Redditor Asks If They’re A Jerk For Not Allowing Autistic Family Member At Intimate Wedding

When two people get married, they deserve to enjoy their wedding day to the fullest. It’s a day that reflects who they are as a couple, and they should ideally be able to choose the decor, style, venue, and guest list they want.

The invite list, however, can be one of the ripest places for drama and hurt feelings.

This is what u/throwaway4weddingday discovered when they sent out the guest list.

U/throwaway4weddingday and their partner invited 50 people to their wedding, including plus-ones. Because it’s going to be a small venue with an open bar, they made the event adults-only (21-and-up). But when their stepsister sent back the RSVP, she stated that she would be bringing her 23-year-old autistic son, “Johnny,” not her husband whose name was on the invitation.

The couple doesn’t want Johnny at the wedding because he’ll likely be disruptive based on his typical behavior, and he’ll likely be wearing grey sweats rather than the color scheme they are requesting. When u/throwaway4weddingday told their stepsister that they didn’t want Johnny to attend, she called them “terrible.” Then, once the rest of the family found out, they said they wouldn’t come unless Johnny did, too.

So u/throwaway4weddingday took to Reddit to see whether or not they were out of line for requesting Johnny not come.

[Editor’s note: Some responses have been edited for grammar and length.]

Photo: AdobeStock/Syda Productions

U/throwaway4weddingday wrote:

If things are safe, we will get married in September. We want a small wedding. We only want 25 couples (or 50 people). And because the wedding will be at a hall with an open bar we want everyone to be over 21. We invited my step-sister (she’s 16 years older than me) and her husband, but when we received the invite her plus-one was my 23-year-old autistic nephew. Not her husband. “Johnny” my nephew has never spoken a word in his entire life. But he does make loud noises, constantly. He can’t sit still and if they want to calm him he plays with a very loud fire truck.

I love Johnny but my wedding is not where I want him. I remember about 8 years ago Johnny was at a wedding and yelled during the moment of silence. When his parents moved him outside you could still hear him.

Also Johnny ONLY wears baggy grey sweats. I want my guests to wear certain colors and grey is not one of them.

When I explained this to my stepsister she called me a terrible person. My friends support me but my family are refusing to come if Johnny is not invited.

AITAH in this situation?

In a later comment, u/throwaway4weddingday added:

We are doing a family brunch a few days afterwards. He’s invited to that as well as children. It’s a thank you brunch from my partner and I.

Photo: Adobe Stock/wavebreak3

On this thread, Redditors are asked to weigh in by saying one of the following:

NTA – Not The A**hole
YTA – You’re The A**hole
ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
NAH – No A**holes Here

The general consensus seemed to be that u/throwaway4weddingday was NTA.

Several Redditors pointed out that people with autism are uncomfortable in loud and unfamiliar gatherings and likely wouldn’t enjoy being there anyway, no matter if they’re high-needs or low-needs.

“NTA. As an Autistic person myself, it seems like they think you are being discriminatory, but you aren’t. It sounds like an inappropriate event like a nightmare for him as well as the family and everyone else stressing around him trying to keep him quiet rather than him not being there and being happy.” –u/Willow430

“NTA. I’m autistic (Less challenged) and I still hate events where I’m forced to act a certain way.” –u/MercifulGryph0n

Photo: Unsplash/Photos by Lanty

“To be frank, I find that a lot of the time in cases like these – where the parent gets mad when said autistic kid isnt invited to a place or event said autistic kid will hate – it’s the parent thinking of themselves and not of the autistic child in question. Parties, clubs, weddings, etc. Very enjoyable for people, but not so much for us on the spectrum. As your stepsister is neurotypical, it is harder for her to understand just how painful and unenjoyable loud noises, bright lights, large groups, etc., can be. And since Johnny cant communicate with her, that adds onto it.” –u/ScarletFang9

“NTA. As someone whose career has been centered around caring for those with developmental disabilities, I am all for inclusion. That said, dragging a severely autistic individual to an event where they will be uncomfortable and disruptive isn’t fair to them. Your sister sounds as though she’s putting her desire to be seen as a ‘great mom’ ahead of her child’s comfort.” –u/NUTmeSHELL

Photo: Unsplash/Jeremy Wong Weddings

U/throwaway4weddingday wrote in an additional comment that it was likely Johnny would not have a good time:

I’ve only met him a handful of times (Johnny and I are about the same age but he grew up states away). But when we used to met for events he HATED it. He would scream for hours. He likes sitting on the floor never on chairs so usually at events his mom brings this picnic blanket. And has his toys on it. Even in restaurants.

Photo: Adobe Stock/andranik123

The small guest list is adults-only, and some users pointed out that just because Johnny was technically an adult didn’t mean that he should attend.

“NTA. You’re having an adults-only wedding, and Johnny regardless of age does not function as an adult. Your family is drawing a very strange line in the sand. Because clearly no one is treating Johnny as an adult in any other situation or aspect of his life.” –u/wobblebase

“Not just her child’s comfort, but her sister’s wedding as well. Sis is fine with disrupting and ruining someone else’s wedding for mommy points. Autistic kids /adults are awesome and deserve inclusion but not at the expense of someone else’s event. This isn’t a birthday party, it’s a wedding. If your adult autistic kid still plays with a large noisy fire truck, then he does not belong at an adult only wedding just because his biological years meet the definition of 21 and up.” –u/itsadogslife71

Photo: Adobe Stock/Freddy

Other users were shocked by the audacity of the stepsister ignoring that the invite was specifically addressed to her and her husband.

“NTA. Your stepsister was very rude when she crossed out her husband’s name and wrote Johnny’s name. Guests can’t invite people to somebody else’s wedding.” –u/bruins_fan

“Thats exactly it, the nephew wasn’t invited. Her step sister and her husband were. The fact that she changed the invitation for the nephew to come is just rude.” -u/aynetelfer

Some users suggested that perhaps it was difficult to secure childcare and so the stepsister had to bring Johnny — but u/throwaway4weddingday posted to say that Johnny actually lives in an adult care facility so that’s not the issue.

Photo: AdobeStock/Ljupco Smokovski

Another comment u/throwaway4weddingday made adds even more context to the situation:

[His mom] said ‘He’s over 21 so he’s my guest.’ When I mentioned that it could be over stimulating and he could have an outburst she told me “Tough cookies!” (Lol that made me laugh)

“She does drag him to a lot of places he doesn’t want to go to. Like big warehouse stores. A few years ago she took him to Costco around Christmas time and the loud music of the display made him upset so she unplugged it. The workers complained. She whipped out her phone, recorded the workers and threatened to sue. She’s a Karen lol.

What do you think about this couple’s choice? Let us know in the comments.

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C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.
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