The money dance, or dollar dance, is a dance set aside for the bride and groom to dance with as many of their guests who wish to and to give the couple an additional gift of dollar bills, either pinned to the bride and groom’s clothing or placed in a special purse or bag used for that purpose.
Traditionally, the money dance has been a means of giving the couple extra cash to get started on their new life together, to be spent for the honeymoon, or as a means of wishing the couple good luck. The interpretation depends in large part on which cultural background the bride and groom’s families come from.
If this tradition has been a common occurrence at weddings you have attended for family and friends, then you can safely assume it is an accepted tradition and you can plan one for your reception without feeling awkward.
However, if this is not the case, be aware that if you do a money dance at a reception where your guests are not familiar with this concept, you may be putting your guests in the uncomfortable position of suddenly being expected to donate cash to the bride and groom in addition to the wedding and shower gifts already given.
If this happens you will be putting some of your guest in a bit of a pickle. If your godfather arrived at the reception with nothing smaller than a $50 bill in his wallet, then he is in a spot. Does he quietly extricate himself from the room for an extended visit to the men’s room, or does he make an unexpectedly generous donation that he hadn’t been planning on?
An alternative, if you are simply hoping for more face time with your guests, is the “thank you” dance, during which guests who wish to can line up to dance with either the bride or the groom for a brief time, during which you can express to them how much you appreciate them coming to your wedding.
So before you dive into new territory, be sure to get some advise from friends and family about the appropriateness of the dollar dance. Extra cash is always nice, but not at the price of alienating or embarrassing your guests.