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'AITA for disinviting my sick grandmother from my wedding to protect her health?' UPDATED

'AITA for disinviting my sick grandmother from my wedding to protect her health?' UPDATED


"AITA for disinviting my sick grandmother from my wedding?"

Here's the original post:

I imagine I'll likely be verbally eviscerated by the internet masses, but I do have some explanation. My grandmother is my only living grandparent, and she's my hero. When I was a kid she beat stage 4 lung cancer, and when I had my own (less severe) diagnosis of cancer she was there for more even more than my parents.

I hope people believe me when I say, this decision to exclude her from my wedding is not one made lightly, however I genuinely think it to be for the best.

My fiancé and I are getting married in about 8 months, been engaged for close to 3 years. We hadn't intended for such a long engagement, but it's where the dice fell. Initially when planning the wedding I absolutely wanted my grandmother there and sent her an invite, but about a year ago she had a massive stroke. (ETA To make this absolutely clear, everything was planned and booked BEFORE she had the stroke)

She's 90 years old and the family was kind of astonished she even made it, however she's been in really bad shape since then. On her good days she still needs a walker to get around, though often times requires a wheelchair.

Unfortunately our wedding takes place in an old historical location that it not wheelchair-friendly, the ceremony space is quite a walk across a field from the reception area... all in all, not very suitable for my grandmother in her current state.

I tried to see if we could move the venue, but the wedding was already paid off and the contract states we can't get a refund if we choose to cancel, so moving locations we'd be out $20k. We're paying for the wedding ourselves and scraped together every dime we had to pay for it, so this isn't a hit we can financially bear.

It broke my heart immensely coming to the realization my grandmother couldn't be there, especially worrying if she tried to push herself it could harm her health further, and she refuses to accept it. She insists she'll make it there with her walker, but she can't even get through a grocery store trip let alone an all-day event.

I suggested we have someone in front for the ceremony video call her, or have us get married at a courthouse beforehand so she could be there for the actual marriage and still use the wedding as more of a celebration party, hell I would've been willing to get married in the damn parking lot.

However she's the type of stubborn and headstrong person to refuse to accept her limitations, was practically offended I would entertain the idea of "ruining" my own wedding or suggest she is less than capable of being there in person, and is now very upset with me now that I've said if she refuses all of my compromises then it may be for the best she not attend.

Family members are equally angry with me for crushing her hopes to see me get married and have been giving me loads of shit, even though they're well aware of her condition and agree it would be virtually impossible to have her be there.

The only one on my side is my fiancé, which has me wondering if I really am the asshole for not letting her try to attend despite knowing it likely won't end well. AITA?

ETA: I'll answer some frequently asked questions that I've seen so far--

She does have a part-time caregiver come by her house a couple days a week to bring groceries and take her to appointments and stuff like that, however she's kind of a small lady herself and isn't even available the day of the wedding.

We've looked into hiring/renting assistance of any kind, but we've put almost all our money towards the venue which my parents insisted on for a centralized location (they've been taking control of the wedding and I don't have the best relationship with them, but that's more than I can get into with the character limit) and it was one of the most affordable.

No one in the family has yet to volunteer to help either physically the day-of or financially, so we're pretty much on our own. My main concern comes from her potentially pushing herself too hard trying to get around, which has happened after the stroke and put her health at further risk because she's tried to continue living as she did before the stroke and has been hospitalized for it.

What do you think? This is what top commenters had to say:

idontcare8587 said:

YTA. This is dark. She's an adult. Why are you not letting her make her own choices? Disinviting someone is a huge deal and is usually reserved for when someone does something particularly egregious.

YouthNAsia63 said:

YTA. I bet there are several strong and healthy groomsmen and/or guests coming. How much does your grandma weigh? My mama was a whopping 92 pounds when she died. Even if grandma is twice that, they can still carry her to the non refundable and difficult historical location that’s across a field that you purposefully chose, and booked, and paid for.

She doesn’t have to struggle with a walker and who cares if it’s wheelchair accessible. If you wanted to, you could make it work. But grandma seems very much like an afterthought during planning and now. Well, hell. She is so old she may not even make it eight more months. Then you can luck out and not even worry about it!

P00rExecution said:

Okay so before my grandad passed away, I was essentially his personal assistant. Like your grandmother, he had a cane but also a wheelchair, and I'd wheel him around everywhere. So I say this from experience: most historical sites do make accommodations for elderly or disabled people.

Please, please, please talk to the venue and get them to set something up. If there's stairs, chances are the have collapsible ramps. If there's a long stretch of grass, I can assure you they have SOME form of transport across it. And if they don't? Get two wood planks and wheel her over those.

I won't pass a judgement, but I will say that you need to talk to tell your venue and tell them you have disabled guests and you need to talk about the accommodations they have.

YMMV-But said:

NAH. Have you asked the staff at your venue for ideas? They may have solved this problem before. You said that the ceremony is across a field from the reception- maybe you could borrow a golf cart & have someone drive her. Tbh, your set up doesn’t sound very friendly to a lot of people. I can’t imagine people in high heels, for example, wanting to walk across a field, especially if it’s “quite a walk”.

A week after her original post, she shared this update on the situation:

Hi, I wanted to give an update to my previous post. There were a lot of repeat questions since some things I couldn’t explain fully due to the character limit, so hopefully I can provide some clarification.

I was concerned and initially made the decision to uninvite her because she was insistent on living life just as she did before her stroke, and didn't even want a part-time caregiver until an incident at the grocery store that ended with her hospitalized. I didn't want her to be in a similar situation just for me. If she got hurt or worse as a result of her overexerting herself at my wedding I would never forgive myself.

I thought I was doing the right thing for her sake, but a lot of the comments gave me some much-needed perspective. A handful of people were convinced I was embarrassed by my grandmother’s health issues, worried she would "ruin" the wedding, or hoped my grandmother would pass away… As my grandmother is fond of saying, “even Evel Knievel couldn’t make that leap”.

I will admit part of why I came to the decision was the result of frustration and lack of any sort of help from family, not just for the wedding but it feels like they've given up on her altogether. I was at my wit’s end with them, didn’t know what else to do, got massively stressed and overwhelmed. It was taking more of a toll than I realized. I’ll likely have a serious talk with certain family members later on.

We did look into hiring/renting assistance of any kind but we've put almost all our money towards the venue, which was chosen by my dad and step-mom. They paid the down payment on our home and used that to steer the wedding in a direction they want, so they heavily influenced a lot of decisions.

At the time it would've worked fine since everything was booked and paid before my grandmother had the stroke. She's my mom's (who isn't in the picture) mother and was never close with my dad, so my parents aren't willing to provide financial help to get her some assistance. No one from her side wants to help either so we're on our own.

As for the main update, we’ve found a way for my grandmother to safely attend the wedding! I stated in some comments my grandmother was very active in her community, even leading right up to the stroke.

One of her favorite things was reading to kids at a nearby elementary school, and I learned she’d become good friends with one of the custodians who would help her navigate the building and escort her around, a really nice guy in his 40’s. I contacted him and explained the situation, and he said he would love to be her dedicated help for the day of the wedding.

When he said that the relief and excitement I felt was indescribable. Of course I went to my grandmother and begged forgiveness, and explained the plan for the day. She was happy with the arrangement, and said while she understood I had good intentions, if I “try any nonsense like that again, she’d drop dead out of spite”. Thank you all for your help and judgement!

Sources: Reddit
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