Post # 1
FI was best man at his friend’s (our future best man’s) wedding this weekend. They did a dollar dance and it was fine, people seemed to have a lot of fun and lined up across the room to dance with the B&G. The thing is, I’ve never even considered doing a dollar dance. It feels weird and gift-grabby to me and I would feel super awkward basically asking people for money at my reception. However, the next day we went out to lunch with FMIL and FI and she started talking about the dollar dance. FI had never heard of it before and was shocked when the groom told him that they made about $800. FMIL mentioned that she’d done one at her wedding and made about the same. FI turned to me and said, “we definately need to do this!”
To top everything off, FI sent his portion of the guest list to FMIL last month and asked her if he was forgetting anyone. At the time, he had about 50 names on it….FMIL sent back a revised list with nearly 150. I pointed out that our wedding isn’t going to be that big, so we can’t invite all those people, but she just assured us that 1/2 of them won’t come, but “if you don’t send an invite, they won’t send a gift!”
I’m starting to feel really uncomfortable with all of this. It’s a wedding, not a fundraiser! We’ve said from the beginning that if all of our loved ones are there, that’s the only thing that matters, and it would be perfectly okay to receive zero gifts as long as our family and friends are there to celebrate, but now it’s as if FMIL has shown him the “money-making potential” of our special day and he’s getting sucked in to this whole other mindset. I don’t want to do a dollar dance and I don’t want to invite a bunch of strangers just so they’ll send us cash/gifts….but I also don’t want to cause tension by basically calling FI and FMIL greedy for feeling otherwise. For the dollar dance, their reasonings are “they won’t give if they don’t want to, no one’s forcing them!” and “lots of people do it, it’s another tradition just like the cake cutting and bouquet toss!”…for the guest list, they think it’s okay because all of these people have sent invites to their own/their children’s weddings and FMIL has sent off a card and a check, so it would be “fair” to do the same.
I don’t know what to do? Have any of you experienced this? Did you do either of these things or have to convince someone else not to? help!
Post # 2
Personally, I wouldn’t do a dollar dance or invite anyone that I didn’t honestly want to celebrate with me, gift or no gift.
I think you should explain your feelings to your FI. I wouldn’t frame it as your FI and FMIL are greedy, just that you feel greedy. Your feelings on this should be something that your FI respects. If you aren’t both comfortable, then you shouldn’t be doing something unless one or the other actively consents to compromise. This applies to anything.
Post # 3
amanda.417: DO NOT invited people assuming they just won’t come…that never goes well.
And if you’re uncomfortable with the Dollar dance don’t do it.
Post # 4
jamb: “Personally, I wouldn’t do a dollar dance or invite anyone that I didn’t honestly want to celebrate with me, gift or no gift.”<br /><br />
this this this
Post # 5
Following because I am having a similar problem with the dollar dance! FI’s family does this at weddings and I’ve been informed it is a tradition. I am uncomfortable with the idea but don’t want to offend his family.
I find it tacky, gift grabby, and objectifying (even though it doesn’t have to be, I just personally would feel that way if I had to dance with men for money). My side of the family has also never heard of this and I hate to say it, but I would be embarrassed to do this in front of them.
But I can’t tell my FI that, it sounds terrible! So, no advice, just commiseration. I’m waiting to see if his family actually pushes for this.
Post # 6
I, personally, don’t have a problem with a dollar dance as I’ve seen them at about half the weddings I go to and people generally enjoy them. We didn’t have one, because we didn’t particularly want to have one, but I don’t find them offensive, or antyhing like that.
I do really dislike the idea of inviting people who you don’t really want to come, either for gifts or because they invited you/your family to their wedding. Invite the people that you really want there. Period. Unless your FMIL is paying for the wedding, she doesn’t get to dictate guestlist (and even if she is, you guys should get the final say).
Ultimately, you and your fiance need to decide on these things and then present a united from to FMIL. And he does get a say in what happens, but so do you. Maybe compromise and let him do a dollar dance, if he really wants to, but keep the guest list reasonably small. Or ask him about why he wants these things and if he’s okay with those motivations.
Post # 7
amanda.417: You have to stick up for yourself here. My FMIL tried to get me to have email RSVP’s. I didn’t like the idea and had already drafted my invites. So i told her no. She tried to get me to have her daughter as MC, we said NO (and thank god, she was not a good MC at our friends wedding).
If YOUR day and i agree with everything you said. A wedding is not a fundraiser.
Post # 8
FWIW i have NEVER EVER seen a dollar dance in real life. I would be completely confused and shocked if i saw the bride and groom asking for money like that or whatever it is.
