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'AITA for not allowing my brother a last minute plus-one at my wedding, despite having an available seat?'

'AITA for not allowing my brother a last minute plus-one at my wedding, despite having an available seat?'


"AITA for not allowing my brother a last minute plus-one at my wedding, despite having an available seat?"

When I say last minute, he asked my husband (M34) and me (F29) the actual day before our wedding. This happened almost a year ago, but it’s still affecting me a lot.

For backstory - my brother (M27) has always required a lot of accommodating. He had frequent meltdowns that still happen to this day, and my parents did everything they could to make him happy (and still do), often at my expense.

Fast forward to my wedding weekend. My brother proceeds to have a difficult time emotionally during the days leading up to the wedding. I suspect it’s because the focus was very much not on him, but that’s possibly my own bias. He does have diagnosed anxiety.

At some point my brother learned that my (now) SIL’s close friend was invited. My brother and SIL had both declined plus-ones several months prior (neither had SOs). My brother saw her having a friend invited as a slight against him and unfair. However, SIL’s friend is a close family friend - her whole family was also invited. This was explained to him.

The day before the wedding, my brother asked us to allow his friend to come for “emotional support.” We declined for a number of reasons:

It was way too last minute (we had details specific to each guest)

The friend would have had to sit with my extended family, which I felt would be uncomfortable for them (my cousin couldn’t attend last minute, so there was technically an open seat)

We did not want this person that I honestly don’t like at my wedding

We had made a rule that plus-ones were for serious relationships only, not friends

He had his whole family around for emotional support

We felt that giving in to this request would lead to others, causing the weekend to be more and more centered around my brother

My brother asked us separately - he calmly responded to my husband’s no, but when I said no, he exploded and threatened to not attend the ceremony.

My parents exploded as well when we wouldn’t change our minds. My mom even called me in hysterics and also threatened to not attend if we didn’t let his friend come.

My husband was extremely supportive and spoke with my dad, and I think it snapped my dad out of it. He apologized and was able to calm my mom down. Once they took a hard line with my brother (for once), he finally accepted that it wasn’t happening and he ended up having an amazing time.

He even attended the rehearsal dinner that night with no issues. While my brother has yet to apologize, my parents both apologized to me that night, and the rest of the weekend proceeded with no issues.

However, despite their initial apology, they have since defended their behavior and told me they think I used my wedding as an opportunity to “take a stand,” essentially blaming me for causing them so much distress by not just giving him what he wanted. Technically we did have an open seat, and I know my brother has emotional issues. I feel like I handled it the best I could, but my parents disagree. AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

too_many_shoes14 said:

NTA. Literally all I needed to hear was "We did not want this person that I honestly don’t like at my wedding." Your wedding is your day. It's a party for you and your husband. You are not ever expected to invite somebody you don't allow at your wedding.

It's like the one time in your life when only your opinion matters on who gets to go. All the other important days of your life, like birth, funeral, bar/bat mitzvah, first communion, quinceañera, parole hearings, etc you don't have total control over, but you do on your wedding.

Fresh-Listen5925 said:

NTA- stop bringing up the extra seat thing tho. The point is he was being a brat. With advanced notice you would have been able to accommodate but you cant do that to bride and groom the day before. Also, it was your wedding not theirs. You could do whatever you want and don’t owe them an apology or explanation.

Also, let your parents know that if they keep making you feel about it that you just don’t want to hear about it. If they didn’t mean their apology then why did they apologize?!?! I wouldn’t hold my breath for an apology from your brother.

I have a similar family dynamic and I’ve had to be very straightforward when I feel that they are trying to backtrack their support. Either you’re with me or you’re not. And if you’re not, we can talk but not about this because your viewpoint isn’t going to change and neither is mine. Setting boundaries now will help you in the future.

Wodan11 said:

NTA, and you don't have to explain yourself. In fact, explain that it still bothers you that they caused a scene and tried to ruin that day of all days.

Makataz2004 said:

NTA ask your parents why they continue to harm your brother by catering to his weakness rather than helping him overcome? Is it because at the bottom of it they’re actually selfish and just prefer to do what is easiest for themselves?

Holiday_Trainer_2657 said:

NTA. About time for someone in the family to take a stand. And look how it turned out. He did just fine. It could have become a reassuring lesson for brother that he's able to handle more than he thinks he can. Too bad your parents didn't learn from this, but are doubling down instead.

spaceylaceygirl said:

NTA- even if you used your wedding to take a stand, so what? It's YOUR wedding. You and your hubby are adults who have no obligation to enable your brother's entitled behavior. It's about time your parents started to parent.

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