(Closed) Conservative Wedding Receptions?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
1449 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Wouldn’t this just basically be a large dinner party? As long as there’s a chair for every person, you don’t make people pay for their refreshments, climate is fine and you feed appropriate food for the time of day, there’s nothing wrong with this. Anyone who expects more is the one who is rude. 

Id definitely have music in the background so it’s not quiet. Also, would your family be opposed to some games? Like life sized jenga or things like that? I’d probably try out food stations so that there’s some mingling and flow to the room. And some fun “bars” like a hot cocoa bar or a make your own lemonade with different syrups. Or maybe set up th room into “zones”: lounge chairs, eating tables, hot cocoa bar, photo booth, etc. 

Post # 3
9436 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

Many of my friends are LDS and most of their weddings didn’t have dancing and none of them had alcohol. They can still be fun.

You could look into having your wedding in the morning or early afternoon, when alcohol is less expected. I love brunch weddings and you could have fun mocktails or even something like an Italian Soda Bar would be fun. You could also do yard games if you are having the wedding outside. There are a lot of different ways to provide entertainment at a wedding when there is no dancing.

The other option is to have a much smaller wedding, pay for it yourself, and have alcohol and dancing.

I don’t think you need to warn people beforehand. Dancing and alcohol is not why people should be attending a wedding.

Post # 4
115 posts
Blushing bee

Hmm, what time will the wedding and reception be? If you schedule both early enough (like am ceremony and afternoon reception) you and your new hubby could plan a separate (invite only) after party for just you two and your friends. You can have all of the things you cant have at your wedding (booze, music, and dancing) at the after party or just plan to go out on the town with your friends after the wedding and reception.

Post # 5
1992 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
akshali2000 :  Honestly, I’d make it a shorter reception (2-3 hours) and include “dinner to follow” or “cake and lemonade to follow” on the invitation, and try to spread by word of mouth about the no alcohol and no dancing. Just mingling and catching up is enough entertainment for some people. 

I’d personally want to do an afterparty with my close friends if I could afford it, but then there’s the question of who makes the cut–400 is a lot of people and a lot of possibilites for word to get out and for feelings to get hurt and conservative relatives to be scandalized. 

Post # 6
2263 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Honestly, I have been to two “conservative” receptions and neither one was very lively.  Without dancing or drinks, there is food, cake, and most people leave. 

For one it was what the bride and groom wanted.  It was pretty… Boring.  To lengthen they let who ever from the church who wanted do a speech.  DH and I left right after dinner durring those speeches.  The church that they are a part of doesn’t match our views, and the speeches were less about the couple and mor a sales pitch for the faith.

The second was what the parents wanted, not the bride and groom.  Still ended early, but DH and groom arranged an after party at a local bar, which most people ended up at. I would honestly look at that as an option. 

I would personally not set up games, especially ones that require crowd participation.  It starts to personally feel like a 7 year old birthday party. 

Post # 7
523 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I had a similar issue, but lucky for me it all worked out! When discussing the options with my Fiance and family these are some ideas and compromises we came up with.

1.) To keep it interesting have fun food and drink stations. Maybe rent a slushy or frozen mocha machine. Have “mocktails” that people can mix and make themselves. Baked potato stations are also fun, people can add their own toppings! Other ideas are smores, ice cream sundaes, cupcake decorating, candy bars, or make your own personal pizza! 

2.)I would steer clear of games that stop the wedding or require everyone to participate. However, lawn games like corn hole, croquet, and ring toss are a great idea! People can choose to play if they want and it keeps people moving and mingling.

3.) If you really want to have dancing or alcohol have a set time for it to start so anyone who would be offended can leave. We are doing “dancing and spirits” at 8 o’clock for anyone who wants to partake. We will have done dinner, cake, bouquet toss etc. before this time. If that’s not an option for you due to a church venue but you still want to boogie down later send out separate invites to meet up at a local pub for an after party.

I know it’s hard when someone else is paying! I had a long talk and a lot of compromise with my parents. My Fiance and I are also footing the bill for the beer and wine. Good luck, I’m sure your day will be special regardless.

Post # 8
1708 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I have been to conservative receptions. I usually knew ahead of time that there would be no alcohol but I would have (and did) attend anyway because I care about my friends. However, after the marriage ceremony took place and everyone ate dinner, there was nothing else to do and everyone except family usually ended up leaving. In one case the bride and groom had booked the venue until 10:30 PM and by 7 PM almost everyone had gone, so they spent the last several hours in a near-empty space. I don’t think games or a photobooth are a bad idea at all – would your family be ok with that?

Post # 9
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

There’s no dance floor at our venue, and space between tables is tight so while we will have music I doubt there will be dancing. We’re counting on the good food and good company to keep people happy. I don’t think any of our friends will mind. That being said we have a 50 person guest list so it’s more intimate. 

I wouldnt put a note in your invites but if you are really worried spread the word through your bridal party that it’s an alchohol free event. 

You can also have an “informal” after party with your friends– spread through word of mouth where you guys will be meeting (hotel bar?) and meet up there after. 

Post # 10
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I would just expect people to leave not long after dinner and go out on the town with your friends for an after party. Honestly, I hate dancing, so a wedding without loud music and people pressuring me to dance would be great. I’d miss the alcohol though. Games could be fun though, but not audience participation-type games, rather just some stations where guests can choose to play or not (cornhole, etc.). 

Post # 11
191 posts
Blushing bee

Unfortunately, I have been to many, MANY ultra religious weddings that are alcohol free and several that had no dancing.  They tend to be more on the boring side, but I grew up in that environment, so I never expected anything else.

Most of the dry weddings had a few rebels that hid liquor bottles in their cars, so the younger crowd would gravitate out to the parking lot to secretly drink.  Fun times!

Post # 12
2009 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

you can do other fun things in a religous tea total wedding


performers (fire, dancers, magicians)

artists (caracturist, watercolourists)

bands (maybe a great gospel choir)

food (fun food ideas like an ice cream bike or pancake station or sweet cart)

games (Pinatas, giant lawn games, quizes)

mocktails (you can do great fruit juice mixes)

cute signs (maybe with bible quotes included)

and photo/video booths

Post # 13
3756 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

My Step-Grandmother and late Grandfather converted to Morman in the late 80’s. My Grandfather passed away when I was 12, and when I was 19 my Step-Grandmother remarried to someone in the church. It was a daytime wedding with a lunch reception. There was no alcohol or dancing. There was A LOT of singing, speeches and some games. Sure, it wasn’t the craziest party I’ve ever been to, but I can still say I had a good time 🙂  

Post # 14
4600 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

View original reply
akshali2000 :  I’ve attended three of these weddings and sorry, but none were fun.  Everyone left before or right after the cake was cut.  I like
View original reply
laurennicole90 :‘s suggestion a lot!  If you want a dry wedding with no dancing, that’s one thing, but it sounds like you’d miss it, so I think it’s totally ok to have it anyway.  I have some very conservative family members (hence the dry, no music weddings I’ve been to) and we will still be having an open bar with a DJ and tons of dancing.  I know it’s easier said than done, but you should have the wedding you and your Fiance want 🙂

Post # 15
2979 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Not my cup of tea. I like the idea of spreading the info by word of mouth. I’d also say something to your friends something like ‘we will be starting the party after the reception at X bar. Feel free to come by!’. This notes that it won’t be hosted, they are free to come or not. I would absolutely encourage an after party, because most guests will want to leave shortly after dinner and cake.

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