Ahhhh the money dance. I have always know it to be a dance that the male guests dance with the bride and the female guests dance with the groom. Traditionally a dollar was pinned to the bride by every partner, but in more recent times, I have seen the best man collect the dollars…so no pins. I come from an area of strong Italian decent and these are the weddings where I would see the dollar dance. Also, New York weddings seem to strongly favor the dance.
After witnessing more weddings as I go along; I don’t think the money dance is reserved for Italian descent, the Spanish, Greek and Polish seem to use this tradition as well! The dance does offer the bride and groom a chance to have a personal visit with all of their guests. So, instead of roaming around visiting your guests whilst they are eating, you can turn to the money dance. The best man and maid of honor will limit the time of the individual dances to a couple spins around the floor so that you, the bridal couple, have and opportunity to dance and visit with everyone. If the money dance feels awkward or tacky to you, how about the money collected goes to your favorite charity? Win, win, you get to visit all the guests and the money goes to a good cause. Or, if you are on a strict budget, then embrace the dance and keep the money for your honeymoon! …it is just a buck after all!
It turns out that the money dance seems to have originated in Poland in the early 1900′s. So, as customs and traditions go, it is a relatively new tradition. Many cultures employ the dance as it turns out and in the United States, there are areas where the dance is very popular, as well as areas that it is unheard of. Basically, in all the cultures, it is just a way to give and extra dollar to the bride and groom which represents a wish of good luck and prosperity, and, of course offers an opportunity for a personal visit.
I am going to go ahead and show you what is on wikepedia since there is such variety, and I would not want you to miss out on all of the potential origins! Here it is:
The money dance may have originated in Poland around the beginning of the 20th century. The dance takes place some time after the First dance, often once guests have had a chance to have a few drinks. The best man or MC or the disc jockey announces the event. Customarily, the best man begins dancing with the bride, pinning money onto her wedding gown or putting it into a purse, which she carries especially for the purpose, or into the pockets of an apron she dons over her gown especially for this dance. In a more contemporary version of this custom, the dance includes bridesmaids and other ladies who dance .
At Ukrainian weddings, the father of the bride usually begins pinning money on her dress. He is followed by the best man and groomsmen, and, finally, by the remainder of the male guests. Another variation is where the bride’s veil is removed and given to the maid of honor and an apron is placed on the bride. Money is then placed into her apron during the dance.
At Yugoslavian weddings, instead of pinning the money on the bride’s gown, the male guests give the money to the best man for safe keeping.
At Hungarian and Portuguese weddings, the bride takes off her shoes and puts them in the middle of the dance floor. Then the shoes are passed around from guests to guest and each deposits a contribution.
Relatives take turns dancing up to the bride and groom and pinning money on their clothes, which allows the couple to spend a few moments with each of their guests. After the money dance, the groom is ridiculed by his friends, tossed in the air while being covered with the veil, and given an apron and broom.
In America, practice of a money dance varies by geographic region and ethnic background of the families involved. It typically involves guests giving small sums of cash to the bride or pinning cash to her gown or veil. Even cultures that accept this may balk at paying the groom for his time and attention, so alternatives have developed, such as “paying” the groom with play money or a stick ofchewing gum. Some consider this a way for the bride and groom to have face time with their guests. Many, including traditional North American etiquette experts, consider the practice incorrect.
This has led to some couples calling it the honeymoon dance instead of a dollar dance or money dance. Some couples have even called it the dime dance and have put dimes under each person’s plate or in a small bowl on each table so that guests won’t feel obligated to ‘pay’ for a short dance with the bride or groom, while still giving them the opportunity to spend 30–60 seconds chatting and dancing with them.
At some Filipino weddings, the money dance is usually announced; males line up in front of the bride, pinning money on her dress or veil, then dance with her. Same with the male, only females line up instead. Money is pinned or taped onto the new married couple’s garments, representing the wish that good fortune is “rained” upon them, while also helping the couple financially as they begin their life together.
I would like to introduce my wife Peggy. As some of you may know Peggy is a second shooter that works with me, and foremost, she is my lovely wife. Having been through a wedding of our own and witness to many friends, family and client weddings, she has and avid interest in the art of putting together a wedding.
