A bride-to-be is asking if she and her fiancé are wrong for wanting to have their dog and cat serve in wedding party roles that are traditionally taken by children.
The anonymous Reddit user, who goes by the username IntrepidOffering, posed the question to the “Am I the A–hole” subreddit, an online forum in which people can vote and weigh in with comments after she received a not-so-enthusiastic response from her soon-to-be-sister-in-law.
The Reddit user explained that her sister-in-law had a “series of incredibly painful miscarriages” before she gave birth to twins, Ava and Liam, now four years old.
“My whole family (especially my SIL) make a very big deal out the twins, calling them ‘rainbow babies,’ showering them with attention and affection, almost to the exclusion of the other grandkids,” IntrepidOffering wrote.
The bride-to-be noted that she’s “never really been as involved” with the rainbow baby family dynamic that’s been set, most likely due to the fact that she lives across the country.
However, that seems to be changing now that her sister-in-law has confronted her about the roles her children will or won’t play on the wedding day.
“My fiancé and I have been diving into wedding planning,” IntrepidOffering wrote. “A conversation that my fiancé and I had recently was the matter of the flower girl and ring bearer. I brought up the idea of having our dog Mika and our cat Tibby fill the roles.”
IntrepidOffering wrote that her fiancé supports the idea of having their furry friends serve as a flower girl and ring bearer — but her sister-in-law does not.
She claims her sister-in-law took her aside during a recent family gathering and asked why “Ava and Liam’s roles” are being given to animals.
“I was confused, and she explained that, since Ava and Liam were ‘her miracle rainbow babies’ that obviously they should be the flower girl and ring bearer,” IntrepidOffering wrote.
“She said that it would be ‘good for the family’ for the twins to be in the wedding, and that it’s ‘against tradition to have animals in the wedding.’”
The Reddit user went on, “She asked me to reconsider, and showed me a picture of Ava in a flower girl dress to ‘show [me] how cute it would be.’”
IntrepidOffering wrote that she told her sister-in-law that she can’t make a decision without her fiancé’s input.
The fiancé in question reportedly said he’s OK with the niece and nephew taking on the flower girl and ring bearer roles — but he still prefers that their dog, Mika, and cat, Tibby, keep the roles, according to IntrepidOffering’s post.
“I agreed that I would prefer our animals. However, I’m now wondering if maybe having our animals in the wedding would offend the family or go against tradition,” IntrepidOffering wrote.
“Understand, Mika and Tibby are like children to us!”
For added context, IntrepidOffering wrote that Mika and Tibby have offered emotional support.
“They helped me through my deepest depression. I honestly think I wouldn’t be here anymore if I didn’t have to stick around to take care of them,” she wrote in her post. “They kept my fiancé company when he was going through chemo and I had to work double the hours to put food on the table. We love them to bits, and consider them family.”
Fox News Digital reached out to IntrepidOffering for comment via Reddit’s chat feature.
The Reddit post received over 9,200 upvotes and members of the forum voted that IntrepidOffering is not in the wrong for wanting to give her pets a role in the wedding.
“Those kids are ‘their’ miracle babies. Not yours. Your furbabies are your babies,” the post’s top commenter wrote, earning more than 18,900 upvotes from the Reddit community.
“It sounds like [the sister-in-law] wants to make [the original poster’s] day about her miracle babies,” another commenter wrote. “She had her time — this is [the original poster’s] wedding, not an event to make people marvel at her kids and that’s exactly what SIL would do.”
Said another commenter, “She already had a photo of the daughter in a flower girl dress. Was she already a flower girl in another wedding or has the family taken her flower girl dress shopping?”
“Either keep your pets, or pick one of the other grandchildren,” another user suggested. “Why should the rainbow ones be any more special?”
In follow-up comments, IntrepidOffering noted that she’s having a backyard wedding and plans on having both animals leashed with handlers and backup treats to lure them down the aisle.
“To be blunt, I don’t trust them with my pets’ leashes,” IntrepidOffering wrote in response to a Reddit user who asked if the young twins could walk with Mika and Tibby.
“It’s a big responsibility, and they’re too young and easily distracted,” IntrepidOffering continued.
Not all Reddit users agreed with IntrepidOffering’s pet-inclusive idea, and some offered insight into how the move could be viewed unfavorably by wedding guests.
“No cat wants to be a part of your wedding, and some dogs might not want to be either,” one commenter wrote.
“Frankly, using animals instead of perfectly aged children is just going to create a lot more talk than just omitting those roles will.”
“Two 4-year-olds dressed to the nines and acting cute brings levity and joy to the ceremony,” another user wrote. “No one has ever said, ‘Oh, yuck, look at that toddler in a frilly dress throwing petals.’”
“While YOU might think it’s cute to involve pets in a wedding, it will probably be distressing as hell for the animals, especially the cat,” another Reddit user shared. “And if you are nervous, the animals will get more agitated. I’d reconsider that option.”
In recent years, engaged couples have increasingly incorporated pets into wedding ceremonies as traditions and trends shift in the wedding industry.
A new survey published by Rover, a pet website that connects owners to dog and cat boarding services and other pet care providers, found that eight in 10 engaged couples (83%) who own pets would be “more inclined to choose a wedding venue” with pet-friendly accommodations.
Other findings highlighted in “Rover’s Ultimate Guide to a Pet-Friendly Wedding” report this month claim that 72% of engaged “pet parents” say they’d be willing to remove certain guests from their wedding in favor of their pets — and that 35% of engaged “pet parents” are spending between $151 and $250 to include their furry friends in the big day.
Slightly more than half of married “pet parents” (54%) surveyed by Rover reportedly had their pet serve as a flower girl or ring bearer.