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.
Something old, something new,
something borrowed, something blue,
and a silver sixpence in her shoe.
This saying came from England from the Victorian Era. Each aspect of the poem embodies an item of good luck, and a good wish for the bride. Out of the many traditions that we have surrounding weddings, personally, I really like this tradition. It doesn’t come with a weird background, like carrying a bouquet to cover your body odor, or not seeing the groom, so that he won’t run away leaving you at the altar because you are not attractive enough. This one has a very good well-wishing, loving energy to it. It is based in sending the bride off with positive pieces of her past, present, and future. And, you as a bride can have fun with it. If you agree read on!
The OLD represents the brides heritage of the past, continuity if you will. A time to reflect on the successful marriages that the bride/you have experienced in your life, and the desire to bring that success to your union. I once read on a post in The Knot that the traditions in the poem are not of great importance, just little tokens, and that you should not stress about them: feel free to go ahead and take the pressure off of yourself by wearing a used pair of hose. (Washed I am assuming?!) But, I like the idea of putting a little more thought into it. I do not see it as a stress, but perhaps a time to reflect on what is important in your upcoming marriage, and a way to privately express those thoughts. Perhaps you have a piece of jewelery from a grandparent, or I have witnessed brides redesigning and wearing their mother/grandmothers old wedding dress. Another bride wore an antique dress that was about 100 years old! So cool! I personally carried my grandmothers lace handkerchief, and it made me feel like her memory was present with me.
The NEW represents the optimism and success of the new life ahead. This is pretty easy, I am sure that every bride is excited and optimistic about their upcoming marriage, just as I am sure that every bride has something new in their wardrobe for the big event, the shoes, flowers, dress, veil, underwear, etc.. If not, fall back on The Knot’s recommendation of taking the pressure off, by buying a NEW pair of hose! And, there is that tradition of the groom buying his bride a gift. I have witnessed the groom giving his bride a watch, or piece of jewelry and she knew about the gift in advance, and planned on that gift being the ‘new’ item that she would wear.
The groom hands his bride a gift, she wears it to the ceremony and comply’s with the tradition of something new.
The BORROWED. It is a symbolic form of support from one of your happily married gal pals or relative. They are passing on their marital success, blessings and bliss to your marriage. You borrow an item and with it, its’ positive good marital energy and return it afterwards (otherwise it would change the poem to something old, something new, something kept, something….) It is also believed to symbolize that you can depend on that lending person; I think perhaps you depend on them, the lender, for marital bliss advice. It is the same as something old with respect to the item itself…a piece of jewelry, watch,dress, scarf etc. will suffice for the borrowed item. Borrow something that you like and feel comfortable with and presto; enjoy the well wishes that comes with it!
Something BLUE. Blue has been involved with weddings for many, many years. Ancient history is involved here. In Rome, blue was worn by the bride to symbolize loyalty, fidelity, purity, and love. Before Queen Vicky changed dresses to white, blue was a popular wedding gown color. In the past the bridal couple wore blue borders on their wedding attire to express the same ideas that the Romans expressed with blue (loyalty, fidelity, purity and love). I have seen the bride wear the following items in blue: shoes, nail polish, garters, flowers, rings, jewels, etc. to comply with this part of the poem. Be creative with it. Or, if you are stressed by this, just go for the blue hose, used preferably to kill two birds with one stone!
This bride wears a beautiful pair of blue suede ballerina flats, adding a lovely, colorful touch to her gown and complies with the tradition of something blue.
And…the part that we U.S.A. Citizens seem to have forgotten: …..and a silver sixpence in her shoe. So, the poem/tradition is British and the sixpence is a coin from Britain dating from 1551 to 1967. It was made of silver and worth six pennies. According to AskYahoo, a silver sixpence in the bride’s shoe represents wealth and financial security. It may date back to a Scottish custom of a groom putting a silver coin under his foot for good luck. For optimum fortune, the sixpence should be in the left shoe. These days, a dime or a copper penny is sometimes substituted, and many companies sell keepsake sixpences for weddings. And these days, who couldn’t use some reassurance on a future fortune?
