Two Wheels Become One: We Holla For a Dolla

By far, my most controversial Weddingbee post was about whether or not to do a dollar dance. I personally don’t get why it’s that controversial. I get that some people are insulted by the bride and groom “asking for money,” but the way I see it, it’s like paying a penny or a nickel to make a wish in a fountain: a dollar in today’s economy is just really not that much. You can’t even get a Redbox rental for a dollar anymore.


Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

According to smart people, the value of a dollar decreases by 50% every 24 years or so, and according to Martha Stewart, the dollar dance has existed since at least 1912, which means the value of each dollar I received was approximately six cents of what it was originally.


Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography


Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

Plus, you really don’t have to participate if you don’t want to. I don’t think I’ve ever participated in someone else’s dollar dance, because I’m awkward.


Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography


Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

What I liked about the dollar dance was the systematized dancing with our guests. Sure, I was probably going to dance with my dad and brother, and Mr. Unicycle’s dad and several close friends, but I liked that I could spend some time with random uncles and second cousins without it being weird (that sentence was weird though, wasn’t it?). The dollar was just the way to break the ice and make it more of an event—like the bouquet toss or the cake cutting, for instance. In the end, our desire to dance with our guests trumped our fear of tackiness.


Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography


Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography


Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography


Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

I was tempted to ask the DJ to only play money-related music during the dollar dance, such as “If I Had a Million Dollars,” “Money,” and “Mo Money Mo Problems,” but I decided that tempo/lyrics were more important than puns when it came to slow dancing with people you wouldn’t normally dance with. For instance, I’m really glad they didn’t play Rihanna’s “S&M” while I was dancing with my FIL’s friend.


Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography


Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography


Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

We did end up making quite a bit of money, but I think some of guests were overly generous. We used the money to finance a snorkeling excursion on our honeymoon, and we got to spend some time with guests who we may not otherwise have seen much, so it was a win-win.


Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

So tell me, what do you think about the dollar dance? Would you do it at your wedding? Am I an incredibly tacky, entitled bridezilla? Don’t hold back.


Mrs. Unicycle

Chicago, IL
Wedding Date:
June 2012
A Sunday Kind of Love: The Lyre Recaps!
Being a Bride on a Budget


  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Persian Weddings, Guest @ 4:49 pm

    Hey Philly bride ,

    Ours was part of Persian wedding customs do per tradition when the bride and groom are introduced for first time at reception they come out and money is thrown all over them by. Guests. Make satin bags and give them to the kids— flower girls , ring bearers and have them collect the money on the floor. The photos of the kids scooping up all that cash are beyond adorable. If you have any questions or anything feel free to contact me at

    Happy planning!!!

  2. unicycle Member
    unicycle 476 posts, Helper bee @ 8:06 pm

    @phillybride61513: We had the reception from 7-midnight (starting with dinner), with the dollar dance at 9:00 and the bouquet and garter tosses at 9:30. I think we kept the money in the locked “bridal suite” that was in the hallway outside the reception room. I can’t remember though!

  3. Member
    phillybride61513 1712 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:46 am

    @Mrs. Unicycle: Thanks! That helps!

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