'Oh you're a karaoke bartender...would you mind being my wedding singer for 8 hours I can pay in one plate of cold unseasoned chicken if that's cool.' So, when a conflicted wedding planner decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about his sister's awkward wedding gift situation, people were ready for the family tea.
Ok so I (25M) am a wedding planner so when my sister (32F) announced she was getting married, most of our family, her included, assumed I’d help plan it for her.
I initially didn’t really want to as ger wedding is right in the middle of busy season so I’d miss out on gigs that would pay but then I decided that she’s my sister and this would be a good wedding gift and would just help with the wedding stress.
She was so happy when I agreed and we started going over her plans and themes, I found some venues and we went to look at them, I took care of all of the catering so all she had to do was taste test and pick, I was also able to use my connections to get her special deals and stuff like that.
At first it was pretty smooth but as time went on it just got more and more stressful. She wouldn’t communicate with anyone and almost got her photographer to quit (I had to convince him to stay), she’d constantly change her mind on things and then get mad they were changed as I should of known she was just being indecisive and that I should have stuck with the first option.
While I was setting up the registry she told me I could have first dibs on what gift I was getting her, I looked at her confused and said that my help planning was my gift. She then said that a lot of family helped out and they are still getting gifts.
I told her that other family members helped move furniture or lend me their car to pick up supplies, I was doing most of the work and was missing out on actually getting paid helping her.
She said she’s greatful for my help but that this wouldn’t really constitute a gift unless I was paying for things like her dress or the venue. And she said it didn’t matter when I brought up that my connections have literally saved her thousands when you add them up.
She’s now calling me cheap and is getting our family involved. I don’t know what she told them (they won’t tell me) but they keep saying how selfish I am to make my sister’s big day all about me.
If I could afford it I wouldn’t mind getting her something, but the cheapest thing in the registry is almost $200 and I’m not well off, plus my loss of income I can’t afford something like that rn. I want to support her but I don’t think I’m gonna get her a gift, WIBTA if I didn’t?
NTA. Make an itemized bill for her outlining the hours you’ve spent, the income you’ve lost by turning down paid gigs, and the savings you’ve got her through your contacts. Print the final total in big, bold numbers, then print “Gifted” in red letters across the front.
Frame it and put it on a stand at the gift table at her wedding so everyone can see how generous you’ve been. Anyone tries to argue that you’re being selfish tell them to read it out loud. If they accuse you of being petty, tell them it wouldn't have been necessary if it had been appreciated by the bride and themselves.
NTA and send a request for payment. Include that you need the money to buy an insufferable toddler a gift for their wedding.
NTA. While I would have maybe been clear up front that getting your services for free was the gift, your sister’s level of entitlement is ridiculous.
Frankly, I’d hand your sister a bill for the work you did that highlights the money you saved her with your industry discounts, and say either she can pay you and you’ll get her something off the registry or this and your continued free labor can be the gift.
“Helping out” is when someone comes over to make favors, helps transport items, or decorate - you are providing a service and coordinating an entire event for her.
And as with your family that feels the need to be involved, you need to be clear with them that you are a 25 year old, losing out on actual money to support yourself, and you’re disappointed your family neither seems to value your work or time.
You can send her a bill alongside your gift. She can’t have it both ways. NTA.
NTA - It was clear that this was your wedding gift, she's literally being greedy. It's not worth falling out over, so I'd just buy the couple a $12 bottle of wine or something and be done with it.