One of the funnest parts of my job as a busy Los Angeles wedding officiant is that I get to meet people from all over the world and learn about their wedding traditions. I recently had the privilege to marry a couple with Armenian heritage and, after their ceremony, they celebrated with the “money dance”.
Different cultures celebrate different versions of the wedding money dance. At the Armenian couple’s wedding several guests tossed bunches of dollar bills over the bride and groom as they danced. Parents, relatives and friends all participated. A few young children had fun with it and kept picking up handfuls of dollars so they could throw them to again rain down on the wedding couple.
A little research taught me that the wedding money dance originated in Eastern Europe and was a way to help a couple pay for their wedding, to be spent on the couple’s honeymoon or to simply give a young couple a little extra cash with which set up their new household.
I’ve seen the wedding money dance take a few different forms. At a Latin couple’s wedding different guests pinned money on the bride’s dress before they took a turn as her dance partner. At another wedding, the bride passed her shoe and guests put money in it. Of course, the bride passed a different shoe than she was wearing because high heeled shoes do not hold a lot of money.
A wedding in Armenia, Mexico or a Los Angeles wedding is always a happy occasion but shower of money makes any celebration a little happier.