Post # 1
I just found this out recently and I don’t know what to do.
In the rural area we live in, most couples have a small, inexpensive wedding that includes a lot of things I don’t want in our wedding. The money dance is a lot more accepted here than in would be in other places, but I’m not really comfortable with it.
It just feels so cheap to me. I’m certainly not going to place judgement on anyone who has a money dance at their wedding, because I understand that it’s a standard in some areas, but it feels so tacky and I really don’t want to have it. I can’t think that my side of the family would understand at all.
Now the problem becomes me telling his whole (the females, anyway) family I don’t want it. I can’t explain why, because it would be insulting to them and I can’t just say “I’d rather not have it” because they definitely will ask why. I don’t want to lie, although if it came down to a white lie to prevent feelings being hurt, I would probably do it.
The kicker for this is that we could, of course, definitely use the money. FH still has student loans to pay and we’re DIY-ing quite a lot in our wedding to save money.
I just don’t know how to handle this situation at all. Sacrifice my pride and dignity for the money dance to make his family happy and get stuck explaining to my family why we’re doing it? Or stick to my guns and say we’ll make it on our own at risk of offending his family?
FH has very little input on this issue. He says he likes money but understands why a money dance can be an awkward thing to have at a wedding. Basically he’ll back whatever choice I make.
Post # 3
I know I would not want to do a money dance at my reception, most guests have already given a gift. It just seems tacky. This is just my opinion, to each their own. I would be honest with your fiances family and say your not comfortable dancing with a bunch of strangers and expecting them to give you money. And for that reason alone your not doing it. They will get over it.
Post # 5
I would only do a money dance if both families are on board. Otherwise, people may not understand it, or not bring money because they don’t anticipate the dance. I would ask your FI to tell his family that your family doesn’t do that.
FWIW, I don’t think people get that much money from the dance, probably less than $100. I think it’s just a way to talk to everyone at the wedding.
Post # 6
@Diamond84: Money dance is something that I understand is a less than common practice in some areas. This is how it’s done around here:
At some point during the reception, a pre-chosen song will be played, and the DJ will introduce it as the money dance. A member of the bridal party (bridesmaid, MOH, groomsman, etc) stands at the dance floor with a box (hopefully decorated, preferably ornate). Wedding guests can then come up to that person, put any amount of money in the box and ‘buy’ a dance with the bride or groom, who must then dance with that person for a few seconds until another person pays to dance.
I find it ridiculous because 1) guests have usually already given a gift and 2) you pretty much dance with everyone anyway? so asking them to pay for (not even a full) dance seems like shameless plug to beg for money.
Post # 7
@autumnmountainbride: I agree with your sentiment. Call me uptight, but I didn’t participate in the one and only wedding’s wedding dance I’ve ever witnessed, because the couple has always been “gift grabby” in circumstances independent of the cash grab dance…. Not to suggest all couples who do this are, but it’s in better taste to leave it out, in my opinion.
If your FH’s family is dead set on it being done, tell his parents they can dance in your absentia.
Post # 8
It’s not meant to take the place of a gift. Just meant to give the guests a little one on one time with the bride and/or groom. There is no minimum amount people can give, it’s all in good fun, and no one is forced to participate, although many people will.
I am also torn about having a money dance, but they are so common here and pretty much expected. I can see how it would be awkward, however, if your family isn’t familiar with them.
Post # 9
We had one… mostly because it’s something that’s a tradition around here and every wedding we’ve ever been to has had one and both families expected it. I don’t think it’s tacky and I didn’t care if someone didn’t want to participate. I don’t participate at the weddings where I don’t know the groom very well because I think that’s kind of awkward. I think some people like it because it gives anyone who wants to dance/talk to the bride or groom a chance to. At the weddings I’ve been at, the dollar dance lasts a few songs and they usually hand out shots(liqour) as well.
