≡ Menu

Wedding Wednesday – And We Joked About ATMS At Weddings….

At a wedding last week:

DJ – “Ladies and Gentlemen, the happy couple are out on the dance floor because it’s time for the dollar dance! Dig deep in your pockets and make this a great night for them. Don’t worry if you don’t have cash, both the bride and groom have iPhones equipped with the Square so they can run your credit card. No excuses, folks!”

Us – “Oh, look at the time, we’ve got to get going…” 0419-18

It used to be a joke on EHell that someday ATMS would start to make appearances at wedding venues so that guests had ready access to cash for dollar dances, buying drinks, etc.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jomo June 20, 2018, 3:08 am

    T A C K Y

  • galatea June 20, 2018, 3:34 am

    Good for you for having a polite spine and not supporting the gimmes.

  • Raintree June 20, 2018, 4:04 am

    I agree, “Yaaawwwwnnn….omigosh, it’s been a lovely evening, but look at the time!”
    The cash thing, MAYBE some kind of voluntary collection if that’s part of your culture, but Square for credit card donations somehow crosses a line for me.

    • staceyizme June 20, 2018, 2:11 pm

      I wonder how long it will be before we have a “virtual wedding” where the “guests” gather in front of their computer screens and spend the duration of the ceremony chatting to one another via Twitter, SnapChat, Facebook, Instagram and Zoom. They can then sit down with whatever food or drink they chose to provide for themselves for the “virtual reception” and forward a gift to the happy couple through Paypal or Square. Toasts would be delivered via text, chat or video and dances with the Happy Couple would be through either created characters (like on Wii or Xbox) or through virtual reality. A “cover charge” would provide secure web hosting for all guests and video feeds could swap off between guests and the honorees so that everyone had their fifteen seconds of fame. It’s probably already been done, somewhere.

      • Queen of the Weezils June 20, 2018, 2:23 pm

        Don’t give them any ideas!

      • ladyv21454 June 20, 2018, 2:46 pm

        If people can have virtual showers, can a virtual wedding be far behind? (Actually, I wouldn’t mind being invited to a virtual wedding – because I would only feel obligated to give a virtual gift!)

      • Yasuragi June 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

        I’m pretty sure we’ve seen something like that on this site already. A couple that made a gofundme or Facebook event or something where guests sent money. No actual wedding.

      • Jackie June 20, 2018, 7:48 pm

        So many MLMs are pushing the idea of virtual parties so that they can get your money without having to host you. It won’t be long until the idea spreads to weddings or bridal showers, under the guise of making it easier for your busy schedule.

      • Marozia June 20, 2018, 8:01 pm

        God help us all!!

      • Maggie June 20, 2018, 9:20 pm

        I’d send them a photo of a dollar bill!

      • Lennie June 21, 2018, 12:07 am

        I have recently just seen one, I was not invited to the Civil Ceremony (same sex couple) but was invited to watch online, and go to reception if I wanted to
        So its here already!!!

      • NostalgicGal June 21, 2018, 12:27 am

        I bet this has been done… (shakes head). Only nice thing is no having to hoof an obnoxious drunk in person, someone with admin powers could just close that connection and block the person until after the ‘virtual’ event is over. It WOULD save plane tickets, having to spring for babysitters, and having people bring the kids anyway (see where someone with admin powers can cut the audio feedback from someone as needed). It’d be a lot harder to insert a toddler into a VR situation…

        Appalling, TACK-EE, and has some appeal, all rolled into one. (shudder)

      • dancing4Jesus July 29, 2018, 7:04 pm

        Hey, my sister is abruptly unable to be a bridesmaid at our best friend’s wedding. I suggested that maybe she could skype in and have the laptop be carried down the aisle by the groomsman. I was mostly joking, but it could be done.
        That’s not quite the same as what you’re suggesting, though.

    • pennywit June 21, 2018, 9:59 am

      I have heard that in some cultures/families, it is customary to give the new couple envelopes with cash as wedding gifts.

  • Gena June 20, 2018, 6:13 am

    Would it be appropriate to participate in the dollar dance and only give a dollar?

    • AFS June 20, 2018, 9:34 am

      AFAIK, yes. As yucky as the dollar dance might be, it’s just to amass some pocket change and not much more.

