• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Customs and Traditions

The Dollar Dance

Every wedding I've been to, there has been a dollar dance where people pay a dollar to take turns to dance with the bride/groom - the only exception being one where the bride and groom put on an apron and ran around the reception collecting money from all their guests...

Despite the fact that I've seen it at every reception I've been to since I was little, I feel awkward asking money from our guests like that (well, asking period).  I feel like if they want to give us money, they'll do it as a gift.

FI wants to do this - it was even at FSIL's wedding.

But I don't know.

Maybe this is more of a regional thing? Is anyone else planning to do this or not doing it?
BabyFruit Ticker

Re: The Dollar Dance

  • It is also traditional in my husband's family, but not in mine. From my understanding, if every single wedding guest is accustomed to it, and the bride and groom do not initiate it themselves (usually an uncle or someone will suggest it), then you would be safe to do one.

    We didn't have one, and I guarantee no one left saying, "That wedding was kind of fun, but golly gee I missed that dollar dance."

    If you don't want to do it, explain to your FI about how uncomfortable you will feel.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • It is a regional/cultural thing.  It is also strongly frowned upon on these boards, for exactly the reasons you describe- it's awkward and rude to ask your guests for money.  I think the most common advice given on these boards is to skip it unless you absolutely can't get out of it because it's SUCH a cultural thing for your family that they'll be upset or disappointed if you skip it (which, we have had a few people in that situation).  It sounds like this is something that you'll have to work out with your FI, but I kinda think that since it's you that has to dance, you get veto power.  :)
  • aro1589aro1589 member
    100 Comments Second Anniversary
    every wedding in my family has always done one.  I never thought about how rude it is until I came to these boards.  But, it can be fun, and if it's tradition is your fiance's family, go for it. 
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • I am being pressured into doing something similar as well. My FI is filipino and it's traditional that the money gets pinned onto the dress.  Well, I've put my foot down to having pin holes in my dress, but then was told the weil is ok too. Oh. I also feel weird asking for money from guests, and even moreso in Canada because the lowest denominational bill is $5.  Oddly enough it wouldn't feel nearly as weird with a $1, though still awkward.  My FMIL says everyone will understand as it's a filipino thing, but I'm still hesitant.  So I get your dilemma.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • My FSIL did this too it was the first time i have ever heard of it or seen it.  I found it weird, i know FMIL wants us to do it...but I'm NOT doing it.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_the-dollar-dance?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:ad57a1be-9c75-4185-aeee-d65bfe004072Post:3c94b081-97f6-4b02-b0d8-9b87d0bd479a">The Dollar Dance</a>:
    [QUOTE]Every wedding I've been to, there has been a dollar dance where people pay a dollar to take turns to dance with the bride/groom - the only exception being one where the <strong>bride and groom put on an apron and ran around the reception collecting money from all their guests</strong>... Despite the fact that I've seen it at every reception I've been to since I was little, I feel awkward asking money from our guests like that (well, asking period).  I feel like if they want to give us money, they'll do it as a gift. FI wants to do this - it was even at FSIL's wedding. But I don't know. Maybe this is more of a regional thing? Is anyone else planning to do this or not doing it?
    Posted by augurey[/QUOTE]

    <div>The dollar dance is considered tacky in many areas, but this? This sounds ridiculous no matter where you go. </div>
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • It's a regional thing mostly. I've been to tons of weddings with the dollar dance. I don't find it rude, but I don't want to do it because I feel awkward dancing with EVERY single guest, plus it tend to last FOREVER. It's totally up to the two of you if you want to do it. If you feel uncomfortable, don't force yourself to do it.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    March 2013 March siggy challenge - wedding preview
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Follow Me on Pinterest
    Planning Bio
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I find it really rude.

    If you're in a family where everyone is used to it, you can get away with it, but if you're uncomfortable you shouldn't feel pressured to do it.  There's no way you could get me to go out and dance for money.  Tell your FI that you are uncomfortable with it and won't be doing it.  He can do it himself while you're in the bathroom if he likes.  
  • willywally5willywally5 member
    2500 Comments
    edited May 2012
    Dollar dances are VERY VERY common out here on the plains ... I'd never really given them much thought before seeing discussions on The Knot. That said, I can see where they could be considered tacky and rude. It is kind of nice to get a couple minutes to visit with the bride or groom but that certainly could be done some other way. Fortunately, my daughter doesn't want to do one!

