User These-Rabbit9624 took the notorious ‘Am I The A**hole’ subreddit to seek a further opinion on whether the decision she had made was the correct one.
She explained that she and her partner of five years are due to get married in 2023 and have requested that the guest on their big day refrain from bringing along their children and their pets.
However, this request would mean that her sister who has a golden retriever as a psychiatric support dog to help her with her depression and bipolar disorder would have to attend the wedding without her four-legged friend.
The 24-year-old woman wrote on Reddit: “My fiancé was attacked by a golden retriever when he was 11. While it wasn’t physically severe, it did affect him mentally and he had to go to therapy to be comfortable around dogs. He is now fine around all dogs but golden retrievers. Because of this, my sister always visits us without her dog. She’s usually fine to go out if she is with our mum and doesn’t want to bring the dog, this is what my sister says not me assuming.
“When my fiancé sees a golden retriever in public, he usually tries to stay as far away as possible and avoids them until they pass. This is usually extremely distressing and he can’t be in the same area as them. Not always resulting in a panic attack, but having him on edge and in flight or fight mode. Obviously not ideal for our wedding.
“When planning save the dates, we told our immediate family in person. When telling my family, my sister begun talking about how she would buy a bow-tie for her dog to wear at the wedding. This took place at our home and her dog wasn’t present. My fiancé brought up his discomfort and I backed him up, telling her that her service dog couldn’t come to the wedding.”
She added that when she said that her sister should be able to attend the wedding without the dog, just like she does when she visits their home, she was accused of “discrimination” as the dog is “essential for her functioning in life.
This has since caused a rift within the family as the brother as taken the bride’s side while her parent’s said that it “wasn’t acceptable not to allow my sister’s service dog to come along, and that it would mean she couldn’t come.”
The bride has since proposed that her sister visit her alone before and after the wedding to celebrate but her parent’s are now “threatening to not come and claiming disability laws against me.” She added: “I honestly think my fiancé’s comfort on our wedding is more important than my sister coming, and selfishly I want my fiance’s focus and attention on me and our special day.”
She has since added that her partner has met the dog but that it was a “traumatic experience” that triggered a panic attack because her sister “secretly brought the dog and kept holding the dog towards him and wouldn’t let him leave.”
Many felt that the bride was in the right to stop the dog from being at the wedding. One person wrote: “Why do your sister’s psychological issues trump your fiance’s trauma at his own wedding? According to your post, she has visited you multiple times without her service dog, so it doesn’t seem like a stretch for her to be without her service dog for your wedding. If she absolutely feels that she cannot be without the dog for your wedding, then she can just not attend. Also, the ADA doesn’t apply here as attending a wedding is not a protected right.”
Another said: “Your fiancée issues do have a priority since he is the one getting married. If your parents are present she shouldn’t need the dog since she goes places without the dog all the time.”
A third added: “You have to ask your parents why your sister’s mental health condition is important, but your fiance’s is not. Forcing your fiancé to deal with the mental distress caused by an animal associated with a traumatic childhood incident could also be considered discrimination. There are competing and incompatible needs here, and considering the wedding cannot happen without your fiancé, but can happen without your sister, there is an obvious answer.”