Post # 10
I am half Hispanic, and I think dollar dances are kind of normal/accepted in that culture. I, personally, am definitely not having one at our wedding. My cousin had one at her wedding a couple of years ago, and I am pretty sure she was given over $2,000 in about 3 minutes of dancing.
Post # 11
Can you not make a game of it….and not use money. That way you make FI’s family happy and still keep to what you want.
I’ve seen this done before…it was fun to watch. use your DJ to make an anouncement. The DJ calls a list of things that people may carry in their handbag or wallet at the wedding. If they have the required item they can dance with the bride or groom. (they surrender the item in a box to a bridesmaid like they would in the money dance.) when he calls the next item the next person who has that item comes up and swaps with the previous person. the dj keeps doing this until the end of the song. the last guest left dancing with the bride and groom get a gift. ie female guest gets bridal bouquet and male guests gets a bottle of scotch.
male items can include, 5 business cards, amex, $100 bill, iphone, blue tie, cuff links
female items can include, a revlon lipstick, hairpins, a pashmina/shawl, mini bottle of perfume, mints
The only other suggestion I can think of, is that you use your DJ to say
ladies & gentlemen let us help the bride & groom celebrate with the (insert FI’s Surname) family wedding tradition of the money dance.
that way you make it clear to your family that its what FI’s family want to do.
Post # 12
- Wedding: September 2013 - B&B
Maybe reverse the sentiment? Do something where the guest gets a small treat for dancing with you… Like they line up to dance with you for a few seconds, and THEN walk to a bridesmaid holding, say, a box of cute little candies or something.
My side of the family would be very against doing a dollar dance. FI’s side of the family, its usual and the norm. And I would say my friends are split. 3 of the 5 weddings I’ve been to have done one. FI just loves the fact that it gives guests a few personal moments of your time. So we’re doing the “Optional Charity Dance”, and IF guests give anything, it’s going to a fund in the name of FI cousin, who is a fallen soldier. So it feels less like the money dance and more like a chance to spend some time with our guests for a good cause.
Post # 13
Sigh I hate when people call something tacky. Something that is TACKY to you is not to others. The money dance is some cuturals/regions NORMAL.
If you don’t want one OP then be honest and let them know it makes you uncomfortable and just not feel right having one. Or try to compromise and do something diffrent.
Post # 14
The money dance is very common in my area (although I’ve only been to one wedding myself that actually had it) and I definitely vetoed it early on. I just do not want it, for most of the reasons that you listed above. If people want to give extra money to the happy couple, they can stick it in a card. If they want to spend a little one-on-one time with the bride and groom, they can find something other than money to do it with. I like PP’s idea of giving guests a little gift after the dance.
I even joked with my FI that if people insist on a money dance at our wedding, we’re going to call it the shot dance and everyone who wants to dance with us has to bring us a shot instead of a dollar. (Definitely a joke, I could never handle that many shots!)
Post # 15
I want to thank everyone for the really great ideas!
Also I want to apologize if anybody was put off by my word choice. I do understand that this is a traditional practice in some cultures and I’m trying not to be judgemental. It’s just that where I come from, the tradition is looked down upon. So I wasn’t sure how to balance the cultural contrast.
I feel much better about this now, seems like there are a lot of ways I can handle it and I definitely think I can find something that will please everyone. 🙂
Post # 16
@cmsgirl: This is exactly what I was going to suggest!
Announce it as FI’s Surname’s family tradition. That way it seems more like a family thing and his family will be happy and participate but your family won’t feel the pressure to and can immediately see where the idea came from and why you are having it. Rather than being “grabby”.
I saw this idea on pintrest the other day and although I don’t normally like money dances etc I thought it was quite a fun take on the whole idea: http://pinterest.com/pin/114349278009908346/
You have two vases, each with a name (yours and the grooms) and the guest put money in the vases. The vase with the most money in it by X time is the person (bride or groom) who will have the cake put on their face! You could always make sure that your mother or someone has a large note handy to put in the groom’s vase to make sure that you don’t wear the cake and you can give the note back after the wedding.