Ok, I’m just going to go there. Hold your breath, because we’re jumping right in.
Dancing at the reception is one of my favorite parts of the day. Seeing the Bride and Groom’s closest friends and family join them in celebration on the dance floor truly warms my heart.
Now, I can’t speak for everywhere but I come from the northeastern part of Pennsylvania where the polka is seriously adored, particularly by our older generations. And one of the “traditional” parts of a wedding has been the Dollar (a.k.a. Money or Apron) Polka Dance. It started in the early 1900s in Poland where male guests would pay a dollar (or more) to dance briefly with the bride. Sometimes, female guests would pay to dance with groom, too. The Maid of Honor would traditionally wear an apron to collect the money. Sometimes, the guests would form a circle around the Bride at the end in which the groom had to burst through and “rescue” her.
As I said, while most of our older generations will expect to see it at a wedding and will usually pressure the couple to include it in their timeline, it may not be for everyone. Personally, I’m down for whatever my couple wants. Would I do it at my wedding? Nope. But here are some pros and cons to help decide if it should be at yours:
pro 01. You will have some one-on-one time with most of your guests. Doing a Dollar Dance will allow you the brief chance to talk with almost each guest and thank them for coming. It also gives them a chance to say “Congratulations”.
con 01. It can kill your dance floor. Let’s say your DJ (or Band) has a great deal of people on the dance floor. In order to start the Dollar Dance (or any specialty dance), they’ll need to clear the dance floor, and repack it once the Dollar Dance has ended.
pro 02. You will gain some cash from it. Obviously, in order to dance with the Bride and/or Groom, the guest must pay a dollar (or more) to the attendant (usually the Maid of Honor and/or Best Man). This will quickly add up and you will end up will some cash to put towards your honeymoon or whatever else you choose.
con 02. You may come off as greedy. Your guests have (hopefully) already given you a card and/or gift of some sort. To ask them to pay money to spend a moment with you can often come across as tacky or greedy. To avoid this, some couples will call it the Dime Dance and play dimes under neath each guests’ dinner plate so that everyone can participate.
pro 03. Your babushka-loving Grandma will love it. Usually, the older generations love this tradition. I don’t get it.
con 03. It takes up a good chunk of time. Typically, a Dollar Dance can last anywhere from 30-45 minutes with about 150 guests. After the first 10 minutes, most guests will start to get antsy again.
At the end of the day, you should always do what fits YOU as a couple. If it works for you, do it. If it doesn’t, don’t. It’s that simple :)
By the way, Megan and Jeff (in the picture above) chose not to the Dollar Dance. Their guests had an AMAZING time all night. #justsaying
Update (June 26, 2012): I also have to add another “con” to doing the dollar dance that I’ve experienced and forgot to include in the original post: You will get tired, sweaty, thirsty and dizzy in a big, heavy and beautiful dress. It’s (at least) 15 minutes of continuous dancing – what do you think is going to happen?