Pittsburgh Wedding DJ | DJ Rockin Steve - Redovy, Radovy or Rjadovyi Wedding Bridal Dance | Money Dance
  • Redovy, Radovy or Rjadovyi Wedding Bridal Dance | Money Dance

    What we typically refer to as the money dance is more technically called the Redovy, pronounced "rah-dov-ye". It is a custom that has transcended many generations over the years and although it is being done less and less at wedding receptions, it is still a part of some families celebrations.

    The redovy originated as a folk dance when a young girl became married and the entire town came to celebrate her marriage. During these times many folk had very little money so as a way to help the newlyweds out they would dance with the bride for just a brief moment then pin money onto her gown that would be used on their honeymoon and get them started.

    Pinning money on the gown was changed to placing the money into an apron that the bride wore, after all, it wasn't very nice to ruin a lovely hand made bridal attire that could be passed down to daughter later on. This eventually evolved into the maid of honor wearing the apron or now collecting the money in an bag.

    The dance begins with guests each taking a turn dancing with the bride, then sampling a small piece of wedding cake or taking a shot of alcohol, then forming a circle around the bride. They would wave their white napkin as the circle became larger and larger while the groom was kept away from his wife. The person in charge of keeping the dance moving is called the "starosta" or master of ceremonies.

    Finishing up the dance was the brides father then mother who would remove her babushka then join all in the circle. They would then lock arms and begin closing in the circle, almost crushing the bride, then out and repeat a few more times. Now the groom had to make his way through the group of family and other relatives to pick up his bride and carry her off. It would take some doing as they would keep him out but eventually he would be let in.

    The music played for this is usually an instrumental since every town had their own lyrics for the song, which by the way is basically a polka. The length of time for this dance cannot be foreseen as some members would get in line a second time or some would dance a bit longer.

    The origin is almost tough to pin point as this custom is more of an ethnic than location tradition. Most would tell you it's of eastern european descent such as Poland, Chechloslovokian, Hungary etc.

    It has been said that some people feel this was a practice for the groom to "whore" out his wife in exchange for money. This is far from that. It is a dance to celebrate the couples marriage and helping them get started in life as back then, we didn't give them fifty dollar wedding gifts.

    Here in America it was altered to include the groom in the dance. Both the bride and groom would take turns dancing with the guests as they lined out the door awaiting a brief dance then having a shot of schnopps or whiskey. Occasionally chocolate favors are offered if the venue does not permit shots. As an alternative to the traditional Redovy song we have played upbeat music your guests would recognize.

    The Maid or Matron of Honor collects the money in an apron or satin bag while the Best man handles the shots. Often times the napkins are omitted. If there ever was a time this dance was about collecting money it was here.

    We see very few couples having this formality nowadays as generations are changing. Many view it as nothing but a way to get money out of their guests than as a tradition handed down over the years. Often times we see guests sneak off during this dance to avoid the embarrassment of not dancing with the couple or to the fact so few people carry cash these days, if they have any.

    It is usually the bride or groom who gives in to their parents plea to include the dance in their wedding. If this is a tradition of your family then absolutely have it at your event. If however it needs to be explained to your guests what the dance is then it's best to skip it. The time spent doing the dance is hardly worth the few dollars you are going to receive.

    We do have a version of the redovy which contains lyrics and we have one that is instrumental except for a few "yips". A translation from one towns lyrics translates as the following;

    Our young bride is like the sun
    She was raised only for you

    Come close to her
    And cherish her till death.

    Let the Lord God rejoice
    The bride is dancing with the groom

    The gift is on the plate
    Let the family donate.

    For those having the redovy, radovy or rjadovyi wedding bridal dance be sure to have some bridal party members assist you during this money dance.


    DJ Steve Credo