The Sweet Christian Bride

Money Dance

by admin on September 7, 2011 in Reception Traditions with 1 Comment


If you’ve never before heard of the money dance, let me be the first to introduce you to this ingenious reception tradition.  The concept behind it is twofold: 1) raise some cash for the honeymoon, and 2) get some face-time with the guests.

The bride and groom stand a ways apart on the dance floor and the MC announces that the guests can form a line in front of both people.  Stationed at the front of the line is a member of the bridal party who either collects cash from the dancing guest or hands the guest a sticker with which he or she can adhere the cash to the bride and groom. (Picture that as the dance goes on…hysterical!)

One by one people get to dance with the bride and groom for a verse’s length (or stanza’s length if the line is long and the song is short).  It’s a sweet time for relatives to give well-wishing, for friends to be goofy with the bride and groom, and for little kids to be cute, which means that, tender or silly, it’s an entertaining event to watch.

Also, guests like to feel that they are supporting the bride and groom.  The money dance is such a great opportunity for that because friends who don’t have a lot of money can give a dollar (or can even borrow a dollar to give) and feel a part of the action, while wealthier guests might delight in slipping a $20 or $50 in anticipation of how blessed the bride and groom will be in receiving it.  Because the dance happens so quickly, no one actually sees who gives how much, so it provides the cover of anonymity for those with financial sensitivities.

At the end of the dance the bride and groom will have taxi money, tipping money, or airport food money that was not otherwise budgeted into the honeymoon expenses (or whichever budget category deemed best).

The only caveats to this tradition would be the context in which the money dance is announced.  If your wedding is highly lavish with a visible high budget, your guests can feel put off by you asking them for money (that they assume you clearly already have).  A similar frustration can occur if many guests have already shelled out a ton of money for airfare, gifts, and lodging, especially at higher priced destinations abroad.  Lastly, the way the MC announces the money dance can make or break the guests’ interest in participating.  When it’s a fun option, guests enjoy it.  When it’s a pressure-filled petition for cash, guests will feel uncomfortable.

All in all, when the money dance highlights the personalities of the bride and groom, it is a hilarious and sweet time that affords benefit to all who participate. 

Photo © Garry Tan

By Lindsay
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  • The Sweet Christian Bride
    • Michelle Hollomon says:

      Lyndsay, this is wonderful to see! I am so glad you are following your dream and making it a reality. You are a treasure! (and a great writer!)
      We are headed to a wedding in a week and I’m looking forward to the Money Dance!