This is a tradition that you can really sink your teeth into! If you are not the creative type, it is still easy to accomplish, think previously worn blue panty hose and three are knocked off the list! What I like most, is that you take time out from the hustle bustle of planning and, you stop and think about what is important from your past, (the happy influencing marriages from your past), and you look at your present day marriage mentors and then you look to your future dreams for your wedded life. How nice is that?!
Then you fly to England to collect for yourself a sixpence in an antique shop and you have got a nice trip to England out of that deal. Or skip the trip to England and put a dime in your shoe. It can be a very inexpensive tradition that you stick to (if you skip the trip to England), that brings around happy, positive, reassuring thoughts to your upcoming nuptials. Enjoy!
Nicole in the new version of her mother’s wedding dress.
Bethany’s gown is over 80 years old. The wedding theme was an ‘antebellum period wedding’, this dress was an amazing touch.
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:
Tis the season for Engagement sessions! Yesterday we met Jane Lee and Brendan at the Buffalo Rose, in Golden to discuss their wedding and get to know each other before we headed over to the Clear Creek History Park. I had never been there before, but I know I will be back. This place is full of cool old buildings that have amazing character and textures. We love shooting backdrops like this. Utilizing rough textures like stone, old wood, flakey paint… It ads a nice contrast to a great looking couple like Jane Lee and Brendan. Check out their pics. I’m sure you’ll agree!
Comments are not only welcome, but encouraged, so please leave them at the bottom of this post. Also… if you like our work, please “Like” us on Facebook!
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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With a slight lull in our Wedding season, and wrapping up our X Games work, we shot Max and Nicole’s Engagement session here in Evergreen. We met at the Little Bear Saloon for a beer, and then headed over to Elk Meadow, then off to a secret location. We had a ton fun, and had the rare perfect light for Colorado.
Check out the pics. We would love to hear your comments! Please leave them at the bottom of the post.
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:
This past winter we did an engagement shoot in Breckenridge with Jen and Scott. We got to know them, and realized quickly that they have a great sense of humor. At their wedding in Keystone, it was obvious that their sense of humor is shared by their family and friends!
Their wedding was so awesome! From the very meaningful ceremony officiated by Leon Littlebird, with his amazing Native American flute playing, and a Sage Ceremony, to their highly entertaining friends and family.
DJ – DJ Guy, Zack Demare. (Some DJ’s can be pretty cheesy… NOT Zack!)
Catering – A Chef’s Touch. Outstanding! We’re still talking about the Prime Rib!
Flowers – Bloom Flower Shop. Their work was very creative, and held up great all day! See for yourself in the pics.
Venue – Warren Station in Keystone. If your looking for a great venue, right next to the Quaking Leaf Amphitheater (Ceremony site), in Keystone…
Officiant – Leon Littlebird. We met Leon at an event at Arapahoe Basin this past winter, and really took to him. He is a VERY talented, nice guy!
Hair and Makeup – Serenity Spa & Salon. This is the second wedding that we have worked on with Serenity. They do a great job, in a very cool & convenient location, right at Keystone!
Check out some of Jen and Scott’s images! Comments are not only welcome, but Encouraged!!!
Dave & Peggy
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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
If you like our work, our biggest compliment is a referral of a friend! Ask us about our referral incentives.
Lynnlee’s day started out at the swanky Scarlet Salon.
When Eric and Bethany called us to shoot their Antebellum (Latin for “Before the War”. I had to look it up. ha ha…) wedding, we really didn’t no what to expect. When we got to OH, and visited with them the day before the wedding, we knew we would be in for a treat! The details were so well thought out that it blew us away. The wedding was held at their beautiful home, that was built by a Civil War General (Eric & Bethany, correct me if I’m wrong!). As you can see by these pics, they had it dialed. Congrats Eric & Bethany! Enjoy the pics!!! As always, feel free to leave comments!
Bethany set up a “living room” with antique furniture out on the lawn. It turned out to be an awesome set for a “photo booth”. We brought a couple studio strobes, and made the most of the living room!
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!
Today I opened the mail, and in it was the ‘Thank You’ card below. I shot Jessica and Michael’s ridiculously fun wedding in Newport, RI a few months ago.
After being sick with the nastiest cold I’ve had in years, it was really nice to read. Nothing makes us happier than when clients are this satisfied with our work!
