- 6 years ago
- Wedding: September 2013
I am posting this on the Pittsburgh boards because I know there are A LOT of families in this city who are Croatian/Polish/Slovak, like me (I’m all 3)!
Anyway, the dance in question has always been called “the bridal dance” in my family, and that’s what it’s been referred to at every wedding I’ve ever been to. In fact, I’ve never been to a wedding that did NOT have this dance.
When I joined this board I was SHOCKED at how many people are actually offended by this tradition. And while I am not one to get offended easily, these peoples’ opinions genuinely hurt my feelings. This is my heritage!
Just to back myself up, I did a lot of research and found out that dances like this originated in Poland (and several other Balkan states). It was just part of a dowry, which was very common back in the 1800’s, etc. At the end of a wedding, the bride would be given money (and other gifts like china, food, and sometimes animals) in order to start her new life as a wife. (NOTE: the couple didn’t request these items, but families and friends thought it appropriate. Of course, back in those days, people were courteous and wanted to help as much as they could).
These days, the dance is pretty much just to give guests a chance to dance with the bride and sometimes groom. Yes, there is a bag where guests can drop in a dollar or $100 IF THEY WANT TO. I’ve never been turned away from dancing with a bride because I didn’t drop a dollar in the bag. Then again, I’ve always WANTED to drop a few bucks in the bag. Who doesn’t want to help out a new couple??? (Honestly, it’s not like the couple is on their knees begging for your money while they eat filet mignon off of gold plates)!
And just to add to the heritage/sentimentality of this tradition, I remember being as young as, like, 4 years old and looking through my mother’s wedding album and seeing my grandmother pinning bow-shaped bills in her hair. This is another awesome part of the tradition that I’ve looked forward to my entire life. I mean, I’m like in tears thinking about it!
I thought that maybe the only people offended by this were people who didn’t realize it was a tradition in many cultures and didn’t live in this area where this was common. But I was recently discussing this with one of my BM’s and she said that her mother (and a few other people she knows) are actually offended by this old fashioned, fun-loving dance!
My heart literally broke. Again, I don’t get offended easily, but this dance means A LOT to me. If I didn’t do it, I’d be disrespecting my ancestors.
At this point I am so confused. I have looked forward to this dance for my entire life. And now I’m afraid that I’m going to be offending people at my wedding. I don’t want to have to worry about that!
I’ve honestly considered putting a “disclaimer/explanation” on my invites or giving the DJ something to read before he starts the polka music so people don’t get mad.
Then again, it’s MY wedding, it’s MY heritage and I know I have every right to take part in this tradition just like my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, etc before me!
I just wanted to get some thoughts from other Bees.
If you STILL disagree with it despite knowing the history and culture, just keep your opinion short and simple. I truly feel that if someone disrespects this dance and tradition, it’s no different than bashing an African American couple who jumps the broom or a Jewish couple who stomps on a glass.