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Woman bans alcohol from the wedding party she's throwing for her brother and SIL. AITA? UPDATED

Woman bans alcohol from the wedding party she's throwing for her brother and SIL. AITA? UPDATED

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"AITA for not allowing alcohol at the party we were planning to throw for my brother and his fiancé after their wedding ceremony?"

My (32F) brother's fiance, Chelsea (32 also), does not fit in well with our family. She's very loud and has never had a full-time job. Both my parents are in their mid-60s and continue to work full-time, with no ability to retire.

I know her family has struggled even more financially. My parents have always been very kind to Chelsea, though blow-ups have happened with my Dad related to her chronic substance use and financial decision making.

She and my brother announced their engagement around 2-3 years ago. This led to some intense planning and spending, despite their lack of money. Shortly after, they announce she is pregnant. They end up cancelling the reception, but only after losing the deposit. The baby has since been born.

Because we want people to have somewhere to go after their ceremony, my Dad offers to host a barbecue for them. Chelsea is initially hesitant, but eventually gets on board and creates a Facebook group with everyone she wants invited (including our extended family).

She insists we not refer to the event as the "reception" because she still believes they will have the reception they intended at some point. She makes it clear in the group that we are planning the event.

My parents and I get together and clarify roles. The budget is coming out at a couple thousand when you include food, chair rentals, etc. I make a website where people can RSVP.

I post the RSVP link to the Facebook group. Very shortly after, she starts peppering me with questions about food, etc. She seems pleased with my responses. Then she asks, "is it gonna be a BOYB kinda thing or if were gonna be providing the alcohol?"

It's 7:00 in the morning. I inform her that we aren't providing alcohol and that my Dad prefers to not have alcohol because of liability concerns. She absolutely explodes and sends me a slew of messages. Here are the highlights:

a dry "reception" is stupid

no one will come if the event is dry

if people can't drink they will smoke tonnes of cannabis

my family is judgemental

it's not what she had envisioned for her day ("MY day")

I weather the comments, telling her to talk it over with my brother and bring up her concerns with my Dad. She then says that if there is no alcohol there is no barbecue.

She proceeds to delete my RSVP request off the Facebook group, and adds a post that says the event is cancelled "on account of no alcohol." This is mortifying to me - 20 people had already RSVP'd.

I'm livid, to the point that it affected me at work all week. I think she's ungrateful and entitled, and she has behaved atrociously towards the family she is joining. I sent her an angry message saying that she had disrepected my parents and that she had thrown my work in my face.

To which she responded, "Nothings getting thrown in your face, it's cancelled unless we can make alcohol happen. Not a big deal." She continues to insist that my parents and I are in the wrong. AITA?

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

Trevena_Ice said:

ESH. I get your dad's point, that he don't want alcohol to be served. I get her point to want alcohol at her celebration. You should have communicated the no alcohol rule before setting up the RSVP page.

No_Glove_1575 said:

ESH. You and your parents know full well that alcohol is a normal part of socializing in the U.S., especially at a celebration. To say you are throwing a celebration in honor of someone and wait until after sending invites to disclose that is either intentional deception or awful planning. She is DEF also an AH for how she reacted and how she talked about the cancellation.

Jilltro said:

YTA By your own admission your dad has picked fights with a grown woman about her own finances and how much weed she smokes. Two things that are most assuredly none of his business. So your family has a history of overstepping and animosity towards the bride. Your own post is dripping with judgment and dislike of her.

Your parents didn’t offer to host to do something nice for her or your brother. In the comments you say they didn’t want to make family drive (gasp!) half an hour “just” for the ceremony. You mean just to watch them get married. That isn’t important enough? So they wanted to host a gathering which is fine, but if you’re going to pretend it’s for the couple you should at least let them have some input.

She’s right about a lot of things she said when she “explodes.” Your family is judgmental, having a dry event completely changes the vibe of an event, her group will smoke if they can’t drink, and it’s not what she envisioned. When most people hear there’s going to be a bbq backyard party they assume there’s going to be some beer.

