Jess Anastasi was looking forward to a father-daughter dance with her dad at her wedding but she was sad when he refused to be a part of it.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on September 1, 2023. It has since been updated.
A dream wedding consists of many things, but one moment a daughter usually looks forward to is a dance with her dad. During traditional wedding ceremonies, the bride and her father are called to the dance floor to groove to a song of their choice. Then bride's father 'gives her away' to the groom midway and then, the couple continues the dance. The ritual symbolizes the bride's and her father's love, allowing the two to share a unique moment on their wedding day. Naturally, Jess Anastasi - who goes by @mrsanastasi_ on TikTok - was expecting to share a similarly special moment with her father at her wedding. She shared a glimpse of her first dance, which highlighted how her moment turned from heartbreaking to heartwarming in a few seconds. Her father refused to dance with her, but just then, another man "stepped up."
The video clip gained four million views as she captioned it, "Still a thought I think about regularly." The overlay texts explain, "Little did I know that my dad would refuse to dance with me. I waited my whole life and was so excited to dance with my dad on my wedding day. I was so heartbroken." Fortunately, her father-in-law filled in the shoes of her dad "without any second thought" and they had a first dance as he gently led the way.
While replying to numerous people in the comment section, she shared glimpses of what happened between her and her father. Moreover, she finds herself lucky to be married into "such an amazing family" that welcomes her like her own and makes her feel loved. She did not explain much about why the moment took place but elaborated in the comments in response to @gippsgal, "My dad showed up 5 minutes before I hopped in the limo, he then complained about the food and the staff, then my whole side left at 8:45 pm." Also, while responding to @hopemccarth3, she said, "My dad caused a lot of drama in the week before the wedding and this just broke me. I don't talk or see my side anymore." "I'm so lucky to have my Father In Law. He makes me feel more loved than my own dad," she added in response to @allen999l.
In a follow-up video, Anastasi thanked everyone for their love and support. She also stated that she did not share the video to criticize her family but rather as a thank you to her father-in-law, who "stepped up" and made her feel "so much love on that day." "It was a really heartbreaking moment for me," Anastasi acknowledged, adding that she is "trying to move past it."
Viewers were left appreciating the sweet step her father-in-law took but also brought to light how many of them, unfortunately, resonate with not having a father figure in life and on the dance floor despite having biological dads. "That dance is reserved for someone who loves you & supports you. Father is just a word. You absolutely danced with the right man!" commented @kezzaj231276. "I love this for you! My dad left my wedding without telling anyone and I stood on the dance floor alone, confused, until my little bro came and danced with me," resonated @camrynns_world. "My dad passed, so couldn't be at my wedding. They mistakenly announced a father-daughter dance and my father-in-law stepped in and danced with me," shared @clarefergieee.