    I'm sure you'd be even more horrified at another little money-maker oft seen here in South Dakota ... the garter auction! And it happens at even the fanciest, nicest affairs among fine upstanding citizens who otherwise seem to have some sense of propriety! Yegads. I have seen them go for nearly a grand on a couple of occasions! Weirdness. Thank God she doesn't want to do THAT either!!!

    (edited for typo)
    image
  • If you are uncormfortable with it, voice that to FI. He can't make you do it. I had a similar conversation with my FI, as it's expected in his circle, but I nor my family has ever heard of it. Not only do I not want my family and friends to go wtf? I personally find it rude and tacky. I'm catching hell from his family, but I am adamant about not having one.

  • It just screams hooker to me, beyond tacky.
  • We're not, they're practically a given in his family and about 50/50 in mine.  Personally they always just seemed awkward to me (line of at least 10 for bride while DJ is trying to talk people into dancing with groom) so we're not doing one. Plus we both think they're a lil tacky. 

    If you're uncomfortable with it, then don't do it. Just because it's "tradition" doesn't mean it's required.
  • Ditto PPs.  If this isn't something both you and your FI want to do, skip it.  Dollar dances are very common in both my family and DH's but we were both incredibly uncomfortable with the idea.  We skipped it, much to the dismay of some family members, told the DJ we absolutely did not want one if someone suggested it, and went on without it.  We didn't miss it.

    We didn't have an alternative, but I've heard of a wish dance to replace the dollar dance - where people exchange good wishes written slips of paper for a dance.  It might be a compromise you and your FI could explore.
    image
    Anniversary


  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_the-dollar-dance?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:ad57a1be-9c75-4185-aeee-d65bfe004072Post:f1b933e1-d4f1-4057-a020-638c2139540e">Re:The Dollar Dance</a>:
    [QUOTE]I a still of the firm belief that if a bride wants people to give her dollar bills at the wedding, she better be doing tricks on a pole. Skip it if you're even a little uncomfortable with it.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    Don't give people ideas!  Hahaha!

    Skip it - it's not worth the awkwardness.
  • We're having one at my wedding. I've never been to a wedding without one, and I've always enjoyed them myself. My FI had never heard of it before, but when he asked his family they all said they've never been to a reception without it. Apparently, his aunts and uncles did it at their weddings and he somehow missed it.

    For us, it's about as traditional as playing a polka. I also like the idea that I get to dance and chat with my guests for a few minutes without feeling like I'm being pulled in a thousand directions. I've already told my MOH and BM that people don't have to give them any money to dance with us. I asked my grandparents about it and they said they remember doing it at weddings decades ago. It had something to do with giving the bride and groom a little something since traditionally, gifts were given to the bride's family to pay her dowry. It sort of evolved from there.

    If you don't feel comfortable doing it, then don't. However, if your FI is very strongly for it, maybe have some sort of compromise. Talk to your dj and see what they suggest. Ultimately, if you put the money aside, it's a way for you to get in a few personal moments with guests you may not otherwise get to talk to except when you visit tables. For me, it's when I'll get to dance with all of my aunts and uncles that probably wouldn't ask me to dance during a regular slow dance because I'd be with my new husband.

    'It just screams hooker to me, beyond tacky." - skippylouwho


    a lot of things scream hooker to me... the dollar dance at a wedding is definitely not one of them. Columbus must have a lot of women walking the streets in wedding dresses...
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_the-dollar-dance?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:ad57a1be-9c75-4185-aeee-d65bfe004072Post:863112e3-b8bd-4aeb-89af-d9fcbfdd535f">Re: The Dollar Dance</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to The Dollar Dance : The dollar dance is considered tacky in many areas, but this? This sounds ridiculous no matter where you go. 
    Posted by VeggieLove1022[/QUOTE]

    Yeah - this. I was in quite disbelief when I saw this going on. I honestly had never even heard of anyone doing this - the dancing, yes, but running around in aprons grabbing money from people, no.


