So, when a frustrated bride decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about whether or not she should charge her family members a cancellation fee, people were quick to help deem a verdict.
I (26F), just got married to my husband (30M). I have a rocky relationship with most of my family on my mother's side. I haven't seen my mother in roughly 7 or 8 years, we haven't spoken, the typical strained mother-daughter relationship.
Regardless, I chose to invite some of my family from my mother's side to attend my wedding. It was small and very intimate, so I wanted the important family to be there. While I by no means have great relationships with the people on that side of the family, they did a lot for me when I was younger and I wanted them to be a part of this special day.
My mother was not invited, for a number of reasons. She's known to steal the spotlight and cause problems, plus she has openly shot down and berated my husband to family members despite never meeting him on the basis that he is an artist, and that's how he makes a living (he makes far more a year than she ever has, too. A little ironic). So inviting her was just not a smart choice.
Anyways, after sending invitations, word of course gets out on that side of the family that I'm getting married. I get a call from my cousin, about three weeks before the wedding. She wanted to warn me that my mother had decided, for whatever twisted reason in her mind, to get married to her fiance of now a couple of years on the exact same date.
Keep in mind that my wedding was planned eight months in advance. A week before my wedding I get a call from one of my aunts on that side explaining that she will be unable to attend, due to a 'family matter that has arisen.' Code word for my mother's wedding, of course.
As soon as I got that first call, I sent out a mass email to everyone explaining that anyone else who cancels last minute who has already RSVP'd will be charged $70 due to the catering and venue fees that would be wasted on them not being present.
I would be able to enforce this given that all parties had to pay an additional $25 for each room that we booked for them at the hotel, so I had all their information, and they were made aware of this charge (we paid for the rest of their room fees, BTW). Logically, I wasn't actually planning on enforcing this. It was more of an 'I know what you all are doing and I'm really mad about it' move.
So I spent about two days after that email dealing with non-stop phone calls from family on that side saying they 'had to' cancel, and it was absolutely ridiculous that I was forcing them to pick a side. I told them they had RSVP'd to my wedding months before my mother's, and coming to mine was also just blatant common courtesy.
Long story short, that entire side did not show up (aside from my cousin who warned me of the whole thing). I'm still debating actually charging their cards $70, but I think it's too petty and being honest, writing and even thinking about this on my honeymoon isn't fun. I spent the second night in f*ing France crying on my husband's shoulder over this. So, AITA?
Just because you have access to credit card information doesn't mean you can add charges they don't agree to even if your reasoning is valid and they're family. RSVPing 'No' to a wedding last minute is incredibly inconsiderate considering the cost of drinks, food, seating, vendors, and the size of the venue. This is a true wedding mess...where is TLC?
ESH (Everyone Sucks Here). Congratulations: you played straight into your mother's hands and made yourself look like the unreasonable one instead of her. I'm sorry it cost you this much to learn that you can't count on your family of origin, but literally charging them for it will not change or fix that. Forget them and focus on the family you're building with your husband instead. - mm172
Your mother is a piece of work. She worked hard to evacuate your wedding. This is her fault. It's unclear whether the people who went to mom's wedding understands how viciously she snubbed you. If they knew and went along with it, I'd definitely reevaluate your relationship with them. If money isn't the problem, charging the cards is kinda petty, sometimes petty is ok, but generally it just adds to the drama. You might just consider the $70 as a finders fee for figuring out who you never have to deal with again. NTA - Czexxi
ESH. You can’t just charge their cards because you have their information. They did not sign a contract with you or anything like that. They are AHs for bailing on your wedding like that. - Minute-Aioli-5054
YTA the wedding is over, just let it go and let all of them go too. It’s not worth the stress. - ShannonS1976
Nta…but let the money go…let them all go don’t let them think that it was all about the all mighty dollar…it’s deeper than that - Comprehensive_Bank29
While the opinions were mixed for this one, most people agreed that this bride has every right to be upset, but charging her family might distract everyone from the real issue. Letting her family know that canceling at the last minute is rude and expensive and then setting a hard boundary for future occasions is probably the best route here. Good luck, everyone!