Groomsmen's Blog

The Money Dance is Weird, Right?

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The money dance is totally funky. If you haven't been to many international weddings, you'd think this is the closest the bride ever felt to being a stripper. Sweaty men pinning globs of fives to her shoulder straps. It's what every bride dreams about for her wedding! One of the reasons the money dance is so weird to Americans is because we freak out about open cash flying around. There's something dirty about it. Cash is for tipping a person because they don't get paid enough with their current paycheck. No one wants to be reminded of that on their wedding day. Combine that with the fact that no one wants to freely admit they really need money that bad - even if they do. Just the other day, a money dance turned bad at a Florida wedding when a brawl broke out after the groom's brother 'made it rain' dolla dolla bills ya'll on the dance floor. (Looks like someone needed to wait on handing out personalized pocket knives as groomsmen gifts until after the reception). 40 people were questioned after the brawl, including the groom's 74-year-old grandmother who was put in a choke hold during the madness. The money dance might sound tackier than Donald Trump shoving ads for his golf course in his daughter's wedding invitations, but the tradition of the money dance is older than the personalized flask (Ok. Total shameless plug). Let's get down to the bottom of tossing cash at the bride and groom with another exciting adventure in Groomsmen Origin Stories.

The Origin of the Wedding Dance

Polish paupers get credit for the money dance. The lower-class Polish created this tradition around the turn of the century to ensure the newlyweds have extra spending money for their honeymoon. As the tradition goes, after the bride and groom's first dance, guests ask for permission to dance with each of the newlyweds by paying cash for the privilege. Guests form one line in front of the bride and one line in front of the groom, as the best man and maid of honor stand at the head of the line to help with the cash collection. You might be saying to yourself, "I saw a money dance at my ex-girlfriend's sister's wedding, and that was not how they did it." One of the reasons is because different cultures put their unique spin on the tradition based on the personalization or depersonalization of money in their customs. For instance, in Ukraine, Poland, Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico, it's common for family and friends to pin the money directly onto the wedding dress or tuxedo of the bride and groom. In the Philippines, the money dance is so common that guests create ornate patterns when sticking the cash on the brides. If you go to a Hungarian wedding, the bride places her shoes in the middle of the dance floor and guests fill them full of money before they dance with her. In Scotland, it's popular for the bride-to-be to trade kisses for cash before the wedding as a sign of good luck. The wildest variation of the money dance is in Slavic countries that practice the Babushka dance. Originally, the Babushka dance was a bridal ceremony where guests dropped money into her veil while forming a circle around the bride. In a variation of the dance, family members kidnapped the bride if there wasn't enough money collected in her veil. While it seems like another attempt to extort money from the guests, the groom runs around the room collecting "ransom" funds from family and friends to get the bride back. No matter what your ancestry is, the money dance is an easy and entertaining way to get your tight-wad uncle to cough up some extra dough on your wedding day. But keep in mind, this little extortion scam only works if everyone knows what the hell is going on. Unless the tradition of the money dance is deep within your family roots, don't try and create an impromptu collection agency on the spot. It's just tacky.

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