Teenager Faces Family Drama For Publicly Exposing Wedding Exclusion

Even at the best of times, weddings are a lot of stressful and expensive work. They can put a strain on the strongest relationships and spark drama within the most tight-knight families, which makes it no surprise that some couples don't make it to the altar at all.

However, it can get even more complicated when that wedding comes as the next stage of a blended family's dynamic. That's especially true when — as one teen learned — it presents an opportunity for the couple to reveal how they really feel about their close relatives.

A good post-divorce situation

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Before she told her story, 18-year-old Reddit user light_blue000 explained that she has always been close to her father. Although she believed it was accurate to say that she was always closer to her mother after her parents' divorce, she still had a lot of room in her heart for her dad.

To get specific, she said that it was normal for her to visit him about three to four times a week. A few years before she turned 18, her dad started dating a woman she decided to codename Anna.

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A promising start

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As far as the teen could tell when her dad started dating Anna, the two got along famously. And up until she was on the cusp of adulthood, nothing seemed to suggest that this relationship was based on anything but genuine affection.

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When her father proposed to Anna, she remembered feeling deeply happy and would have been proud to call Anna her stepmom. For weeks, she spent her own money on her own personal preparations for her family's big day.

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Blindsided by some awful news

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As the teen told it, she had already bought her dress, shoes, and everything else she would need when her dad and Anna suddenly told her they needed to talk to her a few weeks before the wedding.

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The bad news they had to impart was that light_blue000 wouldn't be invited to the wedding. The stated reason was that since it was a child-free wedding and she would be 17 by the time of the wedding day, the rule indicated she couldn't come.

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The most insulting of technicalities

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Although the teen agreed with child-free weddings as a means of preventing young children from running around the venue and making the day more chaotic, it hardly made sense to her to exclude someone who was nearly an adult.

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However, it turned out this enforcement was even more ridiculous than it seemed. The wedding was set to take place just two days before she turned 18. It was only on the thinnest of technicalities that this child-free rule would be enforced.

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An obvious betrayal

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No matter how much Anna insisted that this exclusion was only because of the child-free rule, the teen took it as a clear betrayal. It signaled that Anna hadn't become anywhere as close to her as she thought, even if she truly believed the stated reasons.

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Not to mention, the fact that her father seemed willing to go along with this meant she felt hurt and jilted by him as well. For that reason, she didn't speak to either of them after they told her this.

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The wedding comes and goes

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If there was any hope that the couple would change their minds and realize they were being needlessly rigid before the wedding, it didn't take long for it to vanish. By the time light_blue000 made her Reddit post, the wedding had passed.

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And since her birthday was only two days later, that had also passed and she had only been 18 for a day at the time of her post. True to her father and Anna's wishes, she did not attend the wedding.

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Her real mom steps in

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Obviously, this came as an upsetting few weeks for the teen. Yet, while her father and Anna carried on with their wedding as planned, her mother decided to do something special for her birthday. Even if she hadn't just been jilted, an 18th birthday is quite the milestone.

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Although she didn't specify where her mother took her, it was a big enough trip for her to post photos from it on Facebook. However, the caption she attached to these photos would end up putting her in hot water.

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Whether she meant to or not, she revealed something

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Her caption was sarcastically positive and revealed some clear bitterness about what had just happened to her. Naturally, her dad and Anna were displeased but not quite for the reason she expected.

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In her caption, she expressed joy at finally becoming an adult. However, she immediately followed that up by saying she was so glad her dad and Anna didn't invite her to the wedding because she wasn't 18. After all, she said, she matured so much in those two days.

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Backlash to the backlash

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Apparently, Anna's insistence on the child-free rule as the reason to disinvite the teen was only made clear to her. As it turned out, the rest of her family was shocked to learn that this was why she wasn't at the wedding.

