Love it or hate it, the “Money Dance” remains a popular custom at wedding receptions throughout the Midwest. In the Kansas City area, the “Money Dance” is also referred to as the “Dollar Dance” or “Honeymoon Dance.” No matter how it’s named, however, it ultimately means that guests, who wish to dance with the Bride and Groom, at a specifically designated moment in the reception, must “pay” for the privilege.
Very few Brides and Grooms are ever “on the fence” when it comes to choosing to include the “Money Dance” in their wedding reception. Many couples decide very early on in the planning process that it is a “cheesy and tacky” formality and adamantly rule it out without hesitation or regret. The “Honeymoon Dance” simply does not fit their personality and style and that’s OK.
But, there are also couples that enthusiastically look forward to the opportunity to spend a few, personal moments with their guests on the dance floor while, at the same time, graciously accepting the generosity of their family and friends to help them with their honeymoon expenses.
At Ron Ruth Wedding Entertainment, we assist with the “Dollar Dance” at about 50% of the weddings where we perform. And, those couples that have chosen to embrace the tradition have held their receptions in every conceivable venue from modest halls to lavish hotel and country club ballrooms.
The custom of the “Money Dance” was originated in America in the early 1900’s by the European immigrants who wanted to assure that the young couple had a few extra dollars to get them started on their future together. It has endured in certain areas of the United States, while many other regions are less familiar with the tradition.
Along the upper east coast, some believe that the custom of a “Dollar Dance” has its direct roots in both the Italian and Polish heritages, two groups of people who appreciate a good time and love traditions.
The aim of this article is not to convince anyone to include the, “Money Dance,” “Dollar Dance” or “Honeymoon Dance” in their reception…like that would even be possible. But, if you’ve already made up your mind that you wish to make it a part of the festivities, here are a few things you should know.
Here in the central Midwest, a successful “Money Dance” (not just in dollars and cents) relies on 3 key factors; timing, presentation and time allotment.
TIMING: If you plan to have a “Dollar Dance” at your reception, it should be a part of the natural flow of events. We suggest that it be held after the traditional, dancing formalities but before the bouquet and garter toss. All of your guests, particularly older family members who will surely want to participate, will still be in attendance. And, few, if any, of your guests will have had so much to drink that you have to hold them up while they step on your toes. Plus, your photographer will still be on hand during the “Honeymoon Dance” to capture those special photos of you with your closest friends and family.
PRESENTATION: A talented Wedding Entertainment Director™ or highly experienced Kansas City wedding DJ can help you find extremely creative, engaging and entertaining ways to introduce the “Money Dance” into the planned activities of your reception. Make sure to ask him/her to share those ideas with you if you want your “Dollar Dance” to be just as much fun and memorable as the rest of your reception. If presented properly, your guests will not only be anxious to dance with the 2 of you, they will “pay” handsomely for the pleasure.
TIME ALLOTMENT: You’ll also want the “Money Dance” to move along at a pace that allows you enough time to thank your dancing partner for coming to your reception without the conversation turning into a long and drawn out exchange. A dance with each new partner should only last about 20-30 seconds. Overall, we suggest that the “Dollar Dance” take no longer than about 15 minutes to complete to keep other guests from getting bored.
The background accompaniment to a “Honeymoon Dance” is usually a series of back-to-back slow songs, played at low volume levels to allow you to comfortably converse with each guest while dancing.
The Best Man & Maid/Matron of Honor are generally given the responsibility of collecting the money for the Bride and Groom. The minimum donation for the “Money Dance,” of course, is one dollar, although larger denominations are routinely contributed.
Regardless, those guests who join in the “Dollar Dance” are happy to be able to share a dance with the newlyweds on their wedding day.