Wedding Drama Sparked After Bride-To-Be’s Choice Of Escort Offends In-Laws
While many people can count their weddings as one of the happiest days of their lives, that makes it easy to forget how stressful most of them were at the time. Based on the stories that arise from the struggles of planning weddings, it's a testament to the strength of some relationships that they made it through at all.
Sometimes a difference can arise that's so irreconcilable that it renders a marriage over before it even truly begins. And one bride is now wondering whether that's the kind of dilemma she's facing after her choice of escort offends her future in-laws.
A tragic background
When the bride-to-be was ten years old, she suddenly lost her mother.
And since she had never met her father, the only other person she really had in her life was her then 19-year-old half-sister.
A beautiful sacrifice
Although this sister's father was willing to support her after their loss, that courtesy did not extend to the younger child.
Refusing to abandon her little sister, the teen decided to become her guardian, even if it meant missing out on her relationship with her father, college, and her 20s in general.
At 23, the bride-to-be reflected not only on what her sister gave up for her but also on how admirably she succeeded at raising her all on her own.
As she worded it, "All my life, she's had to fulfill so many roles for me -- big sister, mother, father, friend -- that it only felt right that those multiple roles be honored on one of the biggest days of my life."
A heartwarming gesture
By that, the bride-to-be meant that when she got engaged a few months ago, she had the idea of making her sister both the Maid of Honor and the special person who escorted her down the aisle during the ceremony.
She was excited to tell her sister her plans, and in turn, the gesture made the sister just as ecstatic.
Complications arose very fast
However, the woman soon learned that her fiancé objected to this idea. As he told it, this was because both he and his family expected a "traditional white wedding."
As the bride-to-be further relayed, "He said that it was great that my sister was my MOH, but that her having two roles wasn't and that it wasn't appropriate for her to walk me down the aisle since that's usually done by a man."
An attempt at compromise
Since the fiancé's family was aware that the woman didn't have any male relatives to meet their traditional vision, they had apparently assumed that her future father-in-law would give her away at the altar instead.
But while the woman appreciated that this man was willing to fill that role, it still didn't feel right to her.
An escalating argument
As the woman said, "The one who made (sic) me the person I am is my sister, and so it's right that she be the one to give me away."
But while the fiancé was happy to see his bride's sister as her Maid of Honor, this point didn't appear to persuade him, and an argument ensued.
Outside influences came into the picture
Apparently, the fiancé's parents caught wind of the disagreement, and his mother called her in an attempt to make her change her mind.
As the bride-to-be wrote, "Although she understands how important my sister is to me, that it's also my fiance's wedding and I shouldn't be putting my sister before him on his day."
The sister's perspective
Although the woman is standing firm against her in-laws' attempts to cajole her, the sister has told her that she doesn't mind being only the Maid of Honor and that she doesn't want to make her happy day stressful.
In an update, the bride-to-be also said that her sister suggested just walking down the aisle on her own and choosing neither person to escort her.
Sticking to her guns
But the woman said she wasn't willing to go through with that idea either because, as she put it, "Because of her, I never walked alone on the worst days of my life, so I'm definitely (sic) not going to walk alone on the happiest."
Still, it's hard for her not to feel like she's being stubborn when she's the only one still holding out for something important to her. For that reason, she sought advice on Reddit.
People were horrified
Both her fiancé and his family's reaction to what they considered a beautiful gesture troubled the overwhelming majority of commenters for a variety of reasons.
But suffice to say, none of them thought the bride-to-be was wrong for resisting their "traditional" ideas.
The bride-to-be was asked if his family had any financial stake in the wedding, and she revealed that they were paying for 75% of it because she was in medical school and due to the fiancé's specifications for the wedding.
But as one commenter saw it, that didn't excuse their unwillingness to bend for her sister. As they said, "Your fiance and in-laws value a pointless, misogynistic tradition more than your feelings. Don't choose a pointless, misogynistic tradition over your sister."
Who's more traditional?
And misogyny was indeed the suspected motivation for that family trying to decide who walked the bride-to-be down the aisle, as others pointed out that their solution didn't even make sense for their supposed tradition.
As one commenter pointed out, "You're keeping in with tradition. The person who RAISED you is walking you down the aisle."
The letter, but not the spirit
In contrast, the fiancé's family substituting her future father-in-law for her sister was considered even further removed from wedding traditions than if they didn't worry about whether a man or a woman was leading her down the aisle.
