Customs and Traditions

Parent dance?

My soon to be mother in law mentioned something about picking a song for the parents dance, I did not know what that was and she said it is when both sets of parents have a dance to a special song after the first dance, father daughter dance and the mother son dance. I said that my parents would most likely not be interested in that as they do not like to dance, or be the center of attention, but I would ask them, she went on to say it was an important wedding tradition and they wanted to do it. I am just curious if this is an actual thing that I just have never heard of? And after confirming with my parents that they for sure do not want to do that, how do I tell mother in law?
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Re: Parent dance?

  • thefanciestbecklerthefanciestbeckler Chattanooga, TN
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    My soon to be mother in law mentioned something about picking a song for the parents dance, I did not know what that was and she said it is when both sets of parents have a dance to a special song after the first dance, father daughter dance and the mother son dance. I said that my parents would most likely not be interested in that as they do not like to dance, or be the center of attention, but I would ask them, she went on to say it was an important wedding tradition and they wanted to do it. I am just curious if this is an actual thing that I just have never heard of? And after confirming with my parents that they for sure do not want to do that, how do I tell mother in law?
    I've not heard of it. Seems like another thing that people have to sit through - 3 spotlight dances are definitely enough. Here's a possible compromise: Tell her that you're happy to play a special song and have the DJ dedicate it to your parents' love, but that since your parents don't want to be the center of attention, it's best if you open up the dance floor after the mother son dance and play it later in the evening. etf clarity - and that everyone will still be welcome to dance while it is playing.

    I have never heard of this either. I agree with Flantastic. I already can barely sit through the bride and groom dance as it is, let alone a father daughter dance, mother son dance, and then parents' dance. I'd do something like what flantastic suggested and call it a day.

  • Also I just found out that apparently she figured each set of parents would have their own "first dance" and she wants to play the song from their wedding first dance, which makes me uncomfortable, am I wrong in thinking that they do not need to recreate their first dance at our wedding?
    SP29ernursej
  • thefanciestbecklerthefanciestbeckler Chattanooga, TN
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    Also I just found out that apparently she figured each set of parents would have their own "first dance" and she wants to play the song from their wedding first dance, which makes me uncomfortable, am I wrong in thinking that they do not need to recreate their first dance at our wedding?

    Nope, you're totally right. There's no need to recreate their first dance at your wedding, or at any other function for that matter.

    SP29
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited February 16
    I am probably older than your FMIL, and I have never heard of such as thing as a parents dance.  Imagine how hurtful this would be at a wedding where one of the parents was deceased, or where there had been divorces!  Bad idea.  She can recreate her first dance at her own anniversary party.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    I've never heard of it.

    I would have your FI tell his mother, "I'm sorry, but the only spotlight dance at our wedding will be for me and FI. You can dance with dad, but it will not be a spotlight dance. And this is not something her parents will do. Please consider this a closed subject."
    thefanciestbecklerOurWildKingdomernursejInLoveInQueens
  • SP29SP29
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    edited February 16
    Never heard of this. As a guest, I think it would be sweet for about 10 seconds, "Aww, look at this couple still so in love! ...Ok so why am I watching this couple dance at Steve and Sally's wedding??". MIL and FIL can be in love with each other without a spotlight.

    And that is just too many spotlight dances! 3 is enough (and some couples have a joint Mother/Son and Father/Daughter dance).

    You can absolutely play their wedding son during your reception, but I wouldn't make it a spotlight dance. Have your FI relay this to his mother (blood talks to blood)- your parents aren't comfortable with this, it's too many dances, sure you'd be happy to play their wedding song but it won't be a spotlight dance.

    No, they don't need to re-create their first dance at your wedding. They can have their own party to do that.
    OurWildKingdomshort+sassy
  • I've seen this once. The bride made her parents dance together even though they had been divorced for 10+ years. Everyone was uncomfortable.
  • My parents did this at my wedding, unknown to me. I did ask the DJ to play their wedding song at some point during the night but did not list it as a spotlight dance. Apparently one of them (probably mom) went up to the DJ and asked to make it a spotlight dance at some point before dancing started at the reception, I only realized it when it was announced so I just went about my business doing more visiting with guests while H went to the bar for a beer. It was awkward internally, and I wouldn't have wanted it or wanted to witness it at another wedding- but once it started what can you do. I'm just glad she didn't grab the mic and demand a dollar dance like I was fearful she would!
    image
  • Yeah...we're planning to play the songs our parents had at their weddings at some point during the reception, but as a song everyone can dance to, not any kind of spotlight dance. I agree with PPs, I would find it a bit exhausting as a guest to sit through.

