Post # 1
So while Mr. Rain and I have no problem with a little alcohol, neither of our families drink at all. The benefit of this, of course, is that we can get away with serving NO alcohol and thereby save some money! Additionally, I’m not sure if dancing can really be part of our reception. None of us are really dancers, and while I would LOVE to dance at the reception, I CAN’T and I am not sure there is time/money to learn before then.
So that leaves food (hors d’eveurs) and cake.
Is anybody in a similar sitauation? What are you doing for your reception? How are you keeping it lovely/fun?
Or even if youa re doing things in a more tradition eat, drink, and dance the night away, do you have any suggestions? I want it to be FUN and memorable– not boring!
Post # 3
how about a photobooth? or cocktail napkins with trivia? How long as you expecting your reception to last?
Post # 4
It sounds like you should steer more towards a daytime wedding, possibly an afternoon outdoor reception? That way people can eat good food, enjoy the weather, be laid back and enjoy some fellowship with friends/family. You could still have light music playing, keeping the mood upbeat!
Dance floors, DJs and alcohol aren’t always required to have a good time.
Post # 5
Who says you cant dance at your own wedding? No one’s going to care if you dont have the right moves, but they will see that you’re having a great time and be eager to join you. Guests always tend to follow what the brides doing, so if the brides on the dance floor all night, the guests will be too. If the bride and groom dont dance, then there will be music less participation from your guests.
Are you having an outdoor wedding? We’re having a pretty casual outdoor tented reception (as far as timelines go- no cake cutting, no toasts, no DJ, or dances, etc.) and are treating it like a riverside BBQ. We’ll have an ipod playing music and a small dancefloor in case anyone has the urge but nothing too structured. We’ll probably have a photobooth set up, and we plan on having horseshoes and badminton too. Since we’re on the river we’re also encouraging people to bring fishing equipment and bathing suits so they can kick back and enjoy themselves. When night falls we’ll have a campfire and roast marshmallows, and so on. This will probably be one of the only times we have all our family and friends in one place so we’re treating it like a family reunion instead of some snooty lavish affair.
Post # 6
We are having a small, afternoon, chapel wedding. Not yet sure where we will be having the reception, but we expect less than 100 people.
A photobooth is out of our budget, BUT you gave me a good idea… We could set up our own "photo booth" area in a corner for people to take pictures. My sister is a photographer and would probably love making that her project.
What else, guys?I don’t know how long it will last, but part of the reason for having an afternoon wedding is that we want to, ahem, get on our own asap!
Post # 7
I am having a no alcohol no dancing reception. Neither of our families are particularly into it, some would be offended by it, and our friends will be taking us out plenty of other times. We are having alcoves with various board games scattered around, plenty of food (full dinner and a dessert buffet), a jazz trio, and possibly a photo booth. It helps that our wedding is in the afternoon, so no one is expecting anything heavy (drink or food).
My advice would be to think of what you do on Friday nights or when you are hanging out with friends. For us that is board games like Cranium. Admittedly, there is usually alcohol when our friends are around, but that is not a necessary ingredient. I’ve been to a wedding where they had arcade and video games set up around the ball room and a good D.J. The couple spends their free time gaming online. I think every guy that was there still considers it his favorite wedding.
Post # 8
My wedding was a lot like MsCamera’s…outdoors, tented, by the lake. We had no dancing, but did have a steel drum band for ambiance. During cocktail hour, guests played Bag-O and horseshoes, and sat around firepits in adirondack chairs.
You don’t have to do anything you’re uncomfortable with…we had no alcohol because his family does not drink, but this is also why we did not have an evening wedding. I don’t dance without alcohol, so it would have been a bust.
I think that if you make the feeling of the reception a casual gathering of friends and family, people will really enjoy themselves.
Are you looking to have a more traditional indoor reception with bouqet toss, garter, etc., or could you consider an outdoor venue?
Post # 9
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
Miss Rain, we’d be in a similar situation too. Actually it’d possibly be worse because my family, and the smaller side of Mr. MJ’s family do not drink. One of US is actually this way too – the other of us enjoys an adult beverage from time to time ;). A few of the relatives actually have an issue with having others drink in their presence. And then there are others (friends and family) who enjoy having a good ol party, alcohol included.
If we were to have a "normal" reception, I don’t know WHAT we would do about the alcohol. It would probably involve having a talk with those who are really opposed to being around alcohol, and making sure they were aware that it would be at our wedding. But those same people who aren’t really in to partying, arent’ exactly in to dancing either. So what we’d have is some people out on the dance floor, but a lot of people just sitting at tables drinking club sodas and trying to decide when was long enough to stay before politely excusing themselves for the night. Mr. MJ didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, but we also wanted everyone to have a good time. SO we had no clue what we’d do for a reception.
I would agree with others who said an afternoon reception would be good. You could eat delicious hor deorves, serve wine or champagne to those who want it, and have some upbeat music that isn’t too intrusive so that people can dance if they want to. I went this route with my first wedding, it and it worked out pretty well. We provided sparkling juice as well as wine, so that people who weren’t drinking didnt’ have to resort to bottled water.
Post # 10
- Wedding: October 2009 - Church Ceremony/Reception at The Waterford House
Could you have signature "non-alcoholic" drinks?
I like the handmade photobooth idea and the games idea. You could put a different board game at each table (maybe incorporate it into your centerpiece?) Good music and soft lighting always creates a nice atmosphere.
Post # 11
I definitely think you should have some music- it’s nice background noise and you could choose a playlist to match the ambiance you want.
If you don’t like to dance, that’s up to you, but I don’t think you should feel selfconcious of your dancing skills. The most fun weddings I’ve been to are ones with lots of dancing.
I would recommend something that will get your guests out of their seats to mingle. Without dancing, there’s no excuse to get out of your seat. Both weddings I’ve been to that didn’t have dancing were kind of horrible- I was stuck a table of people I didn’t really know with no excuse to get up and mingle with others. You don’t want your guests to feel trapped.
So perhaps have stations or a buffet, forgo assigned seats, maybe make a toast stating that you hope everyone will mix and mingle?
Post # 12
Even though you aren’t dancing, some background music would help a lot. It breaks up the silence if people aren’t sure what to do with themselves. The games idea is great, video/board game etc. What about ping pong or darts or something like that? Sometimes churches have these sorts of things for youth activities. I’ve been to weddings like yours, but there was nothing to do but sit and chat, and that gets old fast if you only know one or two people there. It’s so nice you’re thinking of your guests’ happiness!
Post # 13
@maryjane WE ARE IN THE SAME BOAT. Mr. Rain doesn’t drink (I have a weakness for white wine and margaritas) and neither of our sets of parents do either. And we definitely have relatives (incuding my mom) who would be pretty offended if there were alcohol pleasant.
We will definitely have to get some music going. I was at a wedding recently that was sans music at the reception and it was pretty dull. Maybe we could have a slideshow going, too? Pics of us growing up and then together?
We haven’t decided whether it will be indoor or outdoor yet.
Post # 14
Background music would be nice. A nice appetizers and cake reception is what it seems like you’d like. No reason to throw in the "show" that a band or DJ would do if you’re not interested. Just mingle and enjoy spending time with those that came to support you and your new husband
Post # 15
My reception is going to be held at one of our favorite restaruants, so it will be slightly unusual. We won’t be having a DJ and probably won’t have dancing (we’d have to move tables). There will be alcohol at mine though.
I really wouldn’t worry too much about it – it’s YOUR wedding do what you want to do, not what others expect you to do. GL and have fun!
Post # 16
Curious…did your invitations say ‘no alcohol being served’ or no host cocktails?