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'AITA for not wanting to dedicate half my wedding to my fiancé’s sister's dying wish?'

'AITA for not wanting to dedicate half my wedding to my fiancé’s sister's dying wish?'


"AITA for not wanting to dedicate half my wedding to my fiancé’s sister's dying wish?"

I (29F) got engaged to my boyfriend, Peter (30M) in early 2023 and our wedding is scheduled for early 2024. Peter has a sister, Olivia, who’s 15 and was recently diagnosed with leukemia. She’s receiving chemotherapy and as far as I know, it’s not terminal.

One of Olivia’s dreams in life is to get married. Ever since I’ve known her, she’s talked about her future wedding and has planned every last detail. Since she got diagnosed, she’s become very worried that she won’t be able to have her dream wedding because she might pass before that happens.

Based on what I know about her diagnosis, she’ll likely survive and go on to live a full life, but it’s a definite possibility she could die.

Peter and I are currently in the wedding planning stage, and this is also where we might be the a-holes. Peter’s parents approached us a few days ago and asked if we would be willing to dedicate some of our wedding time to Olivia since she might not get one of her own.

According to them, Olivia wants to wear a wedding dress, invite a lot of her friends, have a say in the food/cake/decorations, and have a first dance with her boyfriend. They said it’s better to do all this at me and Peter’s wedding because then the family can celebrate all together.

Peter and I were shocked that they would ask this since we thought that our wedding would be about us. I know Olivia is struggling and I feel completely awful for her since no teenager should have their youth ruined by cancer, but I don’t see why we can’t have a separate party for Olivia instead of having to dedicate half our day to her.

Especially since she would likely get most of the attention due to her condition. Additionally, it would cost a lot more money to have to pay for Olivia’s friends to attend the wedding (Peter’s parents only offered to pay for 75% of the additional cost) and Peter and I aren’t made of money.

Peter and I told Peter’s parents we would think about it, but after discussing it, we decided it would be better to say no because we’d prefer our day to be about us, but we’d be more than willing to pitch in funds and help plan a separate party for Olivia.

But when we informed Peter’s parents, they were furious. They said they couldn’t believe we were prioritizing ourselves over a child with cancer and that we were being selfish.

They said this might be Olivia’s only chance for a wedding and how dare we deny her “dying wish.” I said I didn’t understand why we couldn’t have a separate party, but Peter’s parents said they wanted it to feel “authentic” for Olivia, so it would be better to do it at an actual wedding.

When they started raising their voices, Peter and I left. But since then Peter’s family has been spamming us with messages about how terrible we’re being to Olivia and how they can’t believe we’re not being considerate of her wishes.

Peter and I both frequent this sub, so we wanted to know what the Internet thinks. Are we being unreasonable here?

Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say about this one...

Right_Bee_9809 said:

NTA Honestly I find the whole thing kind of repulsive. A fake wedding for a maybe dying child is maudlin and in very poor taste.

Wearing a wedding dress is not a wedding. Cutting a cake is not a wedding. Having a first dance is not a wedding. A wedding is a sacred commitment, including God or not, between two people who want to spend their lives together. This is nothing but a farce.

Tell her the truth. She will live, she will be fine, she will go out with a million frogs way before she ever finds her prince, and when she's ready she will have her wedding.

mycatsnameisedgar said:

NTA. This request is way out of line and is frankly quite creepy. They want to piggyback off your wedding to throw a fantasy party for a teen??

Your wedding is your wedding and you should stick to your plan. Don’t accept any funds from them as there will no doubt be strings attached. The suggestion that they (not you) throw her a separate party is the one to go with (if at all). That ball should stay in their court though.

Seriously: consider eloping. I don’t trust his parents to not try to spin your wedding into her fantasy wedding. (She might just show up in a white dress too.) They have clearly lost all perspective at this point. Consider a Vegas elopement!

Traveling-Techie said:

This crazier than a sack full of squirrels. NTA.

coyoterose5 said:

NTA. This is such a weird take for your in-laws to have that I can only imagine it’s the emotional panic of the idea there daughter could die that has them thinking this is even remotely okay. It’s your wedding.

It’s supposed to be about you. I wonder if they are worried that Olivia going to your wedding is going to make her depressed and this is their weird way of offsetting that.

It would make way way more sense for them to do all these wedding-type things for Olivia’s sweet sixteen (obviously I have no idea how close that date is and I mean cancer can upend the best of plans at any time).

Slow_Ad_7002 said:

NTA. This is nuts. She can have a party, but a fake wedding is inappropriate and frankly ridiculous. Also what about her boyfriend!!!

I have a 15 year old son, and the thought if him bring guilted/emotionally bullied into being some kind of 'groom' to placate a sick girl makes me want to grab him and run for the hills.

And don't say they would just be two kids messing about, she's wearing a wedding dress!

It looks like everyone agreed unanimously here that this couple should be allowed to have a wedding celebrating only their love, and perhaps a separate party with family can happen for the groom's sister. Good riddance to this family's group chat, though...

Sources: Reddit
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