Post # 1
My father has been out of the picture for many years, so when it came time to decide who would walk me down the aisle, I asked my mother. She accepted but asked if I would consider having my uncle walk me down the aisle instead since she will be emotional and has always dreamt of watching me from the audience. I asked him to walk me down the aisle so that my mother would feel more comfortable and so that he would have a part in the wedding.
My question is, must I do an Uncle/Niece dance with him at the reception? What does wedding etiquette have to say on the matter? I haven’t found an answer yet.
I am reluctant to dance with him because he has become more and more resentful of the new life I will be starting with my future husband. He makes biting remarks about the character of my fiance around my family and his friends, shows no support, and does not respond to the efforts my fiance and I make to include him and show him that even though I will be married we will always be family. It has come to the point that I don’t even want to look at him sometimes because of how mean he is to the man I love.
Post # 3
@futureflyer: The various “showcase” dances that people have at wedding dinners are NOT required by etiquette. In fact, they are one of those minor violations of traditional etiquette that people indulgently allow because wedding days are special.
The proper thing at any formal dinner dance, is for the host and hostess to “open the floor” by dancing a few measures together, after which other dancing partners join them on the dance floor. At a wedding, the host and hostess usually yield this honour to the bride and groom for their first dance together as husband and wife, and the other guests usually allow the rest of the wedding party to be the first to join them on the dance floor.
It is very sweet for a girl to have her “last dance” with her father, or a boy to have a “last dance” with his mother. But a gentleman is supposed to ask various ladies to dance in the course of an evening, so such dances are properly allowed simply to happen. They do not need to be made the centre of anyone’s attention except for the two people sharing the dance. It is very artificial to make a big announcement and clear the dance floor, and then present those personal moments as a “show” with the guests as audience. People generally do not want to stand around watching other people dance, and you are certainly not required to force that situation.
Post # 4
No you do not have to dance with him. In fact, unless you feel uncomfortable with the idea, I would suggest walking alone unless you talk to your uncle to make sure he does not make any inappropriate remarks on your wedding day (which may cause you distess). My Fiance and I are actually walking down together.
Post # 5
I agree with the PP – I wouldn’t do a dance with him and I would really consider having someone else walk you (a brother?) or walking alone!
Post # 6
Thank you for helping me out with this. I didn’t want this to blow out of proportion at the wedding or after so I wanted to make sure that it isn’t expected. Your comment was very informative and helped me to realize that the dance should not be expected since it is not required by our modern day etiquette.
Post # 7
Thank you for your comment. As the arrangement stands right now, my uncle will be walking me down and that will likely be the end of the interaction we will have that day simply because I know he doesn’t support me or us (my fiance and me). However, I am confident he won’t make a spectacle of himself during the walk down the aisle. It will be very nice for you and your fiance to walk down together.
Post # 8
If you feel like you simply can’t get out of this without hurt feelings, you can always dance only the first part of a song with him, then have your DH, Mom , and his parents join you on the floor for a family dance. He would then dance with your Mom, while you danced with your DH.
Post # 9
At the moment I still plan on walking down the aisle with him. If there are any problems at the reception I can always cite my OCD (which has been recently surfacing) as my need for symmetry in the dances because my fiance doesn’t have an aunt he can dance with.