Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Wasn't going to do a Dollar Dance...but fiance's friends all do them. Should we?

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Re: Wasn't going to do a Dollar Dance...but fiance's friends all do them. Should we?

  • I've seen a Dollar Dance at one wedding, and maybe like five people participated-- mostly an old uncle or aunt, parents, etc. It was awkward to watch.









  • The Dollar Dance is very popular in my area. For those of you who are not familiar with the tradition, as I've been told from my family (and by simply Googling it, I don't think this is far off), it is a Polish tradition. In the area where I live there is a giant Polish population; therefore, these are super common at weddings. Furthermore, they are traditionally dance to a polka song. Something newer I have seen is that after the guest pays the $1, they are given their choice of a shot of alcohol or a fruity shooter and then proceed to dance with either the bride or groom for maybe 10 seconds.

    Since they are so common here, and I have a lot of Polish relatives, I have been asked dozens of times already what song I will be dancing to at the wedding for this and I am very excited to do continue the tradition. Every wedding I've been to that has done one, including other family members, everyone has had a blast and I would say at least half the guests (and in one instance, EVERY guest to the point they had to play a second song) participated and everyone laughed and danced and had a great time. If people want to come up and dance with me and get a graet picture and not give a $1, they don't really have to.

    I think this tradition is all in good fun and I hardly see it as so awful as some of the other posters may, and if your FI really wants this, it won't be nearly as bad as you think and you can request a short song from the DJ or for him to cut it off as soon as there is no longer anyone waiting to dance with you. If his family is expecting it and more so, if it's something he wants and he hasn't asked to do anything else at the reception, just let him have his one request.

    I asked my Girlfriend who is from Poland about this. She had never heard of a Dollar Dance before. She said that people will discretely gift money to the bride and groom through the night, but they don't "dance" for it. She said "like a stripper?" So no, it's not a Polish tradition. It's probably something that has been bastardised through the ages and slapped with a "regional" well this group does it. If you ask people who come from those countries, they will tell you nope. 

    I've heard/read a lot of Polish, Hungarian and Italian people say the same thing. From what I've gathered, the dollar dance is not tradition in any of those countries, but rather started in poor immigrant communities in the US. The thing was, it was created because most of the guests were unable to give gifts, so pooling a dollar from several of the guests gave the couple something to start with. (Back then, the wedding would have cost next to nothing, and the couple would have been barely more than teenagers, coming right out of their parents' homes.)

    I find them rude as hell now. 


    Could very well be @mynameisnot . I always thought they were (at least at some point) a Polish tradition since my 91-year old Polish Grandmother swears that they are. Though she calls it the "Apron Dance" since in her version just before the dance the bride puts on an apron to signify that she is no longer a bride, but now a wife (keep in mind this was the 40's). All of the guests who come up to dance with her pin the dollars to her apron. We will be skipping the Apron Dance, and all of it's tacky spin-offs.
    MairePoppy
  • I get why some people think they are tacky. IMO, it's a matter of knowing your crowd. If this is something that all your friends and family members have done at their weddings and would be disappointed if you didn't have it,  and it's something you & FI want to do. I* also thing besides people thinking the dance is "tacky", it's starting to fall by the wayside because fewer and fewer people actually carry cash on them these days.  It's your call. We didn't do it at our wedding. I've seen it done occasionally at weddings in my area. We decided against it because my husband isn't comfortable being center of attention on the dance floor & doing slow dances. So for us, it wasn't a matter of tradition or if it was tacky or not to do it. It was all about our comfort at the wedding.

    canadianteacher
  • Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited August 2015
    Erikan73 said:

    I get why some people think they are tacky. IMO, it's a matter of knowing your crowd. If this is something that all your friends and family members have done at their weddings and would be disappointed if you didn't have it,  and it's something you & FI want to do. I* also thing besides people thinking the dance is "tacky", it's starting to fall by the wayside because fewer and fewer people actually carry cash on them these days.  It's your call. We didn't do it at our wedding. I've seen it done occasionally at weddings in my area. We decided against it because my husband isn't comfortable being center of attention on the dance floor & doing slow dances. So for us, it wasn't a matter of tradition or if it was tacky or not to do it. It was all about our comfort at the wedding.

