Do your parents ever claim to want something for you, but really it’s just for themselves? A woman has recently posted on the Reddit forum Am I The A**hole—otherwise known as AITA—with a story about her parents trying to make her have a massive church wedding that she doesn’t care for. They won’t even pay for it!
The original poster, or OP, is a twenty-eight-year-old woman soon to be married. She and her fiance are both in stable jobs—in the tech industry and as a teacher, respectively—and do “pretty well” financially, but they’re still not exactly prosperous.
The couple has been together for four years, and both parents are immensely happy for them; only OP’s parents are acting a little crazy about the wedding plans. OP and her fiance aren’t interested in having a big wedding. Still, OP’s parents are pushing her to have a proper all-out church ceremony with hundreds of guests.
The Total Cost Would be About 45K
A wedding planner estimated the parents’ desired ceremony was a whopping $35,000 and $45,000. In contrast, the couple’s preferred option is having a resort wedding in Jamaica for only $10,000.
That’s no small sum, even for a financially stable couple. OP and her fiance have made it clear—they don’t care for a wedding this large, so if the parents want it so badly, they can pay for it themselves. But not only are the parents pushing the couple to have this massive ceremony, but they’re refusing to pitch in for it too.
“If they want to show off to their friends, they can pay for it,” says OP. “We even volunteered to throw in the money we would have spent on my in-laws for the destination wedding we want.”
But the parents will neither help pay for the ceremony nor accept a different one. OP’s mother has called her an “a**hole” by “denying her the chance to see her only daughter married in front of friends and family.” To which OP has countered she’s not—she’s unwilling to pay for a ceremony she doesn’t care about.
The parents wanting to see their child have a traditional wedding that everyone they know can attend is understandable, but this attitude doesn’t fly. Any wedding should be what the couple getting married themselves want, not their parents. And not even being willing to pay? What did these parents think would happen?
“If they want the $40k wedding, they pay for it. Otherwise, stick to your $10k plan. In fact, do that anyway. That’s what you and your partner want, and this is YOUR wedding,” says one comment.
The post has sparked much debate in the AITA comments about how much a parent should get in a wedding they aren’t contributing to. After all, most parents will expect to have a small part in the wedding planning, at least; seats for a few friends the couple doesn’t know, and maybe decide on some decorations.
Giving them the benefit of the doubt, one might wonder if OP might be having a little bit of a communication issue with her parents—both sides seem to be acting as if a tiny wedding in Jamaica and a big church wedding back home are the only two options.
However, suppose OP’s parents care about having friends and family at the ceremony. In that case, a small celebration at home and a Jamaican beach wedding should be fine, right?
There is More to the Story
Wrong. Looking at further information from the OP in the comments section, she has already clarified that the Jamaican ceremony will be the proper wedding no matter what, and the church ceremony would be extra anyway.
One commenter speculates that ‘given the specific style, these parents want. They’re a conservative and religious pair trying to invite their whole congregation. They can’t stand that their daughter isn’t getting married traditionally.’
We think this is the most likely case—especially since, despite the mother’s “only daughter” comment, OP has a sister who will be at the Jamaican wedding that her parents “don’t consider a girl.” We suspect this sister may be a transgender woman her parents refuse to acknowledge, which is all the more reason to ignore everything they say.
We will say this—OP dragging her feet on entirely saying no to her parents will only make things worse down the line. Get the wedding you want, OP, but only that. If you feel as unbothered as your account makes you seem, there’s no reason to go along.