the reading/get your unity candle/hand out programs…' It's a minimal contribution that can be handled on your time and makes you ‘part of the wedding.'"
Okay, now it's time to share what you think of all this. Was OP right to refuse her sister's bridal party invitation when she knew she wouldn't be able to give it her all? Or should she have said yes simply because they're family? Tell us in the comments, along with any of your own bridesmaid experiences.