    Sorry, but I disagree.  It's not a "know your crowd" or a "comfort" thing, because it's about not asking guests to pull out their wallets at all, whether for dollar dances, alcohol, parking, anything-even if it's what they want or "for their comfort."  Sometimes the crowd is wrong.
    adwks
  • Jen4948 said:
    Erikan73 said:

    I get why some people think they are tacky. IMO, it's a matter of knowing your crowd. If this is something that all your friends and family members have done at their weddings and would be disappointed if you didn't have it,  and it's something you & FI want to do. I* also thing besides people thinking the dance is "tacky", it's starting to fall by the wayside because fewer and fewer people actually carry cash on them these days.  It's your call. We didn't do it at our wedding. I've seen it done occasionally at weddings in my area. We decided against it because my husband isn't comfortable being center of attention on the dance floor & doing slow dances. So for us, it wasn't a matter of tradition or if it was tacky or not to do it. It was all about our comfort at the wedding.

    Sorry, but I disagree.  It's not a "know your crowd" or a "comfort" thing, because it's about not asking guests to pull out their wallets at all, whether for dollar dances, alcohol, parking, anything-even if it's what they want or "for their comfort."  Sometimes the crowd is wrong.
    This
    image
  • justsie said:
    Jen4948 said:
    Erikan73 said:

    I get why some people think they are tacky. IMO, it's a matter of knowing your crowd. If this is something that all your friends and family members have done at their weddings and would be disappointed if you didn't have it,  and it's something you & FI want to do. I* also thing besides people thinking the dance is "tacky", it's starting to fall by the wayside because fewer and fewer people actually carry cash on them these days.  It's your call. We didn't do it at our wedding. I've seen it done occasionally at weddings in my area. We decided against it because my husband isn't comfortable being center of attention on the dance floor & doing slow dances. So for us, it wasn't a matter of tradition or if it was tacky or not to do it. It was all about our comfort at the wedding.

    Sorry, but I disagree.  It's not a "know your crowd" or a "comfort" thing, because it's about not asking guests to pull out their wallets at all, whether for dollar dances, alcohol, parking, anything-even if it's what they want or "for their comfort."  Sometimes the crowd is wrong.
    This

    I get where you ladies are coming from. The reason I look at it being different then other issues is  because if you have a cash bar, your guest is forced to pay if they want to drink. Or if you force paid parking/valet service on them, they don't have a choice. But a dollar dance, the guests have a choice if they want to participate in it or not. Just like gifts, you don't have to give one, but it's nice if you do. If it's something that is tradition for their families to do and the couple wants to do it, for me it's wouldn't give me a less fun experience at a wedding whereas paying for my parking or drinks would leave me with a sour taste in my mouth.
    canadianteacher
  • Erikan73 said:
    justsie said:
    Jen4948 said:
    Erikan73 said:

    I get why some people think they are tacky. IMO, it's a matter of knowing your crowd. If this is something that all your friends and family members have done at their weddings and would be disappointed if you didn't have it,  and it's something you & FI want to do. I* also thing besides people thinking the dance is "tacky", it's starting to fall by the wayside because fewer and fewer people actually carry cash on them these days.  It's your call. We didn't do it at our wedding. I've seen it done occasionally at weddings in my area. We decided against it because my husband isn't comfortable being center of attention on the dance floor & doing slow dances. So for us, it wasn't a matter of tradition or if it was tacky or not to do it. It was all about our comfort at the wedding.

    Sorry, but I disagree.  It's not a "know your crowd" or a "comfort" thing, because it's about not asking guests to pull out their wallets at all, whether for dollar dances, alcohol, parking, anything-even if it's what they want or "for their comfort."  Sometimes the crowd is wrong.
    This

    I get where you ladies are coming from. The reason I look at it being different then other issues is  because if you have a cash bar, your guest is forced to pay if they want to drink. Or if you force paid parking/valet service on them, they don't have a choice. But a dollar dance, the guests have a choice if they want to participate in it or not. Just like gifts, you don't have to give one, but it's nice if you do. If it's something that is tradition for their families to do and the couple wants to do it, for me it's wouldn't give me a less fun experience at a wedding whereas paying for my parking or drinks would leave me with a sour taste in my mouth.
    I disagree. Not all dollar dances as passive things. I've seen dollar dances where members of the wedding party have to run around the reception begging for money. I've heard of dollar dances where the FOB stands at a table until everyone has given some money. It makes your guests uncomfortable, especially those that do not want to give or do not have money on them. If it isn't about money, then why not give everyone a token to give up? Why does it have to be money? What is the point?
    image
    adwksYogaSandy
  • I remember one wedding I went to, where I kept getting pressured to participate in the Dollar Dance.  A. I didn't have cash on me.  B.  I don't really like to dance all that much...probably because I have no skills!  C.  I was really uncomfortable by all the pressure put on me.  There will be no Dollar Dance at my wedding!!!

