Wedding Dance

I have long been convinced that the world is divided between people who enjoy being the center of attention and people who hate being the center of attention.  Both my son and I are in the second category, as are most members of my family.  Additionally, neither my son nor I like to dance and we most especially don’t like to dance if other people are watching.  Which means that we have a bit of a dilemma on our hands, since his wedding is just a little over a month away and that means we are going to be expected to do the traditional mother/son dance at the reception.

My son has already informed me he doesn’t want to do the mother/son dance, and I completely understand why he feels that way.  I know that the dances are a way of giving the parents of the couple who are getting married a special time with their son or daughter on this very important day, and I admit that I would like to have that moment with my son.  I just don’t see why the tradition has to be limited to dancing.  There are other options, in my opinion.

0467-2Personally, I like the idea of a mother/son cake eating.  At some point during the reception my son and I could sit down at a table together and enjoy a piece of wedding cake.  It would be that special “mother and son moment,” and I would even have a chance to pass on some valuable marriage advice, such as “the wife is always right.” (That one has served me well, lo these many years.)  I don’t think we’d even mind if others watched while we were enjoying our cake, as both of us are actually good at cake-eating.

Sadly, I doubt very much if I’ll be able to talk anyone into going along with my idea, so that brings me back to the question of whether or not we will be doing the mother/son dance.  For a long time, I agreed with my son and thought that I would really rather not do the dance at all, especially when I wasn’t sure if the bride and her father were going to be doing their traditional dance.  But they are doing the dance, and I know it will be a beautiful memory for both of them.  There’s something very special about the wedding of a son or daughter, and I think the tradition of the dance is meant to acknowledge that.

So while I am not a good dancer and I know I will be nervous with just my son and I out there on the dance floor, I have decided that I would like to do the mother/son dance at my son’s wedding.  I will search for a song that is very, very, easy to dance to and that is also (and more importantly) very, very, short.  I may even ask the DJ to dim the lights so that people sitting a few tables away won’t be able to see us.  But I will do the dance, because I do want to have that moment with my son and to publicly acknowledge how happy I am that he is getting married and that his fiancé is going to be an official part of our family.

Now I just have to figure out a way to break the news to my son……

66 thoughts on “Wedding Dance

  1. I am a great believer in not only throwing tradition out the window, but also in refusing to comply with a “social obligation” such as your situation. Clearly the bride has to be in agreement, but how about this. Announce that you are breaking with tradition regarding the son/mother dance, but instead, you will read a short piece expressing your appreciation of your son (and possibly his bride), and he will read a short piece expressing appreciation of his Mom. After that, the dance floor is there for anybody who wants to use it.
    The thing is……it’s your son’s wedding, and as long as he and his bride are in agreement, there is no reason why “tradition” should make him or anybody else feel uncomfortable! That would be just plain silly!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sadly, my son would rather do the dance than have me read something to him and read something to me at the reception, so that wouldn’t be an option. It will be a matter of doing a short dance or doing nothing at all, and if he is truly uncomfortable with a mother/son dance, then of course I won’t push it. Neither of us likes to be the center of attention, but at a wedding, it’s pretty much required! I’ll talk to him and let him know how I feel, and then let him make the final decision as to whether or not we do it. I’ve just made the decision that I would like to do it, to have that special memory of his wedding. Thanks for the comment!