Often when we meet with clients, Peggy will go along. She’ll often speak her mind when it comes to what we see when people are influenced by traditions and customs. She would also tell you that she see’s many couples motivated by the objective of making their wedding different. Either way, the ceremony and celebration are always interesting and it is fun for my wife to watch the process unfold into the final day.
She will be writing a few blog posts on the subject of wedding traditions. Just in case you are interested on the background details of the customs and traditions that may be influencing your wedding.
I hope that you will enjoy her posts!
Trust me she’ll loves this pic! ha ha!:
Last week I met with clients at City O’ City restaurant in the Capital Hill neighborhood in Denver. As I was walking from my car to the restaurant, I was noticing how many great spots there were to shoot an Engagement session. Well… we put my observations to the test yesterday, when I met Megan and Joey to shoot their Engagement session. We met at City O’ City for a beer, then headed out to shoot in the alleys and streets of the ‘hood. I have a feeling that this won’t be the last time we shoot here. Check out their pics! We had a great time.
As always, comments are not only welcome, but encouraged! Leave them at the bottom of the blog post.
I just tried out my new Mola Demi Beauty Dish on an engagement shoot yesterday. I am completely impressed with the light it puts out! I love the light fall off, and the harsher (than softbox or umbrella) shadows, giving a more defined shape to faces, while still remaining soft on the light side of the subject. I will be using this for weddings for sure!
- Light: Paul C Buff Einstien, fired with Cyber Sync, power by Vagabond Mini
- Light at Camera Left just out of frame, at about 2′ above subjects
- The sock was on the Dish
- Shot on a sunny, late afternoon
Here are a couple images shot with it:
As with most of our wedding clients, they are referred to us by their friends that have already worked with us. In Dana and Drew’s case we met at a wedding we shot this past summer at Mary’s Lake Lodge in Estes Park, CO. It also seems like our wedding clients are like minded to Peggy and I. It is awesome to consistently work with such awesome people! Our original plan for their engagement shoot was to have a backcountry ski day. As most of you who live in Colorado know, our winter is not cooperating, and we ended up hiking on a half snow, and a half dirt trial on Vail Pass for some of our shoot! After Vail Pass, we went to Vail Village to shoot the rest. We hit the Tap Room for a beer or two, then got a few more shots in town. Check out their pics, and please feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the post!
Our Engagement session with Lyndsay and Shawn, and their dog Luna, was the second session of the weekend, and I have to say, it was an awesome one. We had a ton of fun in a short amount of time. They live in (or near???) the Highlands neighborhood of Denver, in a cool old house. Anyone that knows the area can attest that is full of artistic areas to shoot. The area really fits our style of photography. Utilizing textures and colors of bricks, stone, trees, metal and wood buildings, is what we love shooting to contrast the fun, and sometimes dressy look of our shoots.
Lyndsay and Shawn have a great sense of fashion, and knew what they were looking for! For the last half of the shoot they got dressed up, with Shawn wearing dress clothes with a pair of classic wing tip shoes, and Lyndsay, in an over the top, formal gown, with combat boots (again… adding an awesome contrast to the look!). We did the shoot in less than a one block radius of their house! Hopefully you can see how much fun we had:
This weekend was a busy one, with two Denver Engagement sessions, for some of our awesome 2012 Wedding clients. For this session I met Michelle & Jimmy at the Denver Beer Co for a beer and chat about their wedding. If you haven’t checked out the Brewery yet, what are you waiting for? Amazing beer! The plan for the day was to follow the actual path of an elaborate Engagement that Jimmy planned, that included bar hoping across town, and finishing at the Oxford Hotel. Saturday’s session was the first of two sessions that we will be doing to fully cover replication of the Engagement day! Look out for Part Two in the Spring of 2012!
“To be continued”!!!
To start our Engagement session, I met Tyler and Alicia for a drink at The Sink, in Boulder. Add a beautiful couple, and the setting of the CU – Boulder campus, and you have the recipe for a really fun Engagement session. Check out some of the pics from the day:
A couple weekends ago we did two distinctly different Engagement shoots. The one below this post at the Clock Tower, with an urban feel, and this one at St Mary’s Glacier (and then into Idaho Springs) for Matt and Allison. I love mixing up the looks to match the personalities of our clients. Let us know what you think, by posting your comments at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!