    Thanks for the input everyone! I know that the dollar dance has been done in his family as well as in mine - so if it were to happen, there wouldn't be the confusion of what's going on and what not, but I just feel like if they want to give us money, they'll do so as a gift in a card or something. Maybe FI and I can think of some kind of alternative.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • We didn't do it because I felt it was tacky. However, its a regional/cultural thing here. I can't tell you how manu guests came up to me at the wedding telling me how much they were looking forward to it and how much they missed having it. So, my suggestion is if your guests are expecting it, Id go ahead and do it. If someone doesn't want to dance or give money, they don't have to
  • We didn't do it because I felt it was tacky. However, its a regional/cultural thing here. I can't tell you how manu guests came up to me at the wedding telling me how much they were looking forward to it and how much they missed having it. So, my suggestion is if your guests are expecting it, Id go ahead and do it. If someone doesn't want to dance or give money, they don't have to
  •  I thought it was a tacky idea too until our DJ said that many people look at it as their only chance to have a few minutes of one on one time with the bride or groom.  My daughter came up with the idea of having "Dollar Dance Coupons" on the tables that people could use instead of real dollars if they wanted to.  I thought that was a good compromise.  I also like the idea of people writing down advice or well wishes that someone posted.
  • I had never heard about this awful dance until i read about it on another message board I frequent. apparently it's an Eastern European thing- it just sounds so tacky... "hi give us more money please"- no thanks.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I thought that was like old school ? The weddings I've been to in the past 3 or 4 years did not have this dollar dance. If someone starts it then let it be and have fun with it and collect as much money as you can..haha!
  • It is a cultural thing here. I know I am late to this post but...

    We are doing one. Its very much a traditional thing here.

    The bride dances with everyone. Generally the bills are tied into bows (people actually have contests in my area of who can tie the tightest knot), the individual takes a shot, and dances with the bride.

    Afterwards the family members form a circle around the bride and generally waves white napkins for good luck and claps along with the polka. The groom is sent outside with the groomsmen.

    After all the dancing is over, the groomsmen and the groom try to retrieve the bride from the center. The family members try to keep the groom from getting the bride and its a fun game that goes on for a bit.

    After the groom retrieves his bride, the bride's grandmother/mother removes the bride's veil.

    It has a ton of symbolism for us. And my dad would have a meltdown if we did not do one. I have always had fun doing it. And if guests do not bring ones generally people bring extras just incase. I always gift 10 less than what I intend on giving in the card for the bridal dance. Iv taught people in line how to tie the bows and given them ones to dance with the bride. They've always had fun and like learning about our traditions.

    I can see how it can be tacky or rude, but all the times I have seen it done its been done in a very light hearted fashion. People who do not want to participate use it as an opportunity to take a smoke break or get some air.
  • Just chiming in. I have to agree with fellow long islander owning. I'd be very uncomfortable if I saw this at a wedding. For what it's worth, I've been to a few pennsylvania weddings (I went to college in central pa) and have never heard of this. To the extent that it's a tradition I think it's one you can skip. Happy planning!
  • In Response to Re:The Dollar Dance:[QUOTE]Just chiming in. I have to agree with fellow long islander owning. I'd be very uncomfortable if I saw this at a wedding. For what it's worth, I've been to a few pennsylvania weddings I went to college in central pa and have never heard of this. To the extent that it's a tradition I think it's one you can skip. Happy planning! Posted by lahlah12bk[/QUOTE]

    Hi neighbor!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_the-dollar-dance?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:ad57a1be-9c75-4185-aeee-d65bfe004072Post:8a66de56-70c2-4ebf-81d2-61000ab2b0e1">Re:The Dollar Dance</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:The Dollar Dance:

    Hi neighbor!
    Posted by OwningAHome1981[/QUOTE]




    Hi ya! :)
  • I originally didn't want to do one at all. In our area (Iowa) it's pretty common though. When I told my mom and aunt I didn't want to do one I received the whole "What do you mean you're not doing a dollar dance?" argument. "You have to do one!" So I gave in to peer pressure of my family as well as some recently married friends who said if they hadn't done one they may have not gotten a chance to talk to couple of their guests at all. I personally think my fiance and I could get around to all our 250 guests if we want to without doing a dollar dance, but now since we are doing one, that will take up more of our socializing time and I guess we'll have to settle for the guests coming to us in our "lines". Hopefully I have some generous uncles who give more than just a $1.00 bill.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards