(Closed) No Dancing & Cocktail-Style Reception: Activities?

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
3337 posts
Sugar bee

I don’t think you need to have activities.  People will naturally mingle and chat and mix with others.

Personally I would skip most of the activities you have currently planned like the skit, forced watching of a slideshow (though one playing in the background on a loop is ok), and the scavenger hunt.

I would cringe as a guest if I had to play these games, and watch these performances, and may end up leaving early (sorry).

These are adults who can entertain themselves for a few hours, with mingling and chatting.  They don’t need you to set up opportunities to force chatting. 


Post # 5
1329 posts
Bumble bee

I think all of your ideas sound so wonderful and thoughtful! We had a charicature artist that was a huge hit. I have read that stations of things for people to do work for these types of receptions. As long as it is love/wedding focussed,  I don’t think you can really go wrong with what you have. Four hours goes by so fast! You know your group the best and if they are a fun group, even a long song competition-have people serenade you to compete between a certain time or something like that…may work.


Good luck!

Post # 7
3182 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I don’t think you need to go crazy on activities.  Crossword puzzles seem like more of a solo activity, what about some trivial pursuit cards placed on tables?  You could even make your own about your town, you and your Fiance or whatever if you felt really crafty.  

ETA – by “not going crazy” I just meant don’t worry about keeping people entertained, I think people will mostly be chatting/mingling anyway!

Post # 8
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

We are also having a *non-traditional* reception.  Although ours is much smaller, probably 25-30 guests.

We are also doing an iPod for music and will be dancing only for like the chicken dance, electric slide etc.  Otherwise will just have fun music playing. 

I LOVE the wishing rocks station.  I also LOVE the scavenger hunt idea.  I may try to incorporate that somehow.

We are going to do a DIY photo booth – they get one strip and one strip will be put into a photo book where they can write a message (this will replace our guest book).

We’re big game nerds in my family, so we are going to have a game section set up and we are *hoping* to have (still looking for) some personalized games – like monopoly or life that has info about our families as well as poker with personalized cards.  We also may bring the Wii with a big screen TV or projector.

I can’t wait to see what other ideas the Bee’s have!!!!!


Post # 9
31 posts
  • Wedding: October 2012

We are not having a dancing reception either. Our wedding is about 70 people, and will run from the afternoon to early evening.We are doing an ipod playlist too.

We are having a DIY photobooth, and I ordered some wedding mad libs as a fun alternative to a guest book that will be on the tables for folks to fill out whenever they like.

I also plan on having a DIY pinata filled with all kinds of cute stuff – candy, love notes/sayings, little plastic bottles of liquor, etc. I haven’t decided how to work the pinata thing yet – if it’ll be a game or just on a volunteer basis, but I know our friends will think it’s a hoot.


Post # 11
633 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I think you do need seats for every single person there. It could be a mix of traditional tables, tall pub tables, couches, chairs lining the sides of the room, etc. But I would leave a party early if I didn’t have somewhere to put my things down and sit. 

Post # 12
3367 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

We’re having a really laid back beach wedding, and 95% of our guest list is his dad’s family. All of our get togethers are very chill and we just hang out. So we’re not having dancing either and will really just be enjoying each others company on the day. 

We’re also having a two hour afternoon dessert reception, so that made a difference.

For our “cocktail hour” we are going to have our guests do a scavenger hunt on the beach.  We are also going to do wedding mad libs. Also, there is still going to be music in the background so you CAN dance if you want to, but I don’t think it’ll be popular at all. 

Post # 13
561 posts
Busy bee

i think the video and three toasts is a lot of talking already. if you open up the floor for everyone to talk it may get really awkward. speeches are okay but those many are usually done at the rehearsal dinner.

then to add the skit to that, thats a lot of talking.

i think the skit part talking about how you were never going to get married is odd…at your wedding. id keep it positive. plus that has nothing to do with your husband…cause obviously you are getting married! maybe thats more bachelorette party appropriate?

i went to one wedding where there was a videographer set up where people could privately leave verbal well wishes. then the couple watched them on their own.

i think time to mingle and background music is enough. good food. good drinks. i like the video loop suggestion. three toasts.

as long as i have friends to talk to talk to, i dont really need to be entertained. i mean most weddings do have a dj but no one is dancing the whole entire time. usually youre sitting and eating or chatting. 

Post # 14
10634 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

I’ve been to Mennonite weddings without dancing.  Open mics went over well.  People could tell a cute story about the bride/groom/couple or sing them a song.

Post # 15
3337 posts
Sugar bee

View original reply
@Jenniphyr:  I didn’t say cut the slideshow entirely, but only to have it play on a loop where people could watch it at a time that they wanted.  Versus forcing everyone to stand there and look at it for 10 mins (which is far too long, IMO).

It just sounds like in trying to make it not boring, you are making it boring for guests.  Standing through 3 x 5 min speeches, plus a 10 min slide show, a 5 minute skit is 30 mins of standing and not talking for guests.

I also think you need to have proper seating for each guest.  Guests should not be forced to stand for hours on end in their best finery, and least comfortable shoes.

Post # 16
2175 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Your wedding sounds EXACTLY like mine, except we are a shorter, daytime reception (1-3pm).  I’m not planning any special activities for our 65 guests– here’s our rough timeline.

1245pm Guests enter reception
1245m Couple time for food and drink
105pm Couple Grand Entrance
110pm First Dance
120pm Father/Daughter Dance 
145pm Best Man Toast
150pm Maid of Honor Toast
2pm Mingling
215pm Cake Cutting
230pm Couple Toast
245pm Couple Leave
3pm Reception end

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