What is “The Money Dance?”

MoneyA client recently asked me this question:

“I know we have a while to go before we really need to start going over songs for my wedding, but I was just wondering: What’s a money dance? Thanks!”

My response: Thanks for asking! The Money Dance is a fun but ancient wedding tradition! Formerly called a “Dollar Dance”, it’s a very old (early 20th century) ethnic wedding custom whereby the bride and groom would briefly slow dance (about 30 sec. or so) with guests for $1.00. The DJ introduces the dance and plays several appropriate slow songs. Songs that have a “friend” theme are better than those with romantic lyrics. The maid of honor collects for the bride and the best man collects for the groom. In addition to collecting the cash for you, the maid of honor and best man should act as gatekeepers to ensure that the dance with each guest is kept brief. Timing-wise, the money dance can be done any time after the cake cutting & parent dances but prior to the end of the reception. The Money Dance ends when everyone has had a turn dancing with the Bride & Groom.

It’s purpose is to raise some extra cash for the honeymoon and give your guests an opportunity for some personal time with the Bride and/or Groom. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, the tradition gradually lost its popularity. But some ethnic groups and lower socio-economic classes still do it as tradition and to help the bride and groom financially. The name was changed from ““dollar” to “money” because a dollar is worth practically nothing these days!

Advantages: You make some extra cash, you can dance and chat with many of your guests individually, and it’’s a great photo opportunity.

Disadvantages: Some people think it’s tacky or rude to ask guests for more money after they have already included a substantial sum with your card; and sometimes the dance goes on and on, creating a boring block of time for the other guests.

IMO the money dance is not very popular around here; I probably do one or two of these all year! But, it’s your choice! Ask your fiance, friends and family, especially the older ones, what they think. Then, if you want it, we can introduce it and play appropriate music for it.

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