    If you want to honor your parents and their relationships, I've seen people put framed pictures of their parents' weddings on the gift table which is sweet. Maybe one of each of their weddings and one of your engagement photos (or another picture you like of the two of you) between them?
    OurWildKingdomSP29
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
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    I've never heard of this or seen it happen at any wedding. And it sounds really weird and awkward. 


  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    Does your MIL typically need to be the center of attention at events?  This sounds to me more like an attention hungry mother who is finding ways to center activities around her than one who is confused about tradition.
    image
    thefanciestbecklergeebee908lizybeff
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
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    This would be weird. FI needs to tell MIL this is a pass. 


    image
  • Does your MIL typically need to be the center of attention at events?  This sounds to me more like an attention hungry mother who is finding ways to center activities around her than one who is confused about tradition.
    This is how it comes across to me as well.
    At my wedding, we did the couple's first dance, a joint mother/son, father/daughter dance that H had prepared a slideshow to go along with (pics of us growing up with our parents), and an "anniversary" or "generations" dance, whatever you want to call it, where the DJ eliminates couples based on how long they've been married (so 3 spotlight dances, but 1 of them any couples could take part in).  So he starts out with all married couples dancing, and then he says "anyone married for less than an hour" and bride and groom leave the floor, then "1 year, 5 years," etc until you have one couple standing there that's been married the longest, and you might give them your bouquet or, in our case, the DJ asked them for a piece of advice on a long-lasting marriage to give the newlyweds.  Maybe MIL will find that acceptable as an alternative?  If not, definitely have your FI shut her down (since blood talks to blood).
    OurWildKingdom
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    missfrodo said:
    Does your MIL typically need to be the center of attention at events?  This sounds to me more like an attention hungry mother who is finding ways to center activities around her than one who is confused about tradition.
    This is how it comes across to me as well.
    At my wedding, we did the couple's first dance, a joint mother/son, father/daughter dance that H had prepared a slideshow to go along with (pics of us growing up with our parents), and an "anniversary" or "generations" dance, whatever you want to call it, where the DJ eliminates couples based on how long they've been married (so 3 spotlight dances, but 1 of them any couples could take part in).  So he starts out with all married couples dancing, and then he says "anyone married for less than an hour" and bride and groom leave the floor, then "1 year, 5 years," etc until you have one couple standing there that's been married the longest, and you might give them your bouquet or, in our case, the DJ asked them for a piece of advice on a long-lasting marriage to give the newlyweds.  Maybe MIL will find that acceptable as an alternative?  If not, definitely have your FI shut her down (since blood talks to blood).
    Would single, divorced and widowed persons have to not dance during that dance? Do they get a dance of their own after having to sit and look on while the couples dance? I wouldn't do that to the guests. 

    I think it's better to shut the FMIL down.
    SP29
  • I've never heard of this parent dance either, and if your parents don't like being the center of attention, they shouldn't feel obligated to participate just to make your FMIL happy.  Besides, I think any spotlight dances beyond first dance, father/daughter, and mother/son is excessive, and even those should be kept fairly brief and done early on, IMHO.

    If FMIL wants to dance with her husband, then she should just do it without being the center of attention. Hell, she can even ask for a song she loves to be played so they can dance to it, if she really wants. But no announcement and no clearing everyone else off the floor.


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    Jen4948SP29HeffalumpInLoveInQueens
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216
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    What about a combination spotlight dance? Start with just you and FI, then the ILs can join you, then other couples, then everyone takes over the dance floor. 
    donethat
  • SP29SP29
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    Change your screen name and stick around OP! We can give support and a place to vent should the issue come back around again.
    Heffalumpeileenrob
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
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    edited February 19
    Jen4948 said:
    missfrodo said:
    Does your MIL typically need to be the center of attention at events?  This sounds to me more like an attention hungry mother who is finding ways to center activities around her than one who is confused about tradition.
    This is how it comes across to me as well.
    At my wedding, we did the couple's first dance, a joint mother/son, father/daughter dance that H had prepared a slideshow to go along with (pics of us growing up with our parents), and an "anniversary" or "generations" dance, whatever you want to call it, where the DJ eliminates couples based on how long they've been married (so 3 spotlight dances, but 1 of them any couples could take part in).  So he starts out with all married couples dancing, and then he says "anyone married for less than an hour" and bride and groom leave the floor, then "1 year, 5 years," etc until you have one couple standing there that's been married the longest, and you might give them your bouquet or, in our case, the DJ asked them for a piece of advice on a long-lasting marriage to give the newlyweds.  Maybe MIL will find that acceptable as an alternative?  If not, definitely have your FI shut her down (since blood talks to blood).
    Would single, divorced and widowed persons have to not dance during that dance? Do they get a dance of their own after having to sit and look on while the couples dance? I wouldn't do that to the guests. 