Post # 9
amanda.417: We were asked by our DJ if we wanted to do the dollar dance, we said no as we felt very uncomfortable and he said in our area, its usually only certain cultures. I’ve never seen one in real life but honestly I haven’t been to any of these cultures weddings either. As per people sending gifts just because they are invited to a wedding isn’t common in my area either. If you decline, you decline but it doesn’t mean you have to send a gift just because you get an invitation. If I were in your shoes, I would sit down with your fiance and have a conversation about why exactly you are getting married, maybe he just needs to be reminded its more about the love/celebration of your love with close friends/family and not about the money. People can get caught up in these things and forget why they are getting married in the first place. I would also go with my fiance to your FMIL’s place and saying “this is what we want, this is who we are inviting, we are open to iniviting some of your friends but we also want to keep the guest list to a minmum and invite those whom we want to have there and not because we want them to send a gift if they can’t make it” Good luck!
Post # 10
- Wedding: March 2015 - On a Cliff Overlooking the Bay, Florida
amanda.417: I’ve never been to a wedding that has had a dollar dance I’ve only seen it on TV.
As for the additional people on the guest list I have a similar situation my FMIL has a Medical Directors meeting the weekend of our weeding she obviously is excused but asked us to invite 25 people even though they won’t come because they will be at the meeting and would like an invite so they could send us something (her and their words not mine). However, now half of them are coming because the moved around a meeting or two for Monday so they can Fly here Fri night attend our wedding on Sat and Fly out Sunday to resume the meetings on Monday. I’m counting all of them as coming until I received my RSVP’s
Post # 11
amanda.417: Is your FI from a culture where dollar dances and sending invites w/no expectation of people coming is common? In my culture (Asian) it is common to send invites and expect them not to come – but to save face, and you get a gift in return. I wasn’t comfortable with this either, but my parents insisted that was the case, and they were actually right, they just wanted the honor of inviting people. That being said my parents helped pay for the wedding so I couldn’t completely say no. If you are completely paying for the wedding then you do have more say.
Post # 12
amanda.417: I just commented on another thread regarding dollar dances. They are common where I am at, so we did have one. I wouldn’t have done it if I was in an area where it was accepted or heard of.
As for your MIL inviting guests that won’t come anyway, I would stand up for myself on that one. My MIL had us invite these people who rented land from DH’s grandpa 20 YEARS ago, and she said they wouldn’t come, and guess what? They did, and we had absolutely no idea who in the heck they were. You’d be surprised who shows up. We met a lot of new people at our wedding.
Post # 13
honeybee2014: I’m glad to not be alone in this!
jamb: This was a really helpful answer! The truth is, it isn’t that I don’t know whether or not I want to do these things (I definately don’t)…it’s that I have been running the conversation over and over in my mind all day and have been trying to find a way to express the fact that I feel uncomfortable with it without judging FI, FMIL, or others who have done things like this at their own weddings. I think I’ll try it just like you suggested…framing the conversation on how I, personally, would feel like I was being greedy rather than trying to point out how others may see it as greedy.
We’re paying for the wedding ourselves, but I’m still trying to be mindful of FMIL’s feelings because I’m sure she would want to help if she could. While FI and I don’t expect financial help from either of our parents and don’t believe that paying for their kids’ weddings is an obligation for any parents, I sometimes feel like FMIL feels a little guilty and is going out of her way to suggest things (like the dollar dance/increased invite list) to “help” us.
Post # 14
amanda.417: Dollar dances are pretty common in my area, and I always see people having fun (except when the groom gets pricked by a pin :P). We’re not having one, and I definitely would not invite a bunch of people I don’t want at the wedding just to get a few more dollars. If you don’t feel comfortable with sending invites to guests who aren’t going to attend, let your FI know and have him handle his mother (if you get into a direct argument with FMIL, it may/may not be detrimental to the relationship in the future) Also, what happens if all the invitees rsvp YES? How do you un-invite them? lol
As for the GL struggle, it’s a bit difficult, but you can be firm on the GL (To prevent our parents from inviting the whole town to our wedding, FI and I gave each of our parents XX number of seats, and they can invite whomever they choose to)
It’s frustrating.. good luck!
Post # 15
DH’s biggest (well, only) wedding regret was giving into his mother’s wishes and inviting all the people she said we “had” to invite instead of cutting those people out and inviting people he really loved and cared about.
This meant that when MIL’s guests turned down their invites (and did not send gifts, btw – not that I care, but it’s relevant to the topic) we ended up with a smaller wedding than DH was hoping for and the faces he really wanted to see weren’t there.