In the 2019 horror-comedy Ready or Not, Grace marries the man she's in love with who also happens to be a part of a wealthy family with a grotesque wedding night ritual they've taken part in for generations. Grace must pick a game to play, and, since she chose Hide and Seek, she must hide while the rest of his family tries to chase her down and kill her, and if she survives until dawn, she's won the game.
This post on Reddit's "Am I the A-hole?" comes way too close to the plot of that movie for comfort. In it, OP explains that he's supposed to get married to his fiancée early next year, and that she has a huge, very involved family.
Generally, he loves her family. But something weird has been going on since they've gotten engaged. "My GF's cousins sometimes make jokes about our wedding night," he writes. "It's weird for them to joke about it since I'm pretty sure her family is aware we've slept together before since we share a bed at holiday gatherings and vacations."
A few nights ago, he and his fiancée were discussing wedding plans and brainstorming ideas when she dropped the bomb that they wouldn't "need a bridal suite right away." She explained that she wants them to stay at her parents' house the night of the wedding instead of the very nice hotel in which they're getting married.
Although OP was OK with that, it was clear that there was something else she wasn't telling him. So he pushed her. And finally, the truth came out.
There's apparently a "really old tradition in her family on the wedding night." He explains, "The husband and wife go into the master bedroom together and they are supposed to 'consummate' the marriage. The rest of the family are waiting outside the door so they can applaud them and cheer when they come out. Then a piece of the bed sheet is cut off and sewn into a big tapestry my GF's mother owns."
OP, of course, freaked out at the prospect of having to have sex with his new wife for the first time in her parents' bedroom (presumably??) while they and other family members stand outside and listen. His fiancée said that if he really felt uncomfortable, they didn't have to really do it; they could just pretend.
But that's still really weird! He told her he would not participate in that tradition under any circumstance. He knows that his fiancée has been talking to her parents because his MIL-to-be texted him saying that he doesn't "understand the importance of family and tradition" and that this tradition has been around longer than he's been alive.
This is precisely the reason they should consider, um, giving up this tradition. It's so strange and old-fashioned and the tapestry thing is beyond creepy.
Reddit users found the tradition similarly antiquated. "Tell them you'll do it in return for a dowry of 100 head of cattle, a white stallion, and a tract of arable land," one commenter joked.
Some commenters gave more serious advice. "When you hear stories about in-laws causing stress to a marriage, it is almost always about a failure to respect normal boundaries," one person wrote. "If you go along with this, it will only be the beginning...
"My advice is to share information with your fiancée on what a bedding ceremony is, and what it means. Its emphasis is on virginity and the implication that the woman is worthless if she can't demonstrate it.
"I would talk about boundaries and how you and your fiancée are to be a team of two, not minority members of a committee. Don't go to the family and say you will not do it — SHE needs to be the one to do that. She needs to show that she will align with you against them when necessary."
Some good advice there. This really seems like a Ready or Not situation in the making, and I hope for OP's sake it ends with a lot less violence. But I also hope it ends without him having his wedding night bed sheet sewn into a giant, disgusting tapestry.