    I think it's better to shut the FMIL down.
    No, they get the bouquet and garter toss.

    I honestly think fewer people mind the anniversary dance. If you haven't been married very long, you're usually kicked off the dance floor in the first 30 seconds, so it's not like the single people are sitting alone for a whole song. Some people probably do dislike it, but even my longing-to-be-married single friends usually think it's cute to see the really old couples up there dancing. I In my experience, people don't usually do it unless multiple couples of married grandparents are in the mix. I definitely see how it could be rough for an older widowed person and possibly divorced.

    Anniversary

    OurWildKingdomahoyweddingshort+sassy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    Jen4948 said:
    missfrodo said:
    Does your MIL typically need to be the center of attention at events?  This sounds to me more like an attention hungry mother who is finding ways to center activities around her than one who is confused about tradition.
    This is how it comes across to me as well.
    At my wedding, we did the couple's first dance, a joint mother/son, father/daughter dance that H had prepared a slideshow to go along with (pics of us growing up with our parents), and an "anniversary" or "generations" dance, whatever you want to call it, where the DJ eliminates couples based on how long they've been married (so 3 spotlight dances, but 1 of them any couples could take part in).  So he starts out with all married couples dancing, and then he says "anyone married for less than an hour" and bride and groom leave the floor, then "1 year, 5 years," etc until you have one couple standing there that's been married the longest, and you might give them your bouquet or, in our case, the DJ asked them for a piece of advice on a long-lasting marriage to give the newlyweds.  Maybe MIL will find that acceptable as an alternative?  If not, definitely have your FI shut her down (since blood talks to blood).
    Would single, divorced and widowed persons have to not dance during that dance? Do they get a dance of their own after having to sit and look on while the couples dance? I wouldn't do that to the guests. 

    I think it's better to shut the FMIL down.
    No, they get the bouquet and garter toss.

    I honestly think fewer people mind the anniversary dance. If you haven't been married very long, you're usually kicked off the dance floor in the first 30 seconds, so it's not like the single people are sitting alone for a whole song. Some people probably do dislike it, but even my longing-to-be-married single friends usually think it's cute to see the really old couples up there dancing. I In my experience, people don't usually do it unless multiple couples of married grandparents are in the mix. I definitely see how it could be rough for an older widowed person and possibly divorced.
    Sounds like skipping all those "relationship status" activities makes the most sense. They can be rough for anyone there who for whatever reason just doesn't happen at that moment to be in a happy relationship.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    Jen4948 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    missfrodo said:
    Does your MIL typically need to be the center of attention at events?  This sounds to me more like an attention hungry mother who is finding ways to center activities around her than one who is confused about tradition.
    This is how it comes across to me as well.
    At my wedding, we did the couple's first dance, a joint mother/son, father/daughter dance that H had prepared a slideshow to go along with (pics of us growing up with our parents), and an "anniversary" or "generations" dance, whatever you want to call it, where the DJ eliminates couples based on how long they've been married (so 3 spotlight dances, but 1 of them any couples could take part in).  So he starts out with all married couples dancing, and then he says "anyone married for less than an hour" and bride and groom leave the floor, then "1 year, 5 years," etc until you have one couple standing there that's been married the longest, and you might give them your bouquet or, in our case, the DJ asked them for a piece of advice on a long-lasting marriage to give the newlyweds.  Maybe MIL will find that acceptable as an alternative?  If not, definitely have your FI shut her down (since blood talks to blood).
    Would single, divorced and widowed persons have to not dance during that dance? Do they get a dance of their own after having to sit and look on while the couples dance? I wouldn't do that to the guests. 

    I think it's better to shut the FMIL down.
    No, they get the bouquet and garter toss.

    I honestly think fewer people mind the anniversary dance. If you haven't been married very long, you're usually kicked off the dance floor in the first 30 seconds, so it's not like the single people are sitting alone for a whole song. Some people probably do dislike it, but even my longing-to-be-married single friends usually think it's cute to see the really old couples up there dancing. I In my experience, people don't usually do it unless multiple couples of married grandparents are in the mix. I definitely see how it could be rough for an older widowed person and possibly divorced.
    Sounds like skipping all those "relationship status" activities makes the most sense. They can be rough for anyone there who for whatever reason just doesn't happen at that moment to be in a happy relationship.
    I disagree. If the couple wants to do an anniversary dance, I don't see any problem.  You can't avoid everything that may offend someone. If there is a specific thing like a recent death of a family member or recent divorce, I can see being sensitive to that. However, guests at a wedding must realize they are there to celebrate marriage. If they are so unhappy with their own relationship that they can'y handle such a celebration maybe they should decline the invitation.
    Let's agree to disagree. Being unhappy about one's own relationship status doesn't equal being unable to attend a wedding.

