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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:
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.
Are you planning on wearing a veil to your wedding ceremony? I often like the soft romantic look that it gives to a bride.
Just as we are discovering with some other wedding traditions, the tradition of wearing a veil has a less than romantic birth. It is believed that the origin of the tradition dates back to Roman days when the bride would wear a full-length veil that was also used as her burial shroud. I read that veils had color once, Roman veils were red and in Greek, yellow. Also, Roman beliefs were that wearing a veil would throw off the evil spirits that were potentially stalking the bride. It seems that these spirits were envious of the couples happiness and the veil/disguise tricked them. So easily fooled! So, for Roman’s the veil was certainly dual purpose. We can also look to the days when capturing a bride was all the rage…the veil is a reminder of the act of the groom, or should I say abductor throwing a sack over the prospective bride’s noggin and then carrying her off to her wedding. I think these theories seem to conflict, back in Roman days, the spirits were jealous of the bridal couple’s happiness, and then what, marriage evolved to kidnappings and then business arrangements, and then back to the modern days of marrying for love? More research may be required on this subject.
Other traditions hold that a woman wore a veil because the groom in the arranged marriage wasn’t to see the bride until the marriage was official; this was done so that the groom wouldn’t back out based on her appearance. A nice invention after all, it lets the couple focus on the business deal at hand!
Modern day veils. According to OurMarriage.com ”Veils came into vogue in the United States when Nelly Curtis wore a veil at her wedding to George Washington’s aid, Major Lawrence Lewis. Major Lewis saw his bride to be standing behind a filmy curtain and commented to her how beautiful she appeared. She then decided to veil herself for their ceremony.” She was a trend setter here in the U.S.
There are themes of the bride’s veil demonstrating the male dominance over the woman, a willingness for the wife to obey her husband. Huh? My guess is that historically (but more recent history, not ancient), society looked at the history of kidnappings, arranged marriages etc., and when wearing a veil you were acknowledging the man as the dominant one in the situation’. But wait, didn’t I wear a veil because I liked the finishing touch that it offered to my ensemble? Maybe I liked the romantic, soft look that it gave to my face! But, I digress. Again OurMarriage.com states that; “The lifting of the veil (by the groom) at the end of the ceremony symbolizes male dominance. If the bride takes the initiative in lifting it, thereby presenting herself to him, she is showing more independence. ” So, with this bold act of the bride lifting her own veil, are we are seeing the birth of ending misogamy? …the birth of the women’s right act?
Are we women throwing aside the symbolic submission in a marriage, i.e., the veil, by not wearing a veil to our weddings? Are we wearing a veil to say “hey, I think this makes me look pretty and romantic; and, I may do your laundry from time to time, but don’t ask me to obey you! Honestly, when I got married, I did not know the history behind this tradition, I just thought the veil looked cool.
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:
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”!!!
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!