Bride-to-be excluding stepsister from wedding backed: "She's not family" (2024)

A mom refusing to attend her daughter's wedding because her stepdaughter was not invited has received a storm of criticism on Reddit.

The post was shared two days ago on Reddit's Am I The A****** (AITA) subforum by a user whose account has been deleted.

The poster said she remarried when her biological daughter was 13 and her husband has a daughter who is two years younger. "Since the beginning, the girls did not get along. At first bio [biological] daughter was the one instigating, but eventually in their teens years, the 'hate' became mutual," the poster said.

Her daughter is getting married next year and having a "fairly large wedding." According to the poster, the bride-to-be said her stepsister was not invited to the wedding as "she's not family."

The poster told her daughter "by proxy, I'm also not family and so if it's a family only wedding, then there is no point in me attending."

Bride-to-be excluding stepsister from wedding backed: "She's not family" (1)

Has the mother gone too far in the latest case? Or is her daughter being unreasonable?

Certified life coach Karen C.L. Anderson, who is an expert on difficult mother-adult daughter relationships, told Newsweek: "I suspect there's a lot of unresolved emotional trauma in this family from the divorce and subsequent marriages that is playing out."

The struggles among the stepfamily relations in the latest Reddit post are not surprising.

According to the American Psychological Association, "Under the best conditions, it may take two to four years for a new stepfamily to adjust to living together" and "the most difficult aspect of stepfamily life is parenting."

The complexities around mother-daughter relationships add another layer to the mix, especially because the bond between mothers and daughters is the strongest of all parent-child relations, according to a January 2016 study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The study showed "positive associations of regional gray matter volume in the corticolimbic circuit [of the brain]...between biological mothers and daughters."

Corticolimbic circuitry is "known to be highly relevant in a wide range of processes, including mood regulation and depression," the study explained.

"This association was significantly greater than mother–son, father–daughter, and father–son associations," the study said.

'She's Not Family'

The mom in the latest Reddit post said her daughter and stepdaughter are now in their mid-20s and "their relationship has not gotten any better."

When the poster asked the bride-to-be why the stepdaughter was not invited, "her reasoning was that she wants an intimate wedding."

The poster said: "This would normally be a reasonable response, except for the fact that even friends that she hadn't seen since elementary school are invited but her step sister is not."

After being pressed by her mother, the bride-to-be revealed that her stepsister isn't invited because "she's not family," according to the poster.

The poster then said: "If [her] stepsister is not family, then neither is stepdad and her half siblings and by proxy I'm also not family and so if it's a family only wedding then there is no point in me attending."

According to the poster, the daughter got "upset and started screaming" and "told her aunts and grandparents and everyone is saying that I'm an a****** for refusing to attend her wedding."

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'Rupture Is Inevitable'

Anderson, who is a master certified coach and the author of several books about mother-daughter relationships, said: "Rupture is inevitable in human relationships and repair is [a] skill most of us never learned."

She said the best way for this mother to handle this situation is to first "examine what was triggered in her when her daughter made this request—what did she make this scenario mean about her?"

The mom should then "tend to herself kindly for having reacted that way."

Once she is feeling "clean and clear about that and is no longer feeling defensive," she should "genuinely apologize to her daughter" without any expectation that her daughter will change her mind, Anderson advised.

"This could go a long way towards repairing the relationship if she is willing to be vulnerable rather than defensive," the life coach said.

'Mom Is Just Exerting Control'

Several Redditors criticized the mom in the latest post and sided with her daughter.

In a comment that got over 26,000 upvotes, user Happy_Train9408 wrote: "YTA [you're the a******]. Who died and made you the wedding guest list police?'s well within her right to exclude someone she dislikes (and is disliked by). Why do you think it´s reasonable to pressure her into inviting her stepsister with that kind of ultimatum?..."

Rumpelteazer45 noted: "SD [stepdaughter] probably doesn't want to go to the wedding either. Mom is just exerting control..."

PravinI123 agreed, stating "...maybe [you're] doing your daughter a favor by not attending her wedding. She doesn't need someone who can't put her first on one of her most important days. YTA."

BlitheCheese said: "Yes, absolutely. This 'mother' is one of the most selfish, unaware, cruel parents I have ever seen on Reddit. What kind of mother skips her own daughter's wedding in defense of and in alliance with an unrelated person who hates her daughter...?"

Aussiealterego added: "YTA. Even on her wedding day, you are not putting your [biological] daughter first..."

The original poster of this Reddit post could not be reached for comment.

Do you have a family-related dilemma to share? Let us know via We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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Bride-to-be excluding stepsister from wedding backed: "She's not family" (2024)
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