Post # 1
My dad died two years ago. I don’t feel it’s appropriate to go into the details on a public forum, but I will say that it was a very sudden, unexpected, and tragic death. Few people know the entire story, with the exception of close family members. I’ve been in therapy for it but, again, without going into too much details, the circumstances surrounding his death have left me majorly traumatized, even two years later. I still have a very visceral reaction (aka absolute hysterics) when I think too much about it. Believe it or not, I’ve made a lot of progress, but this is still something I deal with.
My mom is going to walk me down the aisle. I’m an only child and we really had to stick together to get through the aftermath of Dad’s death. If my dad can’t be there, she’s the only other person I could imagine walking me down to my groom. I’m not too worried about this because I think I’ll be so nervous about not tripping (my middle name is Grace… not) that I won’t think too much about him not being there in that particular moment.
I’m terrified of the dances. My Fiance and I will have our first dance, but I’m not sure what to do after that. I know my father’s best friend wants to dance with me, in honor of my father, but I don’t think I can do it. I’m sobbing and shaking just typing about it. I have the rest of my life to miss my father and be horribly sad and angry about his death.. I DON’T WANT TO BE LIKE THAT ON MY WEDDING DAY. He wouldn’t want me to sob and be miserable on my special day, I KNOW it. He’d want me to be happy and carefree.
So if there’s no father/daughter dance, what about the mother/son dance? I feel horrible saying this, but I don’t even want that to happen. It feels wrong to have one without the other. Because most of the wedding guests don’t know the whole story behind my father’s death or don’t even know that he is deceased, they wouldn’t realize how upsetting it would be for me to hear them mention him. I think having the mother/son dance just opens up questions about why there isn’t a father/daughter dance, etc. I’m also afraid that just watching them dance will make me horribly upset.. that was the case the last wedding I went to. My lovely Fiance has been through all of this with me and would completely understand if I asked him to cut the mother/son dance. He doesn’t care, but that is something that is important to his mom (she does know the situation with my dad).
What should I do? I know I’ll miss my dad on my wedding day, but there’s a difference between a couple of tears while alone and a complete public breakdown.
Post # 3
Post # 4
First off, I am so so sorry for your loss, fathers really have a special place in our hearts. Though I have not lost a parent, I lost someone who I always wished was my mom instead. She was the absolute life of the party so no party is really complete without her, and I’m not being cliche, they really feel incomplete.
I think it could be really beautiful to have a mother/daughter dance. You could even both wear shawls for the dance in your father’s favorite color or something like that so it could be a symbol private to the family. Usually people won’t question what’s going on on your wedding day. I’ve known plenty of people who have dances other than father/daughter dances, like uncle/niece, cousin/cousin, etc. And don’t worry about crying, that’s what happens at weddings! The guests don’t need to know the real reason you might be crying.
Post # 5
I agree with Lauren, I was going to suggest the same thing. You are already having mom walk you down the aisle, no one will think it’s strange that you have your dance with her as well.
I am very sorry for your loss, and wish you much happiness in the road ahead.
Post # 6
first of all *hugs* i am very sorry to hear about your loss. i can’t even imagine what you’re going through right now, i don’t really have any advice but *hugs* again. if it really bothers you, talk to your Fiance and Future Mother-In-Law and ask if they can just cut their dance out, and explain why it means so much to you, understand why it’s important. or, you could dance with your mom, is that an option for you? you deserve happiness on your wedding day, and you are right, your father would want you to be happy, and i believe he will be there in spirit.
Post # 7
I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this 🙁 If I were you, I would ask my fiance not to do the mother/son dance. I understand that it’s important to your future mother-in-law, but it’s your day and that’s more important. Please do what’s best for you.
Post # 8
I am sorry about the loss of your father. I’m sure that your Fiance could get his mom to agree not to dance. I agree that you would not want to break down on your wedding day in front of everyone. You sound like it wouldn’t be just a couple of tears. Much joy to you on your wedding day.
Post # 9
Life is really not fair sometimes and this is obviously a tough time for you.
Would your Fiance consider something like this? start with mother and son dancing, have brief(and I mean brief section of a song with no one dancing, then you and your fiance have your dance.
Your DJ can start with one sung, cut to something else that you kow your Dad would like, then pick up with the song you and your Fiance have chosen for your dance.
