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Jim's Blog

Should We Have A Dollar Dance?

Ahh ... the Dollar Dance. The time-worn tradition of asking your wedding guests to pony up some cash to share a few seconds on the dance floor with you so that you'll have spending money on your honeymoon.

What's that? You say you've never even heard of such a thing??

Don't be alarmed ... most people in the South are unfamiliar with the tradition.

Basically it is as it sounds. You and your new spouse take to the dance floor and an announcement is made that everyone who wishes to dance with you briefly should pull out cash of any denomination, come out to the dance floor and pay for the privilege.

This is a HUGE part of wedding receptions up North. The guests not only expect it but they anticipate it. They don't leave house without a wad of bills for the new bride and groom.

But this is a major rarity in the South. I'll put it this way ... I have performed at over a thousand parties and have done the Dollar Dance five times. And only one of those times would I say it was a success, netting over $600 for the couple. BUT the bride's family were all of Polish descent from Wisconsin where the Dollar Dance is common practice.

I've seen one Dollar Dance where NOBODY got out of their seat to dance with the couple. Talk about embarrassing! I was begging and pleading with the guests, even telling them they didn't HAVE to pay ... just get out of their seats and come dance with the bride and groom.


From what I have learned over the years, Southerners do not like the Dollar Dance. In their eyes they've already given you a wedding gift. They've taken time out of their busy schedule to attend and support you on your wedding day. Some have had to rent hotel rooms or even pay for airline tickets to be here. And NOW you want them to give you cash so you can spend it on your honeymoon too??

That's where most draw the line.

When the Dollar Dance is mentioned during my initial consultation with couples, I usually tell them my experience with the tradition and I try to gently persuade them to not do it.

There is only ONE exception to this rule. I fully encourage you to do the Dollar Dance if your families are from up North, they will be in attendance and the Dance is a family tradition that all the friends and family will know will be taking place ahead of the big day.

Keep in mind, many people don't carry cash anymore. And there's few things tackier than taking Debit Cards at your Dollar Dance. So letting them know ahead of time gives them the opportunity to stop at an ATM on the way to the reception.

As with everything we do, your word and wishes are final. I am here to throw you a party like you've never thrown and give you professional advice along the way. Whether you take it or discard it is up to you. If you want a dollar dance, you'll get a dollar dance.

Just don't be upset if nobody's willing to pay to dance with you.

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