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This led these relatives to publicly voice their ire for the newlyweds, which in turn led both the dad and Anna to rage at light_blue000. Specifically, they called her immature and a selfish brat and said her caption only confirmed that she was too immature to be at the wedding.

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A moral conflict

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Although it was hard not to feel justified about what she said in her caption after what the couple has put her through, a conversation with her friends left her unsure about that feeling.

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After she talked about what had happened to them, they felt that she was kind of unnecessarily petty for addressing her problem publicly. They felt she should have let the fact that her parents didn't allow her to come to the wedding go.

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People read between the lines

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However, commenters were overwhelmingly supportive of her caption and believed that there was only one reason why Anna was so insistent on her wedding's child-free rule. And it had nothing to do with any hypothetical children.

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As one commenter expressed, "Banning the 17 year and 363 day old daughter of the groom from a wedding because it's child free is a decision. A decision to exclude. To not invite. To make unwelcome. Not just in their wedding but on their lives."

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There's no way Anna didn't want to hurt her

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Since it struck commenters as unlikely that this wasn't Anna's plan from the beginning, they were particularly appalled by the timing in dropping her bombshell. Although they would have still been on the teen's side if Anna made her exclusion clear as soon as wedding planning started, she didn't.

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In the words of one user, "They also waited to tell her until she had already invested time and money into getting ready for the wedding!" Was she waiting to see how much time, money, and goodwill she could get the teen to waste.

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They were mad at Anna but they were disgusted by the dad

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Although it was clear that Anna masterminded this exclusion, some argued that the teen's father was even worse. At best, he was cowardly enough to let his fiancée trample on his relationship with his daughter. At worst, he was a perfectly willing participant in that.

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In the words of one person, "Reply to your father that you now know where his priorities lie — with his new wife who didn't want any reminders of his old life at her wedding — and you will act accordingly."

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Another factor at play that only Reddit noticed

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There was one aspect of the aftermath of the Facebook post that commenters found particularly peculiar, and it's amazing that this didn't occur to the teen's friends. It's worth paying attention to the reaction of her other family members.

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Namely, the fact that it came as such a stunning revelation that the teen wasn't invited because she wasn't technically 18 yet. As one user put it, "They lied about why you weren't there. That's why people are bashing them."

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Otherwise, the couple's reaction doesn't make any sense

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Indeed, it seemed that the teen was the only one who heard the child-free wedding excuse. And by raging at her for revealing it, her father and Anna accidentally made it clear that everyone besides them had been lied to. Otherwise, why wouldn't they stand by their decision?

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In the words of one commenter, "What kind of man doesn't have his own child at his wedding? Anyway, they made the choice. If they believe it was the right choice, they should have no issue about it being publicly known."

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Getting the stories straight

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Considering how increasingly clear what the couple has become, other people suggested that the teen should reach out to them directly. After all, it would certainly be interesting to hear the reasons they were given for why she couldn't attend.

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Although the Reddit community didn't generally have much sympathy for the newlyweds, this was perhaps the biggest factor in their verdict for whether the teen was wrong to make the post she did. She wondered if she was justified but there's more to it than that.

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They didn't think the teen was wrong at all

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Whether the teen's response to the situation was petty or not, the Reddit community came to the conclusion that the father and Anna deserved to be publicly shamed for what they did. And that feeling become stronger with the more information they had.

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As one user worded their support, "I personally think it was EPIC. Harsh but epic. They deserved more than that. I would even update it with pictures of their texts." Indeed, those texts only gave her more ammunition. The couple aren't exactly master tacticians.

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It could have been worse for her if she didn't post

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Although some people found the public nature of the teen's post satisfying, one person explained why her friends were wrong to call it overly petty. Instead, the actions that her father and Anna labeled as "immature" and "selfish" were actually necessary.

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If she hadn't revealed why she was allowed at the wedding, the couple would have every opportunity to control the narrative. As one user said, "People might well assume you weren't there because you disapproved of his new wife or chose a vacation instead. Ensuring people know WHY you weren't there saves your own reputation."