      • Maggie June 20, 2018, 9:21 pm

        So it doesn’t even have to be dollar note? It could be 100 single cents? 😀

    • Linda June 20, 2018, 8:21 pm

      That’s what I told my hubs when I read this. Here’s my card. Amount? $1.00.

    • LizaJane June 20, 2018, 10:30 pm

      Yes, it is appropriate to only give a dollar. If anyone suggests it isn’t they negate the argument that it’s tradition or just for fun.

      I think uncles are especially prone to giving larger amounts. Probably aunts also now.

      • AFS June 21, 2018, 8:32 am

        From what I’ve seen, uncles also use the dollar dance as an excuse to get fresh with the bride (side eye emoji)

        • LizaJane June 21, 2018, 7:40 pm

          Fortunately, I haven’t seen that. But I guess it depends on the company you keep.

  • Anne June 20, 2018, 6:19 am

    I’ll bet that the DJ just wanted to take a nice clean shower after having to give that message to the crowd. ugh.

  • NostalgicGal June 20, 2018, 6:45 am

    So very tacky and surprised it took this long to hit. I’ve had a reader for a few years already but I actually use it for business not shaking down friends and acquaintances…..

    • Queen of the Weezils June 20, 2018, 2:26 pm

      I use square for business too, and it is remarkably useful. If you can get bars on your phone, you can make a credit card charge. My husband’s art starts at about $100, so my assumption is that people don’t carry enough cash to buy. I wouldn’t be able to vend in some places if I didn’t have square! But a wedding?! Come on!

      • kingsrings June 20, 2018, 10:36 pm

        I saw photos from an acquaintance’s wedding a few years ago. It’s a longtime tradition in her family, they’re Latino, and Catholic. She had bills stuffed into her bosom! I’d never heard of the bills going there. She looked like a stripper!

      • NostalgicGal June 21, 2018, 12:32 am

        Years back I did some events at a mart. They had electrical, you paid for. They had phone lines, you REALLY paid for. Some businesses that was the only way they could operate, they would have to pay that overhead to be able to take credit cards. A number of the rest of us that were ‘network friends’ would make deals to pay them to take a card for us if we had to and pay them a certain amount a transaction for doing it. It was ‘taking a bath’ but at least we wouldn’t lose the sale outright then. I still appreciate that I can use my phone and reader and it’s not that hideously expensive anymore to do remote CC. I agree… new heights to the depths of tack-ee, using this for weddings.

  • at work June 20, 2018, 7:11 am

    I cannot convince my husband that this is tacky. To him, it is part of his Eastern European Roman Catholic culture. I hope my daughter and her fiance will not consider it.

    • bambi_beth June 20, 2018, 8:25 am

      Literally everyone has this where I grew up. I had it when I was 21 at my wedding. Now I’ve moved and I’m in my thirties and I am so embarrassed at myself. But LITERALLY EVERYONE in my hometown has one and has no idea it’s tacky.

      • Leigh June 20, 2018, 9:26 am

        bambi_beth, Don’t beat yourself up. If it’s tradition where you’re from, I think you get a pass. I’m sure your wedding was beautiful, dance and all!

      • shoegal June 21, 2018, 7:57 am

        This was a wedding tradition to me growing up. All the weddings I had been to always had this dance. I thought it was fun and sweet. It wasn’t really about the money – it was a chance to connect with the bride on a personal level. I dreamed of having one as a little girl. Alas, I grew up and discovered to my horror that this was tacky. In fact, I eliminated pretty much all of the traditionally wedding festivities at my wedding.

    • Queen of Putrescence June 20, 2018, 9:27 am

      My husband grew up with the dollar dance in his area and fortunately listened to my feelings on it. Especially because no one in my side would have ever heard of it.

      However during the reception, out of the blue he had several male friends grabbing him on the dance floor and shoving one dollar bills into my husband’s jacket.

    • lakey June 20, 2018, 11:01 am

      The dollar dance is part of Eastern European culture probably from a time when people were mostly poor. When I was young, it was always done at Polish weddings. It was accepted, and everyone saw it as a cute “old country” tradition. My family was not of Polish descent. If it had been done at our weddings, it would have been viewed as greedy.

