Filipino Wedding Money Dance – An Interesting Traditional Wedding Rites

Filipino Wedding Money Dance - An Interesting Traditional Wedding Rites

Ever heard of the Filipino wedding money dance? If not, refer to this article to find out what’s so interesting about this special Filipino wedding ceremony. 


Wedding! Everyone loves a wedding. It is when people can gather to meet each other and bless for the beginning of a marriage. Coming to each region, you will see that each place will have different special rituals to celebrate this memorable, momentous occasion. 

In South Korea, the groomsmen or family members will beat the groom’s feet. In China, a month before the occasion, the bride will have to cry for an hour every day. Or in Sweden, it is “You may all kiss the bride” instead of “You may now kiss the bride”. 

As for the Philippines, the Filipino wedding money dance is referred to as the prosperity dance, dollar dance, or “sabitan ng pera in Tagalog”. It is the feature of most weddings there, creating a joyful, amusing atmosphere full of laughter. 

No one knows the exact origin of this ritual and who first initiated it for marriage ceremonies. Several countries share this wedding tradition, such as Poland, Greece, Mexico, etc. Yet, the way people practice the dance is different from place to place. 

Filipino Wedding With Money Dance, Crown And Wreath Made Of Cash

Filipino Wedding With Money Dance, Crown And Wreath Made Of Cash

At most weddings in many parts of the Philippines, people practice it at the ceremony. It is not only a meaningful ritual but also a way to entertain guests. So, how to prepare for this activity? What is the meaning of it? Read on!

How To Prepare For The Dance Floor? 

Once you’ve decided to have this activity in the ceremony, the first thing you need to do is notify your occasion planner. Then, prepare a place with a large and open space so that nothing will get in the way when people line up and move. Adding rose petals will make your dance floor more lively and sparkling.

Next, don’t forget to inform your guests that you will be having this activity at your nuptials. This procedure is to make sure they are better prepared in advance. As such, they will be more likely to participate in the dance.

First, the bride and groom will dance in the ballroom center. Guests will line up in two rows. One line will be for men waiting to dance with the bride. The other row is the women who will dance with the groom. 

When it’s their turn, the guests will pin coins to the bride or groom’s outfit. Then they would dance together for a while. It is the choice of the attendees to pin pesos anywhere on the couple’s outfit.

Guests Pin Money On The Bride's Veil

Guests Pin Money On The Bride’s Veil

Sometimes guests will be notified of a specific pin location. Places like the bride’s veil, bride’s wedding dress, belt, groom’s vest, tiara, or other accessories. This is to avoid the guests wondering where to pin the coin and avoid damaging the couple’s outfits. 

How Much Does It Cost To Participate In The Money Dance? 

Depending on the different cultures, the way and the amount of Peso that the guests give to the couple are also different. Therefore, how much the attendees give to couples also differs based on how they perform the ritual.

There are places where their way of dancing needs to be quick because many people need to wait their turn. Therefore, guests will attend with the largest denomination they can afford. 

Others need quantity more than quality because they don’t have to wait for anyone’s turn. Anyone can throw coins out at any time, like showering the couple. Many people will choose to change a large bill into several bills of smaller denominations. 

When informing your guests about the activity, the spirit of the ritual should be clearly defined. Will the guests’ coin be merely symbolic, or do you really need them to fund your marriage?

Guests are free to choose how much peso they will give the couple based on their economic condition. Usually, the amount will not be too little, because they want to be polite.

For Filipinos, their ritual will be in turn where the guests will pin money on the bride and groom’s clothes. It usually ranges from 500-1000 pesos.

Filipino Money/ Dollar Dance

Filipino Money/ Dollar Dance

What Is The Meaning Of The Money Dance? 

This custom is a way to light up the wedding ceremony. The guests will not be bored as participating in the activity can be very fun and exciting. Together with the response of others while the couples are dancing, it can make the atmosphere more cheerful and sincere.

Guests Pin Money On Clothes To Bring Prosperity To The Bride-Groom

Guests Pin Money On Clothes To Bring Prosperity To The Bride-Groom

As for the Philippines’ culture and symbol aspects, the money dance is held to wish the couple financial abundance and prosperity. In addition, the peso bands on the couple will strike a festive vibe. 

Pinning bills on the bride and groom symbolizes a blessing. The money bands attached to the couple will look like rain. They are meant to wish the couple a pouring rain of luck in marriage and finance. 

In addition to praying for good luck, this ritual is also a way for the guests to help financially for the newlyweds. The guests will contribute to the couple’s future when they start living together with the bills.

That money will usually be used for the bride and groom to enjoy their honeymoon or expenses when they move out of their parents’ house. They can also save it for their future when entering the marriage, such as children, furniture, etc.

Can You Make A Filipino Money Dance In Modern Way? 

You can completely make the “sabitan ng pera in Tagalog” in a modern way or customize it to your personal taste. After all, it is your important day!

It’s best to change into another attire or wear a thin cotton shirt so guests can attach money to it without ruining your outfits. Consider using large paper clips or clothespins for safety and to reduce damage to your clothes. 

Another way is that you can preorder special accessories that guests can pin money on.

In case you don’t like having money attached to your body, you can have the guests pinning them on the garlands instead. 

A bolder option is to take advantage of technology. Let them put the bills straight into your funding account and show the slowly increasing amount on the monitor while dancing with your partner.

Many brides and grooms will not feel comfortable dancing with people other than their partners. So they would just move around together, and the wedding attendees might throw or spray money at them to celebrate the beginning of a new marriage.


The Filipino wedding money dance indeed is a meaningful ritual. It provides the couple with some financial support for their marriage and can also bless them spiritually. Moreover, it will also bring a joyful, exciting atmosphere to the wedding party.