Should We Have a Dollar Dance at our Wedding Reception?
This wedding tradition often stirs up a debate. If you’re not familiar with the dollar or “money” dance, it consists of your male guests lining up to dance with the bride while your female guests line up to dance with the groom. So what’s the catch? The dance requires a monetary donation for the privilege of dancing with the newlyweds. This donation is typically $1, hence the name of the dance. However, it’s not unheard of for some guests to bring along Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, or even our old friend Andrew Jackson. It’s the job of the best man and maid of honor to collect the money and keep the line moving.
Considering having a dollar dance at your wedding reception? It isn’t always an easy decision. While many wedding guests enjoy and look forward to this wedding tradition, an equal number despise it and find it tacky. If you’re undecided on this issue, here are some of the pros and cons to help you make your decision.
- The dollar dance gives the newlyweds a chance to rake in some dough that can go toward the honeymoon, recouping wedding expenses or starting a joint savings or investment account.
- It’s also another chance to visit and dance with some guests you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to spend a lot of time with at the reception.
- The dollar dance also serves as a great way to squeeze in some extra slow songs that you may not have been able to play otherwise.
We know it’s difficult to find anything wrong with people wanting to dance with you and give you money. However, here are a few things to consider before committing to the dollar dance:
- You don’t want to make any guests feel obligated to give money. They’ve already spent money on wedding and shower gifts and possibly travel costs. It’s important to make sure every guest knows that the dollar dance is optional.
- Some guests will use the dollar dance as an opportunity to duck out and call it a night. This is especially true if the dance lasts longer than 10 minutes. You don’t want to put everyone who isn’t participating to sleep. We suggest trying to keep the dance to a 10-minute maximum. This should allow for three to four songs tops.
Alternatives to the dollar dance
- Do the dollar dance, but simply make it clear that you aren’t accepting money. Guests who insist on giving you cash can leave it in the card box at the gift table.
- Have a couple’s dance where every dating or married couple heads to the dance floor. Every 15 seconds or so, you switch partners with a couple dancing near you. This is another great way for the newlyweds to mingle and share a dance with everyone.
- Opposite dollar dance – same rules as the dollar dance, but instead of receiving a gift, you give a small trinket or token of appreciation to each dance partner you have.
TMR Recommendation: According to wedding DJs and bands, the dollar dance is held at about 50 percent of weddings. Whatever your decision, make sure to keep your guests in mind. Would the majority be uncomfortable with a dollar dance? Our guess is that most wedding guests will have been a part of a dollar dance in the past, so if it’s something you’d like to do, go for it.