Have you ever been to a wedding only to see the guests line up and shower the newlyweds with money? Well, this is called the money dance and it varies across different cultures, religions and countries.
Another popular variation is where newlyweds line up on the dance floor with guests throwing money onto the couples feet. It’s not clear where this tradition started, but most people associate it with Filipino Americans, Greek Americans, Nigerian Americans, and other ethnic groups.
Still a little confused about what exactly the money dance wedding tradition is? Worry no more! Below we have put together a guide of everything you need to know about the money dance.
What is the money dance wedding tradition?
This is a cultural tradition where newlyweds dance with a couple in exchange for money. Furthermore, it’s an excellent opportunity for the bride and groom to interact with guests. Even if your tradition doesn’t allow you to interact with them, this can be a platform for the families to unite. For the guests, it’s a special moment full of well-wishing.
If you want to include a dollar dance in your wedding, you should pay attention to several factors. Is it something normal among your friends and peers? If some people have never heard of it, things can get tricky. Use your intuition to decide whether to include the dance or not.
The symbolism is a gesture to help couples start their new lives together.
How to do the money dance
The money dance is done in two ways. The way it’s done will depend on the ethnic background of the newlyweds.
To start, the bride and groom dance to their selected favorite song. Then, the guests line up ready to dance with the new couple. In return, they pin the money onto the couples clothes. A close family member can stand close to the couple holding some pins. The song is over after the last guest gives the money.
Alternatively, the bride and groom can stand apart. Next, the male guests will line up to dance with the bride, while female guests will dance with the groom. Each will dance for a few seconds and then pin some money on their clothes.
In some traditions, the groom holds an apron where money is placed. For others, the dollar bills are pinned on the bride’s gown. Apart from the basics, you can add your own touches to the entire dance.
How to do some of the most popular money dances
The Philippines money dance involves male guests pining the bride’s gown with money, while female guests will pin the groom’s suit with money. Both acts symbolize good fortune.
In the US, the dollar bills are pinned on the bride’s gown. In addition, others hold an apron where the money is placed. Some couples save the money for their first child; others spend it on their honeymoon. Furthermore, in Mexico the guests dance with the couple and pin money on their clothes. In some traditions, the guests throw some money on the floor, and then a relative collects it for the couple.
In Poland, only the best man is allowed to dance with the bride and pin money on the gown. However, there’s a more contemporary version of this tradition. The bride can dance with the bridesmaids as men put some cash on the apron.
Things can get a little exciting with the Hungarian money dance. The bride removes the shoe and puts it in the middle of the dance floor. As a result, guests can now put in some money.
In Nigeria, the guests shower the couple with money. This symbolizes good fortune, happiness, and affection. Some raise the money on the forehead and allow it to rain. As the money is sprayed, someone collects it and keeps it in a bag for the couple.
The couple can choose to have crowns, necklaces, sashes, and other accessories.
How long does the money dance last?
On average, the money dance will last for 30-45 minutes. The actual time is determined by how long the song lasts and how many guests you have. Some suggest that the dance should be short – at least four songs.
How much to participate as a guest
Guests are not obliged to contribute a specific amount – any amount is welcome. Some will give a few dollars; others can contribute hundreds of dollars. But should you have a dollar dance? If it’s not done in your area, never assume that your guests know what to do.
Alternatives the money dance
If you feel uncomfortable with the money dance, there are other alternatives. Maybe you’re looking for options for this decade-old wedding staple. Guests can still dance with the couple without monetary exchange. Here are some money dance alternatives that will ensure your guests have a memorable experience.
Kidnapping the bride
This ransom game should match the wedding theme. It involves the groomsmen covering the faces of the bride and kidnapping her. To get the bride back, a ransom is demanded. The groom may also be asked to perform some tasks to get back the bride – this will leave the guests laughing. The only tricky part is counting the ransom amount. Generally, the bridal party pretends to count what they have gathered before bringing the bride back.
The DJ plays an upbeat song and both the bride and groom rush around the room to collect as many dollars. Whoever collects more is the winner. The master of the ceremony can lighten the mood by telling the groom to hand over all the money to the bride.
Some tree branches are assembled decoratively with a few rubber bands and pins. However, the setup should be done before the reception so the guests can know what it is for. Alternatively, you can set up a card box where guests can drop their gifts without feeling obligated to do so. Don’t forget to supply pens and envelopes in case the guest wants to leave a message for the couple.
Money Dance Origins
I bet you’ve seen the Money Dance at weddings in movies or on TV, or you attended a wedding reception where the Money Dance took place. Perhaps you’ve even wondered about the origins of this tradition.
The Money Dance is a tradition that has been around for centuries, and its origins can be traced back to many different cultures. It was initially a way for wedding guests to show their support for the newlyweds by giving them money as a gift. In some cultures, the money was used to help the couple start their new life together, while in others, it was seen as a way to bless the marriage and ensure its success.
