3 ways to have a dance-free wedding reception

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My fiance and I are having a bit of trouble (okay, a lot of trouble) figuring out how to entertain our guests during our reception.

The whole dinner and dancing thing really doesn't suit us, but when I've asked for advice from the “professionals” in our area, their eyes glaze over at the thought of not having a father-daughter dance, etc, etc.

What can we do at our reception if we want to avoid dancing?

If you don't like dancing, ug: there's nothing worse than hosting a miserable, requisite dance floor that you spend the whole night avoiding.

Luckily for you, there are lots of non-dancing options for your guests …

1. Brunch wedding


First off, the easiest way to avoid the expectation of dancing is to have your wedding earlier in the day — have a brunch wedding or afternoon reception.

No-one expects to cut a rug at 2pm. Your guests won't even notice the lack of dancing because you're breaking the whole “wedding, dinner, reception with dancing” template.

Brunch weddings are rad.

You get to serve mimosas!

2. Do lawn games instead!

Ring toss at wedding

If you're going for a backyard or garden wedding in the afternoon, you can keep your guests entertained with lawn games like croquet or badminton — imagine the photos! We have so many great ideas in our lawn games archive.

3. Sing instead of dance!

Belt it

For an evening/indoors reception, you definitely have your work cut out for you. Old habits die hard, and people come with their expectations clutched like little sequined handbags from hell. A couple ideas to keep the non-dancing guests busy could be a wedding photobooth (how much did you love the one at Katie's wedding?), fortune tellers (psychics are fun!), or even wedding karaoke.

That said, never underestimate the value of good food and booze and a little background music. If you keep people happy with lots to eat and drink, chances are good that no-one will miss the dancing.

Looking for even more ideas?

Check out our massive archive of non-dancing weddings, full of real weddings and great ideas.

Comments on 3 ways to have a dance-free wedding reception

  1. We are planning a brunch wedding. We do really want the option for people to dance, but it’s also very important to use to have games and whatnot so no one feels pressured and everyone is entertained according to their own interests/comfort level. This post got me thinking though– would it be too odd to try and get people to dance at a morning wedding? There’s still going to be booze so I figured it’d be all good LOL. I LOVE the karaoke idea (for at least a little while) but feel like my mom’s head would explode!

  2. I hired a tarot reader (as entertainment) who is experienced with large corporate events and private parties. We’ll see how it goes, because we also have a live band that will probably be kinda loud… oh well, she’ll just have to shout people’s futures at them. 🙂

  3. We had our wedding on a Sunday so it was kind of a given it wasn’t going to run late with partying & dancing. I just danced with my hubby and my dad and my brother…which is what I wanted anyways. My parents danced and a few others, but most people left on the earlier side. Everyone seems to forget weddings/receptions are to celebrate the couple, they are not for the couple to entertain everyone else.

  4. I run a DJ company and you can have a wedding without dancing, Ive even DJd at one where they wanted no dancing but they did want someone that could control the vibe on the night as they did different activities. Remember that even without dancing you will want some focal points for the evening and some people that are responsible for looking after things if your plans go awry on the day (which is the traditional role of the DJ generally) as you want to keep the momentum up regardless of what you do! Have a great wedding day.
    Daniel Toop

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