I know for me, it would be almost impossible not to be a sobby wet mess if I tried to substitute a dance with someone else for a dance with a Dad who had been tragically taken,
Post # 10
I’m so sorry for your loss. My dad died suddenly as well and though it’s been about 5 years, I still have some awesome breakdowns. I think that no matter how hard I try, I’m probably gonna have some sort of emotional ‘moment’ at my wedding, esp when my little brother walks me down the aisle. I think that as it gets closer, you’ll figure out what you can and can’t deal with as far as dances and whatnot goes. Idk if my post has a point other than to let you know that you’re not alone in this! Also, sometimes I surprise myself and will dread an anniversary or birthday for months expecting to not be able to handle it, and then the day comes and goes with less emotion than the days leading up to it.
Post # 11
I’m really sorry to hear about your loss. I don’t really have any words of wisdom on that, because I can’t even imagine what thats like. Maybe you can find another way to honor your Mother-In-Law other than the dance. Also on a lighter note, my middle name really IS Grace and i still fall down all the time lol.
Post # 12
First, I want to say that I’m sorry for your loss. I truely cannot imagine going through that, although I have had friends who have lost parents both expectedly and unexpectedly and I saw how much they suffered.
I am not sure if this will help, b/c I know the situation is much different, but I’ll share what we did at my wedding. My husband did not want to dance with his mother b/c he felt like it was awkward and my father said that he didn’t necessarily want the spotlight of the father and daughter dance; so after the first dance, we ate and then the DJ reopened the dance floor later. During the night, I danced with my father a couple times (while everyone else was on the dance floor), but we didn’t have an official father/daughter dance. It was still very special for us. Maybe your fiance and his mother could do something similar. That way, they would still get a chance to have a private moment together, but it wouldn’t be as obvious to you or guests that there was something missing.
I hope that your wedding day is amazing and that you can think about how happy that your father would have been for you. *hugs*
Post # 13
If I were you, why not cut out the dances? I’m sure that will make you feel worse. If his friend wants to dance with you, make it a silly fast song. That may help.
(((hugs))) I lost my dad 8yrs ago and thinking about the day I get married makes me break down crying as well. Dads are such special people in our lives.
I hope my words helped even a tiny bit.
Post # 14
I am very sorry for your loss. Losing a father is already hard enough, but it seems like the circumstances of his death were particularely traumatic for you.
I can see that, while you want to honor him and think about him in a good way on your wedding day, you want to avoid feeling the extent of your grief and sadness.
You should definitely avoid anything that you think might be too painful for you, like any parent/son dance: be clear and explain the situation to your Fiance and Future Mother-In-Law. They might be disappointed but I’m sure they’ll be glad to put you first.
Find small nice ways to remember him. A memorial table, or a locket with his picture on your bouquet. Things that will remind you of him and that will let you honor him properly – as I don’t think that trying to eliminate him from your mind will do any good or be very effective either.
Lastly, sounds like many of your guests, not knowing the situation, might make a faux pas. Is there any way that you can let them know about the situation prior to the wedding (I mean, that he has passed and that your mom will be walking you down the aile?) That way they won’t be suprised or ask you if your parents got divorced or something…
Post # 15
Big hugs to you. I can relate to how you’re feeling because my father died unexpectedly last year in Feb. I held his hand as he passed and I still haven’t found a way to deal with it. Like you, my mom is walking me down the aisle, but I’m clueless about what to do with all the “traditional” elements in a wedding which was one of the reasons why I moved the wedding from my hometown of NYC to the French Riviera.
If you haven’t already done so I think you should speak openly about your feelings to your fiance. There are no easy answers and I know what you mean about not wanting your father’s best friend to do the dance with you. I flat out refused suggestions of my dad’s brothers, my brothers, or any male figure.
I wish I had the right words to help you through this, but for me the best way I could honor my father is to have the wedding he would have wanted for me. I know I will cry, but I’ve had to rely on my faith in God to pull me through. If you ever need/want someone to talk to, feel free to PM me.
Post # 16
Thank you to each and every one of you for all the sweet and wonderful responses. They helped more than you all could ever imagine! I’m still not sure what I’m going to do, but I do like the suggestion of dancing with my mother. I hadn’t thought of that! Again, thank you lovely ladies!