The Controversial Money Dance: Take Out the Tacky and Keep the Fun

By Mandy Chan,

There really is no middle ground when it comes to opinions on the money dance (also called the dollar dance/apron dance, depending on your location/culture). Some people think it's fun and hilarious, and others think it's tacky and rude. In a traditional money dance, the Maid of Honor and Best Man rally the wedding guests to line up and "pay" for a dance with the bride or groom. The guest usually pays $1.00 (or more!) and pins the money to the bride's dress or the groom's tie and the one who ends up with the most money money "wins." And while we are definitely in the "this is hilarious and I am pinning this money to your couture gown!" camp, we can absolutely see why this tradition might be viewed as tacky or offensive. It all depends on your location, really. If the money dance is something you are used to seeing at weddings where you're from, then your guests will probably be familiar with it as well.

Photo by: Caroline and Evan Photography on Caroline & Evan Photgoraphy via

Some say this tradition originated in Poland with the intent of giving the new married couple a nest egg to start their new life together. While the way this dance is carried out slightly varies among European countries and North America (sometimes the money is pinned to the dress, sometimes it's placed in the bride's purse, or given to the groom for safe keeping), the process of how it's done is generally the same.

There are, however, a few ways to make it fun and lighten the mood in case you're worried your guests will balk at the thought of pinning money to your clothes. First, start out by making it a bit of a joke. Have your band or DJ play an intentionally obnoxious song and start the lineup with guests who not only know what to do, but will get the crowd going with their enthusiasm. As for the song, how about "Money (That's What I Want)" by The Beatles or "Take the Money and Run" by Steve Miller Band. Both are perfect for the occasion, and just a little bit ridiculous!

There are so many ways to make this fun for your guests without staying the course with tradition. Instead of keeping the money from the money dance, have the DJ make an announcement that all of the money the couple "makes" will either be raffled off to one lucky guest or even donated to a charity. Or, instead of real money, pass around board game money or chocolate coins. For some, it's not about the money that comes from this dance, but more about getting to spend time dancing and chatting with each individual guest.

Photo by: Gabe Aceves on Scratch Weddings via

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