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Bride wants to give cousin the boot from bridal party; 'This behavior is unacceptable.' AITA? 4 BIG UPDATES

Bride wants to give cousin the boot from bridal party; 'This behavior is unacceptable.' AITA? 4 BIG UPDATES


When this bride is fed up with her cousin's behavior leading up to the wedding, she asks the internet:

"WIBTA If I give my cousin the boot from my bridal party?"

Hello! I am getting married in October and my bachelorette party is this weekend. A little backstory, when it came to picking my bridal party I was really torn between picking my cousin as a bridesmaid and one of my really good friends.

My cousin and I grew up incredibly close until we were in high school and she ended up in the wrong crowd and went down a really rough life patch. She’s been able to get back on the right path, but during that time we were not close. She has a child and she works a LOT so I wasn’t sure if she would be able to commit.

As far as my good friend, her boyfriend is a groomsmen and I know she is in school so I was worried about putting a financial burden on their household when it comes to suits/dress, bachelor and bachelorette party, etc. another concern about not being able to commit.

I talked to my mom about it, just to get my thoughts out, and she took it upon herself to call my uncle (my cousins dad) and tell her what I was thinking.

He said my cousin has come so far and she admires me so much it would mean the world to her and he would take care of anything financially for her and help her watch her baby when she was participating in wedding activities.

So, the decision was kind of made for me by my mom having this conversation and I shouldn’t have given in to the family pressure of putting her in there but at the same time I’m happy to have her be apart of it and she did deserve to be apart of all of the fun. When my friend wasn’t asked, she was devastated and I felt terrible but she has still been extremely supportive.

Fast forward and my cousin has been practically MIA the past year. She hasn’t participated in the bridesmaids group chat. I let my bridal party plan the bachelorette to what they thought I’d like and what fit their budget and she didn’t contribute to that group chat either.

I had my bridal shower in May and I got a text the morning of that my cousin was sick. I was totally understanding! It happens. My uncle didn’t know she wasn’t there until he saw photos from my mom and he was very upset she didn’t go.

Apparently he spoke to her the day before and she was going. Once he spoke to her afterwards she wasn’t “sick” per say but she had worked some graveyard shifts and was feeling run down that week and was scheduled the day of my shower. At this point I was disappointed but I wasn’t angry or anything.

Yesterday morning, I get a text from my cousin that she’s sick. I asked her what kind of sick? Does she think she won’t be able to go on our trip?

She says she will keep me posted. I’ve texted her checking in on her since and haven’t gotten a response. If she’s not going, I’m going to invite my good friend since she wants to go and the trip is non refundable.

My mom, future MIL, and fiancé are pissed. They think my cousin should be kicked from the bridal party and it should go to my good friend. She went to my shower, the groomsmen’s suit fittings as support, and is often asking what she can help me with. Should my cousin be kicked out?

For clarification, I come from a very big, involved Italian New Yorker family. My fiancés family is the same. Family is everything!

My uncle acts like he’s the god father of this family lol and is already extremely disappointed his daughter didn’t show up to the shower, he’s paid everything already, and I’m a little scared he’s gonna be mad at me if I kick her out. My uncle is humiliated by his daughter. He apologized to me several times.

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

grapfruiw writes:

I don’t agree with the people that say you shouldn’t expect bridesmaids to make it to these events, although in my circles bridal shower isn’t for them. But I do think it’s fair to think part of accepting the role is showing up and doing it when it comes to the very standards like bachelorette. So in that vein I get your frustration.

On the other hand, I think you should reflect on how you ended up asking her. You were considering it and then the decision became a family one. Have you thought that maybe your cousin was in the same place?

I feel like it’s possible she told your uncle something about not having availability and was told no she had to make it work. While it doesn’t make it all ok I do think it’s a bit different for her to have signed on when there’s clearly people with opinions weighing in.

I guess I would say just speak to her one on one in a comfortable setting and be honest that you’re concerned she doesn’t have the free time to participate and the last minute cancellations are really stressful for you so it might create less tension for her to not feel obligated.

goldencricket writes:

Two conversations need to happen: "Hey Uncle, you know how much I love Cousin. She's amazing. But when I asked hr to be a bridemaid, I Asked if it would be too much on her plate and she said no.

But with X, X, X, X, and X happening, I just really don't feel like it's fair to keep her in a situation that is adding more stress to her life.

I wanted you to know first that I'll be removing her from the bridal party and having a friend of mine step in - it's not that I love her or you any less - I just can't deal with the stress of putting her through additional stress. I love you both so much!"

and "Hey Cousin, I know you were happy to be a bridesmaid but I know how much strain this has been on you. I knew it would be stressful and it has proven to be even more stressful for both of us than we imagined.

At this time, I am proceeding with a close friend of mine be a bridemaid and for you to be a guest with the other cousins. This will remove all the extra stress and pressure I've put on you and that way my friend will be able to fulfill the bridesmaid duties I need from her.

Less stress for the both of us. Please know I still love you so so so much and I am so excited to celebrate with you - but now we can celebrate without you having to stress about the bridal party. I love you and thank you for understanding!

brownchesnut writes:

I dunno, is your definition of bridesmaid someone you love and consider your nearest and dearest that you want to honor on your special day? Or is it someone who can attend events and do things for you?

