I am 26F and my "adopted sister" Ally is 14F. The way we're "related" is that my younger brother Michael (24M) has been with his wife Maya (24F) since their freshman year of high school.
Maya and Ally had a really bad home life and my mom is very much a "my home is open to everyone" type of person, so over that year Maya began spending more and more time at our house, eventually bringing Ally over as well since she was always babysitting.
By the time Michael and Maya were 16 years old, Maya basically lived in the guest room and Ally spent after school, most weekends, holidays, and summer vacation at our house.
My mom and dad say that they love both Maya and Ally like their own children. My other siblings (18M and 16F) also treat her like she's a part of the family. Even after Maya and Michael moved out, Ally is still at their house the same amount, if not more than she was before.
Now to preface, I have nothing against Ally. She's a good kid and I make an effort to be nice to her. However, I've never really liked how she was foisted into our lives. She's not actually adopted and she still has parents and her own family.
Yet, my parents spend so much time and resources on her, it's ridiculous. Everyone else has started unironically calling her their daughter or sister and I've refused. I just don't consider her to be family.
Anyway, I got married recently, which is where the issues start. I invited Ally to the wedding, of course, and she came with all of my other family. When we were doing pictures of the wedding parties, I decided that I wanted one with all of my immediate family (so my parents, my siblings, and Maya, and Maya and Michael's daughter.)
My mom brought Ally up to come take the picture with us and I was forced to tell her no. My mom started to get upset but then Ally said it was okay and sat down by herself. My mom isn't a very confrontational person so she didn't make a big deal of it but then everyone else realized that Ally wasn't there and they got mad as well.
Ultimately, we took the photo how I wanted it because they "didn't want to do this at my wedding" but my entire family is pi$$ed at me now. My mom said that Ally cried when she got home because I don't love her, which I don't.
I feel like they forced me into a position where I had to act like a jerk by pushing this ranbdom kid on to me. I don't think I should have to consider her family if I don't want to. AITA?
Edit: After the ceremony but before the reception, the wedding party and both of our close families took photos. I did not include Ally in this photo session and she sat with the rest of the regular guests waiting for dinner.
I did not intentionally exclude her from any of the photos taken. I'm sure she's in some of them from throughout the night, especially because she was there with my family. I hope that clears some things up.
Edit 2: Maya and Ally are sisters. Sorry, forgot to explicitly say that in my post.
I'm so sorry but YTA.
Unless my math is failing me, this child entered your life when you were 16 and she was about 4 and you already had 3 other biological siblings younger than you but older than her. Your words sound resentful as if you started being neglected at that time.
But you're taking it out on Ally like her sister/babysitter removing her from her really bad home life as a preschooler was her fault. Like she had designs on worming her way into your family. That's not what happened. I hope you understand that. Perhaps therapy could help.
OP seems to be a bit jealous of Ally
YTA: you said this girl has be living with you and your family for 8 of her 14 years (since your 24yo brother was 16). more than half of her life, and basically a 3rd of yours. that is a LONG time. On top of that you let her sister in the picture.
you say you wanted a picture with your "immediate family" but included Maya (the girls sister) and Maya's Daughter (the girls niece) who, despite being the spouse and child of your brother, are would not be considered "immediate family".
you basically included every important person in this girls life in the picture, but not her. im normally very much on the side of "its your wedding, its your call" but this seems like you are being unnecessarily cruel to a child that clear is in an already horrible situation.
Against the grain a bit but NAH.
Judging by the ages, you were practically out the house when Ally became a factor into your family's lives. It does seem like you didn't have a chance to develop the same relationship with her as the rest of your family.
She is family to them. She is not family to you. That is not really anyone's fault, but kinda how the circumstances came out. You have no official relationship and no personal relationship.
While you could have taken the extra photograph to keep the peace the day of, the fact is, you would have felt weird including someone neither you nor your fiance consider family in a photograph, and likely preferred the photograph without her as is. If that's the one you chose to display at any point, it's just tabling the same fight for another time.
She was essentially invited to keep tge peace, as is, not because you wanted to celebrate your wedding with her. You just didn't mind her coming along. It's your wedding day and supposed to be celebrating with family and the people supportive of the couple- which Ally technically is not because you guys have no real relationship.
There might actually be a slight A H to the parents- if they want you to accept Ally as a sister, what have they actually done to build a relationship between you guys? It kinda seems like they expected you to just have one, and it doesn't work like that with older children.
We actually see a lot of that in this sub with step and half siblings- this is really the same scenario. OP just has no personal relationship to Ally, so it makes sense OP would feel weird about a stranger to her being in the wedding photos.
Wow, massively weird energy on this comment thread.
NTA. I think a bottom-line principle is that nobody should ever be forced to be family with anyone, PERIOD. All these AITA commenters seem to grasp that just fine when a stepsibling or stepparent is forced onto someone.
That framework applies here. If you truly are kind to Ally, that's all that you owe her. My god, you are allowed to take a family photo at your wedding.