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Woman takes back her offer to host cousin's 'extravagant' wedding at her 'dream home.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

Woman takes back her offer to host cousin's 'extravagant' wedding at her 'dream home.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

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"WIBTAH for refusing to host my cousin's wedding reception at my house?"

I 24F got married very recently to my husband 28M. About a year before we got married, we purchased our first home. We did extensive renovations on the house and put a lot of thought, time, care and money into it. It is our dream home, sanctuary...a forever home we don’t plan to let go of.

My cousin 33F recently got engaged and is going to get married this year. She and I are very different in personality, so we have never been close.. our families however, could not be closer (her dad and mine are brothers).

Some background: She and her husband 33M both currently live with their respective parents. She was pursuing a nursing degree but left the program. She is not working right now. Her husband works. I don’t know how much he makes but it’s an average income job. I mention this because.. they want to throw a BIG, extravagant wedding.

I have my personal opinion about this but I also understand that my opinion doesn't matter — it’s their wedding, their life.. I have never voiced anything other than a congratulations on the engagement. The issue is when there is an expectation that family should help them achieve this.

I eloped with my husband, and while we didn't have a public wedding, we did throw an intimate reception on our new property. We live in a very quiet, scenic rural area on a small acreage. It is private and thoughtfully landscaped. We have a natural pond and our property is surrounded by the woods. We chose not to disturb the land around us too much so some of the property line is in the woods.

All this to say, it’s not a lot of space as it seems when I say acreage. And also to say... without a doubt it made for a very nice outdoor venue. I understand the appeal but the key difference is….. we had SMALL wedding reception - my cousin wants a BIG (80+ guests) one. Still— I decided to hear my cousin out. I didn’t know at the time how big she wanted her reception to be I was placed under the impression that it would be like ours.

I invited my cousin over and she and I talked about how I set up my reception. I gave her kind of an outline she could use, including all the catering, decor, florists etc (I made her a meticulous package on Google docs and shared it with her). She seemed to agree with everything I was saying with a smile.

I told her my husband is away for 3 weeks and I will be gone for a week as well, and if she wants she is welcome to do some planning just give me a heads up. I always give my mom access to my home just in case, especially since both my husband and I travel a lot. My mom texted me if my cousin can come in with someone to plan seating arrangements outside and I told her as long as she (my mom) is present to oversee they can come.

That’s when I learned through my mom that she’s planning an 80+ guest wedding and extending the reception into our house (which I explicitly said in person and in my Google docs is off limits). My mom told her she cannot tour with the organizer the inside of the home- that the owners have not given permission. This upset my cousin. When the organizers left she became very upset and stormed out on bad terms. Her mother then called my mother to complain ruthlessly about me.

I just got back today and I’m told I'm being accused of being "spoiled" and "selfish" and "small-hearted." None of these accusations feel warranted. I talked to my husband about what happened, and he told me the bride and her family are being disrespectful toward me, and as such, they do not deserve to host in our home altogether - he said he would revoke the invitation himself.

I told him let me think about it (how to best proceed)...Would it be wrong to go back on my word and tell her I can't host her reception? It will cause her problems but it’s not my problem … (here is where I feel a bit aholey).

EDIT:

They are now offering to cut down the guest-list but I feel like the trust is no longer there, and their sudden animosity towards me makes me hesitant to put my home and self respect at risk just to appease extended family members. I don’t believe they will follow through with their promises or honor the boundaries I’ve set. I feel like I was mislead under false pretenses into agreeing in the first place.

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

FloMoJoeBlow said:

Agree 110% with your husband. Revoke the invitation and be done with it. Entitled cousin has champagne tastes on a beer budget. No matter what you do, she’s going to be hateful. So, set her free.

BigBroTKD said:

NTA. And in the discussions did she ever mention who would be responsible for the CLEAN UP? I’m sure they’d leave it for you and your husband. The clean up alone is enough to not let the reception in your house.

Ok-Reply9552 said:

Nta. Who tf is she talking about? She thinks she can be rude to you and use your home as a venue? Just say “you need to have your venue somewhere else.” Then block her and her mom and tell your mom that you don’t want to hear anything from or about them. It’s not rude (even tho she deserves rude),it’s not long,it doesn’t have an unnecessary explanation,it’s just what she needs to do while also conveying the message that you won’t be hosting.

UnluckyYou3574 said:

NTA. To be honest I was worried that she was going to come in and cut down some of the trees on your property to make room for all of her guests! I am convinced that there will be property damage if you allow this!

LeaJadis said:

NTA. you told her specific areas were off limits and she uses you being out of the house to expand her vision. tell her that after her mother called, you are not willing to host and you wish her the best.

