Reception Ideas

Reception Planning

My fiancé and I are having our reception from 2-5:30. Our venue is religious affiliated, so no alcohol is allowed. & we were both fine with that since it's in the afternoon & my side of the family doesn't drink. 

The only thing is that we don't want the reception to get boring so we were thinking about having dancing but we have no idea how to incorporate that into the day or how a timeline should go because we don't have a wedding planner. Does anyone have any ideas? If not dancing, how do we keep our guests entertained?

Re: Reception Planning

  • My fiancé and I are having our reception from 2-5:30. Our venue is religious affiliated, so no alcohol is allowed. & we were both fine with that since it's in the afternoon & my side of the family doesn't drink. 

    The only thing is that we don't want the reception to get boring so we were thinking about having dancing but we have no idea how to incorporate that into the day or how a timeline should go because we don't have a wedding planner. Does anyone have any ideas? If not dancing, how do we keep our guests entertained?
    People will talk and mingle just like any other party. Everyone will be happy and excited to talk about the wedding and seeing people that haven't seen in a while.

    will you be having a DJ or band? Is your crowd normally dancers? That is really the deciding factor on whether or not they will dance. 
  • Generally they will be entertained with eating and socializing. In my experience no one will dance in the afternoon with no alcohol. 
    southernbelle0915
  • What sort of food are you serving? That would help me make suggestions!
  • Agreed that most people probably won't dance in the afternoon. Maybe a couple people who really love to dance. I think you would be fine with a creating your own playlist with some mellow but fun songs (Michael Buble is always a great choice).
  • We are having BBQ! & we don't have a dj planned because we don't really expect a lot of people to dance. We are absolutely fine with no dancing because we aren't big dancers ourselves 
    SP29
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Generally they will be entertained with eating and socializing. In my experience no one will dance in the afternoon with no alcohol. 
    In my experience, alcohol is not required for dancing at a wedding reception in the afternoon.

    That said, OP, if you don't want there to be dancing at your reception, there doesn't have to be. Or if you do, feel free to go for it. If people want to dance, they will regardless of whether you serve alcohol. And if they don't, they ought to be fine with good food and conversation.
    ILoveBeachMusic
  • Traditionally, afternoon reception are shorter than evening receptions.  Dancing is optional, but at my daughter's afternoon reception, there was not a lot of participation.  Does your church allow dancing?  Many do not.
    Most people just want to talk and mingle.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • For just a few hours, your guests should be just fine with talking & mingling. It's also totally fine to not have alcohol, and if those are your church's rules, your guests likely won't expect it anyway. Afternoon receptions are typically more low-key than evening ones. Some light background music would be nice, if you have the time to make a playlist or find a good Pandora station you like. 
    short+sassybookmaiden17_
  • People will be fine with no dancing! Are you serving a meal, or just some snacks and cake? Either way is fine, since 2-5:30 is not a mealtime. 

    Lots of parties don't have dancing. Dancing is not required for a party! People will mingle, eat, and drink. It's 3.5 hours--people don't need extra entertainment beyond food, drink, and good company. 
  • It's not going to be boring whether you have dancing or not. At an afternoon wedding with no alcohol, no DJ, and in a church, I wouldn't even expect a dance floor. Do you want to do a first dance, though? If so, you should have a small area cleared for dancing if people want to (since first dances technically "open up the dance floor")

    Since you asked about a timeline, this might work well:

    2:00 Intros
    2:05 First dances (if doing)
    2:15 Toasts (whoever is speaking)
    2:25 Appetizers/couple visits with guests if not doing a receiving line
    3:45 Cake cutting
    4:00 dessert and coffee served
    5:15 send off 
    *********************************************************************************

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