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The Dollar Dance

Let's face it, folks. The "Money Dance" is alive and well, and it's a very
popular custom at most wedding receptions all over the New York State area.
In the nationwide wilderness outside of Central New York, it's frequently
referred to as the "Dollar Dance. But no matter what it's called, it means
that guests who wish to dance with the Bride and Groom while a few particular
songs are heard must pay for the privilege.

We are not trying to influence your decision on whether or not to have a
Dollar Dance at your wedding reception. We'll just give you some background
information on this subject to help you make your decision.

Some couples hesitate because they feel like it isn't done very often. We
estimate that the Dollar Dance is done at well over half of all the wedding
receptions we perform at, running the gamut from the ones held in the modest
halls, through the large reception halls, and all the way to those in hotel
and country-club ballrooms.

You say some of your guests might be offended? All of your guests have seen
the Dollar Dance at so many wedding receptions that now it's just part of the

The custom was originated in America earlier this century by the European
immigrants, who wanted to assure that the young couple had a few extra
dollars to face the future with. It has endured in certain areas of the
United States, while it is virtually non-existent in other parts.

Here in New York, some feel that our custom has its direct roots in both the
Italian and Polish heritages, two groups of people who appreciate a good time
and love traditions.

You can even decide in which manner your fun-loving dancing partner can
deposit his/her offering . . . in a purse carried by either you on your wrist
or held by the best man & maid of honor.

The purse comes from Italian tradition, a variation of the "Communion Purse"
that young girls years ago carried on their First Communion Day, and
relatives and friends would put money in it as a gift on her special day.

Around here, the best man & maid of honor escort your dancing partners in and
out every twenty seconds or so. You can expect to dance with 15-30 partners
before it's over. The minimum donation is, of course, one dollar, although
several larger denominations are routinely donated.

This is important - timing is vital if you plan to have a Dollar Dance at
your reception. You want it to be part of the natural flow of your reception.
The trick is not to have it too early, or too late. The most natural time is
right after the garter and bouquet have been tossed, and as the last "event"
for the photographer. This point should be no later than one hour before the
end of your reception. By that time the guests are usually "relaxed" and
ready to participate in the Dollar Dance.

Some Brides have asked us how long the Dollar Dance should last.
The answer is obvious . . . until all of your guests have been given a twirl.

Your best man & maid of honor  will see how many people you have in line and
they will know how to run through quickly and efficiently. They will notify
the me when it is the last Dollar Dance song, and it will come to a
conclusion naturally.

Another question we have been asked by Brides is "what songs should we play
for the Dollar Dance?" The Dollar Dance does not call for "message" songs,
which are the songs whose lyrics reflect personal sentiments. For example,
the formal dance for the Bride and Groom might be "Have I Told You Lately
That I Love You," the dance with the parents might be "Daddy's Little Girl,"
and the Bridal Party dance might be done to "That's What Friends Are For,"
all three of which carry a message relevant to the person being danced with.

For the Dollar Dance, any slow music will do. Your dancing partners will not
be listening to the words of the song anyway. They'll be too busy wishing the
best for your future.

So, dear newlyweds-to-be, it's your choice whether or not to include a Dollar
Dance at your reception. But, as we mentioned, our experience indicates that
it is now an accepted part of wedding receptions. After all, what's a dollar
or two in fun on a once-in-a-lifetime occasion?

Another consideration is that the Dollar Dance gives you the opportunity to
dance with those guests that you would not have the time or availability to
dance with otherwise. Those who join the Dollar Dance are just happy to be
able to share a dance with you on your wedding day.

Here are some songs that we have used over the years :

Count On Me - Whitney Houston
Friends - Michael W. Smith
Friends - Elton John
That's What Friends Are For - Dionne Warwick
Together Once Again - Chris Tayor
You've Got A Friend - James Taylor
You’ve Got A Friend In Me - Randy Newman & Lyle Lovett
Songs Of Your Choice Are Always Welcome !