Forward-Wear7913 said:

NTA - I wouldn’t let her near my home after that behavior. She’s totally ignoring everything you discussed and thinks she can get away with whatever she wants. Let her mommy find her another location if she’s so upset with you.

RNGinx3 said:

NTA. She doesn't respect you, and will not respect your home or your grounds. This is a nightmare waiting to happen, and when they make a mess, they will pull the family card, cause they already have.

UPDATE:

Some clarification of the venue...We have a carriage house next to our main house. In between the two buildings is a courtyard. The reception would have been held in this courtyard, as well as in the carriage house for an indoor/outdoor feel. The weather where we live is not an issue. My husband was even going to string market lights between the two buildings.

We have a very large finished bathroom in the carriage house that would have been for the guests. I was also going to utilize the mudroom of the main house, which has another bathroom for guests with easy access from the courtyard. The mudroom has good separation from the main part of the house, mostly by a large breezeway.

We have a long drive that leads to the house so parking would have not been an issue either. All this to say— The set up would have been perfect for a small reception. We would have thoughtfully taken care of it all. We had no issues when my husband and I hosted our own wedding reception.

I love hosting and went into this genuinely happy to host but it was always based on the understanding that my cousin’s reception would be the same size/scale as ours (small and intimate). She never corrected me when I explained capacity. I sent her my notes and stuff from my reception (it had seating plans too).

I think she always had the intention of securing my home as a venue and then doing what she wanted with it, hoping to get it done in my absence. When she realized my mom would supervise her visit to my house while I was away.. her plan fell apart and landed us where it did.

After my mom caught my cousin trying to arrange seating for guests way over the approved capacity, my cousin’s family started to slander me for shutting her ideas down— I got called.. a lot of things I am absolutely not. This included "jealous" and "sabateour" for not being accomodating last minute.

Their behavior toward me and their entitlement over our home angered my husband, who was still away. I talked it over with him and we decided I should not host my cousin's reception.

My cousin and her family tried to bargain with my mother (their attempt to bypass my “no”). They even tried to hide their phone numbers to trick my mom into answering. My cousin and her family began bullying my poor mother to convince me to accept a smaller guest list.. (still over capacity btw). All this time they went for my mother.. my phone stayed silent.

I called my cousin to stop harassing my mother, because I am firm in my decision to no longer host her— the trust is not there and their behavior makes me not want to host them. She blew up on me during this conversation, expressing that I will be "single-handedly botching the wedding" if I back out of providing her a reception venue, and that I am cruel for not being able to do this "one thing" for her during a "once in a lifetime milestone'" She told me to 'just please see things from my perspective and think about it.

I told my husband I am tired of the cousin and her family not taking my no for an answer, I have been respectfully direct but they keep trying to persuade me and it’s very exhausting. I know they are only saying things to get me to say yes but they will likely not honor any of it. He said he will take care of it.

He called my cousin and told her we will not be hosting her, and her disrespect towards me will also not be tolerated. He told her I was always clear on capacity and the tantrum she and her family are throwing is because they hoped to trick me into allowing a bigger reception than I approved. For the failure of that she only has herself to blame. She started crying and asked my husband if she could throw a smaller reception at the approved capacity.

My husband said we are way past negotiation, he will not allow it, not even if I ask him to. (I know he said this to give me an out, and I appreciate it a lot). He told my cousin not to contact me or my mother about this request again because he will be the one they have to answer to from now on. They haven't called or texted but my cousin tried to DM me on IG and my husband sent her a voice note from my account in the chat. So I think she will stop now.

Here's what top commenters had to say after the update:

Gonefishingforsnakes said:

Wow. Their behavior has been pretty disgusting. They thought they could trick/bully you into doing this. Glad you had your mum and husband on your side.

2lros said:

NTA They fked around and found out. I am confident your house would have been trashed you are not a commercial venue. Glad you stuck to your guns her family can host or sponsor a similar venue at their own expense

ChristinaWSalemOR said:

TBH, I read the first post and the answer was NO in my mind before any of the drama started. Hosting someone else's wedding/reception at your home is recipe for disaster. Would there be alcohol? Would you have purchased an insurance rider to cover randos getting trashed and injuring themselves on your property and suing you? Who was going to clean up?

Who would be responsible for damages her guests might incur? Do you need a permit to host an event from the AHJ? There are differences between having your own party and hosting someone else's. That said, you dodged a bullet here.

No matter what transpired your cousin would have crossed your boundaries and someone (or both) would have been angry. People like her operate by making others feel guilty and presume upon their good nature to get what they want. It doesn't make her a bad person, just manipulative. Good call!

