Post # 1
Yep. That’s right. I’m actually facing the dillema of hurting someone’s feeling by NOT doing the dollar dance.
Background: My mother’s side of the family is Polish (she’s third-generation American, but you know… she loves her heritage). She had a lot of Polish traditions at her and my father’s wedding, and one of them is the Apron Dance, which is the Polish tradition of the dollar dance. People tie up dollar bills into little knots (you’re supposed to do it all intricate so that the bride and groom theoretically spend their wedding night untying the knots rather than doing the mattress dance… but YEAH RIGHT) and pin it to your apron in exchange for a dance with the bride. Then, after everyone has had a dance, everyone forms a circle around the bride and the groom has to “fight” his way into the circle to get you.
When I told my mother that I didn’t want to do a dollar dance, she looked pretty sad about it. She even was like, “but I still have my apron from my wedding that I could give you.” So now, I would like to do something LIKE it, but maybe not with dollars. I think since literally no one but my mom’s family will know this is “Polish tradition”, they will be like, “How nice of them to be asking for money FLAT OUT at this wedding. /sarcasm” Also, who even has cash regularly on them anymore (responsible adults don’t answer that, haha).
My thought: have folks write “marriage advice” or funny little pieces of advice on paper, have them pin it to the apron. Then, the rest of the tradition stays the same. Is that completely dumb? Any other suggestions?
Post # 3
@LadyWhiskey: I think your idea of the advice notes on the apron sounds like a really good compromise!
I’m sorry but I would be petrified if someone suggested the dollar dance at my wedding. It’s just…..wrong. No.
Post # 4
@LadyWhiskey: I like the adjustment that you suggested. The dollar dance must be a geographical thing. I am from the midwest (Iowa) and everyone does the dollar dance and I have never heard anyone say anything about giving money, in fact, most people give $5/$10/$20. I don’t want to do the $ dance at my reception, only because I feel like it takes away from the party, just Fiance and I up there dancing, I would rather everyone be having fun.
Post # 5
@LadyWhiskey: The Dollar Dance is kind of an area-specific thing. I am from ND, and I have not been to a wedding yet that doesn’t have it. We did do it, and it was a lot of fun and no one complained, BUT if you don’t want to do it that is more than ok. I like your idea of the amrriage advice, so you can still use your apron.
Just a side story my Mother-In-Law wanted us to do a garter auction, which is also popular here. I didn’t want to do both a dollar dance and garter auction. My idea was a garter dance off, to have all the men dance for me and to give my garter away. My Mother-In-Law was like, “My cousin’s boyfriend is coming, and he said he is really to spend upwards of $500 for that, so you need to do it. It’s tradition.” I just said no, I didn’t care if he had money. He never did participate in the dance and even expressed how disappointed he was that he couldn’t give me his big wad of cash. I just rolled my eyes and said I didn’t need his cash because I make my own money, but thanks anyway. For the record, my dad won my garter, which was perfect.
Post # 6
@LadyWhiskey: I really like your idea on the marriage advice!! If it makes you happy, you should totally go for it!! 🙂
Post # 7
I like the idea of wedding advice too!
I HATE the dollar dance and we did not do that at my wedding
Post # 8
I think your suggestion of “marriage advice” is fantastic! Such a great comprimise!!
Post # 9
@LadyWhiskey: I’m actually pure Polish – like stepped off the TWA-BOEING-in-1986-when-I-was-3 Polish, and I have never heard of this tradition. Honestly, my family would probably be horrified if I suggested such an event at my authentic Polish wedding (wedding #2!) next summer b/c blatantly asking for money is a no-no in my culture. Then again, not sure how the old world culture works (which is what I see a lot of here in America due to the influx of Polish immigrants in the late 1800s-early 1900s).
Also, I always thought the dollar dance had Greek roots? Then again, the only wedding I’ve been to with the dd was Greek so what do I know, ha.
