in , ,

Groom Sets Off Mom After Canceling Mother/Son Dance Since Fiancée Can’t Dance With Her Dad

bride and groom dancing
jenyhanter/Getty Images

Wedding traditions vary from country to country and culture to culture.

Some of the more common ones in the United States are brides wearing white, tossing the bridal bouquet to the single women in attendance to see who will be next to marry, a first dance for the bridal couple, cutting the cake and feeding each other the first bite, a father-daughter dance, and a mother-son dance.

Most of those traditions date back only to the late 19th century, and several are falling out of favor in the 21st century.

A couple who are reluctantly having a wedding—instead of eloping like they’d prefer—to satisfy a family request is hoping to eliminate several of those traditions from their celebration.

The groom’s mother—however—doesn’t approve.

So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Cautious-Load-1091 asked:

“AITA for skipping the mother-son wedding dance since my fiancée can’t do one with her dad?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I’m getting married in early August. My fiancée and I both really wanted to elope,  but due to tremendous pressure from family decided to have a ‘small’ wedding that has now increased to about 80 people.”

“The guilt is mostly related to her grandma who’s in her 90s. They asked her to please do it, and she didn’t want to tell them no.”

“She’s really close with her grandma, who is starting to dwindle. I like her parents a lot, too; they’ve been decently good about boundaries.”

“Her grandma is paying for everything.”

“We’re pretty annoyed that the guest list has gotten so high, but it is what it is.”

“My fiancée and I are already dreading the first dance with everyone watching,  but we’re going to do it. Neither of us really wanted to do the parental dance—her with her dad, me with my mom.”

“But now it’s not even an option for her as her dad needs unplanned hip replacement surgery. Her dad will be able to go to the wedding in a wheelchair but definitely can’t do any dancing.”

“He’s a little sad about it, but has been a good sport.”

“I didn’t want to do the mom dance even before this, but now it seems like it would just put even more of a spotlight on her dad not doing one. So my fiancée and I agreed we’d just skip that all together.”

“We already didn’t want to do either one of them.”

“Once it wasn’t an option for her is when we told ourselves we were shutting the door on it. Even our first dance between us will just be one verse of a song.”

“Trying to keep this wedding as low key as possible.”

“As you can imagine, Mom isn’t taking it well. She’s been acting like a main character for all of the wedding planning, but especially now.”

“AITA for sticking to my guns and not doing it?”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I could be the a**hole for not following the wedding tradition and having a dance between the groom and mother of the groom.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors unanimously declared the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA—this wedding is for YOU and YOUR FIANCÉE. You’ve already compromised by having a wedding vs eloping, so your mom needs to get over it.”

“Be sure to talk to your DJ and make it CRYSTAL CLEAR that there will not be a mother-son dance, just in case your mom tries to ambush you.”

“‘No mom, the only spotlight dance we will have is the first dance for me and fiancée. Fiancée and I never wanted to do a father-daughter dance or a mother-son dance in the first place’.”

“‘Now that her dad is unable, we will not be doing either of them. I’m sorry you feel that way. This is already so much more than my fiancée, and I even wanted to do.”

“‘We wanted to elope. But agreed to a small wedding just to make you happy’.”

“‘And even that isn’t right, because it’s not a small wedding anymore! We are not doing the spotlight dances because we don’t want to’.” ~ DisneyBuckeye

“NTA. The wedding is for the two partners getting hitched. Anything else is optional. If you both say no dance, then no dance.” ~ KronkLaSworda

“If you’re both dreading the first dance with each other, skip that too! Just have the DJ invite everyone to start dancing. As a backup, get some of your friends to join you at the start so everyone can see the dancing is open for anyone to join from the first song. NTA.”

“However, if you wanted to do first dances with parents, I recently went to one where the groom’s mom couldn’t dance, so the groom improvised and danced with his dad. It was cute, and the bride wasn’t left to dance solo with her dad.” ~ RiverWear

“NTA. Its not too late to elope. It sounds like your families have already taken over and you’re not actually making the decisions you want to make for your own wedding.”

