Iowanna Marry You: The Dollar Dance

There has been many a debate about whether or not couples want to include a dollar dance in their reception. It wasn’t a debate for us, though, as it’s a very traditional thing to do in the Midwest, especially in Eastern Iowa where there is a heavy German/Polish (I myself, am half German) population. Every single wedding I have been to in this area has had it, and no one has ever blinked twice. In fact, I have found that it’s often common practice to hold back some of the money you wanted to gift the couple and save it for the dollar dance. Because of this, when the DJ announced the dollar dance, we had lines immediately form. Most people see it as a fantastic way to get a little extra one-on-one time with the bride and groom.

MOH A and Best Man N both took their positions near us to collect any offerings and also to keep track of time. I noticed that during this time, a lot of people took the time to talk to other people they may know or work on our guestbook pages when they weren’t dancing with Mr. D or me:



My mom was the first person in Mr. D’s line. She thought it was a hoot when he gave her a turn:


I danced with my sister for a bit:



Mr. D danced with GM J (and did a little dip):


And I got a bit embarrassed by my dear aunties. One came onto the dance floor and refused to relinquish her bill to MOH A; instead she insisted on sticking it in my cleavage (which I thought was hilarious). Just as we started dancing, my other auntie came running onto the dance floor, yelling “Threesome!” while waving another bill that she also shoved into my boobs. We did, however, get one of my favorite shots of the night from this moment:



Mr. D danced with MOH A’s little sister middle-school style:



I danced with my stepfather. (PS: you can see the bills my aunties stuck in there—so incredibly classy):



And then Mr. D danced with BM S, who was kind enough to feed him some of her beer:



Best Man N posed with the cash that Mr. D was collecting:


BM S went to hand me her offering and proceeded to show me everything that had been collecting in her boobie fanny pack. (I think at this point it was two cell phones, a disposable camera, a digital camera, and cash):



I ended my dollar dance with MOH A, as Mr. D wandered off for a group shot with his groomsmen:


I loved having some time with the people I hold dearest in my heart, and I know that Mr. D did as well. Now that all of the formalities were over with, it was finally time to really party!!

UP NEXT: We get down to get down tonight

All photos without * are from An Unforgettable Memory Photography.



Mrs. Doily

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Wedding Date:
March 2012
Miss Genie Takes a Turn Down the Aisle
Lives Intertwined: Getting Dressed
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  1. beanstalk Bee
    Mrs. Beanstalk 770 posts, Busy bee @ 4:36 pm

    your aunts were too funny!!!

  2. sword Bee
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:16 pm

    Dollar dances are super popular in Minnesota too! We aren’t having one because Mr. Sword is a bit shy about dancing/chatting with everyone one on and one, and doesn’t really get the awesomeness of the dollar dance.

  3. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:25 pm

    Dollar dances are big here too, but I think I would be uncomfortable with the dollar part. I have a hard time accepting money from people in general, so it’s just a thing for me. But I do love the idea of one-on-one time!

  4. mspony Bee
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 7:21 pm

    Your Aunts are too funny! We didn’t do a dollar dance because they always take too much time during the reception in my opinion, even though they are super popular in central Illinois as well.

  5. painauchocolat Bee
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:48 pm

    Oh my! I would have turned every shade of red if I were in your shoes, but how FUNNY! 🙂

  6. Member
    village_skeptic 1861 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:51 pm

    Thanks for showing how much fun the dollar dance can be!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Deana Castro, Guest @ 8:44 pm

    I was married in Southern California in 1994, That was the first time I had ever heard of the money dance. Our DJ asked in advance if we would like to have one. At first I said no because I thought that it would offend our guests at the reception. However SEVERAL guests at the reception asked the DJ to have one. It was great fun. Not only did we make a few bucks, But like you said earlier, The one on one time with each dance was a nice way to spend time with some of my friends and realatives & have some fun.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Wedding Paradise, Guest @ 1:04 am

    I know that at the wedding reception party the accent is on dances but are traditional ones still popular?

  9. Member
    Stace126 1604 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:07 am

    Good for you for honoring your culture and having a blast! I’m Polish and the bridal dance has been done at every wedding I’ve ever attended and I never knew there was any type of controversy over it until I stated planning my own wedding!
    I’m really glad people are still keeping with their cultural traditions and having fun like this.

  10. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 10:06 am

    Dollar dances are incredibly common here (western PA) – so common that I didn’t realize there was controversy related to them until I started reading the Bee. We were 110% going to do the dollar dance until we sat down to figure out our guest list. With 200+ people, we’d be dollar dancing all night. I’m a huge supporter and fan of them, though.

    I love the picture/moment with you and your aunts. One of the reasons why I am pro-dollar dance: great pictures!

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