The concept of child-free weddings has been around for a while now, and it's always been pretty polarizing. Some people love them, and others — usually people with kids — don't like them as much.
Usually, wanting a child-free wedding means excluding young children from the ceremony and reception, but Reddit user u/21wedding (or OP, for Original Poster) took it one step further by forbidding anyone under the age of 21 at her wedding/nuptials. She recently posted in the Am I The Asshole subreddit, asking if she's wrong to do so.
Here are the full details, according to OP:
"I'm 22 years old and am getting married soon. Since my fiancé and I are child-free and because we plan to have alcohol at our wedding, we decided to have a child-free wedding with the age cutoff at 21. This requirement has gone over well with most of our invitees so far (most of our invitees don’t even have kids anyway, so it doesn’t make a difference for them)."
Here's where things get a little tricky: "I do have one friend, 'Mel' [who's 20 years old], who I had to exclude from the wedding. After realizing that pretty much everyone else from the same social circle had been invited except her, she confronted me and demanded to know why she wasn’t invited."
"I tried to explain that it wasn’t personal, and that I just didn’t want to have to worry about underage drinking going on under my nose on my wedding day."
"But Mel kept accusing me of being a bad friend. She argued that since we had drank together before, it shouldn’t be such a big deal, but I told her that was different since we were both underage at the time (I was 20 and she was 18–19ish when we started drinking together). Now, as an adult, I feel like I have a responsibility to prevent underage drinking, and as the bride, I feel like I have the right to have a child-free wedding."
"Mel is unconvinced and keeps talking bad about me behind my back to our mutual friends, and making snarky comments about me feeling superior. I don’t see why she can’t just relax and let me have my wedding day the way I like."
The thread quickly flooded with comments weighing in on the situation, and people had THOUGHTS. Some pointed out that OP and Mel are literally just one year apart in age:
"It's weird that you would consider someone that is a year younger than you 'a child,' yet think that YOU are old enough to get married?! So close to being a child?! Also, you wouldn't have to worry about underage drinking. The only person with that concern would be the barman."
"You didn't magically become an adult at 21. You were already legally an adult since 18, you just gained the ability to legally drink. Your friend is not a child, she's legally recognized as an adult, just as you are. She's just acting like more of one than you are right now."
Others challenged OP's idea of what a "child-free" wedding actually means:
"Having a child-free wedding and having no guests under 21 are different things, as 18–21-year-olds are adults. You’re technically in the right because your wedding, your rules, but definitely [you're the asshole]. I would never exclude one friend from my close friend group because they’re slightly younger. You feel like you 'have a responsibility to prevent underage drinking?' Get a grip. You sound so condescending to your friend."
"If you were having a child-free wedding, Mel would be invited. You're not doing that, and as a result, you're excluding exactly one person from your friend group because you apparently don't even trust her enough to say, 'Please don't drink at my wedding because I don't want to deal with any liabilities around underage drinking.'"
Some claimed that while OP can invite (or disinvite) whomever she wants to her wedding, the reasoning is still pretty terrible:
"The couple has a right to invite whomever they want to the wedding. Mel isn’t entitled to an invite. But man, this is an [asshole situation] for sure because Mel is the only one in a friend group not invited because she is a 'child' by their arbitrary chosen date, and misses the cut off by less than 12 months."
And finally, a few even said that Mel's better off without OP, and straight-up called OP a "bridezilla":
"At this point she should consider herself lucky to have distance from you. The fact she can say these things in front of the others tells me they all agree but won't say it to your face because you're being a bridezilla."
"Your 'friend' isn’t allowed because of her age? And you think she doesn’t have a right to be mad? There is no logical argument or explanation you can make that would change my mind. If I was the rest of the 'friends,' I wouldn’t go as a show of solidarity. You’re a bridezilla."
What do you think of all this? Does Mel have a right to be upset, or does OP's reasoning make sense? Where do you stand on child-free weddings in general? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
And for more drama-filled stories — like the woman who refused to change her last name after getting divorced — click here.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length/clarity.