“What’s the point of having a wedding if it doesn’t contain anything that you and your partner actually want? At this point you have four main options.”

“1. Stand up to your family and insist that they butt out of your wedding planning. 2. Cancel the wedding and go back to your original elopement plan. 3. Accept that you cannot/will not get your family to listen to you and decide to let them do whatever they want.”

“4. Do both 2 and 3. Elope first and have exactly the day you and your fiancée want, then go through the motions of the ceremony for your families while knowing that you already did the important part and you don’t care about your fake ceremony.”

“You seem incapable of 1, so I’d recommend 4. It gives you the best of both worlds. But you should work on setting stronger boundaries with your family or they’ll ruin more than just your wedding.” ~ fizzbangwhiz

“Your wedding, not hers. Your show, not hers. Your choice, not hers. NTA.” ~ BusyLight32

“NTA and if you think you’re ready to be married, then you had better be ready to put your foot down with your mother when you need to, and hold the fort on decisions you and your spouse make for each other.”

“You are starting a new family together and need to support each other first.

“I recognize that pushing back on family can be hard with a wedding unless you’re 100% paying for it yourselves. It gives family members leverage if they are contributing $$$.”

“But stand your ground!” ~ DisasterMonk

“I’d tell your mom you aren’t doing one. NTA. So don’t do it. It’s your wedding; stand up to your mother.” ~ Decent-Historian-207

“NTA—not doing this specific ‘mother son dance’ doesn’t mean you won’t be able to dance with your mother during the reception while everyone is dancing and having a good time.”

“Of course, she wants this ‘spotlight’ moment with you, but if that’s not happening, she’ll just have to get over it.” ~ wildflower7827

“NTA. Bottom line is neither of you want it, so there’s no obligation at your own wedding to have events you’re not into.” ~ thirdtryisthecharm

“NTA. My husband and I didn’t do these dances for similar reasons.”

“Also, it’s your wedding; you don’t have to follow any traditions you don’t want to, like a first dance.”

“Plan your wedding around things that you and your fiancée will enjoy and don’t let others pressure you into spending money or doing things simply for the sake of wedding traditions.” ~ chalky_talky

“NTA—my stepfather (father died when I was 2) was barely able to walk me down the aisle due to Parkinson’s.”

“We didn’t do the parent dances because I didn’t want to embarrass him or draw attention to his status. My MIL never mentioned it but pulled other shenanigans that made me doubly happy we didn’t do it.” ~ schnutch

“I wanted to elope. I caved to family pressure too. I hated every moment of my wedding/reception and have regretted it every time I think of that day.”

“It was a stupid waste of money, there are people I cannot stand in my wedding pictures, and my husband and I didn’t get a single bite of our own extremely expensive wedding cake–which was the one thing I was excited about.”

“That’s a whole other stupid story.”

“Don’t do it. Stop all planning and go elope. Do what the two of you want.”

“This is about your relationship and has nothing to do with your family. NTA.” ~ StacyB125

“My father is not a dancer; my now mother-in-law is not a dancer. Husband and I decided to skip that part, just had the two of us dance and let everyone else have the floor after.”

“No one cared we didn’t do family dances. NTA.” ~ saltedkumihimo

“Nope, as the mother of a son getting married next year, I am praying he doesn’t want to do one. I’d jump at the excuse not to.”

“But if he wanted to, I would. Not my day, not my decision. It’s his & I would respect his choice. NTA.” ~ Itchy-Raspberry-4432

“My spouse and I didn’t do those dances, and we didn’t do the bouquet toss or garter belt thing either.”

“Honestly, it’s your wedding—you’re NTA for being sensitive to your future wife.” ~ WaryScientist

“NTA. If you don’t stand your ground now, your mother will forever cross your boundaries.” ~ trekgirl75

The OP’s mom may not approve, but Reddit was clearly on board with his wedding day plans.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.