Post # 1
My FI and I have a difference of opinions on a subject regarding a couple things we’ve seen all his friends do at their weddings.
They do a variety of activities during the night to get money. I had NEVER heard of a “garter auction” until last year at the FI’s cousin’s wedding. What the garter auction is (at least at the weddings we’ve attended) guests go up to the best man and hand him money during the night. At somepoint the DJ stops the music and whoever gave money last wins the garter. I thought it was a little silly, my FI gave them quite a lot of money from that alone (around $130), which I thought was a lot considering we already had given them $100 in their card (they requested gifts of money on the invite). Also, something we see a lot of with weddings in our area is couples doing “dollar dances,” where guests have to pay a dollar to dance with the bride or groom throughout the night.
In my opinion, I kind of feel like these are a little tacky and money hungry. Guests are already spending a lot of money on travel, lodging, food, gifts, etc. I’d simply be thrilled if my long distance family can even make the trip; I certainly wouldn’t expect them to be throwing money at us all night long.
My FI however, thinks that we should involve these activities at our wedding so that we can get some more money towards wedding/honeymoon costs. Although I understand his perspective, I personally do not believe we really need the money that bad, we aren’t struggling financially and we’ve kept our vendors local from our small town so our costs are actually pretty reasonable. I suggested maybe we could just do the garter auction OR the dollar dance, but not both. I just don’t want our guests to feel like they’re obligated to empty their pockets for us.
Have you seen any activities like these at weddings you’ve been to or did you include any at your own weddings? What are your thoughts on this topic?
Post # 2
- Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse
crisy003: simple etiquette answer: Your guests should NEVER open a wallet at your event. Period end of story.
The fact that even YOU see these things as ‘money hungry’ speaks volumes. I know I certainly wouldn’t want my guests to think I was like that.
Post # 3
Oh God, no.
Do you really want to dance for cash at your wedding?
Post # 4
These things aren’t a “little” tacky. They are epic amounts of tacky. I know that dollar dances and the like are common in certain cultures but I think that asking already generous guests to open their wallets even more than they already have is gross. It’s the bride and grooms responsibility to fund the wedding and honeymoon (with the help of family, if they’ve offered). If you need your guests money for any portion of these shindigs then you shouldn’t be having either.
Post # 5
crisy003: These sorts of activities do not happen in my region/culture so I would be opposed to doing them at my own wedding and would raise an eyebrow at a friend who did it as I know it’s not a ‘thing’ here. I’ve seen on my online wedding travels though that dollar dances and stuff are very common in some cultures (maybe polish or something?) so it wouldn’t bother me if they were from that culture – I can choose whether to participate or not. Just like Greeks get money pinned on their dresses etc. Your FI should not want to include these things though purely to raise money for the honeymoon.
Post # 6
I really think that the next trend should be a stripper pole at the reception. The bride and her wedding party could dance and have everyone put money in their garters.
Post # 7
I thought the dollar dance was tacky too but it’s a tradition in my husband’s family and because I wanted to incorporate his views into our wedding, I compromised and gave him the dollar dance. Not one person said anything negative. I did feel a little bad because I made more money than he did, but it was something that he valued as important and his family was glad that we upheld their tradition.
My opinion, if you really really hate it, talk to your FI about it. But if it really does mean something to him, just let it happen. Obviously it’s cool with his family and if your side of guests doesn’t want to participate, they don’t have to. Also, if it helps, you can make the dollar giving optional. I have yet to see a bride turn down a dance partner because they didn’t pay the toll.
Post # 8
I haven’t heard of a garter auction. I don’t really like the sound of that, to be honest. I have heard of dollar dances, and I don’t mind them at all.
I probably wouldn’t do either of those things. Well, definitely not the garter auction.
I actually don’t mind giving a couple extra money. In fact, there are a few money-giving customs around the worid that I love. The two I like the most are when the bride and groom are showered with money when they enter the reception/celebration, and when guests put money in a satin bag the bride has that is made specifically for gifts of money. I love those.
If I were to have an activity like these at my wedding, I would likely only do one.
Post # 9
I have heard of dollar dances being traditional in some geographical areas. If it is a tradition where you live or with your families, then go ahead if you are comfortable.
This is the first I’ve heard of a garter auction. The garter auction sounds like something new that someone desperate for cash just dreamed up.
If my FI (now DH) had insisted on either, he would have been looking for a new bride. Neither of these are traditions where we live.
Post # 10
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
crisy003: I come from a family that does the dollar dance. Even when I was a little kid, I thought it was tasteless. We didn’t do it at ours, and nobody said anything (to my knowledge, but it was a very small wedding).
Don’t feel pressured to add these events to your wedding. If people want to give you money, they will do so. If they were anticipating those events and didn’t get the chance, they may send you the money in a card after the fact.
Hold strong, sister!
Post # 11
Instead of “money-hungry wedding activities,” maybe the thread should be called, “culturally (or locally)-appropriate wedding activities that I’m not used to”.
Post # 12
To me both activities sound very tacky and I would never do anything like that. Now if the dollar dance is part of your culture or your fiance’s culture and its very important for him to have it, you might want to agree but if he wants to do it just to raise extra money I would say NO WAY!
Post # 13
In my culture (from my mother’s side) they do a money dance at weddings. People literally throw money at you, haha! No one is forced, but people just get up and do it, all while dancing. It is actually cute to me, but I won’t be doing that at my wedding. I just don’t plan to, and I am not wearing the traditional clothing either…
Post # 14
Dollar dances are normal in our family, even expected. So we are doing one.
But if it’s not something thats done & accepted in your circle, I would skip it.
Post # 15
Dollar dances are very much a common thing in my region, and something that has been present at every family wedding that I’ve gone to. I have always thought it tacky and a great way to meet the really creepy members of the family, so we’re passing on that. My family is currently horrified that I am declining it.