Wedding Traditions: The Money Dance
Have you ever heard of the wedding custom of the Money Dance? The Wedding Guru explains
I think that being a guest at a wedding where the couple is not exactly like you and your family makes for a much more interesting time. It’s fun to experience other peoples’ rituals, but oftentimes forewarned is forearmed.
Dear Wedding Guru: “My parents, who are paying for my wedding, come from a Ukrainian background. My father mentioned to me in passing that he expects there to be a money dance. I’ve never heard of the custom (I didn’t tell that to my dad), so I don’t know what to do. Can you help?”
(Our answer on next page)
The Wedding Guru says: The gist of the custom is that the men at the reception will pay to dance with you, the bride. The custom is an old one and dates back to when Catholic Bishops allowed the bride to dance with a man other than her husband (but only on her wedding day). At Ukrainian weddings like yours, your father will begin by pinning money on your dress and dancing with you. Thereafter the best man, groomsmen, and then the remaining male guests will “pin” the money (or put it in a satin bag that you carry). Then each will dance with you for a short spin.
The custom is a sweet one when everyone knows what’s going on. I assume that many of the guests come from a similar background as your parents, and they’ll know what to do. If some are not familiar with the practice, then you can simply explain the dance in your programs distributed at your ceremony. You can also post it on your weddng Web site or Facebook page. Remember to have fun!