How much would you love the person you're about to marry?
Enough to humiliate yourself in front of family and friends at your wedding?
A groom is contemplating calling off the wedding after his fiancée asked him to participate in a family tradition at their reception. So he reached out to the Reddit community for judgment.
Based on what Redditor "GlassAlarm1" was asked to do, readers said "Yes" to calling the whole thing off.
The Original Poster (OP) asked WIBTA (Would I Be the A**hole) and began his thread by admitting "I'm pretty torn here."
"I've been dating a girl for a long time and it's been mostly great. I proposed a few months ago and we've been planning some wedding stuff recently."
Things went swimmingly, until the bride-to-be had a nerve-racking request.
"Well, she has also recently dropped it on me that it is 'family tradition' to put a ball and chain on the groom at the reception as a 'joke' and they won't take it off until whenever the f'k they decide to."
ball and chain GIF by The Titan Games Giphy
This was not negotiable.
"I am certainly not doing that, but she seems pretty firm on it."
"I feel like if you want to embarrass me like that, you can host your own reception without my family and friends there, and embarrass me all you want in front of your family and friends."
There may be no honeymoon phase if the OP is weighed down by this stunt.
"Really might call this off if they're expecting me to go ball and chain, and I don't feel like I'm being unreasonable but she's pretty f'king mad at me right now for my refusal."
Redditors slammed the ludicrous tradition and determined the OP would be NTA (Not the A**hole).
"NTA. What a repulsive, tacky tradition." – WebbieVanderquack
"It's a very weird tradition and degrading to both parties."
"And on a side note, if she insists now, what other things that you are clearly uncomfortable about will she insists on in the future? You might just see a side of her now that you could be seeing a lot more from now on." – Tango_Owl
"What a disgusting and foul tradition, and also what a silly mindset this woman has."
"Why the f'k would you want to force your partner to do something they find unpleasant on their own wedding day?"
"I feel like that's a bigger problem for me. the tradition is horrendous, but this is even worse."
"On our wedding day, my wife & I had a fantastic time. yeah sure there's a lot of stuff going on, but one key thing: we continued to be each others' #1 supporters. we were constantly looking out for each other to make sure we're eating, chatting, etc."
"What's the f'king point even of getting married and having a wedding if your spouse won't enjoy it?" – madmaxturbator
good idea yes GIF by Robert E Blackmon Giphy
Would you want to marry someone who wants to humiliate you on your momentous occasion?
This Redditor experienced a rude awakening on her wedding day.
"I planned a beautiful wedding with the man I loved, the father of my daughter."
"Life was perfect, if happening unexpectedly quickly. We discussed all the wedding and reception details and made decisions together."
"One thing I was adamant about was that I find the cake smash both unappealing (due to a deep dislike of being fed in general) and demeaning."
"He agreed, and we moved on. We discussed it again wedding morning, to be sure we were on the same page."
"Which is why I don't understand why I spent half an hour in the bathroom cleaning cake off myself and crying because I realized I'd just made the biggest mistake of my life by marrying an a**hole who didn't care about me or my feelings."
"Do not marry someone who doesn't respect your equal right to make what should be couples decisions. Do not marry someone who doesn't view the wedding and reception as 'our day' instead of just 'my day.' Do not marry someone who wants to embarrass and humiliate you for sport." – Alert-Potato
It turns out that—while it is a popular tradition—the cake smash leaves little to be desired.
"Hate the cake smash. This is awful! So sorry :( I would have been bawling in the bathroom too." – Felonious_Minx
"If a man ever smashed anything in my face, I would muster whatever strength I had & beat the ever-loving sh*t out of him with my high heels." – ad2000db
"I've heard a lot of anecdotal evidence from people in the wedding business that couples who don't smash cake in their spouses face are more likely to stay married. Probably because it shows more respect for each other."
"Color me not surprised that my MIL (who is on her second marriage and complains about her current husband every chance she gets) was soooo upset we delicately fed each other cake at our wedding." – Sea_Petal
This Redditor suggested the OP have a heart to heart discussion about the implications of the embarrassing display.
"I think this may be a tradition where the meaning behind the tradition may have become divorced from the tradition itself."
"If I was OP, i would tell your future wife that you don't think marrying her is a ball and chain and you find it disrespectful to insinuate that it is."
"Even though its embarrassing, I would focus on what the ball and chain means to you and why you don't like the idea behind it."
"If she is truly tied to it, ask her why she wants people to think she, the wife, is the proverbial ball and chain slowing down or trapping the groom and if she is really comfortable with that insinuation."
"There may be another meaning to the wife's family behind this too, I just think OP needs to communicate why he doesn't like it outside of the embarrassment." – BigMeaning0
The OP updated his post to confirm he wasn't just "looking for a reason to call the wedding."
He emphasized he will not participate in the emasculating and misogynistic stunt in front of his friends and family.
"Yes, you guys bring up very good points that if something like this would cause me to throw it away then it may be some form of writing on the walls (just to confirm, I do not want to throw it away)."
"I will not be caving in to this in any way shape or form unless as I mentioned earlier, she wants to finance her own private reception where her family and friends can embarrass me all they want while mine aren't present."
"The point above, imo, doesn't mean the wedding will be called off. It's up to how firm she is on the 'joke' and if they'll just let it go."
The outcome depends on how much the couple love and respect one another.
How deep is the ocean? How high is the sky? How heavy is that ball and chain?
Best of luck to the groom to figure that out.
For a couple that wants to create their own traditions or know more about the ones they observe, the book Lucky in Love: Traditions, Customs, and Rituals to Personalize Your Wedding is available here.