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Next steps for the teen

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Since the community the teen reached out to was sure that this wasn't the end of the venom her father and Anna would spew at her, a few users coached her on how to deal with them in the future. One told her to play dumb about why she's being asked to lie about the real reason she wasn't invited.

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As they put it, "Never sway from this and keep acting like you can't understand what the problem is, literally just keep repeating 'but you told me not to come, why would you want me to lie about it?'"

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Consistent advice about Anna

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In the event that Anna tries to backpedal on her aggression once it's clear that the teen's family disapproves of her, commenters also advised not trusting her at all moving forward. As they saw it, any apparent reversal on her attitude should be seen for the damage control it is.

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After all, her actions made it abundantly clear that she doesn't want the teen in her life and the dad's actions show that he either agrees or doesn't disagree in a way that matters. The most common response to her Reddit post was, "She's told you who she is, believe her."

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Effects the father may not have anticipated

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Although the father's spiteful response to the teen's post showed that he felt justified in capitulating to his wife's obviously insulting exclusion of his daughter, the odds seem good that he will eventually live to regret it. And that's true whether he and Anna remain in love or not.

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After all, the teen said she was very close to him before this wedding saga occurred. And while he can think she's immature for this all he wants, it's clear that she may never be as close to him ever again. As one commenter put it, "I hope your Dad thinks it was worth it to trash your relationship over this."

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Potentially lifelong consequences

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Even if her father were to divorce Anna and apologize sincerely to the teen — which doesn't seem likely at this time — his actions will still have brought a significant strain on their relationship. Although the teen was always closer to her mother, that's especially true now.

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As one commenter put it, "Things aren't always how they seem. Dad will make a surprised Pikachu face when you have your mom walk you down the aisle at your wedding." He better not tell his daughter how unfair it seems to him if that happens.

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It's hard not to be curious

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Although it effectively doesn't matter now that the teen's post has filled her extended family in on the real story, that didn't stop the shocked reaction of these family members from stoking some curiosity.

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After all, it was clear that Anna and her new husband lied but neither the teen nor anyone else on Reddit knew what the lie was. However, that doesn't mean that there weren't any guesses. And based on how spiteful the father has shown himself to be, there seems to be a particularly educated one.

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They probably had a scapegoat in mind

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Although it's clear that the teen's father didn't tell her family that Anna had found an asinine way to use child-free wedding rules to exclude her, commenters speculated on the reason he likely gave for her absence.

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Since the teen was on vacation with her mother when the wedding was on, that makes her an easy scapegoat. As Reddit user Belaerim said, "Probably blamed the ex-wife and said it was her weekend and she wouldn't allow the daughter to go."

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Even people who wouldn't normally agree took her side

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One commenter noted that they would normally be opposed to putting private issues online, as the teen did. However, her exclusion from the wedding was so obviously targeted and hurtful that it was clear what the bigger issue was to them.

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In their words, "And then they doubled down by calling you a selfish brat rather than recognizing that maybe you're hurt by the decision they made? They sound like the selfish brats to me." Indeed, the couple seem to be the only ones who disagree with that sentiment.

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Another hint at the couple's malice

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Throughout their discussion, commenters made significant hay of the fact that the couple's wedding day was deliberately chosen two days before the teen's 18th birthday. Yet, while that was clearly chosen to make their ridiculous enforcement of the "child-free" rule technically true, that's not the only malicious part about it.

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Indeed, Reddit user letstrythisagain30 pointed out that it didn't show much care for the man's daughter to pick a date so close to her milestone birthday anyway. As they said, "When I got married, we planned around obvious milestones of the people closest to us, and we really wanted there."

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What was so special about the day they chose anyway?

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It was also hard for letstrythisagain30 not to wonder what was supposed to be so special about the date the couple picked in and of itself. If it wasn't a deliberate act to spurn the teen just before her 18th birthday, what other value did that day have?

