Minnesota-Minneapolis and St. Paul

No Dance Reception?

Hey all! I was just curious if anyone has or is planning on doing a no dance reception. My boyfriend (hopefully soon to be fiance) and I really don't like dancing and we are most likely going to have a small wedding.

I've been researching good venues for small weddings that focus more on fun activities and food than dancing.

Any suggestions??
MesmrEwe

Re: No Dance Reception?

  • Define "small" and what part of the area you're looking..  Also, first do your guest list and get a real number to work with because you don't want to be looking at reception halls for 100 when after you do a realistic count you actually need a hall for 300.. 

    I've been to multiple weddings that did not have a dance.  Not much was lost.  Best was just the first dance/parent dance and that was all so it felt like they had the traditional element but not going through the expense when they know most of their guests just enjoy spending time together without music in the background.  If you don't want one, don't have one, simple as that!

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  • Definitely less than 100 and pretty flexible with location. Convenience would lend us to the Twin Cities but I had considered making it more of a getaway and having it up north somewhere. I also have family in Rochester so I would consider that an option as well.

    Good to hear you have been to multiple weddings without a dance, I've looked online and find it hard to get any idea of people doing a no dance wedding and what they do instead. :D 
  • Definitely less than 100 and pretty flexible with location. Convenience would lend us to the Twin Cities but I had considered making it more of a getaway and having it up north somewhere. I also have family in Rochester so I would consider that an option as well.


    Good to hear you have been to multiple weddings without a dance, I've looked online and find it hard to get any idea of people doing a no dance wedding and what they do instead. :D 



    If most of your family is around Rochester, have something in that direction - LaCrosse would be a good "close enough for a getaway but not so far for your guests if they want to go home"... What about a Cruise on the St. Croix even - Afton Cruise Lines and Stillwater Boat & Packet are both great companies locally which would accommodate a wedding that size.  If a lot of your family is Rochester and Twin Cities, having something up North is really asking a lot of driving in that direction for that many guests.  Check the area ski areas out (Buck, Trollhaugen, Welch, Afton, etc.) as they'll have an "Up North" feel to their chalets without making people drive.  Down by Rochester there is also the Mayo Mansion that'd be worth checking into.  There are a lot of options if you're willing to get creative!

    If you don't have the dance, do things your families love to do when there are gatherings.  Yard games, card games, kid games, tag football, sit and chat, whatever!  Only you know your families best for their likes/dislikes. 

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  • P.S. Red Wing has quite a few options as well... There's the St. James and if you plan it right maybe you could link things up with something at the Sheldon Theater...  My college professor was involved with their brass band and instead of a dance maybe a show would be an option.  Otherwise there are quite a few other venues down there (Round Barn, Frontenac Golf Course, etc.) that would work as well as a mid-point between the cities and Rochester...
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  • I think a boat cruise would be a GREAT option for 100 people if you're not wanting to do a dance.  I personally think that a regular reception hall type wedding would be boring without dancing (but I'm a danceaholic at weddings :) A boat reception I could probably still be entertained without dancing
  • I would also consider an earlier ceremony - most people aren't in much of a dancing mood at 2 p.m., and many won't want to stay super late into the night if there isn't any dancing.

    I would also expect your reception to be a little shorter than one without dancing - most people will just mingle for about an hour or so after food is served and leave.
    MesmrEwe
  • MesmrEwe- I definitely understand how you are thinking I should stick closer to the Twin Cities or towards Rochester, it makes sense and it is definitely more considerate of my guests. My only reason for wanting an up north wedding at a resort was so that it could feel like a vacation for my guests. Orginially I wanted to get married in Disney World (while I'm not ruling it out completely I've pretty much accepted it wont happen) and my reason for that was so that my guests would be enjoying themselves as much as I was. I'm a people pleaser in general lol

    I have looked at Red Wing and the St.James Hotel, it looks really gorgeous! I was also looking at Stillwater a bit too, I love having lakes nearby as an option for pictures.

    Kschafer90- Boat cruise would be cool but my boyfriend doesn't really like being on a boat as he doesn't really know how to swim...I tell him they have life jackets for that thing but still haha.

    sjf2715- Having everything earlier is a great idea, maybe do a lunch reception :)

    I feel like I struggle looking at venues because when I see pictures of them in use its usually with a dance involved.



    Thanks for the advice guys!
  • Having it at a resort up north or anywhere out of the cities would totally make it feel like a vacation and I think that if it was at a resort type place, you could easily get by without a dance.  Do fun stuff like a bonfire, lawn games, smores!!, etc.
  • edited March 2015

    MesmrEwe- I definitely understand how you are thinking I should stick closer to the Twin Cities or towards Rochester, it makes sense and it is definitely more considerate of my guests. My only reason for wanting an up north wedding at a resort was so that it could feel like a vacation for my guests. Orginially I wanted to get married in Disney World (while I'm not ruling it out completely I've pretty much accepted it wont happen) and my reason for that was so that my guests would be enjoying themselves as much as I was. I'm a people pleaser in general lol

    Just wanted to point out that not everyone will want to turn your wedding into a vacation, so sticking closer to the home base of most people will be more convienent and enjoyable for most guests.
    MesmrEwe
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    edited March 2015
    sjf2715 said:

    My only reason for wanting an up north wedding at a resort was so that it could feel like a vacation for my guests.

    Just wanted to point out that not everyone will want to turn your wedding into a vacation, so sticking closer to the home base of most people will be more convienent and enjoyable for most guests.



    SO very true @sjf2715!!!  My idea of a vacation is a week at home with no kids, but traveling for a wedding, which we've done, feels NOTHING like a vacation!!!    But also, not everyone can afford to take time from work since not many people are going to want to drive that far up north in one swoop to make it on time to your wedding (Driving from Rochester to Tofte is at minimum 5 hours), not just the financial aspect...  OP - I'm also with your FI - I'd be fine staying in dock (which is an option!!!), but going out on the river, NOPE, not happening!!!! 

    If you're still set on the DW but local...  Check out these slightly closer lodge type resorts w/in a two-hour drive from both the cities and Rochester...    Cranberry Lodge in Tomah WI... Three Bears Lodge (Warrens, WI) and within 3 hours, just in general, Wisconsin Dells (Chula Vista, Kalahari, and Wilderness I believe is the other one)...   Tomah and Warrens are both close enough for both Cities and Rochester guests that if they didn't want the hotel expense that they'd have the option to drive home.   

    Finally another idea is a passenger train ride, however this could get very expensive very quickly.  Osceola & St Croix Valley Railway might be an option worth checking into too..     

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  • Well I hear what you are saying and I usually do everything to please others so maybe I'm being selfish in wanting my wedding to be more about what I want to do :)

    I figured more people would want to use vacation days to enjoy time with their family and friends rather than be stuck going to just a wedding :)

    That train option sounds interesting I will have to look into that!

  • I mean you do you, and if you want a destination wedding, go for it. Just realize that you aren't really doing it to serve your guests, and you may actually get higher rates of decline because of it.

    I personally hate taking vacation days for weddings. I have limited vacation time and I like to use them for vacations that I plan.
    MesmrEwe
  • There's nothing wrong with not having a dance. My finance and I are planning a small guest list (50-75). We looking at a night wedding...late enough that it's past the dinner hour. After the ceremony we're going to have lighter food, more like a late night happy hour.
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