Why Bride Told Stepdad His Place Is 'In the Shadows' at Her Wedding Praised

A woman on Reddit is being praised after telling her overbearing stepfather to lower his expectations for his role on her wedding day.

In a viral post shared on Reddit's AITA (Am I The A******?) subforum, user Worldly_Exercise_372 explained that her biological father left while her mother was still pregnant. When she was born, her mother's best friend, Loch, stepped up and asked to be her dad. Loch is gay and his relationship with her mother is platonic, but it "just worked," she wrote.

The Redditor said that her mother's partner, Matt, has always tried to downplay Loch's role in her life and remind her that he's not actually her dad—despite Loch's name being on her birth certificate and him having legal rights as a father.

"My teens were rough with stuff. But the final blow came when Matt showed up to a father/daughter event for Father's Day that I had not invited him to and that I was attending with my dad, and attempted to get my dad to leave," the Redditor wrote. "Then [he] told [Loch] he was not married to mom nor was he my bio dad and he should have stepped aside so I could have a normal family."

image of a couple and a serious-looking
This split image shows a bride and groom posing on their wedding day (L) and a serious-looking man (R). A bride-to-be is being backed on Reddit after she told her overbearing stepfather who didn't respect her relationship with her father that he would be "in the shadows" at her wedding. Getty

The woman said both her mother and Matt are invited to the wedding, but that "he is nothing more than a guest." Matt was upset by this and offered to pay for the wedding, which was rejected by the Reddit user.

"I told him he had earned his place in the shadows and he wasn't important enough for me to invite really, but mom had sort of made up for staying with him so he was going as a courtesy to her, and nothing else. He called me an ungrateful brat and said I shouldn't be so rude to him," she wrote.

Zoe Burke, a wedding expert and editor of Hitched.co.uk told Newsweek: "Weddings are all about bringing families together, but not everyone's family looks the same. The term family can refer to so many different setups and structures, and what is most important is that the couples' wishes are respected on their wedding day.

"There's absolutely nothing you 'have' to do at your wedding—sure, wedding traditions exist, but there's no pressure to follow them. In my opinion, what makes a wedding the most meaningful and important is making sure it's true to you. In this instance, the bride is doing the right thing by honoring the person who has fulfilled the father role in her life as that is what is most important to her," Burke said.

"It is a shame that she hasn't been able to have a respectful relationship with her stepfather and that he hasn't respected her boundaries, but it's really key here that he respects her wishes surrounding her wedding and lets her celebrate the way she wants to. Letting your loved ones do their thing and supporting them is the basis of any family connection."

Since being shared on Tuesday, the AITA post has been upvoted 6,600 times and attracted 690 comments as of writing. The overwhelming majority of commenters backed the bride-to-be's decision and many also called for Matt to be barred from the wedding.

Reddit user Type1error, whose comment was upvoted more than 9,300 times, said: "Ungrateful for what? He did everything he could to drive a wedge between you and your father and tried to force you to be something you did not want.

"Given his history—showing up at an event to cosplay father—you should uninvite him and tell your mom that you don't trust him not to cause a scene at your wedding."

Wholesome_Hyena wrote: "[Not The A******] And 'you have earned your place in the shadows' is so f****** metal. Hats off for that one."

BlueMilkStu commented: "[Not The A******], and in fact, I'd rescind the invitation if I were you, or at least tell him it's on the table if he's going to continue to belittle you and your father. I'd also have some security at the wedding (a couple of your husband-to-be's groomsman or something) ready to remove him if he tries to disrupt the wedding or take your father's place."

Newsweek reached out to Worldly_Exercise_372 for comment.

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