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The Money Dance

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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:

Poland

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 .

Ukraine

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.

Yugoslavia

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.

Hungary

At Hungarian and Portuguese weddings[citation needed], 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.

North America

Mexico

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.

United States

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.[1]

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.

The Philippines

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.

Colorado Photographers shoot an Engagement shoot at the Denver Clock Tower (maybe the first?)

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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Denver Wedding Photographer Shoots another Wedding at the Denver Clocktower

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….

Thank you!

Dave & Peggy

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Denver Clocktower WeddingLynnlee’s day started out at the swanky Scarlet Salon.

Denver Clocktower Wedding

Denver Clocktower Wedding

Denver Clocktower Wedding

Denver Clocktower Wedding

Denver Clocktower Wedding

Denver Clocktower Wedding

Denver Clocktower Wedding

Denver Clocktower Wedding

Denver Clocktower Wedding

Denver Clocktower Wedding

Dad before the ceremony.