I personally like your idea a lot more. Less fund-raiser more wedding. I think you’ve learned by now that you can’t 100% make everyone happy so compromising is the way to go.
Post # 10
I’m from Michigan and have been to several weddings with dollar dances. DH’s cousin had one). Honestly, they’re all in good fun. I think that, if it’s an important tradition, you should do it. It’s not an important tradition in either DH’s nor, as far as I know, his cousin’s wife’s family, so I don’t know why they did it other than “it’s what people do at weddings,” but whatever. You could always have the DJ announce it and explain the history/backstory/etc. for everyone?
Post # 11
@LadyWhiskey: I think that’s a cute idea! You could write up a little explanation of the Polish tradition, then say that instead of money, you’re asking for advice for your married life from your guests, and leave a stack of dollar-sized paper and pens. Maybe even get some scrapbook paper with money designs on it and cut it the size of bills. 🙂
I have been to one wedding with a dollar dance and I wasn’t offended, I just didn’t participate.
Post # 12
Haha, when my Mom was going through things to do at the wedding and explained straight-faced to me about the Apron dance, I’m pretty sure I had a horrified expression on my face. But then she looked so sad after I said, “UMMMMM NO” that I’ve been rethinking it lately. So, maybe a compromise might be in order. 🙂
I do think it’s definitely a more popular thing elsewhere. I live in the southern US and I have yet to go to a wedding that has done the wedding dance. So, it’s definitely not tradition here. And yeah, I’m not sure about the logistics of this sucker… I think everyone stands around and claps or something while you dance with people (I think you’re supposed to polka with them, but lord knows that I don’t know how to) ??? I think everyone will need to have partook in some inebriations by that point for this to make sense, haha.
I don’t blame you for not doing the garter auction…. sometimes you just have to say NOPE. And I haven’t been to a wedding with a dollar dance here in the southern US, so I’m not sure if it’s the norm here. I guess it just depends, yes?
Haha, thanks! Not sure if it makes me happy, but it will make Momma happy (which is turn makes me happy). So I guess it all works out, yeah?
I think wedding advice is the way to go! Thanks! 🙂
Post # 13
I would probably think this was awful and tacky UNLESS I knew that it was a long standing Polish tradition (and felt like I wasn’t obligated to participate).
Maybe you should have something on the tables explaining it, or have the DJ announce it with a bit of background. Then I would get that it’s a cultural tradition that meant something to your family.
Post # 14
Ooohhh… that’s super interesting! I’ll have to let my mother know that her “Polish traditions” might not be so Polish, haha. 🙂 Actually, a couple years ago my mother was speaking to someone from Poland who SWORE to her that her maiden name didn’t sound like a traditional Polish surname, and that they thought it was more Estonian-sounding. So, who knows? Haha, pretty not sure we’re not Greek, but who knows how the cultures ended up melding together when everyone got to Pennslyvania to work in the coal mines (where my Mom grew up and all her family is from). Question: Have you heard of the “unveiling” ceremony, where the Momma takes the bride’s veil off and puts on the babushka
? This is also something we’re doing, but just curious if that is actually stemming from Polish tradition, or just more a Polish-American tradition. Thanks for the insight! 🙂
Post # 15
Yep, dollar dances appear to be more a regional… “thing” (I still have an aversion to them no matter what, haha). I’m wondering if it’s also a generational thing, because my Mom looked at me like I was from outerspace when I said that it was kind of a tracky thing to do. So, maybe for her generation it was totally cool, but it’s fallen out of style recently. Like our children will look horrified if we ever suggest using mason jars as vases, haha?
Post # 16
Definitely more of a Polish-American tradition (the unveiling)! Also, a lot of immigrants came from the countryside where the traditions were more rural (and also where poverty hit the most – I say this b/c why move to a foreign country if you are living comfortably?), and hence a lot of the traditions you see here now are rustic/rural.
Also, there is no such thing as a traditional Polish surname. 😉 My last name does not end in -ski or -wicz, and people are like, “No way!” I’m like, “Yes way!”