Planning a wedding is stressful AF, and these big-ticket events can bring out the worst in people. But that is no excuse to ostracize a disabled guest, especially when they’re about to become a family member. Take it from this wheelchair-using Redditor, whose future sister-in-law got mad at her when she pointed out that their reception venue wasn’t accessible.
User @DepartureOld6400 posted in the infamous /AmITheAsshole Subreddit for some unbiased insight into the whole debacle. For context, she (25F) is a bridesmaid to her older brother’s fiancée (30F). She likes her SIL just fine, but they aren’t particularly close.
“I of course agreed [to be a bridesmaid], and I was even fine with her putting me in whatever style she wanted so long as it didn’t involve me cutting/dyeing my hair,” she wrote. “It’s not my day. I can suck up an ugly dress and act like it’s gorgeous if that makes her happy.”
Unfortunately, one issue did arise: @DepartureOld6400’s accessibility needs. She is disabled and uses a wheelchair, which her SIL is well aware of.
Although @DepartureOld6400 knows the wedding venue is accessible, she wasn’t sure about the space where the reception is being held. To cover her bases, she ended up asking the bride, who admitted she didn’t know.
When @DepartureOld6400 researched the reception venue independently, her heart sank: “It is an old building — not accessible at all for me, and no bathrooms I could feasibly use, either.” And when she confronted the bride about this, she “got very upset, saying my brother had told her that he’d cover the cost and she should just pick whatever she loved and that she loved this [venue].”
It should go without saying, but just in case: Being unwilling to accommodate a disabled guest at your wedding is ableist. Period. It’s also selfish and rude, especially when the guest in question is your future husband’s sister.
But wait, it gets worse: “[The bride] then went on to suggest that we could just have someone carry me into the building, and my family or the other bridesmaids could help me use the bathroom when needed, which the very idea of mortified me,” @DepartureOld6400 continued. “I’m not about to agree to being carried in and needing help to go to the bathroom. I ended up giving her two options: If she wanted me at the reception she needed to pick somewhere that was accessible. If she didn’t pick somewhere accessible, then I’d of course still be her bridesmaid at the wedding, but I’d have to skip the reception.”
A fair boundary, right? Not according to @DepartureOld6400’s SIL, who doubled down: “She got upset at this as she feels like everyone especially my family will notice my absence and question it, and it’ll make her look bad. She then told me I was making this about me, which wasn’t fair when it was her day.“
“I won’t lie: At this point I was enraged,” the Redditor explained. “I wanted to tell my brother to let him sort this, but I wasn’t about to start shit between them over this. … [I told her] she needed to realize that she was not as sensitive as she thought she was, and suggesting that I be carried into the building and aided going to the bathroom was downright insulting. This led to a larger fight. … I called it quits at that point and told her she had my two options, and it was up to her which she wanted.”
“Am I the AH here?” @DepartureOld6400 asked. “I don’t feel like asking for the minimum accessibility is a lot, but maybe I’m too upset by the situation and her suggestions to see it clearly.”
Needless to say, most AITA Redditors did not think she was the AH in this situation. Instead, they were outraged by the bride’s blatant ableism.
“NTA,” one person wrote. “She was completely out of line to ignore your requests for information about accessibility, especially given that you are going to be part of her new family AND her bridal party. This is on her. You asked early, she ignored you. She can have the venue she wants, and you’re not stopping her, but she has NO grounds to demand you attend at a venue that doesn’t accommodate you.”
“You’re working way too hard to accommodate her lack of consideration for your disability, and now her appalling rudeness to you,” another commenter opined. “Seriously, you should withdraw as bridesmaid since she doesn’t even want you to be one. If it causes problems between her and your brother, well, isn’t it best that he knows what kind of person she is before the wedding?”
Although Redditors overwhelmingly supported @DepartureOld6400, some questioned why she was so hesitant to involve her brother. (“If I were him, I’d want to know if my fiancée was treating my disabled sister this way,” one commenter noted.)
The feedback prompted her to broach the issue with him. In an update to her original post, @DepartureOld6400 said they finally talked, and her brother was also “pissed off” at his fiancée’s insensitive suggestions for work-arounds.
“After only a quick search of the venue she’d picked, he could also see it wouldn’t work out for me and promised he’d resolve this and have a talk with her,” she explained. “He was annoyed at me for not bringing this to his attention sooner and told me I shouldn’t worry about his feelings over this. The best part of all of this? The venue isn’t even booked yet.”
Her brother also offered to make @DepartureOld6400 his groomswoman instead of a bridesmaid, which she gratefully agreed to.
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