Planning a wedding is pretty stressful and there are usually a lot of people involved. They’re ultimately meant to celebrate the couple and their love for one another, but emotions run high for everyone. How much consideration should the wedding hosts show for the people they’re inviting? Are they making decisions that feel inclusive for everyone?
That’s sort of the crux of this story told on r/AmItheA**hole by u/mealtacket, who asked, “AITA for declining my cousin’s wedding invitation due to the sexist wording on the invitation?”
She says her cousin is getting married in 2021, and she and her husband just received their invitations, which are kind of fancy because the bride’s family is rich. She writes:
My husband and I [27F] received the invite in the mail, and they were addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.” I was livid, because they totally erased my name and my identity by referring to me as an extension of my husband. My husband thought it was old fashioned but he didn’t think it was offensive.
I can kind of understand that, it is old-fashioned, but it’s also not a legal document or related to work or anything actually important besides marking your calendar.
If it really is that upsetting, it might be an opportunity to talk to your cousin about why so it doesn’t happen again. The OP did call her cousin, but it wasn’t exactly a diplomatic discussion:
I called my cousin yesterday night, and told him that I will not be attending because of the wording on the invitation. I said, technically he didn’t even invite ME because he never even wrote my own name on the invitation. I mean, I go by my maiden name and I never took my husband’s last name when we married.
My cousin apologized, said his girlfriend and her family were mainly responsible for the wedding planning, including the invitations, and he said they didn’t know they were addressed like that. He said others received their invites a few days ago and nobody has complained about them so far. I told him that’s no excuse for the blatant sexism on his invites and that we will not be attending.
My mother thinks I’m overreacting, she said my aunt is very upset at me and says I’m being a “drama queen”. AITA here?
Phew! I mean, sexism is wrong, but is alienating your family over a mistake made by someone else really the way to go here? As kind of a kill-joy feminist myself, I’d say no. This is taking a stand and then taking a running kick into the face of your cousin.
She didn’t even give them the opportunity to correct the issue. This is not a healthy way to deal with conflict, in my opinion.
Most commenters think the OP us overreacting, but there are some who think saying it’s “just tradition” is a cop-out that keeps these sorts of traditions that make women invisible alive.
If this is something she really believes in, she has a right to make a stink, because that’s the only way to make change:
But the OP’s cousin may only get married once, so the chance to make amends and learn via wedding invite will not really be presented again. If the OP feels so strongly about this, a compromise might have been to ask for a new invitation or send a corrected RSVP as some commenters suggested. That would be one way to ask for change without cutting off family over a mistake.
The world does need to change, but separating completely from the people you hope will change probably doesn’t work.