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Parent who brought entire family to wedding is defended by etiquette expert: ‘Nothing wrong with that’

A Reddit user who was chewed out on social media for bringing his large family to a wedding was defended for doing so — and an etiquette expert told Fox News Digital that the guest was not at fault.

“AITA for bringing 6 people with me to my niece’s wedding?” asked Reddit user “TAonlyAITA” in a post on Jan. 9, 2024 on the “Am I the A–hole?” subreddit.

In the post, the writer explained that he has five children, ranging in ages 17 to 9 — and that his niece, Ayla, recently got married.

“When I received the invitation as a guest, it said, ‘[TAonlyAITA]’s Family’ on the invite — which, in my mind, included my children, myself and my wife,” he wrote. 

Additionally, he said, “There was no child-free marriage or minimum age warning” on the invitation. 

“Even though Ayla is a little older, she always had a lot of contact when she was younger with my children (even more so with my oldest) and has contact at parties,” wrote TAonlyAITA. 

The wedding, the user added, was a smaller affair “just for family and close friends.” 

There were no assigned seats at the reception, either.

“From the invitation, I understood that my family was invited, and I took all my children,” he wrote. 

His brother also brought his two children, ages 18 and 14. 

And while the “ceremony was wonderful,” his sister, Ayla’s mother, confronted him during the party.

She approached him “to ask if everyone really came,” wrote TAonlyAITA.

In the post, the writer (not pictured) explained that he has five children, ranging in ages 17 to 9 — and that his niece, Ayla, recently got married. Getty Images

“I confirmed, she didn’t say anything else — and I didn’t think about anything else.”

Yet the day after the wedding, TAonlyAITA’s sister sent him a message saying that his behavior was “inconvenient” and that he “should have asked the bride and groom if I could take all my children, which almost didn’t have enough seats,” he wrote on Reddit.

TAonlyAITA told her that he thought his invitation was extended to his entire family, including his children. 

“She still doesn’t agree. She said that when you have a family that big, you have to confirm if you can take everyone and don’t guess,” wrote TAonlyAITA. 

When TAonlyAITA asked his niece about this, “she confirmed that it was a planning error of hers, but that she liked everyone there in the end,” he said.

The wedding, the user added, was a smaller affair “just for family and close friends.” Getty Images

The niece thought that only her older cousins would be attending.  

Despite all of this, the man wrote that he is “still being criticized by my sister.” 

Fox News Digital reached out to TAonlyAITA for further updates and information on the family drama.

An etiquette expert told Fox News Digital that in her opinion, the man did nothing wrong — and that the real error was in his sister’s behavior and the way the wedding invitation was addressed.

“When you say ‘to the person and family,’ you are referring to their household. So that’s mom, dad and kid,” said Elaine Swann, a California-based lifestyle and etiquette expert.

The day after the wedding, TAonlyAITA’s sister (not pictured) sent him a message saying that his behavior was “inconvenient” and he “should have asked the bride and groom if I could take all my children, which almost didn’t have enough seats.” Getty Images

A wedding invitation for just the couple should be addressed “Mr. and Mrs.,” she said. 

And while adult-only weddings are “absolutely acceptable,” the invitation should clearly reflect this. 

“This family bringing their five kids — there’s there’s nothing wrong with that, based upon the way they were invited,” Swann asserted.

What was wrong, however, was the actions of the sister at the wedding, she said. 

“That was inappropriate in terms of the timing,” said Swann.

Fox News Digital reached out to TAonlyAITA for further updates and information on the family drama. Getty Images/iStockphoto

“It is important for individuals to be a gracious host.”

All those hosting an event should know that “sometimes, unexpected things happen,” she said — and at the time of the event, it is best to just make things work.

Dr. Jayme Albin, a licensed psychologist and cognitive behavioral therapist in New York City, had a slightly different take on the situation. 

Albin said she commended the bride for taking responsibility for the wedding invitation mishap.

“While her intention was to only invite the older children, she made it clear that she made a mistake and it wasn’t her cousin’s fault,” said Albin.

“With that being said, I think the father of the children should have used a little bit more common sense and a little bit more courtesy when thinking about the wedding,” she added.

“Bringing six people to a wedding is very expensive, regardless of whether or not they’re children or adults.”

Albin also told Fox News Digital that she believed TAonlyAITA “should’ve given the bride a heads-up” about bringing all of his children, “or at least had a conversation with her to make sure it was okay.” 

Fox News Digital reached out to TAonlyAITA for further updates and information on the family drama.

On the AITAH subreddit, people can reply to posts and indicate the poster is “NTA” (“Not the A–hole”), “YTA” (“You’re the A–hole”), “NAH” (“No A–holes Here”) or “ESH” (“Everyone Sucks Here”).

Users can “upvote” comments they find helpful, and “downvote” those they do not.

The top-upvoted comment asked why the mother of the bride was so angry at the situation when the actual bride was not. 

“NTA, right there. The bride isn’t mad, and the bride said she was the one in error, and that she was happy to see your kids there,” said Reddit user “7hr0wn.” 

The user continued, “There’s no issue here. Your sister is being angry on behalf of someone who doesn’t have an issue.”

“The invitation said your family. You took your family,” said Reddit user “OkStar63” in another top comment. 

“If the bride and groom wanted to give you a specific number of seats at the wedding, or if there was an age restriction, the invitation would have said so. Your niece already assured you that it was a mistake on her part, and that it was fine,” they added.

Fox News Digital reached out to other experts for insight.

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Written by SaleemBaloch

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