    I attended a bar mitzvah stag once where there was a couple's slow dance and everyone there but me had a partner. I was able to attend the bar mitzvah, but being the one person left out still fucking hurt. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    edited February 21
    LD1970 said:
    Being single never bothered me, and even when I was single, I always thought the anniversary dance was great.  I can be happy for others and not begrudge them their happiness, even as someone who got married a LOT later than most of my friends.  
    Easy to do when you're not the one person left out of the dance.

    You might enjoy anniversary dances, but that isn't true of everyone. That doesn't mean those persons who don't "begrudge other persons' happiness."
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
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    Jen4948 said:
    LD1970 said:
    Being single never bothered me, and even when I was single, I always thought the anniversary dance was great.  I can be happy for others and not begrudge them their happiness, even as someone who got married a LOT later than most of my friends.  
    Easy to do when you're not the one person left out of the dance.

    You might enjoy anniversary dances, but that isn't true of everyone. That doesn't mean those persons who don't "begrudge other persons' happiness."
    Did she say she never was?

    Anniversary

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    edited February 22
    Jen4948 said:
    LD1970 said:
    Being single never bothered me, and even when I was single, I always thought the anniversary dance was great.  I can be happy for others and not begrudge them their happiness, even as someone who got married a LOT later than most of my friends.  
    Easy to do when you're not the one person left out of the dance.

    You might enjoy anniversary dances, but that isn't true of everyone. That doesn't mean those persons who don't "begrudge other persons' happiness."
    Did she say she never was?
    Sorry, but I'm not playing the "Did she say X?" game. That's the kind of thing that starts flame wars.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    edited February 22
    Jen4948 said:
    LD1970 said:
    Being single never bothered me, and even when I was single, I always thought the anniversary dance was great.  I can be happy for others and not begrudge them their happiness, even as someone who got married a LOT later than most of my friends.  
    Easy to do when you're not the one person left out of the dance.

    You might enjoy anniversary dances, but that isn't true of everyone. That doesn't mean those persons who don't "begrudge other persons' happiness."
    Married people don't participate in garter or bouquet tosses, does that make them feel excluded or bad about their relationship status, too? I'm all for considering guest comfort but I think forgoing a benign activity like the anniversary dance (which BTW doesn't just exclude single people it excludes unmarried couples and isn't required by anyone to participate or not) because on the rare chance someone single may be so uncomfortable with that, so much so they are offended seems excessive. 
    I think just about every single would like to skip bouquet and garter tosses. They keep coming up in lists of suggested activities to skip.

    But the only relationship everyone is there to "honor" is that of the couple getting married. Not everyone appreciates their own relationship status being emphasized at someone else's wedding. 

    Sorry, but I'd still rather drop all these activities that depend on the guests' marital status. If you really need to "honor" someone else's relationship status, do it on your own time.
  • Jen4948 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    LD1970 said:
    Being single never bothered me, and even when I was single, I always thought the anniversary dance was great.  I can be happy for others and not begrudge them their happiness, even as someone who got married a LOT later than most of my friends.  
    Easy to do when you're not the one person left out of the dance.

    You might enjoy anniversary dances, but that isn't true of everyone. That doesn't mean those persons who don't "begrudge other persons' happiness."
    Married people don't participate in garter or bouquet tosses, does that make them feel excluded or bad about their relationship status, too? I'm all for considering guest comfort but I think forgoing a benign activity like the anniversary dance (which BTW doesn't just exclude single people it excludes unmarried couples and isn't required by anyone to participate or not) because on the rare chance someone single may be so uncomfortable with that, so much so they are offended seems excessive. 
    I think just about every single would like to skip bouquet and garter tosses. They keep coming up in lists of suggested activities to skip.

    But the only relationship everyone is there to "honor" is that of the couple getting married. Not everyone appreciates their own relationship status being emphasized at someone else's wedding. 

    Sorry, but I'd still rather drop all these activities that depend on the guests' marital status. If you really need to "honor" someone else's relationship status, do it on your own time.
    I'm sort of there with you.   Even when I was in a relationship I never liked the spectacle of the bouquet toss and I never saw a garter toss that wasn't vulgar.   

    I think it's fine to have a DJ do a shout out to a couple and say, "This song goes out to the parents of the bride," but by no means should the floor be cleared for them.

    And while the anniversary dance could possibly be omitted, I don't love the idea of no slow songs.   So if a slow dance would make you sad, go to the bathroom during it. 
    SP29short+sassy
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