      I think the problem comes when people who aren’t of this culture see it, and latch on to it as a way of getting money from their guests. Adding the card reader just makes it even greedier.

      • Dippy June 20, 2018, 11:34 am

        I wanted to have a dollar dance at our wedding (Polish-American) but my hubs put the kibosh on it. That was 27 years ago. I don’t see them at all anymore. (I was young and didn’t know it was tacky, it was tradition!)

      • behindbj June 22, 2018, 8:20 am

        Polish chick here, daughter of Actual Polish Dude ™ with Mom’s Side All-Polish, All-the-Time (c). BLUF: Yes, in their villages, traditionally to help the new couple start out. Also, the groom would take his wallet and throw it into the apron the bride was wearing to show that he was also all-in. Nowadays, I have seen it with “wishes” – small slips of paper and pencils are on the tables and folks can write well-wishes on them, toss them into the apron, and take a spin with the Bride (and/or the Groom).

  • Liz June 20, 2018, 7:11 am

    Seriously? Wow. that takes it to a whole new level of greediness and entitlement. I probably would have done the same and left. I’ve never understood the mentality of the idea that guests must somehow “pay” for the B&G’s reception. I despise the whole “cover your plate” theory. It’s just tacky. You either have a wedding you can afford, or don’t. I’ve also heard brides and grooms actually complain how cheap people were, and they didn’t come close to “making back” what they paid out for their reception.

    • ladyv21454 June 20, 2018, 8:26 am

      I am SO with you on the whole “cover your plate” thing. For starters, how are guests supposed to know how much each plate cost? And if a big reception is such a strain on your finances, cut back on your plans, spend less money, and don’t expect your guests to subsidize your costs.

      • Liz June 20, 2018, 10:15 am

        YES! Exactly! It’s not like we can ASK them how much it cost per person, which is tacky to begin with.

        And, while it is the kind of norm, esp. in certain cultures, in my area to give money, when I was young and just out of school and it seemed like everyone I knew was getting married, I couldn’t afford to give what I thought was a “decent” amount, so I just bought nice gifts, that reflected each couple’s personality, etc. I’m a great bargain shopper and still remember I was able to find nice things for everyone, without breaking the bank.

        • Queen of the Weezils June 20, 2018, 2:32 pm

          I did the same, Liz. When I was young and broke, I would carefully shop for the best deals so that I could buy a good gift at a less expensive price. Since most of my friends were also young and broke, that gift went to good use. Now I’m older, with a good paying job. I value my time, so I just give cash. Since most of my friends these days already have established households when they marry, I’m sure they’d rather have the money too.

      • AFS June 21, 2018, 12:18 pm

        The “pay for your plate” thing is a big thing in the NYC Tri-State area among an ethnic subculture mentioned elsewhere in this thread. I’ve heard of people RSVPing “no” just because they don’t think they could afford the per-capita “fee.” SMH

  • clairedelune June 20, 2018, 7:41 am

    HAHAHAHA–this is awful, but I can’t stop laughing at the mental picture of a couple on the dance floor clutching their iPhones and periodically swiping cards through. What a timeless image of romance.

    • Queen of Putrescence June 20, 2018, 9:28 am

      Although from what I’ve seen in our area, the maid of honor and best man are doing the collecting for the bride and groom.

  • Princess Buttercup June 20, 2018, 7:55 am

    I went to a wedding some years back that had a “donations for the honeymoon” box when you first entered the reception. Ugh, let’s just ignore that. Later, hubby and I were near the donation box when someone came and looked at what was there. They then exclaimed, “that’s not enough! I’m going to go pass this around and get more.” Hubby and I looked at each other and said “that’s our cue that it’s time to go” and left.

    • CherylAC June 20, 2018, 7:27 pm

      Good for you! I’ve never been at a dollar dance reception and hope I never am.

    • LizaJane June 20, 2018, 10:43 pm

      This is where my line gets crossed. I’ve never seen a box just for the honeymoon, I might put money in it, I might not. I wouldn’t be upset it was there.

      However, if someone came around shaking a box at me, I would definitely NOT put money in.

      If I was having a good time, I wouldn’t leave, either.

