Planning a wedding should prioritize what the couple wants.
But, there are so many traditions that involve your family, like the parent dance. So, when someone doesn’t want to do them, it can hurt their family’s feelings.
Redditor FriendlyPenguins encountered this very issue with his family. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“WIBTA if I don’t have a special dance with my stepmother at my wedding?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained.
“My (24m) fiancé (25m) and I are getting married next year. We were supposed to get married in June but we wanted to wait because some of his family could not make it during Covid and we want to keep everyone as safe as possible.”
“At our wedding he will be dancing with both of his parents which he wanted to do because they were never anything but supportive of his coming out.”
OP’s family wasn’t too happy.
“This was revealed to my father and stepmother during a little chit chat they had with my fiancé’s parents over Zoom the other week.”
“My stepmother was hurt I didn’t ask her to dance with me. She asked me was I going to do a dance with anyone and I said no, it was unlikely I would dance with anyone, but I was fine with that.”
“This bothered her and she told me she wanted to have the mother/son dance with me. She said I might not consider her my mother but she considers me her son and she feels it would make perfect sense for us to have a dance with each other.”
OP tried to let her down easy.
“I told her I would think on it, and I have, but I still don’t want to do a special dance with her. It would make me uncomfortable if I’m honest and I don’t know.”
“I know she has always cared about me more than I cared about her and she has been pretty understanding that I still miss my mom and wish it was her I could have in my life. But she always does want that little more from me and I guess I can understand that.”
“WIBTA if I don’t have the special dance with her?”
“My father sure thinks so.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA, it’s your day and you don’t need to do anything you don’t want to do. BUT as gay guy who has parents who refuse to even attend my wedding, I’d encourage you to take stock of how lucky you are to have someone who so desperately wants to support you.”
“It may change your perspective a little bit or it may not….I just think it’s very sweet that she wants to share this moment with you.” ~ sg9946
“NTA, while is a touching gesture on her part it doesn’t need to be done as its your wedding and you should do what feel close to you, and if dancing is not one of them, well there’s no point in faking it to make someone else feel good about themselves.” ~ greenapple111
“My mom died before I got married, and I deliberately left those ‘mother of the bride’ moments/roles unfilled as a way to remember her and the fact she wasn’t there.”
“If you feel similarly, you could say to your stepmom that you are happy to dance with her another time at the wedding, but the idea of doing a ‘spotlight dance’ with her reminds you that your mom isn’t there and that feels sad to you, so you aren’t doing it.”
“You definitely are NTA. If she and your dad continue to insist, remind them that they are making YOUR day about them, not you.” ~ Revolutionary-Cook17
Others argued it would be a small gesture that would mean a lot to her.
“Yeah… and OP while it may be the worst 5 minutes of the day for you, it’s likely going to be the best 5 minutes of the year for her. This small gesture could be the foundation for how that relationship plays out for the next 40 years.”
“Besides she seems like a decent lady and good stepmother, NTA but I would also urge you to consider that you have some one here who loves you very much no matter what her title is.” ~ Eladiun
“To me it almost seems like it would be more awkward having the partner up dancing with both of his parents while OP and his parents are kind of just sitting on their hands.”
“Obviously it’s OPs day and yeah he can do whatever he chooses but at the end of the day it sounds like his stepmom has done a pretty good job of trying to make the most of an awkward situation and would it really be so horrible to do this one little thing that would obviously mean a lot to her.” ~ cjpren11
Many stated NAH.
“NAH….but maybe consider giving her a small task or some kind of love token for appreciation. I don’t think she’s trying to replace your mom I just think she really loves you. Congrats.” ~ TheOrphicOne
“I’m with you, NAH. It sounds like she really just wants to have that connection and be part of his special day but OP is within his rights not to do it.”
“I also agree with her having a special task that you are comfortable with. Maybe a speech? Or take a photo just the two of you during family pictures? A small gesture can go a long way. Congratulations on your engagement OP!” ~ salukiqueen
“While you’re not obligated, your stepmother sounds like she cares about you and I think it’s a good idea to show kindness to someone who helped raise you and loves you as her son. I personally don’t think it’s too much to ask.”
“Ultimately the decision is yours. I understand why she’s hurt by it and I understand that it’s uncomfortable for you.” ~ Star1014light
“So she’s never actually crossed boundaries, she’s understood her role. She hoped to have the dance with you. That’s totally fine for her to want and to feel slighted.”
“You aren’t comfortable with it. That’s ok too.”
“I do think you need to consider that when your partner dances with both parents and you dance with neither, it will look like a major “eff you” to your stepmom and some guests will likely wonder if she’s an evil stepmom….but you have to honor what feels right. Just make sure you aren’t making this bigger than it needs to be.” ~ Ladyughsalot1
I think it’s sweet that OP has someone who cares about them so much.