When we booked Tia and Justin’s wedding, and after seeing some of the Clock Tower wedding images on our website, they wanted to know if we could shoot their engagement session in the Clock Tower. Once I got permission, I started planning the shoot. Since Justin is the Midwest Director for GQ Magazine, they wanted a “GQ look” to some of their pics. Hopefully we achieved it! With the great fashion sense of Tia and Justin, and the ‘WOW’ factor of the Clock Tower, it was easy to make their images look great!
To date we have shot two weddings at the Denver Clock Tower, and we just booked two more weddings, for 2012. If you are interested in having your wedding at the Clocktower (and us shooting it, of course!), please don’t hesitate to contact us!
As always, comments (leave comments at the bottom of the blog post) are not only welcome, but encouraged.
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I spoke with Ben days before the shoot, and he and Kelly wanted a quintessential Colorado look to their Engagement photos. After a couple f minutes of thinking about where to do the shoot, I came up with Mt Evans. It boasts the highest paved rd in the North America at 14,240′, and it’s right in our backyard near Evergreen, CO. We had such a great time, on such a beautiful day! Check out their pics, and feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the blog post:
Ted and Lynlee’s wedding was our second wedding at the Denver Clocktower. The Clocktower is by far one of the most unique venues that we have worked in! To top it off (no pun intended. ha ha) we were allowed up into the belfry to get some shots at sunset.
Their wedding was so heartfelt, that we couldn’t help but tear up a few times, especially when Lynlee’s son and daughter read their speeches. I must say… unbelievable! Not a dry eye in the house (including Peggy and I, and the caterers). It was so nice spending the day with such amazing people!
This has turned out to be the season of details at our weddings. Ted and Lynlee hired Lux Dezign to do all of their coordinating. Lux killed it! The attention to detail, and the overall flow of the night was second to none!
Check out some of the images from the day, and I’m sure you will agree that it was a pretty unique wedding. As always, please feel free to leave comments….
Dave & Peggy
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Lynnlee’s day started out at the swanky Scarlet Salon.
Friends of ours asked us to do a shoot for Father’s Day. We shot these at Three Sisters in Evergreen, CO. We had about as many shots a 3 year old’s attention span, in the woods, would allow. It was such a great time, on a beautiful day, with great friends. We had a hazy day, so unfortunately the snow capped peaks don’t show up in the pics. Please feel free to leave comments!
Yesterday I met up with Mara & Will to shoot their Engagement session. To get to know our wedding clients more I always like to meet up at a bar or coffee shop, before a camera is introduced to the scene. In our case, we met at the Goosetown Taven, near their house, and then walked around the neighborhood. One of the stops was The Bluebird Theater, and got some shots inside, then it was on to City Park (where their wedding will be held)… The shoot was so much fun!!! Below are some pics, and as always comments are not only welcome, but encouraged! Enjoy.
Today I met up with Pam Gilbert at her shop, The Holly Berry, in downtown Evergreen to photograph some of the arrangements they had put together for a local bridal show. They do awesome work, so please check them out next time your in Evergreen, or if you need a florist for your wedding.
I am really happy with how the shots came out! Let us know what you think!
I made this image tonight near our house in Evergreen…. It has made me think about doing a “trash the dress” session, or wedding formals like this… I would love to know your thoughts.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Our shoot with Jen and Scott was so much fun. They live in Keystone, and when we were trying to pick out locations, I suggested Breckenridge because of all of the old buildings, and general vibe of the town. I love using architectural features and textures to add a certain quality and depth to our images.
We started the day out at the oldest bar in Breckenridge. The Gold Pan Saloon, built in 1879, made for a really cool spot to hang out and get to know Jen and Scott, and obviously get some really cool shots.
From the Gold Pan, we headed out and walked around town. We then headed up to Hoosier Pass to get some outdoorsy shots. We hope you enjoy their pics as much as we had shooting and editing them! As always, comments or questions are encouraged and appreciated (at the bottom of the post). Here’s a small sample of the day:
Yup, I spent the day documenting the day at the National Western Stock Show. I always look forward to going to the show! For whatever reason, I find the farming lifestyle facinating. Here are some pics.