She decided she didn’t want to be associated with the event so pulled out of it. Why is that unfair? If your dad wants to just throw a dry party for his family why does he need her pretending to be okay with it? So he can pretend he did this for her?

I’m assuming it’s a cultural thing but you’re awfully hung up on her disrespecting your parents when it sounds like they (or at least your dad) has been disrespectful to her since day one.

Lullayable said:

YTA. You're planning this thing because you want this thing. And clearly, it's not about the groom and bride but what you and your family want. Your brother, the groom, doesn't even care enough to get involved in the planning.

The bride didn't want it, now she does and she's being ungrateful because there's no alcohol. However, now she's cancelling the event to HER wedding and you are acting like it's some grand insult. Just effing cancel it, it's not about YOU.

Usrname52 said:

ESH. But, from your description of her, you're obviously very judgemental, and I wonder how unbiased your account is. I don't drink. My parents don't drink. My mom always has at least some beers at parties she throws.

After the parties, she'll try to pawn them off on someone, but usually they just sit around. I had a housewarming party when I moved into an apartment. Bought one case of beer, which I ended up spilling out 2 years later when I moved. I'd be very surprised to go to a BBQ without beer...and I wouldn't even be touching any of it.

Slight_Ambition_28 said:

Yta why plan an event for someone that you know they would dislike and then get mad at them?

UPDATE:

Thanks everyone for your feedback! I would reply to them all if I could. I'm getting the sense from the balance of comments that this is a true ESH. It's been helpful to hear from the YTA camp to reflect on my own role in the situation. In retrospect, hosting the event (for me) was definitely about pleasing extended family and not about the couple, which is wrong.

In my defense, I did throw her a nice baby shower with my Mom and take her wedding dress shopping, so I was trying to be genuinely helpful at points. My Dad says he told them no alcohol but obviously she didn't understand (or he could be revising history). I'm one of her bridesmaids and I'm starting to think I shouldn't be after realizing how deep my resentment and judgment toward her go. Feel free to weigh in on how to handle that (lol).

Update to update: Lol well things have definitely skewed asshole since then! Just wanted to add for the folks who are being sweet and making suggestions to solve the issues, there's no need because the BBQ is off, as per the bride's request. We're definitely not going to push the issue.

We have no plans to host anything after the ceremony because it could get awkward about who to include (more people were invited to the ceremony than the event following).

I'm still working up the motivation to apologize to her, but getting outweighed by the majority has definitely made it easier. Also to be clear, I drink and smoke cannabis as well! No hate to folks who do (well, maybe from my Dad, but not me!

Final update: I reached out to Chelsea and apologized, acknowledged my motives around planning it, and validated her sadness about having to cancel their reception plans. She accepted my apology, which was great.

She also said that they may be cancelling the ceremony anyways because the whole day is ruined, it's not going to be fun, and getting married is no longer thrilling to her. They will "let us know" whether it is happening. The wedding is just under one month away.

I told her whatever they decide to do will be fine. I also spoke to my Dad who was upset about the whole thing, and he said that when she texted him that the "event" was cancelled, he offered to talk about how to accommodate some alcohol, but because he wouldn't give her absolute control over it she said no. As is her right.

While I know I was the ahole in this situation, her waffling about cancelling the wedding last minute is a reminder that some of my attitude towards her and this wedding is based on previous experiences. She already cancelled the wedding once and then reinstated it a week later.

She has disinvited and reinvited at least one person on her side and my side because of things they said to her. People can call me judgy all they like; she never fails to shock me. I'm going to stay completely out of any planning going forward, knowing that I will not be approaching it with the right attitude.

Our relationship is fine for now and maybe there will be a point later where we can see more eye-to-eye. I won't respond to any more comments, but thanks to those who gave sincere positive and negative feedback and didn't take it as an opportunity to make global assumptions about the character of people they've never met. That feedback helped me to at least patch our relationship.

While the opinions were slightly divided here, most people were not on OP's side. What's your advice for this family wedding drama?

Sources: Reddit
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