The former would set you and everyone up for a lovely experience, while the latter sets up everyone to fail because as the top commenter said, the bridesmaid doesn't OWE you these things.

It's nice if she can, and it sucks that she can't, but being so angry that you kick her out is going to hurt your relationship even more. You can fix the situation by simply letting go of the expectation that she do these things instead of punishing her for not doing things she doesn't really owe you.

You say you told them that you expect them to attend all these extra parties on top of your wedding, as if you declaring this makes it somehow more feasible for them. These things are offered, you don't get to demand it.

They're not your servants. Declaring "I have expectations of you" doesn't make people suddenly immune to sickness or give them magic money. You're not helping them do anything by saying this. If you want to help make things happen, ask how you can help. Pay for their things you're requiring.

Help deal with their logistics. Etc. "It's a part of the experience" is your opinion, not everyone shares that expectation and not everyone wants to "experience" doing more than they can for a marriage they're gonna be celebrating multiple times.

You could try to approach this from the angle that maybe she never wanted any of this, and gently and kindly relieve her of her "duties", but doing it punitively is a bad look.

And now, OP's first update:

I definitely see this perspective and have considered it! If this is how she feels, I’d hope she’d just be honest with me. After the bridal shower, I did reach out and try to touch base with her to make sure this was something she still wanted to be apart of.

I told her I knew she had a lot on her plate, so even if her dad was paying everything for her, I was understanding if she wasn’t able to make the time commitment. She insisted it wasn’t the case and she would be at all other events.

This was in May. If she feels pressured from her dad, I hope she’d tell me. After the bachelorette I will definitely be reaching out again to check in and see how she is feeling as fas as the commitment.

OP's second update:

As I’ve stated, I’ve kept everything very low budget for my bridesmaids and have given them complete control over the bachelorette so whatever we did would fit their budgets. My MOH and bridesmaids planned it entirely on their own and I have offered to all of my bridesmaids if there’s something you need help with PLEASE let me know.

Also as I stated and you seemed to read but completely misinterpret. I told them my expectations and gave them all the opportunity to back out with no hard feelings AT ALL. I’m totally aware it’s not a commitment everyone can do which is why you ASK bridesmaids. Not DEMAND them to be apart of it.

OP's 3rd update:

My cousin was avoiding me because she’s doing drugs. My bachelorette party was a weekend trip that cost less than $300.

My bridesmaids get to choose their heel as long as their black so they can even wear a pair they already own and I’m paying for hair and makeup and they get to choose how they want it. Don’t jump to conclusions.

And now, OP's MAJOR update, months later:

My bachelorette party was this weekend and we got home Sunday evening. I ended up inviting my friend in place of my cousin since her ticket was non refundable and so was her portion of the air bnb obviously since we were still staying there. I figured if my uncle got upset, I would reimburse him for the ticket.

I didn’t tell any of my bridal party that my cousin wasn’t coming to the bachelorette party, not even my two other cousins who are bridesmaids. I didn’t want to be a gossip and I wanted my uncle to know from my cousin because she never told him about not going to the bridal shower and he found out from photos.

Both of my cousins expressed to me they felt she should be removed and so did my aunt, who is their mom and my mom and uncles sister.

I spoke to my uncle yesterday and to say that I was shocked is an understatement. My cousin was never sick at all. She was relapsed back onto drugs and has been cheating on her husband for 6 months with a guy she works with.

She thought she was pregnant until she got her period this week. She kicked her boyfriend out, but once my uncle heard he had him go back to their apartment since he earns majority of the income because my uncle is the co-signer on their apartment and wants to make sure their rent is paid.

My cousin left the apartment instead, abandoned her child and gave him to her mother without discussing with her boyfriend, and is in a drug house with this other guy she’s been sleeping with for 6 months who is supplying her drugs. For context, this is the second child she’s left.

Her other baby daddy has her other child and filed child abandonment against her since she moved out to another state for 9 months and wasn’t providing for them. My cousin is still texting me insisting she’s sick, because why would she tell me all of this right?

Safe to say, she’s out of the wedding. At this point she probably won’t even be invited. There’s so many worse things going on with her that I can’t fit them all in this message.

My uncle is not upset at all about her being removed from the bridal party and has highly encouraged me to do it. He’s not upset about the money and has bigger issues going on right now, obviously.

Lesson learned here that sometimes, you gotta trust your gut that a situation isn’t good even if you can’t figure out why. Strangers on the internet aren’t going to understand that feeling of something just being OFF.

I’m totally aware that addiction is a disease and I empathize with her situation. I love her very much and am very upset that this is what has happened to her.

The best thing for me, and for her, is for her not to participate in this wedding. At this point, with details that I’ve chosen not to share it will probably be best not to come to the wedding at all. This is not because of her addiction and my disagreeing with it.

With that being said, she has abandoned her children while being on drugs and when she was clean, so that is inexcusable. To almost be pregnant again would be wild considering she can’t care for the children she already has.

This is not my reason for kicking her out of the wedding or not inviting her, this is just clarification on the part of this story that I think is the worst.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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