Over time, the Money Dance has evolved into more of a fun, interactive way for guests to celebrate the newlyweds’ marriage. In many weddings today, the Money Dance is used to raise money for the couple’s honeymoon or future home. Guests pay to dance with the bride or groom, and all of the money collected is put towards the couple’s chosen cause. To understand how the Money Dance has evolved over time, let’s look at its origins in different cultures worldwide.
Money Dance in Different Cultures
Nigerian Money Dance
In Nigeria, the Money Dance originated as a way for wedding guests to show their support for the couple. The Southwest Yoruba people of Nigeria have a tradition called the Iyawo Oshun, in which guests spray the newlyweds the money, which symbolizes their blessings for a fruitful marriage, good fortune, and a gesture of the guests’ love for them.
In the Edo region of Nigeria, the money dance is called Ivie Aso and is often used to help the couple start their new life together. The money was seen as a way to bless the marriage and ensure its success. Today, the Money Dance is still used to show support for the newlyweds, but it has also become a fun, interactive way for guests to celebrate the marriage.
The Money Dance usually takes place after the traditional wedding ceremony, and it is typically led by the bride’s family. The guests line up and take turns dancing with the bride or groom. As they dance, the guests spray or throw the money at the newlyweds.
The bride and the groom are dressed in traditional Nigerian wedding attire, which often includes brightly colored clothing and headdresses. The bride may also wear a veil and have her hair decorated with flowers. The Money Dance is usually accompanied by traditional Nigerian music, which often has a fast tempo and lively beat.
Mexican Money Dance
In Mexico, the Money Dance is called El Baile de Los Vecinos, which means “the dance of the neighbors.” It is a tradition that dates back to the early days of the Mexican colonial period. The Money Dance was originally a way for wedding guests to show their support for the newlyweds by giving them money as a gift. In some cultures, money is given to the bride and groom as a way to help them start their new life together. In others, the money is collected and used to pay for the wedding expenses.
The Money Dance is still a popular tradition in Mexico today. It is usually done at weddings, but it can also be done at other special events, such as quinceañeras (the celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday).
To do the Money Dance, guests form a line and take turns dancing with the bride or groom. As they dance, guests drop money into a bag or purse that is held by the person who is not dancing. The amount of money that is given is up to the guest, but it is usually a small amount, such as $5 or $10.
United States Money Dance
Money dance is not as popular in the United States as in other cultures, but it still exists in some communities. This custom is particular to immigrant communities in the US and is intended to help the event hosts financially. The guests queue to dance with the bride or groom, and during the dance, they pin or drop money onto their clothing. The Money Dance usually takes place after the ceremony but before the reception. It is often done at weddings, but it can also be done at other special events, such as anniversaries, birthdays, and retirement parties.
Polish Apron Dance
The Polish Apron Dance is a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. It is also known as the “Dance of the Seven Veils.” In this tradition, the bride’s father holds a special apron in front of her. The guests take turns dancing around the apron, and as they do so, they drop money into it. After the dance, the quests receive a shot of spirits to toast the newlyweds.
Philippine Money Dance
The Philippine money dance is a bit different from other cultures. It is called “Pabaon sa Binibining” in the Philippines, which means “the gift for the bride.” In this tradition, the male guests queue up to dance with the bride, while the female guests queue up to dance with the groom. As they dance, guests pin money onto the clothing of the person they are dancing with. The pinning is usually a decorative of crowns, garlands, or patterns down their attire.
Portugal Money Dance
In Portugal, the Money Dance is called “Dança das Moedas” which means “the dance of the coins.” Usually, the bride’s father opens the floor by dancing with his daughter, then follows the groom’s mother with her son. The bride takes off her shoes and places them on the floor as they dance. The guests take turns dancing around the shoes to pass around a basket. The guests drop coins into the basket as they dance. After the dance, the bride put their shoes back on and continue to celebrate with her guests.
Greece Money Dance
The Greece money dance is more of a money shower than a dance. It takes place at a reception after the ceremony. The guests form a line and take turns dancing with the bride or groom. As they dance, they shower the bride or groom with money. The guests will throw a large stack of money at the couple as they dance by to wish them good luck and prosperity in their new life and help them establish their new household.
Money dances are popular in different cultures around the world as a way to give financial support to newlyweds. They usually involve guests taking turns dancing with the bride or groom and dropping money into a bag or purse held by someone not dancing. The amount of money given is up to the guest, but it is usually a small amount. Money dances provide a fun way for guests to celebrate and wish the couple good luck in their new life together.
The goal of a money dance is to bond with the married couple and have fun. The activity involves dancing to exciting music and some bills being thrown at the couple. Although some cultures have their versions, this is a superb way to help newlyweds start their life. For some folks, this is a way of giving monetary gifts to the couple. More than that, money dance offers amazing photo opportunities. If you think it’s a rude way to ask guests for money, you can try the above alternatives.