  • Girlie June 20, 2018, 7:57 am

    I just don’t have it in me to understand this particular level of greed. Your guests, who are presumably the most important people in your lives, have taken the time and spent the money to attend your wedding in the first place. Most of these people have brought gifts, and some have given gifts to you multiple times if they’ve attended showers. As the bride and groom, your method of showing appreciation is to ask for them to give you MORE?!
    The dollar dance is not some honor for the guests to participate in. It’s a shameless gift grab, pure and simple.

  • AFS June 20, 2018, 8:06 am

    I’ve found the dollar dance a squicky concept since I was a seven-year-old flower girl at my aunt’s wedding. I myself got married in the past year and wanted absolutely no part of it. @atwork, I’m part of the same culture and FWIW, people actually from that country (Poland, for those watching at home) have never heard of this wedding tradition.

    • Calli Arcale June 20, 2018, 11:32 am

      I wonder if the tradition came over to the US generations ago and has since faded back in the old country. That does happen sometimes; an immigrant population clings to traditions they had at the time of migration, as a vital connection to their past, while in the old country, life goes on and fashions shift away from that one snapshot in time.

      • AFS June 20, 2018, 12:11 pm

        Re: traditions that faded in the old country–That could very well be (though on my dad’s side, my grandpa and great uncle left Poland amid WWII, so not *that* far ago). I’ve heard similar reactions from people from Ireland and Italy with regards to Irish- and Italian-Americans.

      • Kate 2 June 20, 2018, 12:38 pm

        I’ve heard about that too. The American style of eating, for example, used to be the very old English style we carried over, but then England developed a new style and now the old English style is “American”.

  • Wild Irish Rose June 20, 2018, 8:09 am

    A relative of mine had a cash-grabbing setup that involved a bell. Guests would put money in a jar next to a bell, ring the bell, and that signaled the happy couple to kiss. I just shook my head and didn’t pay them to kiss.

    Fundraising at a wedding reception is beyond tacky.

    • AFS June 20, 2018, 9:31 am

      Money jars with the names of the bride and groom flanking a sign saying “Who wears the cake?” are another crowd pleaser.

      • Princess Buttercup June 20, 2018, 2:03 pm

        I used to photograph weddings and had a few brides ask me if they have to smash cake in each other’s face. I always told them absolutely not. Anything like that is purely a personal preference thing. I personally find it very rude and a horrible way to start your married life. So _if_ they chose to do it I would not take pictures of it unless they _really_ wanted me to document the mess.

        At my own wedding my sister tried to tell me to smash cake on my husband. I gave her a horrified look and said “no way, I like my husband, why would I want to disrespect him?!”. She dropped it after that.

        • CherylAC June 20, 2018, 7:35 pm

          When DH and I got married, I refused to feed him cake unless we could use a fork. I felt that doing it the traditional way is awkward at best and humiliating at worst. The photographer said that would look stupid so I just said, “Fine we won’t feed each other cake.”. Now I have seen it done that way (with a fork) at several receptions. Maybe I was ahead of my time! LOL

          • AFS` June 21, 2018, 8:35 am

            I got married this past December. The day-of coordinator at our venue had us feed each other cake specifically with our forks! (This was a WASPy wedding in NYC.)

        • Huh June 21, 2018, 9:04 am

          I HATE the smash the cake into their face thing. I’m always happy when couples don’t do that. It seems to me to show some deeply hidden resentment that’s coming violently forth.

          • Paula G.. June 24, 2018, 6:12 am

            in my experience, the grooms who will do that to the bride are the ones deeply involved in “Bro” culture – they care more about showing their male friends that they aren’t henpecked, than about showing love and respect for their bride.

        • dancing4Jesus July 29, 2018, 7:09 pm

          My dad told my mom that he would get as much cake on her face as she got on his. She proceeded to get a little bit of frosting on his face, so he proceeded to get a little bit of frosting on hers. All the fun, without the ridiculous mess. 🙂

  • WendyB June 20, 2018, 10:55 am

    I upset a lot of people by not having a dollar dance at my wedding. When I told my husband that it was not only tacky but akin to selling ourselves, he thought I was a lunatic. I’m glad I stood by my principles.
    This…THIS is just beyond…anything. Especially the DJ saying “No excuses.” Yes, I have an excuse…I’m not interested and my pillow is calling. Bye.