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As they put it, "I struggle to imagine a reason that makes that day mandatory for the wedding to happen. Any special sentimentality around the date just says that was more important than sharing the moment with his daughter and her new step-daughter."

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Living down to an ugly stereotype

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Whether Disney established this trope or simply popularized it, the company's classic films are a big reason why so many people grow up with the idea of the "wicked stepmother." Sadly, it's an image that genuinely loving and supportive stepmothers can get tarred with when they make a necessary yet unpopular parenting decision.

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However, Reddit users couldn't help but think that Anna was almost going out of her way to embody this trope in the most devious way possible. At least the wicked stepmother in Cinderella didn't pretend her cruelty was kindness.

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Her mom was deeply appreciated

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Although there was no shortage of disgust for both Anna and the teen's father, commenters were relieved to see that she at least had her mother in her corner. She went above and beyond to keep what should have been a special day lovely for her.

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As Reddit user xmanSTL said, "Your dad sucks, but your real mom rules. Good on her for making you feel seen that weekend when your dad erased you from one of the most special days of his life."

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The dad's disappointing actions baffled people

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Although he's sadly far from the only parent to do this, Reddit users couldn't understand what the teen's father could possibly see in Anna, which was worth betraying his daughter for. While commenters obviously didn't like Anna either, she found a passive-aggressive way to tell the teen she didn't want the teen to see her as family.

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Meanwhile, the dad had carried on a close relationship with the teen up to the point but was willing to throw it all away for Anna. As Reddit user sandsnake25 said, "I have daughters, and if my fiance even so much as suggested them not attending, the wedding would be off. I can't even comprehend it."

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What did they expect to happen?

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The cruelty of the couple's plan was obvious, which made commenters wonder how they thought it was supposed to work. Did they expect that the teen would never have a conversation with other family members about the differing reasons they gave for her absence?

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One of Reddit's favorite catchphrases is "play stupid games, win stupid prizes," and this situation seemed like a perfect example. As one user named BigBlueHood said, "They screwed you over, and now they are angry because it came out? Their problem."

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Anna's master plan

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Given how suddenly and deliberately Anna's stepmotherly façade fell away, it was clear to commenters that she had been playing the long game all along. The "nice" period before this betrayal gave both the teen and the dad just enough time to let their guard down.

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As Reddit user NoDaisy summarized her plan, "Anna successfully put a wedge between you and your father, which is probably what she was looking for. Single man-no kids." After all, an estranged daughter is just as good as none at all for her purposes.

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Only a partial success

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In addition to being a cruel plan, it also struck Redditors as a fairly ridiculous one. Is enacting a Machiavellian plan to alienate a man from his children really easier than finding one who simply doesn't have any?

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Even if that's true where Anna lives, she was pretty overconfident in her plan to work on anyone besides the teen's father. As Reddit user Munchkins_nDragons said, "Unfortunately (for her that is), she also put a wedge between her and her new in-laws"

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They showed what they really cared about

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Indeed, Anna and the father's angry reaction to the teen's post makes their true priorities clear. Although one would expect the opinions of the ones closest to them to matter the most, that doesn't appear to be true in the couple's case.

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Instead, it's obvious that how they're perceived by others matters more to them. As Reddit user jasperjamboree wrote, "Here's the thing, if people are so worried about their reputation, then they shouldn’t do things that hurt others and expect them to keep quiet about that."

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Ultimately, this is about respect.

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Although the couple tried to frame the teen's post as immature, maturity didn't have much to do with the situation. As one commenter saw it, they weren't articulating what their real problem with the post was: They felt disrespected.

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As far as everyone besides them is concerned, that's too bad. As jasperjamboree put it, "Respect should be mutual. They didn't respect you, so it’s wrong for them to expect you to respect them. They keep using the terms 'immature/mature,' but the word they need to use is respect."