As one user mentioned, "How can someone 'give you away' if they never 'had' you? I mean, I'm a male, so can I 'give you away?'"
Outrage mixes with curiosity
Most commenters expressed concern about what gender roles the bride-to-be would be expected to fill if she does go through with the wedding. In one case, a commenter asked what kind of household chores the fiancé does.
And in response, the bride-to-be shared that he actually does the majority of them because she's both working and in medical school.
Until now, everything seemed so sweet
Others asked if the fiancé had followed tradition by asking her sister for her hand, and the woman replied that he actually had.
As she described, "She also helped him custom design the engagement ring. She showed me their group text, and at one point, they spent three weeks trying to decide between five different diamonds. 'Maybe I should just propose with an infinity gauntlet.' It was very sweet and cute."
Almost out of nowhere
With this in mind, her fiancé's unwillingness to budge on something so clearly important to her on the basis of gender came as a total shock.
Because while there were subtle markers of some hang-ups in this department, she didn't feel that any of them would have indicated a prejudice this serious.
Some smaller insecurities
While describing their living situation, the bride-to-be also mentioned what she described as "some performative masculinity hangups."
The examples that came to mind involved his refusal to use anything pink or to let her pay the full cost for a meal they share together, but nothing she would describe as "aggressive or misogynistic."
A new light
But when a commenter opined that it was hard to see this pushback against her sister walking her down the aisle as anything but misogynistic, the bride-to-be couldn't help but agree.
And it was also hard for either of them to write this off as an isolated incident.
Serious relationship concerns
Since the fiancé and his family have proved so rigid about their understanding of tradition, it was hard for commenters not to worry that similar traditions will be used to control other aspects of this woman's life.
In the words of one user, "This is a great opportunity to talk with your fiancé about whether he values gender roles more highly than real people."
Tradition isn't the only problem
Commenters also noticed how quick the fiancé was to involve his family in their disagreement, which made them concerned that the bride-to-be was signing up for a future of them ganging up on her.
As one of them put it, "You realize that this is a test case for how future interactions between you and your new family will go? What you do here determines how it'll go next time."
Further down the line
Said commenters expressed that the worrying behavior the woman described would only get worse if the couple decided to have children. However, she explained why this wasn't an immediate issue for her.
As she wrote, "Because of a medical condition, I am infertile, though neither of us feels a particularly strong urge to be parents anyway."
Adapting to change
At the same time, the woman acknowledged that feelings and plans could change and expressed what her terms for adoption would be.
In her words, "It would have to be when I'm financial stable enough that even alone, I'd be able to support and care for a child without it being a major blow to my or the child's quality of life."
Some hard advice
Nonetheless, commenters still saw more than enough red flags in this situation that led them to caution her against marrying into this family at all.
As one of them said, "I would have serious reservations about marrying someone who was blatantly dismissive of my plan to honor the person who raised me."
Not as forceful, but not disagreeing
Although some commenters didn't go as far as to say "run" or suggest aggressive ultimatums, they nonetheless agreed that the bride-to-be should seriously reconsider this union before it's too late.
In the words of one of these users, "Please think really hard about whether or not you want to put up with this kind of dismissive attitude towards what's important to you the rest of your life."
This story's inspiring aspect
Although the commenters supporting the bride-to-be felt strongly about the issue at large, they were also deeply touched by how selfless and loving her sister has been all her life.
As one of them wrote, "I admire the effort you (sic) big sister put in to raise you. Having her walk you down the aisle is a no-brainer. Also, you made me tear up."
Although her responses obviously leave the woman with a lot to grapple with, it brought her unalloyed joy to see how many people appreciate her sister as much as she does.
In her words, "She is, as far as I'm concerned, the definition of strength and love."
Too modest for her own good
And more than any of her comments, she said she wanted to collect the ones that praised her sister so she could show her.
Because, as she put it, "She doesn't realize how amazing she is."
The bride-to-be or not to be
After they said their respective pieces, commenters urged the bride to update them on her next move. And after taking enough time to reflect on what they told her, she promised to do so.
In her words, "You've all given me a lot to think about, including underlying motivations and larger implications."
The uncertainty continues
However, it seems that a great deal of reflection and some serious, private conversations have occurred in the interim because no such update has appeared on the site yet.
It seems her concerned supporters will need to keep watching and waiting.