  • Abby June 20, 2018, 11:07 am

    I don’t mind the dollar dance so much…I didn’t do it, but I don’t consider it a particularly egregious practice. That said- a credit card reader, even if everyone puts $1 on it only and it works out to net the same amount, is just beyond the pale. The fact that someone at that brainstorm session said, hey, what happens at the dollar dance if no one has cash, and someone else said, I know! We’ll find a way to charge credit cards! is just absolutely ridiculous and I’d be mortified if my kid did this.

    • LizaJane June 20, 2018, 9:41 pm

      Completely agree.

  • Lolhiding June 20, 2018, 11:38 am

    My father very recently got remarried and they had a dollar dance- I was roped into dancing for it. (Too shocked to use polite spine and thankfully, it wasn’t long)

    There is a chance I may marry into a culture where you give money at the wedding ceremony/reception (east asian), but I’ll never have a dollar dance at my wedding. Everrrrrr

  • staceyizme June 20, 2018, 2:03 pm

    “No excuses…” isn’t quite the phrase that is needed here. “No excuse needed…” would be more suitable. Even better? “Just no…” or any reasonable facsimile thereof.

  • Queen of the Weezils June 20, 2018, 2:22 pm

    I understand that in some subcultures the dollar dance is considered not only acceptable, but practically mandatory. Fine. For weddings in those subcultures, anyone going to a wedding would know to bring some singles. I mean, when you go to a strip club, you make sure to hit the bank before hand and bring a nice little bundle because it is impolite to not tip the dancers. Same thing applies here. So there is absolutely no need for credit card capability (or ATMs!) for a dollar dance.

    As for me, I will use that time to “get a little air” outside the venue.

    • Agania June 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

      HAHAHA I love how you compare the wedding dance to a strip club!! Good one!

  • Marozia June 20, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Good for you!! A polite steel spine!

  • LizaJane June 20, 2018, 9:30 pm

    Dollar dances aren’t common in my area. I’ve seen a few…2 of the brides were Filipino so maybe it’s a thing for them.
    I don’t find it offensive. I participate or don’t depending on my mood. I’ve never noticed anyone getting on a tear about it.

    The credit card addition is really just too much in my opinion. I would just not participate. Sounds like a good time to head for the bar.

  • Maggie June 20, 2018, 9:32 pm

    Ticks me off when people use the word “tradition” around weddings for a money grab, to embarrass people, to coerce people into doing things they clearly don’t want to, etc. Some people seem to think tradition = mandatory. In reality traditions are dropped all the time and people have survived! No one would want the tradition of the village liege bedding the bride first to be revived, do they? But some of the tackiest of tacky wedding traditions live on, simply because “tradition”. And crowdfunding is now the wedding ‘”tradition” for the 21st century, and I hope it dies a fast death.

  • kingsrings June 20, 2018, 10:41 pm

    A few years ago an acquaintance got married and someone asked where they were registered. She said they were having a Halloween money tree st the reception instead (they were married on or around Halloween). What’s that – a tree money is pinned to? And I wonder how the guests would know about it – were they told in the invites?

    • LizaJane June 20, 2018, 10:49 pm

      So they basically said, “Cash only.”

      When I first read this I thought it was a tree for Halloween money. Wow. They must have some expensive costumes picked out.

    • AFS June 21, 2018, 12:02 pm

      Often couples will ask for cash with a gag-inducing rhyme. I’ve compiled a Pinterest board of some of the greatest gems: https://www.pinterest.com/afszustek/obnoxious-mendicant-wedding-poetry/

      • ladyv21454 June 21, 2018, 5:20 pm

        AFS, I’m enchanted by the fact that you used the term “mendicant”!

        • AFS June 22, 2018, 8:06 am


  • Raintree June 20, 2018, 11:18 pm

    That’s a weird custom and I’ve never seen it; only heard about it in advice columns from people who don’t want to do it. Why on earth would anyone want to do that on the day they’ve made a special effort to look nice?

