Dear Crissy

Mother and son dance

As a wedding photographer, I am invited to share some extraordinarily emotional and intimate moments with my clients. I mean, I’m with the bride and groom through their entire wedding day, from that jittery getting-ready phase, to the exchanging of vows, and finally, the celebratory finish. Do you want to know which event on the couple’s wedding day will put me into near-tears, without question, invariably, EVERY SINGLE TIME? You guessed it–or at least read the title of this post–the mother and son dance.

During the first wedding I photographed after having Evan, this came as a total shock to me. I didn’t anticipate experiencing such an intense rush of emotions, but when the lights go down and I see a mother, any mother, dancing with her newly-married son my heart just aches. I watch the mom smiling at her boy through the lens of my camera, and my head is filled with a flurry of images of my own kid. Someday my sweet, innocent, beautiful little boy will grow up and (hopefully) get married.

After that first wedding where I nearly cried my eyes out while trying to photograph the mother and son dance, I have tried to prepare myself beforehand. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to matter how much I try to block it out, I am pretty much victim to a painful lump in my throat through the entire song.

It really seems like most of the spotlight at weddings is put on the first dance, which is understandable, and the father and daughter dance. Not that the mother and son dance isn’t appreciated, but taking third place in the lineup means that many of the guests may have become bored with the sentimental slow songs, and their attention has wandered.

Well, I am paying attention, and I am sure that I am not the only mom of a boy in the room feeling the urge to cry a little. The relationship between mother and son is unique and special, and I am so blessed to know that every single day of my life.

    16 Comments on “Mother and son dance”

  1. Hi new friend, I am now following you via MBC.

  2. Gets me every time.

  3. I agree! I am a mom of two boys and I do dread the day when they get married {sniff sniff} and hope I can keep it together!

  4. My wife and I were at a wedding about a month before our daughter was born and I'll freely admit that I choked up during the father/daughter dance.

  5. Beautiful photos! I found your blog via Picket Fence and would love to follow along. I dread the day when my little man gets married and we have the Mother/Son dance! I have three kids and we're in the process of adopting twins from Ethiopia! My blog is


  6. When I photograph weddings, I cry during every mother/son dance. :)

  7. Same thing happens to me. I only hope that if/when my two little guys get married someday, I won't be a mess! Chances are slim though. I can't even make it through singing "Happy Birthday" yet without crying!

  8. That's so true! There's a special bond between a mother and son. I'm sure that's how Dad's feel when they dance the Father Daughter dance :) I think Weddings are emotional period :)

    P.S. I received your request via twitter to follow me and I am almost certain I approved it, I'm sorry if I accidently didn't. Feel free to request me again….if you like.

  9. Shoot, I cry during the whole dang day. I couldn't photograph weddings; all of the pictures would be a disaster from me sniffling. The Mother/son dance is just as emotional for me as the father/daughter…

  10. I don't have a son or any kids at all yet, but the Mother/Son dance chokes me up, too!

  11. I always get emotional during the mother/son dance. I have 3 little boys and I know someday that'll be me sending them off to start their families.

    Nice, you made me cry just commenting. Awesome.

  12. I agree 100 percent. I also am a photographer part time so I only do a handful of weddings but having a son has changed my life in so many ways and I cant imagine the day he grows up and is married. Bittersweet for sure!

  13. Such a sweet post! Weddings in general make me cry every time! I get all sappy about the love.

  14. Never thought of that before. As a mother of a 6 year old boy it really made me think. Thanks for sharing that thought provoking perspective.

  15. You are right about this dance not making the radar often. Anything that reminds me of my son getting older gives me that lump in my throat. I will be thinking about that the next time I go to a wedding and see the mother/son dance.

  16. I went to a wedding last month– the first since I had my first baby boy in 2008 and the second in 2009 — and I was completely overcome with emotion during the mother/son dance. I totally understand how you feel.

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