Monday, July 19, 2010

The Polish Side

Two words that carry a lot of history:  Pani Mloda

No I didn't sneeze or write a horrendous typo.  I didn't allow my cat or dog to take over the keyboard either. 
Pani Mloda is the oldest wedding tradition I know of in my family.  I can remember my cousins and sister doing it at their weddings.  We will most certainly dance the Pani Mloda at my wedding, too.

The Pani Mloda is The Polish Money dance, also known as The Bridal Dance or The Money Dance.  It involves dollar bills and paying to dance with the bride.  And while you might be thinking this sounds like more of a bachelor party event, it's not.  Get your mind out of the gutter.

The dance is a typical tradition for children or descendants of immigrants.  I have no idea why, but it is. 

To help the newlywed couple prepare for their honeymoon and future costly endeavors, guests donate money for the privilege of the dance.  In my family the Maid of Honor typically wears an apron and holds onto the money for the bride.  She's also responsible for keeping the line moving along.  However, more money equals more dancing time.

There's also something about the bride wearing a babushka on her head to make her "old."  I'm thinking I need to iron out these details before the big day.  (Or maybe even before I publish this post... nah).

When I recently went to Texas, I went through my sister's wedding "stuff" and we found the apron my mom used at her wedding, and then my my sister at hers.  Now I have the apron too and will use it just like the other women in my family! 

 I'm excited to carry out this tradition and to use the same apron!  Our band even knows the Pani Mloda.  Bring on the polka dancing!

Here's a very short You Tube clip or what it looks like in action:

What special traditions were a part of your big day?


  1. oh WOW this is awesome! NO one in my very Polish family bothered to keep with traditions like this but I love it! I was wondering what the it was that you had dug up at your sister's and now we know!

    I also know this will make your parents so happy to see their traditions carried through at your wedding and I love that.

    I want to write more but I have to work. Otherwise just know that this is flippin adorable and way to honor your polish heritage! :)

  2. Your wedding sounds like it will be so much fun! I love how you are incorporating your family history and background into your big day. Congratulations!

  3. I've participated many, many, many times in the money dance, but I had a small beach wedding so I've never been the taker, just the giver. Lots of fun and a big tradition in my PA hometown. Babushka's are mandatory. ;p

  4. Wow, I love this. I've seen it done before and it is such a good time! I just hope you don't get exhausted as I am sure many guests will line up to dance with you. ;)

    Also - that is incredible that you get to continue a very important tradition in your family! What an honor!

  5. The dollar dance is a fun tradition. Surprisingly people like to pay a lot of money to dance with you. There is also a tradition with tying the dollar bills they throw into the apron into knots that are not easy to get out. It has something to do with working hard for money, not exactly sure though. Just a word of advice --- Beware of the people who really know how to Polka!!

  6. It's also tradition in my culture to have a money dance. It's not just for the bride though. Guests also line up to dance with the groom. Some people were so generous and creative. Money was folded and tweaked into: crown, flower lei, bow tie, tiara with veil. My husband and I were able to earn enough $ from dancing to pay for a few fancy meals during our honeymoon.

  7. I love the money dance tradition, especially since it gives you a chance to dance with and interact with so many of your guests! Too bad it isn't a tradition where we live, it sounds like so much fun!

  8. All the weddings I've been to that include the money dance, have both the bride and groom dancing with the guests. It's pretty sweet.

    We didn't have it at ours, but we did have a kissing ball (I made mine). It was pretty large...about 16" in diameter, and it hung in the middle of the reception area. It was like mistletoe...couples would stand under it and kiss:) And take pics. I loved it. I still have it and it hangs in our bedroom.


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