I (32m) am getting married to my long term girlfriend Gemma (30f) at the end of November. Now me and Gemma are having a small wedding with only close family and friends invited mainly because we don't want it to be an inconvenience to others and choosing a venue is really hard due to Gemma's allergy.
Gemma is allergic to dogs and is terrified of them due to a freak accident when she was younger (that's also when she found out she is allergic to them). While her allergy is not deadly, even when taking anti allergies her face would get significantly swollen, have red marks all over it that are visable even with heavy make up and she would constantly sneeze.
Lockdown was a blessing in a way that she could wear a face mask that was helping with allergies, she is still trying to wear face masks to help her, but can't always do it inside as people immediately think she is ill and don't really want to have us in their restaurants/cafes.
And to the issue. My sister "Kate" has diabetes and has a service dog "Lenny" to help her. I absolutely adore him and Gemma is not scared of him either, however due to Emma's allergies I have reminded Kate not to take Lenny to our wedding.
(I was dropping some parcels for her this week as she was away and they were sent to my house) as I believe my future wife should be able to enjoy her day without the swelling, which would be hard to avoid due to the venue being quite small and private (Gemma gets the reaction even if there's a dog in the same supermarket even if it doesn't touch her).
My sister has reminded he is a service animal and I can't ask her to not to take him, but I have told her he is still a dog and being a service animal doesn't miraculously cancel my wife's allergies and she knew about them from the start. I'm not asking not to take him to any family get togethers, I am just asking not to take him to our wedding.
My sister and my mum both called me an ahole and are not talking to me and have threatened not to come to the wedding, which I said is fine as I value my wife's comfort more. But still AITA?
So whats your sister's solution? Having your future wife suffer at her own wedding? Is this some kind of dominance play? It's true you cant ask someone to not bring a service dog. But you can uninvite your sister.
You have to stick up to your wife and its good you are doing so. I ll predict the future now and say that you ll have to do that more often later on, because your sister and your mother will blame your wife for choosing her "stupid health" over your sister's dog. NTA prepair for more fight in the future.
You sister needs to be reminded that she is not the only person in the world with long term health conditions or access needs. This is what is called an access clash - the access needs of one person directly create a problem for another.
It is the same as if someone hard of hearing needed people to look them in the face to allow lip reading and for people to speak loudly, and another with auditory processing and specific social anxieties was not able to tolerate raised voices and intense eye contact.
The two people cannot accommodate one another or be accommodated in the same space by the same approach. There is no way to solve both people needing access to the same person speaking to them at the same time - one of them will have to not get their preferred situation and either make do or not attend. It is neither person’s fault, nobody is being malicious - there are equal but opposed needs.
Try to lay that out with that sort of example, and then remind her a little more bluntly that this is your wife’s occasion. On your sister’s birthday, your wife’s choices would be to suffer illness from her allergies or not attend, because it would be unacceptable to expect your sister to be without her service animal at her own celebration even for a short time.
It is equally unacceptable to ask your wife to be unable to enjoy her wedding and to suffer with allergies through your celebration; your sister’s choices are to spend a short period monitoring her blood sugar by other methods that day, or to not attend.
Be clear that she will not be allowed into the event with her animal. If you get attitude, uninvite them both and let them know it’s up to them to reach out with apologies when they come to their senses and that you’re otherwise not interested in hearing from them. You’ve been more than tolerant enough of this absolute silliness.
NTA There are ways for your sis to check her blood sugar without her service dog like before she got him. But there are no way for your wife to be allergy free when the dog is there.
So the sis has a medical alternative, your future wife not. And overall she can decide to just stay home. It is the brides wedding and she has a right to have a day without coughing and swellings and to have nice memories to look back to. Sis is just a guest. I never understand how they pull others in it.
NTA. From what you’ve said your wife doesn’t complain at family functions. Which is nice of her but her wedding is a day where she shouldn’t have to worry about the dog and her face will be immortalized in pictures forever so of course she wants to look her best.
It’s understandable that the dog is useful to your diabetic sister but, as you’ve said, it has no impact on your wife’s allergy. She might have to sit this one out if she can’t function without the dog. Your mom would be the AH if she persists and doesn’t go to your wedding tho. Good job supporting your wife.
NTA This is the one day your sister should take a back seat, without your wife having to compromise for her like she would at other family gatherings.
NTA. This is your future wife’s and your day. Your girlfriend should absolutely be able to enjoy her wedding without her allergies acting up. As you said: your sister’s dog being a service animal doesn’t cancel out the allergies.