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.

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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.

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Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

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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.

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Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

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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.

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Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

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Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

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Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

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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.

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Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

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Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

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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.

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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.

BLOGGER

Mrs. Unicycle

Location:
Chicago, IL
Wedding Date:
June 2012
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comments

  1. Member
    michelle_deanna 17 posts, Newbee @ 3:37 pm

    I love the money dance! It is a Mexican Tradition to do at a wedding and every member of my family that has gotten married has done the money dance. My fiance is white so he had never heard of it, but he is on board with it. It is also a great way to spend time with guests!

  2. Member
    This Time Round 10219 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 7:32 pm

    The Dollar Dance is totally a cultural thing… which has in turn made it more acceptable in some regions more than others.

    It isn’t my cup of tea, because it doesn’t fly in my culture…

    But I’ve been to Ethnic Weddings where it has happened and I was totally down with it

    WHERE I do have an issue, is if it isn’t cultural… and someone decides to do it just because it “sounds like a good way to make a few bucks”… THAT IS Gift Grabby & tacky IMO

    PS… Another gal who is enjoying reading your Recaps.

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Alex's Koukla, Guest @ 1:08 am

    I think the dollar/money dances and all its varients are cultural. They may seem regional because of how people from different countries/cultures tended to settle in the same area. That being said, we are doing the money dance (Greek backround) but instead of paying to dance with the bride individually, money is thrown at the couple while dancing, particularly during Greek dances, no matter the number of people on the dance floor.

  4. Member
    lisaelanna 528 posts, Busy bee @ 7:10 am

    I’ve always felt a little let down when I’ve been to weddings that didn’t do dollar dances. I’ll gladly give a dollar for some quality (yet quick) time with the bride or groom!!

  5. Member
    MexiPino 5412 posts, Bee Keeper @ 4:45 pm

    Eh. It’s tradition, so I don’t see how it’s tacky. I also don’t see how it’s any tackier than my husband putting his head up my skirt to take off a garter in front of everyone, or a bunch of single women clawing at each other to get a bouquet and everyone’s down for that!

    I’m actually really surprised you did it, though, since it puts a lot of attention on the bride. Or at least, I think so. I’m still debating it not because I think it’s tacky but because I don’t want to HAVE TO dance with everyone who lines up. I love my family but slow dancing with my drunk slightly creepy uncle or with FFIL’s coworker’s husband is not super exciting to me.

  6. Member
    jenilynevette 7564 posts, Bumble Beekeeper @ 10:10 am

    It’s a “must have” in our family. And i’ll be doing it at my wedding. I think it really depends on where you are from. I don’t find them tacky at all. I think it COULD come off a little money grabby if the couple had an engagement shower, a couple bridal showers, and THEN a dollar dance.

  7. Member
    paulabrochu 37 posts, Newbee @ 6:36 am

    The dollar dance was always one of the funnest parts of the wedding in the culture I was raised in. It created a lot of interaction and people made it funny and fun. I liked it better than “passing the shoe” which was always tough anyway, because so many brides wear sandals.

    Now that I am older and in a different culture than I was raised in, I don’t think we will do it, unless we have the money go to the A-T project to raise research money for a rare and deadly childhood disease that my niece and nephew have. We are asking for donations in lieu of a gift.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Persian Weddings, Guest @ 2:01 pm

    This is a completely normal and FUN practice in Persian Weddings. Its called being “Shabashed” meaning showered with money. The intention was always to give extra money to the bride and groom. My husband and I had probably over $1,000 in bags (the little kids collect the money on the floor for the bride and groom and put it into a beautiful satin bag) at the end of the night. From the MOMENT we walked into our wedding reception we were “Shabashed” with money all night. I am American so this whole Persian Wedding thing was incredibly exciting to me. This is probably the American Version. I would say, make it fun its a very ancient practice that people in the Middle East have done beautifully for thousands of years!

    visit me at http://www.weddingpersian.com to learn all about the Persian Wedding if that fancy’s you! XOXO Happy planning everyone!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Sunshineandrainbows, Guest @ 8:10 am

    Where I come from the dollar dance is the norm. It’s more of a money dance than dollar dance. Reason being, in our tradition you don’t really buy the bride and groom gifts. It’s not very common, so your gift to them is money through of the money dance.

  10. Member
    phillybride61513 1492 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:53 pm

    2 quick logistical questions…

    Where did your Dollar Dance and Bouquet/Garter toss fall in the timeline of the night? We were thinking of doing the Dollar Dance first to get people up and moving.
    Also, where did your MOH/BM put all that cash!?

    A dolla makes me holla, honey boo boo…

  11. 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 weddingpersian.com

    Happy planning!!!

  12. 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!

  13. Member
    phillybride61513 1492 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:46 am

    @Mrs. Unicycle: Thanks! That helps!

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