What is a Dollar Dance and should you have one?

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As a bride-to-be, you’re probably going to quite like the sound of this one. Even if it’s not something that’s strictly speaking part of your own culture, it could be a lot of fun. The dollar dance, or money dance as it is known elsewhere in the world, is an event held at many wedding receptions. It’s where money is pinned to the bride or put into an apron or purse. Sounds good right? After all, weddings do cost a small fortune, so this is like payback time. It’s not as though you’re not giving something in return either! They get to dance with the most beautiful girl in the room for 20 seconds. That will be you, the radiant bride.

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Well, it is a hot topic of conversation. It can be pretty polarizing with some people thinking it’s a little bit undignified. Cash, in public! How very common! So, if you’re not yet convinced that it should form a part of your wedding celebrations, we’re here to demystify the dollar dance! We’re not talking a lap dance style either before you get all holier than though! It’s actually a sign of great honor and respect in many cultures and a very traditional part of the celebrations. It also happens to be a lot of fun.

It’s an excellent way for the bride and groom to spend some valuable one to one time with their guests. You get an opportunity to thank them for being very much a part of their special day. So many times at a wedding,  you barely get to spend any time with the guests at all. Having just 20 seconds to dance together then sounds like a beautiful idea.

Also, let’s face it, the best wedding gift anyway is always cold hard cash! Who needs four silver toasters and another set of cutlery? If it’s not the norm in your culture to host a dollar dance, why not be the first to break with tradition? You could still have the usual gift registry for the more old-fashioned, or let’s more kindly call them “traditionalists” amongst your family. For the rest of your friends, why not incorporate the dollar dance as a fun and creative way of helping fund your dream honeymoon.

What is the dollar dance?

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So the Dollar Dance is where male guests pay to briefly dance with the bride.  Of course, all things being very much equal these days, the female guests pay to dance with the groom! There’s nobody needs to feel left out!

It has its roots and origins in many cultures although it is perhaps best popularised by My Big Fat Greek Wedding. In Nigeria it’s called the money spray, in Greece, they toss money at the couple which is afterward collected and given to the band and in Poland, the tradition is to pin money to the bride’s dress. Now if you’ve just spent your own life’s savings or your parent’s legacy on that dream designer bridal gown you probably don’t want all your guests pinning dirty cash to your beautiful dress! Maybe get them to give you a little brown envelope instead. You could do it Italian style like they do at Holy Communion and carry a unique purse for the occasion. In fact, there’s no need for you to even touch the cash yourself. This could be a responsibility that you assign to your Chief Bridesmaid?

Are there any alternatives to the dollar dance?

If you aren’t convinced that your family will be “down for the dance,” but you want to incorporate something fun into your wedding proceedings, try something a little bit more creative. Why not have a mass dance off! Invite everyone up onto the dance floor and encourage them to give you a blessing.  Or well wishes, written down on a piece of paper? That way you are collecting happy memories rather than money.

If you like the idea of the good wishes, you could also look at incorporating a wish jar or a wish tree?You could ask all your guests to contribute their words of wisdom or wishes of love and happiness on little cards that you can forever treasure. Don’t forget either; this is called the “dollar dance” not the “hundred-dollar dance.” It needn’t be a means of collecting a significant amount of cash; it really could just be a little bit of fun.

What music should you choose for your dollar dance?

Anything goes really. It’s entirely up to you. In reality, you won’t get to spend that much time with each of your guests. So there’s no point going for anything too sentimental as chances are they won’t be twirling you around for long enough to even hear the words. You could then be very tongue in cheek and go for a money-related song, something like Abba’s “Money, Money, Money”! Or if you don’t want to be that obvious, perhaps something that gives a firm nod to the value of your friendships instead. Like the Beatles, “With a Little Help From My Friends”. Bit more subtle but still recognizing their valued contribution. Or just go all in fun times and stick on some Bruno Mars! Either 24k Magic or Marry You will get everyone up and dancing and joining in the dollar dance with you.

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Making a contribution

Finally, how about taking the dollar dance tradition and turning that into an opportunity to say thank your guests for their time in sharing your special day. At the same time, you could donate all their gifts of money to your favorite charity? Perhaps the dollar dance could be a way of you all giving something back? You might still have your usual gift registry. However, maybe all the fun money collected from your dance could go to a special charity that has genuine meaning to you and your groom? Now, who in your family would ever object to that?

So brides-to-be; keep dancing!