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  3. Only a month away. My, time has flown by, hasn’t it.
    Like you, I hate being the center of attention and only dance slow dances. I’m tall so I always thought I stood out and was self conscious about it. I also am not a fan of public speaking. Traditionally, but not always, the father of the bride says something at the wedding and dances with his daughter, ( I have three daughters). So you can imagine my anxiety..:)
    That being said, I also love traditions as long as that tradition is a positive experience and something I agree with, even if it makes me uncomfortable. There’s something to be said about those moments that carry across generations and in this case, something the older folks in the crowd will enjoy andmight be anticipating.
    So I did both for all three and while I didn’t like standing out there what made me relax is just speaking with my daughters. For those few moments it was just the two of us and it’s a memory we both treasure. Looking at the photos always makes me smile.
    So have that conversation with your son. Let him know why it’s important to you and why it may be important to others who are attending and I’m sure he’ll understand.
    Ok…and whatever song you pick, tell them to only play one verse. That should keep it short…:)
    You know, you can always do the cake thing with him also, though that might be cutting into the bride thing..:)
    Good luck.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, the “cake thing” might seem too much like the bride and groom cutting the cake! I just picked that option because I love cake, and so does my son.
      But I do think your suggestion to talk with my son about why I would like to do the dance is a very good one. If he really, really doesn’t want to do it, of course I won’t force the issue. He is just a naturally shy person and I’m the same way, so I get that. My husband reacted to our daughter’s wedding the same way you did with your daughters! He was so nervous beforehand, and rehearsed his speech constantly. But he gave a great talk, and the dance went very well (he had arranged with the DJ to cut it short when he gave a hand signal), and the photos of it all are priceless. And kuddos to you for doing it three times!
      Thanks, George, for your insight. It is always valued and appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I can so relate to this! I have 2 sons that are in their early 30’s and not married yet so I have 2 of those dances to look forward to/dread. Let us know how it turns out and maybe share that slow song that was easy to dance to!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a mixture of looking forward to and yet dreading it, isn’t it? I’ll report back on how it goes, and if we do dance, I’ll let you know what song we chose. Because trust me, it will be a short and easy one! Thanks for the comment!

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  5. I don’t think we have that tradition here in the UK, certainly not in the part in which I was brought up. I don’t like being the centre of attention either (it’s an introvert thing, I’m sure), so I understand. I suppose the only thing to do apart from keeping it short, is to concentrate fully on your son and he on you, and try to imagine that nobody else is there. Pretend that there’s a distant concert going on, or a TV’s blaring away in the distance, anything really to change your experience while being able to remember it as a good moment. Hope it works out for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clearly, my life would be much less complicated if I were born in the UK! But since I wasn’t, I think your advice is very good, and I will just concentrate on my son and ignore everyone else. Since my dancing skills are minimal at best, I doubt that people will watch us for very long anyway. It will probably become the prime time for a trip to the bar or the bathroom! Here’s hoping, anyway. Thanks!

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  6. Gosh, I can truly relate. You are so right, some of us must be the center of attention and some of us hate it. I was in the same situation about 15 years ago. Dancing with my partner’s daughter at her wedding reception was not my idea of a memorable night. We did a very slow, slow dance while everybody else was prancing around us like a bunch of gazelles turned loose. And I was wrong….it was a memorable night. I still remember VIVIDLY the sweats, the trembling, the terror….but I did it and probably nobody else remembers the sweat hog dancing with the pretty young bride. Have fun!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so funny! And I think I might be in the same boat, at least for awhile. But I will do my best to remember that it is just a wedding, and no one who is going to judge harshly will be there anyway. Plus, I’ll wear extra deodorant…. Thanks for the comment (and the laugh!)

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  7. I LOVE it. I’m in the first category, so while I cognitively know there are people who don’t like to be in the limelight, I don’t truly understand it. I’m glad you’re doing the dance. Should we expect to see the YouTube clip here on your blog?

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  8. I come from a family of people who like to hang out in the background and keep things moving. I totally get your dilemma and would probably be the same way……if we had boys. Good for you, for taking 5 or less minutes to step out of your comfort zone. While you dance, you and your son can talk about how awkward it feels to be in the spotlight and before you know it, you will both be smiling and the song will be over!

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  9. Oh Ann! I recall this moment at my oldest son’s wedding and my youngest is getting married in April. You know what? When I was up there with my son – I didn’t even think about anyone watching. I just cherished those sweet few moments with him – and will cherish them forever. He let me choose the song – and I chose Louie Armstrong’s – What a Wonderful World. It was so special and surreal. When I later watched a video of us, I didn’t even remember anything but the joy of the moment. Cherish it sweet Momma. Cherish the gift of those moments and don’t worry about anyone watching. ❤

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    • Jodi, how do you always know the perfect thing to say? You are so right! And I just heard from my son that he is okay doing the dance! So I will just ignore everyone else and enjoy the moment with him. Love you choice of song, too! (I may even steal it!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • aww! Thanks Ann! I don’t know that I always say the perfect thing, but I just share the first thing that comes to mind and heart! Yay for son agreeing and you just “going with it.” I hope you do choose the song – it is short and sweet and so so so lovely!

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  10. Thoughts: 1. Do your dances together with them (the bride/her dad. 2) Take dance lessons with your son before (it will also be a nice thing to do with him)…I was in a dance class where folks did this. 3}Weddings are open now….do your own thing if you want, I don’t think anyone would really mind 4) Have the DJ tell folks to join in after a minute or so “The groom and his Mom would love to have you join them….” and tell a few folks ahead of time to come up. There are ways around it!! xo

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  11. I’m sure the dance will be lovely and everyone will be smiling and remarking how sweet you both look. Remember you will be amongst friends who love and care for you. Another option is to have your son escort you to your seat before the ceremony begins. That’s what my brother did with my mom. His groomsmen came in with the bridesmaids, then my brother came down the aisle with my mother on his arm, brought her to her seat in front, kissed her, then took his place by the altar. They still did the mother son dance at the reception though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a nice way for your brother to honor his mom! I’ll have to see about that! And you are right, I will just remember that at the wedding, everyone is there because they are friends and family of the groom and bride, and no one is going to judge our dancing skills. But a small part of me is still hoping that lots of people opt to go refill their drink at the bar or visit the bathroom right about then…..

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  12. I did not know I would one day find someone who dislikes this damn “dancing”.
    I can do any thing. I don’t mind talking nonsense on the stage. Sometimes I do it
    for hours together.

    But strangely, this is the only thing I hate doing anywhere (stage or no stage). If I could find that
    person who invented this strange activity of distorting the human body…..I have a lot to do… “to”… that person and s/he definitely shall not be pleased after meeting me, really !!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Neither of my parents dance, and we were brought up in a non-dancing family. Neither of my sisters had dancing at their wedding. If I were to get married, I don’t know that I would have it at mine either. I’m not against it; I just don’t know how to do it. If I were to have dancing at my theoretical wedding, I’d have to take lessons beforehand. LOL

    Do what you want. A wedding should reflect the people it is celebrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree! The wedding absolutely should reflect the people who are getting married. In this case, the bride and her family does like to dance (and are good at it), so that’s why they are dancing. And I think that I will be more comfortable joining in than sitting out, even though I don’t really dance and prefer not to be in the spotlight. But we will just pick a slow song, which is easy, and if my son and future daughter-in-law are okay with it, I’m going to ask the DJ to have the rest of the wedding party join us once we start. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. What an entertaining post and what an exciting time this is for you, even with the angst of the mother/son dance. You’ll be fine 🙂 While I don’t particularly like being the centre of attention I do love to dance and so does my son so when the time comes I don’t think it’ll be an issue. But at 15 I might be waiting a while yet! Enjoy the moment Ann, it’ll be there and gone all too quickly. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are lucky that both you and your son like to dance! That will make the day…when it comes…so nice for both of you. As for me, even though I’m not a dancer and neither is my son, I’m still glad I’m going to do the dance (my son agreed!) and I know it will be a special moment. And as you say, it will go by all too quickly. Thanks for the comment, Miriam! And I’m so sorry it took me so long to respond to this one and your other two. I have no idea how they ended up in my spam, or what took them so long to show up there!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good for you Ann, I’m sure you’ll both enjoy the moment, even with the nerves. Who knows, they might even disappear in the excitement of the day. 🙂
        As for Spam, well I’ve had similar issues with comments on my blog. I make it a point now to go in and check every week … it’s so frustrating. As for my own comments, well, obviously WP has it in for me!

        Liked by 1 person

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  16. I’m SUPER late to this post! But both my fiancé and I have decided we are not doing any of the traditional dances. No father-daughter, mother-son, nor money dance. I hope the dance ended up being memorable for the both of you though!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you! I think the couple getting married should be able to choose whether or not they want to do the traditional dances. We ended up doing the father/daughter and mother/son, but both were very short (we told the DJ to cut the song early) and the didn’t choose to do a money dance. I wish you all the best in your upcoming wedding!

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