  • Liz June 21, 2018, 7:09 am

    I was at the dr.’s yesterday and while waiting, I saw a video (but didn’t watch it) of an Italian comedian, who apparently did a sketch on Italian weddings and giving money. Not quite the same as the dollar dance but close. I guess the tradition is/was you have a satin bag, and as you go around to tables to thank everyone for coming etc. you’re given envelopes with money, as your gift. And then I started reading the comments. Wow. I get its tradition, and to go against that is frowned upon, such as bringing a gift vs. giving money. Kind of like the scene in Goodfellas when Henry and Karen get married, and everyone keeps handing them envelopes!

    but so many people said their parents, and grandparents, and even at their own weddings, years ago, kept a BOOK with how much each person gave, so when say their kids got married, they’d know how much to give, etc. And talked about how cheap some were giving $20 when four people came, etc.. And if some of the “cheapos” family got married they got what they gave. Best of all (not really) was many waited until after the meal and if the food wasn’t good, they’d take money out of the envelope before giving it to the bride and groom!

    I was amazed, but many traditions run deep, and no matter how much you try and explain that its not proper, good etiquette, people still look at you like you have 3 heads. I will say some people posting said their kids and they refused to do this, as it was rude and tacky.

    I mean i get giving money as a gift vs. an actual gift, but in this situation, it seems to be expected and frowned upon if you don’t do it.

    • retropink June 21, 2018, 11:59 am

      This happened at my wedding. FWIW, I’m of Italian descent on one side and Ukrainian on the other. Both sides of the family gave us envelopes at the reception. We didn’t keep a book though. I wouldn’t ever think to do that and I don’t know anyone who did.

      The envelopes were given to us as we walked around with the cookie tray — another Italian-American tradition. All the aunts in the family got together and made cookies to feed an army. These were arranged on a tray which my husband and I carried from table to table. Making sure to thank everyone for coming and offering them cookies. This happened at every wedding I went to and I loved it! Still do, though those Great Aunts are gone now and the cookies don’t taste the same.

      • Liz June 21, 2018, 1:36 pm

        I’m from an area with a big Italian population, so I’ve seen this as well at weddings. Honestly, to me, its no different than giving a gift, just the way in which its “given” And I’ve had many an “Italian Great Aunt and Grandmother” cookie 🙂

        I was just amazed at the keeping track of who gave what and how much part!

    • Dippy June 21, 2018, 1:46 pm

      We didn’t have a satin bag, but a lace covered wishing well for the cards. We mostly received cash and checks for our wedding. A few people from out of town (Chicago Area) brought gifts. Physical gifts are not the norm in my area at all to this day.

      I remember counting out all the money after our wedding and I felt so rich! LOL

      • AFS June 22, 2018, 8:12 am

        Midwest native here who’s now lived in NYC for more than a decade. Bringing physical gifts to the wedding is the done thing in the Midwest (though there is usually a decorated box for cards as well). At least in the NYC Tri-State area (though I *think* this is the case across the Northeast; anyone from Philly or New England feel free to chime in) among many circles the prevailing thought is “gifts are for showers, cash is for weddings.”

        This being said, I got quite a few physical gifts for my NYC wedding some seven months ago, though they were shipped to our apartment. (In the e-commerce age I think this is becoming the done thing anyway.)

    • cattlekid June 22, 2018, 8:10 pm

      My MIL wanted a full accounting after our wedding of who gave what and how much. My husband told me they wanted it to make sure they weren’t “cheated” as we were at the tail end of the current marriage generation and to keep track for future weddings for the next generation.

      It’s been 18 years and MIL still hasn’t seen the “list” that doesn’t even exist.

  • JT June 21, 2018, 10:59 pm

    I’d throw handfulls of five cent coins at them haha.

  • dancing4Jesus July 29, 2018, 7:00 pm

    I have an interesting perspective on this, having just spent a year in Africa. In the area I was in, most of the guests do not bring presents of any kind. Instead, they bring money to throw at the bride and groom while they dance. Being used to that, I didn’t notice anything wrong with the story at first, until I realized that this is America again, and that sort of thing isn’t supposed to happen here. But it *almost* made sense to me.

    (Interestingly, I thought that the Malawi way to do it made a lot of sense, because you could buy whatever you needed, and if you didn’t need all of the money, you could use it for something else. But when someone who was getting married soon asked if people in America threw money, I told him about the ‘gift registry’ thing, and he said “Oh, that’s such a good idea! Then you don’t have to worry about how much you’re going to be able to afford!” I guess the grass is always greener…)