    YogaSandyPinksatin91016
  • Erikan73 said:


    justsie said:


    Jen4948 said:


    Erikan73 said:

    I get why some people think they are tacky. IMO, it's a matter of knowing your crowd. If this is something that all your friends and family members have done at their weddings and would be disappointed if you didn't have it,  and it's something you & FI want to do. I* also thing besides people thinking the dance is "tacky", it's starting to fall by the wayside because fewer and fewer people actually carry cash on them these days.  It's your call. We didn't do it at our wedding. I've seen it done occasionally at weddings in my area. We decided against it because my husband isn't comfortable being center of attention on the dance floor & doing slow dances. So for us, it wasn't a matter of tradition or if it was tacky or not to do it. It was all about our comfort at the wedding.


    Sorry, but I disagree.  It's not a "know your crowd" or a "comfort" thing, because it's about not asking guests to pull out their wallets at all, whether for dollar dances, alcohol, parking, anything-even if it's what they want or "for their comfort."  Sometimes the crowd is wrong.

    This



    I get where you ladies are coming from. The reason I look at it being different then other issues is  because if you have a cash bar, your guest is forced to pay if they want to drink. Or if you force paid parking/valet service on them, they don't have a choice. But a dollar dance, the guests have a choice if they want to participate in it or not. Just like gifts, you don't have to give one, but it's nice if you do. If it's something that is tradition for their families to do and the couple wants to do it, for me it's wouldn't give me a less fun experience at a wedding whereas paying for my parking or drinks would leave me with a sour taste in my mouth.

    Nope.

    What are guests who "choose" not to pay for a dance supposed to do while the dollar dance is going on? Just sit there? Leave? That's incredibly rude.

    If guests are being pressured to pay and dance, what "choice" are they being given? Sorry, but the decision to attend or stay at a reception with a dollar dance does not equal "choosing" to condone a dollar dance or make it polite or acceptable to have one.

    Guests should just plain not be expected to pay for anything in order to participate.
  • I am Hungarian and I did just have a dollar dance at my wedding a few weeks ago. However, with their "donation" the participants got a shot of Hungarian liquor and a special baked good.


    I made almost $100 and it really was fun, not everyone gave money either. It wasn't akward at all!

  • I am Hungarian and I did just have a dollar dance at my wedding a few weeks ago. However, with their "donation" the participants got a shot of Hungarian liquor and a special baked good.


    I made almost $100 and it really was fun, not everyone gave money either. It wasn't akward at all!

    In your own mind.  Hungarian or no, unless everyone at your wedding is from the same background as you, you have no way of knowing this for everyone else.  And your non-Hungarian guests may well not have appreciated it or had fun or "didn't find it awkward at all" or cared about the Hungarian liquor or the baked good.
    InLoveInQueens[Deleted User]
  • Do whatever makes you and your FL comfortable OP! I have no plans on doing a Dollar Dance at my wedding, but I've seen it done at a lot of different weddings from a range of cultures and it never looked tacky. 

    Lets be real for a second. Most guest that come to weddings leave money for the new happy couple in a card that you place in a box. The Dollar Dance is the same thing, just interactive. It's not 'begging' when you were going to give them the money anyways
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    canadianteacher
  • All of my guests had a great time, maybe you're just no fun :)
  • All of my guests had a great time, maybe you're just no fun :)
    That's no justification for being rude.
  • All of my guests had a great time, maybe you're just no fun :)
    Ah yes, because fun equals me having to give you money so that I can dance with you.  Super fun.

    [Deleted User]
  • All of my guests had a great time, maybe you're just no fun :)
    Strip clubs are also a great time and include an exchange of money for a dance.    If you don't like that at my reception, maybe you're just a prude;).
    image
    HeatherKatadwksarrippaSP29
  • I am Hungarian and I did just have a dollar dance at my wedding a few weeks ago. However, with their "donation" the participants got a shot of Hungarian liquor and a special baked good.


    I made almost $100 and it really was fun, not everyone gave money either. It wasn't akward at all!

    I am also Hungarian and did NOT have a dollar dance (nor was it ever brought up as an option) because in my family discussing and/or asking for money is horribly rude.
    InLoveInQueens[Deleted User]
  • Everyone in my family gets married in a church.  I didn't.