DivineTarot said:

NTA. You know, I'm not always fond of guys being placed in positions where we have to play the "mean scary man" role, but I won't deny it's definitely effective when you've got a bunch of cowardly bitches who talk mad sh$t until someone stands up out of their chair at an average height of a male individual and speaks a little above indoor volume. He had a figurative big stick and he used it to perfection.

SECOND UPDATE:

This will be my final update regarding this issue. I will keep it short. My cousin ended up having her wedding reception at a different relative's property. I did not attend, and neither did my husband. This is because during the time between us saying no, and her still looking for an alternative venue...she made an extremely racist remark about my husband.

Along with that...in a groupchat screenshot that was sent to me, she called him (exact quotes) "controlling" a "tall motherf%cking tyrant" and "misogynist f%cker." All of this because my husband was zero tolerance about her entitled behavior and would not let her go around him. I decided to boycott the wedding. I did not want to celebrate with her. I've also gone no contact with her family. During all this, only my uncle (her father) apologized for my cousin's bridezilla behavior.

My cousin and her mother have continued to remain firm on the fact that I am an ungenerous and cold-hearted person who doesn't help family. I have a small heart basically. I have urged my mom to do the same (go no contact), but I will leave it up to her own discretion.

About 110 people showed up to my cousin's reception party. From what I hear, people were peeing in the bushes and stuff. Lots of littering. Some property damage. And someone injured themselves (warranting an ER trip) lighting firecrackers. I think some parking violations also happened for which there are fines.

I think that's all. End of update. PSA ~ I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU DON'T EVER HOST ANYONE'S RECEPTION/WEDDING. It's honestly not worth it as they're a whole different beast. I love to host (small dinner parties, soirées and events) but this was kind of eye-opening and I realized how out of my depth/naive I was to have ever said yes.

Here's what top commenters had to say after the final update:

CatmoCatmo said:

I think the problem with hosting someone else’s wedding, is the entitlement that comes along with: “It’s your day and no one else’s! You deserve to do whatever YOU want to do.” This was meant as a sentiment of don’t let others tell you what colors to have or what kind of flowers.

Don’t let your parents or in-laws tell you who you can and cannot invite. Things within reason. But for those who already have entitled tendencies, it tends to be taken as: “I’m the bride (occasionally a groom) and I can do whatever the f$ck I want because this is MY day!” And from there it all goes to hell. You being the home owner means nothing. The bride now trumps you in any and all decisions.

If you ever choose to open your home for a wedding (as it sounds truly lovely), make sure you know the bride/groom incredibly well and already have a massive amount of trust built in that friendship. The venue owner never gets trumped by the people getting married.

If she pulled this crap at an actual wedding venue, she would have been told to pound sand AND lost her deposit - and no doubt word would have spread fast to other venues in the area NOT to host that entitled twit. Thank goodness your husband has a super shiny spine and he doesn’t take any sh$t. He’s awesome.

Also, I’m so sorry your husband had to deal with her racist remarks. That is incredibly unforgivable. I guess at least now, you know. You don’t have to waste any future time/effort on the people who showed their true, horrible colors. Congrats on getting married yourself! And on your beautiful sanctuary!

ocean_lei said:

Obviously NTA thanks for the updates! It continues to amuse me that people respond to generosity by abusing it, but even more that when caught out they seem to feel that they can get their way by abusing, aggravating, talking bad about the benefactor along with throwing tantrums, lying to others involved, etc. etc.

I guess those entitled children have had Someone give in to their tantrums. Congrats for NOT. On another note, there are a precious few that when receiving kindness and sharing are appreciative, grateful, conscientious about protecting those providing support and attempt to show their gratitude at a later date. Few and far between, but they exist!

solaria0004 said:

You dodged a bullet. Good thing you guys didnt give in to your cousin or else your property would've been trashed.

Knittingfairy09113 said:

That is ridiculous behavior! Thank goodness you held firm against her entitled BS. My parents hosted my sibling's wedding/reception but it was only 40/50 people so very manageable with everything. I don't think you're going to miss much without that cousin in your life.

TwoBionicknees said:

"I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU DON'T EVER HOST ANYONE'S RECEPTION/WEDDING." This is effectively age old advice, don't mix business and friendship/family. In your case your property became a wedding venue and she wanted the family discount, but it also came with the family entitlement to treating you worse than she'd treat a normal business. She thought where a normal business would tell her to fuck right off, family would 'suck it up' and just give in to her demands.

Helpful_Librarian_87 said:

Who else wants "tall motherf%cking tyrant" on their headstone?

Everyone was on OP's side for this one throughout. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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