(Closed) No Dancing, No Alcohol… How do I get guests out of their seats and having fun?

posted 7 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Thoughts?
    A reception without cocktails and dancing? Snooze fest. : (146 votes)
    53 %
    I think with the photobooth set up and candy buffet, people will have a blast! : (34 votes)
    12 %
    That all sounds a little kiddish. Is this a kids birthday party or a reception? : (27 votes)
    10 %
    Add games too! That will really get everyone talking and invested in the evening. : (45 votes)
    16 %
    Nobody likes a try hard! Don't worry so much, guests will entertain themselves. : (20 votes)
    7 %
    Other! : (4 votes)
    1 %
  • Post # 3
    3256 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @silkspectre94:  Don’t laugh:

    Musical Chairs, and charades!  I’m serious.  It’s so much fun.  People can either participate, or just watch and have a good time.  We are putting decks of cards out, as well, so people can play cards.  You could put some sort of game on each table.  Maybe you want to take this sort of idea and tone it down just a bit, but if people get into it, it’s really fun, even sober.

    The candy buffet will be great, and don’t worry about things being overdone.  You know what’s probably overdone?  Going out partying on Saturday nights.  Does anyone care?  No, because it’s fun when they do it.  If you choose not to do things you think are great, because they’re too mainstream, you’re being the worst kind of hipster. 😛

    Post # 4
    10649 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    I’ve been to some weddings with no dancing and no alcohol.  They had an open mic.  It’s an extension of the toasts, friends can get up and tell a funny story they remember.

    Post # 5
    2959 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I guess because I do not drink alcohol I will never understand why people think they have to drink to have a good time. I think it is rather sad actually. I think the photo booth and props is a great idea!


    Post # 6
    2055 posts
    Buzzing bee

    @silkspectre94:  Get out of their seats to do…what exactly? I’m not too focused on the dry wedding aspect, but no dancing? I’m not sure what I would get up to do except get candy and leave.

    Honestly a “smart” way to keep guests around is to stretch out the courses of the dinner (not too long, of course, but enough that the food is what encourages guests to stay). If there is no dancing, no alcohol, but awesome food? I am SO there. 

    Will there at least be background music?

    Post # 7
    11519 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I think making sure the atmosphere is lively will be imporant.  Have music playing, have a great MC to keep things going.  You don’t want there to be awkward lulls in the day.

    Post # 8
    2606 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2009

    One of my favorite things about weddings is getting to dance with my husband, because it’s about the only time we get a chance to do so.  I can do without booze, but without dancing?  


    DH’s cousin had a wedding that had neither booze (well, the bridal party had champagne, but the rest of the guests didn’t even get a single glass for a toast or anything, which was beyond rude, IMO, but a topic for another thread) nor dancing and it was one of the most boring weddings I’ve been to.  If you are doing other things in lieu of dancing, MAYBE that would help.  I just know Darling Husband and I left pretty much immediately after dinner.  


    Post # 9
    139 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @silkspectre94:  I think you’ve been given some good suggestions!  Allowing people to come up to the mic to make toats could definitelyengage the guests. I’ve also seen some trivia games where guests have to decide whether the person being talked about is the bride or groom.  Usually silly, fun facts.  Though you might not like this if you are shy.  Typically the bride and group have to come up front and center.  Also, I’ve ALWAYS had fun with photobooths.  I think that the candy bar is fun, but I don’t necessarily see this as an entertaining activity so much as a place for people to grab snacks…but still a nice idea!

    Question about the no dancing… will there be the opportunity to do some slow dances at least? I understand not liking to do “club” style dancing or something and that you don’t particularly care for it, but as another bee already posted, a lot of people look forward to weddings as a time to share a sentimental moment with their SO.  A few slow dances could be nice and an Anniversary dance could be a nice way to get guests up and about and chatting without encouraging a crazy dance floor.

    Post # 10
    3256 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @silkspectre94:  Do you have a theme?  What are your colours, dress, code, general feel you’re seeking?

    Post # 11
    514 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @silkspectre94:  I don’t like dancing a lot either, but I am still having a DJ and music, so people can dance if they want to, but I am also having a smaller Destination Wedding (70 people) and I kind of hope that people are just happy mingling and having fun. However, my whole reception (cocktail hour, dinner, dancing) is only 4 hours, so there won’t be as much opportunity.

    Post # 12
    1542 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    i dont really drink, but i looooove weddings because of the danciiiiiing.


    Post # 13
    2261 posts
    Buzzing bee

    In all honest I think its harder to get guests to participate in games rather than dancing so I would say perhaps play some light music so they can dance if they want. And maybe some smaller table games to start up fun convos. Love the idea of the photobooth and candy bar though!

    Post # 14
    1589 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    I love dancing, alcohol or not!

    Post # 15
    2948 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 1998

    Unfortunely I think people will leave earlier than usual and TBH I think I’d get bored too!

    Post # 16
    344 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2013


    I’m in a similar situation. My family is extremely religious and only about 10 people would actually drink. The wedding is on a Sunday.. so even those people would be much less inclined than they would normally be. The only person that would drink would drink too much and would ruin my evening because of the history. It just wasn’t worth the hassle and the expense.

    We’re also not dancing as Fiance and I only ballroom dance and this wasn’t a setting where all invited would/could participate. Regardless, I didn’t want my wedding to feel like a frat party. So.. we are having an extended luncheon with appetizers planned before. Our videographer will set up a booth to do a video guest book, which should take some time. before the lunch. We’ll have surprises throughout the reception – a strolling violinist to take requests during the meal, an acapella group for the dance (we are doing a first dance as a couple.), an event painter (hopefully).

    I was worried that it will be “boring” but I had to consider us as a couple and our vision for the day. I’m hoping the little surprises we have planned will keep people engaged and interested. It helps that it is a very small wedding. Sorry, ALL THAT TO SAY – stay true to what you and your FH want. If you force “games” it will come across as awkward.

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