Woman in wedding dress with a bouquet and screaming into a cell phone

We all plan our wedding days to be as perfect as possible, but the definition of a ‘perfect’ day is different for each couple. When one woman’s wedding plans upset some of her family, she asks a popular online forum to help settle the matter. She asks, is she the a**hole for not letting her nephew’s service dog come to her wedding?

The Wedding

Couple who just got married
Image Credit: Wedding and lifestyle via Shutterstock.

The OP (original poster) first explains that she and her fiance have been planning their wedding for a year, and the big day is fast approaching, being just a few months away now. Unfortunately, one of the decisions the OP has made about the guest list causes a problem.

The OP then explains that her 18-year-old nephew James has a service dog named Max for his anxiety and panic attacks. The OP adds, “Max is a well-trained and well-behaved dog, and he has been a great help to James over the years.”

The only problem is that the OP is allergic to dogs. She says, “I am severely allergic to dogs, to the point where I could have a severe reaction if I am around them for an extended period of time. This is something my family is well aware of.”

With her allergies being so severe, the OP decides to specify that no animals will be able to attend. “When we sent out the invitations for our wedding, we made it clear that there would be a strict no pets policy due to my allergies,” says the OP.

After receiving their invitations and seeing the no-pet policy, her nephew and his family reach out to the OP. “James and his parents approached us and asked if Max could be an exception, as he is a service dog and not just a pet. They assured us that Max would be on his best behavior and that he would not cause any problems,” the OP shares.

While she understands their situation, the OP isn’t willing to compromise. She responds, “My wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life, and I do not want to risk having a severe allergic reaction during the ceremony or reception. I explained this to James and his parents.”

The OP also adds, “I offered to help find alternative accommodations for Max during the wedding. My decision has caused a lot of controversy in the family. Some of my relatives believe that I am being selfish and inconsiderate. James is understandably upset, and I feel terrible about the situation.”

Full of Sympathy

Adults sitting at a wedding reception with bride and groom
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.

Looking at the responses from users, you find a comment section flooded with support for the OP. Many of the top comments were full of sympathy for the OP’s allergies.

One person says, “As someone with deadly allergies, people often downplay; NTA (not the a**hole) one bit. It’s important for the bride to be able to breathe at her wedding.”

Another person relates as well, adding, “I have a dog and have a mild dog allergy, and honestly, even the mild symptoms make me so miserable. It’s annoying and uncomfortable on a normal day. OP’s family thinking she should be willing to feel, and potentially look, bad on her own wedding day is insanely selfish of them.”

Even self-proclaimed service dog advocates sided with OP. One user comments, “With service dogs, I normally say suck it up, buttercup, as service dogs are medical devices. However, you are severely allergic to dogs. It is your wedding, and you deserve to breathe on your day.”

There were also a large number of comments declaring that no one is at fault here and viewing the whole thing as an unfortunate circumstance. They discouraged finger-pointing when the real problem was competing medical needs.

“NAH (no a**holes here). I completely understand why you don’t want any animals there, and you should be comfortable at your own wedding. I also understand not wanting to go to a crowded, multi-hour social event that would be very stress-inducing without your service dog. The best solution is the nephew not coming, in my opinion. But it’s no one’s fault,” remarks one user.

Another commenter adds, “NAH. Just an unfortunate situation. You’re allergic, so no dogs at the wedding. If he can’t go to the wedding without the dog, it sounds like the nephew will have to sit it out.”

What are your thoughts on the matter? Is the OP within her rights to exclude a service animal from her wedding? Or is her family justified in being upset with the decision?

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Inspired by this thread – photos for illustrative purposes only.

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