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

posted 9 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Thoughts?

    A reception without cocktails and dancing? Snooze fest.

    I think with the photobooth set up and candy buffet, people will have a blast!

    That all sounds a little kiddish. Is this a kids birthday party or a reception?

    Add games too! That will really get everyone talking and invested in the evening.

    Nobody likes a try hard! Don't worry so much, guests will entertain themselves.


  • Post # 17
    167 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @silkspectre94:  I’ve never been to a wedding without alcohol or dancing but if I was a guest at such a wedding I would hope they would have dinner music at least and maybe a signature non-alcoholic beverage picked by the bride and groom.

    Maybe you could have fun facts about the bride and groom at each table and then encourage your guests to write their own about the couple.

    To entertain your guests maybe check out some websites to see their suggestions. I found this one that had some fun ideas http://www.planace.com/disc-jockeys/weddings/resources/wedding-reception-games-and-fun

    Post # 18
    4996 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    If you want to keep it classy and formal I would suggest ending the reception early. If you want people to be lively and stay I’d suggest doing games. I don’t really see a way to have classy games though….

    Post # 19
    4394 posts
    Honey bee

    I don’t equate games with classy weddings. “Ok right hand red, but keep your legs closed so you don’t flash anyone in your dress!” Lol, obviously an exaggeration but I just don’t think games “go.” I would have a shorter version of dancing, the photo booth, and the candy bar. The open mic thing is cool if you think you might get some guests who are bold enough to stand up and tell a cute story or whatever. Fwiw, I don’t really drink but I would still like to dance!

    Post # 20
    3518 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Don’t worry about it not being the crowd…

    As far as I can tell, you can dance if you want to.

    You can leave your friends behind.

    ‘Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance then they’re no friends of mine…

    By which I mean, it’s really hard to make a reception with no drinking OR dancing fun. It doesn’t sound like you have religious/moral convictions against these things, you just don’t do them personally. Are you sure you want to take that option away from everyone else just because it’s not your thing?

    That said, it’s possible. Lawn games, maybe? I dunno. If it’s not the crowd for dancing you kind of have to decide what sort of crowd it is.

    If you’re certain that you don’t want drinking or dancing, please forgive people when they end up leaving early.

    Post # 21
    207 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    We’re not having dancing either, but instead a four-course wine-paired dinner. I am worried about entertaining the guests, too, so decided to do a “Fun & Games” table. I just finished my chalkboard sign today! Lol

    At the fun & games table we’ll have a personalized crossword about us (thanks, Etsy!), decks of cards, chocolate cigars, and polaroid cameras/props.

    Maybe you could just try to think of a few more games? I think you’re on the right track!

    Post # 22
    25 posts
    • Wedding: April 2013

    Just because you don’t enjoy dancing it doesn’t mean your guests also don’t!! You MUST have some sort of music playing as it also sets the tone of the mood. Then the people who do like to dance can get up and enjoy themselves.

    A photobooth is only interesting for the 30seconds that you are in it for.

    Post # 23
    1849 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    i’m a bit confused – usually the reason that photobooths keep people entertained is because you can instantly see the photo and take it home, so people get multiple group shots etc. but is your photo booth being done with disposable cameras? in that case, not to be rude but i wouldn’t bet on that taking up much time as after they take the shot, it’s like, ‘well we’ll wait for this to get developed and hopefully it’s good!’ there’s no instant gratification. 

    same for the candy buffet – that’s cool, but wouldn’t take up much time – 10 minutes MAX per guest? obviously they’ll go up staggered, but no one is going to confuse it with entertainment as it won’t take long to pick out some candy. 

    i think the ‘newlywed game’ might be a good idea, stretching the courses for sure, and definitely having music playing. maybe just go for the vibe of a fancy dinner party. i’d rather that, than have games going on, i think that might come off somewhat juvenile. 

    you should also remember that if none of these people drink or dance, this won’t be weird to them – we’re not attending your wedding, they are! so they may not even blink!

    Post # 24
    564 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    I’ve been to lots of weddings, but the weddings that were the least fun and ended earliest were either a) dry or cash bar weddings, or b) weddings without dancing (either because of an iPod instead of a DJ–or because there was no dancing period). I would only attend a dry/no dancing wedding if it were a very close friend or family member. That said, I’d be there to show my support, but I’d probably leave early. It just doesn’t sound like fun to me. 

    I think the guests attitudes make the wedding atmosphere. If people are dancing and having a good time, everyone has fun. At dry weddings, there’s usually quite a bit of negativity because people are irritated by the lack of alcohol and that makes the atmosphere not as fun. Same goes for dancing actually. People love to dance at weddings–even me, and I’m a TERRIBLE dancer! Without dancing, people are just sitting around and chatting–and that’s awhward if they don’t know the other people at their tables. 

    As I said, at most weddings that I’ve been to that do either no drinking or no dancing…the party ends early. People usually leave as soon as they think the main events of the day are over. If all you’re doing is a candy bar, they’ll just take the candy and leave. The photobooth is fun…but as PPs say, only for about 30 seconds. That’s IF they stay to use it (the weddings I’ve been to that had a successful photobooth put the photobooth on the dance floor, so people popped in there multiple times between dances). Plus, if there is nothing else for guests to do–they’re going to have to wait in a long line to even do the photobooth. I’m guessing they’ll just pass on it. 

    Do what makes you happy. Just know that people tend to leave dry weddings early–especially if there’s no dancing. 

    Post # 25
    768 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2014 - Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts

    I think for most people this would be a snooze fest. However, considering the crowd you are trying to entertain I think the photobooth and candy buffet is enough. Religious folks who do not drink are probably not gonna dance either. I would warn maybe co-workers that this is the type of celebration so that they know what to expect before they get there. Friends and family will probably know already what’s expected. I come from a religious upbringing. However, my parents know that there will be a cash bar. I also do not drink a lot (maybe one fruity cocktail here and there) so I refuse to pay for others to drink. It will be availble for guests if they want to purchase a drink or two. I read its better to have a cash bar than no bar at all. So I kinda have to have something b/c his side does drink. There will be dancing. I have to have music and dancing, I naturally love to dance. My mom will also “dance at my wedding” so to speak. She’s not stuffy about not dancing at least once with my dad and with my husband…even though my parents are “church folk.” What about the traditional bride/groom dance and father/daughter dance…will those be skipped? You could always dance together to a a chirstian artist or whatever religion you are. Do not add games…that would be child like.

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