    Every bride I know wore a veil.  I did not.

    Everyone groom in my family wears a suit or tux.  DH did not.

    Everyone one in our circle does a bouquet/garter toss.  We did not.


    I say break the cycle.


    Oh and my family and friends had a great time, even without the dollar dance.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    InLoveInQueensemmaaalc07
  • I am Hungarian and I did just have a dollar dance at my wedding a few weeks ago. However, with their "donation" the participants got a shot of Hungarian liquor and a special baked good.


    I made almost $100 and it really was fun, not everyone gave money either. It wasn't akward at all!

    I am also Hungarian and did NOT have a dollar dance (nor was it ever brought up as an option) because in my family discussing and/or asking for money is horribly rude.
    Because FI is 50% Hungarian I looked into this.  This was common back when couples married young, penniless and were literally starting from scratch on their wedding day.  Seeing that today, the above is usually not true at all, I think it's no longer appropriate to the culture.

    However, I will pay good money for some Hungarian (his family calls it lutzi (sp?)) cake; at a bakery haha.
    image
    sparklepants41MyNameIsNot


  • Do whatever makes you and your FL comfortable OP! I have no plans on doing a Dollar Dance at my wedding, but I've seen it done at a lot of different weddings from a range of cultures and it never looked tacky. 

    Lets be real for a second. Most guest that come to weddings leave money for the new happy couple in a card that you place in a box. The Dollar Dance is the same thing, just interactive. It's not 'begging' when you were going to give them the money anyways

    No to the bolded.  When I go to a wedding I have a check in a sealed card/envelope which I drop into the card box as soon as I walk into the reception.  That is my gift.  If a dollar dance is held that says to me that the gift that I just dropped into the box was not enough and the couple wants me to give them even more.  It is greedy and rude.

    If I were to give a check as a wedding gift and there is a dollar dance at the reception, I'd stop payment on the check.
  • I've been to one wedding that has had a dollar dance. The couple is Fillipino (which I know saying "it's part of the culture" is usually wrong ;) but I have been told it is a common tradition and the giving of money is seen as a way to give well wishes for prosperity in the future).

    I was not overly offended by this dance, but I can tell you it did make me uncomfortable. The bride and groom's family were all heavily participating, but hardly any of the Canadian folks did. It left me feeling uncomfortable because I do not carry cash (particularly when all I have is a small clutch for my phone, credit card, driver's license and lipstick!), so *I* felt like the jerk for not participating. 

    I have also married into a Hungarian family and have never hear of a dollar dance mentioned. 
  • We aren't doing a Dollar Dance, but I just don't see the purpose. The B&G are most likely getting $$ anyways in the form of wedding gifts from family and friends, so even if there were some obscure reason to ask for $ (there's not), that reasoning goes out the window.

    And then, it supposedly gives the B&G a chance to dance with everyone. But ONLY those who have cash. Not everyone carries cash, so you (general) presumably would just dance with the that guest later on...which you can do with ALL the guests W/O the $$.

    There's just no logic behind it. And the idea of it being "fun" doesn't stand either because there are plenty of other things that are fun at a wedding.

    kimmiinthemitten
  • My maternal grandparents were from Poland and my mom grew up in a very Polish neighborhood -- and I have never heard of Dollar Dances being a Polish tradition. I have heard of them, though. I don't think I would personally be that off-put by it, but I know some friends who would be, as they might not be comfortable getting up to dance in front of others, but would feel an awkward pressure to do so.
    To celebrate my heritage, I do plan on maybe putting a lively polka in our playlist of songs, and so anybody wishing to join can come up and dance with me or anybody else... for free and without pressure. 
                        


    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Having now been through our wedding I can say the Dollar Dance was a ton of fun!  We did a joint one because it's a tradition in my husband's family but not mine so guests danced with him first and then with me.  We had a mix of three songs that added up to about 10 minutes and we were dancing right until the end.  I originally didn't want to do one at all and I'm so glad we did!  It was a blast!
  • Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited February 2016
    Having now been through our wedding I can say the Dollar Dance was a ton of fun!  We did a joint one because it's a tradition in my husband's family but not mine so guests danced with him first and then with me.  We had a mix of three songs that added up to about 10 minutes and we were dancing right until the end.  I originally didn't want to do one at all and I'm so glad we did!  It was a blast!
    And insanely rude.

    Zombie thread.

    @emmaaa
    CMGragainlnixon8
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