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'AITA for wanting an ASL interpreter at my brother’s wedding because my boyfriend is deaf?'

'AITA for wanting an ASL interpreter at my brother’s wedding because my boyfriend is deaf?'


"AITA for wanting an ASL interpreter at my brother’s wedding because my boyfriend is deaf?"


I (42 F) will be officiating my brother’s (37) wedding next month. Several months ago asked my brother and his fiance (35 F) if I could make arrangements and pay for for an ASL interpreter to be present for the ceremony since my boyfriend (43 M) is deaf and I cannot support his communication while officiating the wedding.

After some discussion, my brother said that I could as long as the interpreter would not be in any photos. I made the arrangements and informed my boyfriend that I had secured an interpreter.

Yesterday I received an email with the wedding day itinerary from the wedding day coordinator and it did not mention the interpreter’s arrival time. As a courtesy, I asked my brother’s fiancée if the coordinator needed to know the interpreter’s arrival time.

In summary, her response was that they decided that I cannot have the interpreter at the wedding because they are not hiring an interpreter for her non-English speaking family members.

They would be providing paper copies of the ceremony script for the non-English speaking guests in their native languages, and I could print it out for my boyfriend if I wanted.

I expressed that my boyfriend needs the accommodation of an interpreter, which I would be providing and paying for, in order to participate like everyone else. I said that having a disability and being a non-English speaker are not comparable.

My brother's fiancée also said that she did not know I hired an interpreter because she thought the idea was discussed but a decision hadn’t been made. When I questioned my brother he said that there was a miscommunication.

He admitted that he did say I could hire an interpreter, but is now agreeing with his fiancée. I have tried explaining why this is not acceptable and that my boyfriend needs an interpreter for the ceremony.

I even gave the example that this would be like telling a guest with mobility problems that he or she can’t use his or her own wheelchair at the wedding. I argued that it is their choice to not provide an interpreter for their non-English speaking guests since they do not think it is fair to have an interpreter present for my boyfriend, but not their non-English speaking guests.

They could provide interpreters for everyone who needs one if they wanted and I am sure that if her family wanted to provide an interpreter for their guests, it would not be an issue. We had already discussed having her brother translate for me while I am officiating, but he did not want to.

Am I the a$$h0l3 for arguing with their decision to not have an ASL interpreter, which I arranged and paid for with my brother’s permission, at their wedding to accommodate my boyfriend?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


NAH. I think that a written transcript is a great accommodation. I'm sorry about the miscommunication, but I don't think that rises to the asshole level. Planning weddings is chaotic and it's normal for out-of-the ordinary requests to get jumbled.

I think you are being annoying, but also not the asshole level, in not graciously accepting a perfectly good accommodation. Your boyfriend can read, right? And as your brother says, there will be other people there who would also need translation.

How many interpreters is "too many"? I don't know, but the more you add, the more you make the wedding about something other than the bride and groom. I have attended weddings in languages I don't speak. It wasn't the best time ever, but I occupied myself with people watching. I think your BF should do the same. Plus, unlike me, he has a transcript!


This is a very fair take. It’s also important to note that the bride was not aware that her fiancé agreed to the interpreter. That’s not OP’s fault, but the bride isn’t wrong for wanting to stick to the plans she and her partner mutually agreed on.


The bride isn’t wrong for wanting to stick to the plans she agreed to, but the groom did fail to convey mission critical info. Really all parties should have been present for these discussions. I get the groom is her brother and that’s easier, but he really screwed the pooch on this one. Men.


YTA. There are direct relatives of the bride who won't understand the ceremony and you're freaking out over your +1 not having an interpreter for a ceremony he probably barely cares about anyways?

It doesn't matter if you paid and not the bride and groom, having the ASL interpreter does give the impression that they care more that your boyfriend can understand than her relatives can.

Get him a printed copy and chill out. Half the wedding ceremonies I've attended have gone in one ear and out the other to be absolutely honest, it's not that big a deal.


Yep YTA. If I know anything about 43 year old men it’s how much they enjoy other people’s wedding ceremonies. My husband is not deaf and I can guarantee he didn’t pay much attention to one word of any wedding ceremony we’ve attended.

You’re the officiant - just print him a copy of what you’ll be saying. I’d lean more towards N T A if there weren’t other non-English speaking guests who also won’t understand the ceremony.


I seem to be going against the grain of other Redditors here, so it’s a good job I don’t care about strangers opinions of me, but NTA. You asked and obtained permission, you’re not asking for them to cover the expense. How much of a hardship is it to them if there’s an interpreter there?

And it comes across as a bit ableist to me. I’m disabled and if someone said I couldn’t use my stick to walk with at their wedding, I wouldn’t go. People here will say “but you need that in order to walk” and I would say “OPs boyfriend needs an interpreter”.

Were you wanting the interpreter just for the ceremony, or for the entire day? It doesn’t make much difference, and doesn’t change my judgment, but it could be that they don’t want to factor the interpreter into the seating chart or pay for them to have a meal.

Have you asked them why they don’t want to allow this concession for the partner of the woman who is officiating their day, and is their sister/FSIL? Also, have you asked other family members (your parents maybe) what they think? Could a compromise be reached, ie only having the interpreter for the ceremony?

I think it’s lousy that they want people to follow along with some script, so they’ll be concentrating on what they’re reading rather than seeing/hearing. Non-English speaking relatives and an ASL interpreter for a deaf man aren’t comparable. That’s just my 2 cents. Feel free to disagree with me, and I’ll feel just as free to ignore anyone berating me.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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