Thanks Jessica & Michael!
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.
We recently did some work for Airbak Backpacks, and they sent us one of their photography packs to use and review. The model I tested was the Zoom. To test it out, I took it on a 3 day trip to Bogota, Columbia. I decided that since it is a smaller pack, it would be perfect for the short trip, because I didn’t bring as much gear as I normally do (a very hard thing for me to do!!!).
The number one claim that Airbak makes is about the comfort of their packs. By using an airbag, in locations that are, typically pressure points with conventionally designed packs, the pack forms to your lower back, distributing the load more evenly. I must say, it works! It is extremely comfortable, even when packed full of gear. My guess on the weight of the fully loaded pack for our trip was around 25 pounds.
So what happens when you send an air bag from sea level to Evergreen, CO, at elevation 8,000′? Needless to say the air bag was expanded, and was pushing into the gear compartment, taking up some valuable gear space. You can see it in this pic, at the bottom of the pack. It’s pretty easy to adjust the air level, and in a few seconds I got the air level to within reason.
After I got the air bag level to where I wanted it, I loaded it with gear. For the below pic, I packed more gear into it than I had it loaded on our trip to Bogota, to show what could be packed into the pack. The pack is a bit small for professional use, but of course I had to test it to see how much I could load into it.
Here’s what I have in the below image: Canon 1dmk3 body (pro sized body), Len’s: 50mm, 15mm fisheye, 70-200mm L IS (with hood), 24- 70mm L (with hood), 16-35mm L (with hood), and a Sensor cleaning blower. There was also room for a flash in there too. Even with this much gear in it, the pack was extremely comfortable.
An area that the Zoom pack excels in, is it’s ability to keep you organized. There are two pockets that fit disc holders perfectly, as well as a larger compartment at the bottom, great for snacks, or other misc items. It also has straps for a tripod, monopod or light stand. These straps really aren’t adequate for heavier tripods. I have an average size / weight tripod, and the straps just didn’t hold them securely enough to make it comfortable. They need to be further apart. They probably would be fine for a light-weight, hobbyist tripod, or a light, light stand.
Here’s the back of the pack. The straps are conveniently / comfortably located and are easily adjustable. The one strap that needs to be redesigned is the waist strap. I have a 33″ waist, and with just a sweat shirt on, the waist strap only has about two inches left to be expanded. With a jacket on, it would be hard to get around the gut.
Pros and Cons..
- Comfort. The ergonomic fit, and the design with the air bag, really works. We walked quite a bit in Bogota, and the pack felt great the entire time.
- Organization. There are plenty of pockets with organizing dividers, so your not constantly searching for your gear.
- Ease of adjustment straps
- The waist strap is way too short. It would also be nice if the waist strap was a little beefier, than just a 1″ strap of webbing.
- The tripod straps are too close together to hold even a moderate weight tripod comfortably.
- The layout of the gear dividers aren’t flexible (adjustable) enough. It’s hard to get a layout that fits a body with a lens attached to it. The gear dividers use velcro to hold them in place, but the velcro strips on the dividers that run horizontally, are sewed in vertically, so your kind of stuck with the layout Airback sewed the velcro for the dividers that run vertically. It would be more flexible if there were two rows of velcro strips sewed in horizontally, on the horizontal dividers. One strip at the top, and one strip at the bottom. That way, the vertical dividers could be placed anywhere you needed them.
This pack has a niche, and it’s the hobbyist photographer looking for a extremely comfortable pack, with room enough for a basic kit, accessories, and still have some room for snacks and stuff for a day out shooting. It’s also great for any photographer that brings their camera everywhere, including trips to the store! As a professional photographer, I have a hard time limiting what I pack for gear, but when I limited my packing for our trip to Bogota, I found it liberating to have a light weight pack, with just enough gear. The Zoom pack, has held up great, works extremely well for what it’s designed for, and is ridiculously comfortable. If you fit into it’s niche, I would highly recommend this pack!
We just got back from a 3 day trip to Bogota, Columbia. Peggy worked the trip, and I decided to tag along. Contrary to the popular belief, it’s a pretty safe place to visit. The people could not have been friendlier! Another reason to turn off your tv, and ignore what the mainstream news sensationalizes… Here are some pics: