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Reception Ideas

A Boring Reception?

ADH0906ADH0906 member
10 Comments First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its
edited June 2013 in Reception Ideas

I suppose I have a 'what would you do?' type of question. It's a novel, so sorry in advance!

My FI and I are very quiet, laid back types.  We are ALWAYS the couple that everyone else is trying to drag onto the dance floor against our wishes.   We like to have a good time, honest!  We just aren't really party animals.  I come from a very rural southern area and weddings aren't super fancy... generally, dancing isn't a huge part of the event and they end fairly early.  My side of the guest list is mostly older family and a very small close circle of friends.  FI's side of the guest list is a totally different animal.  The recent weddings we've been to on that side are all out parties. 

We are from different states and recently moved to the exact half-way point, and the wedding is where we currently live.  Almost every single person will be travelling at least 6 hours.  We're going to have a lovely garden wedding, beautiful historic venue, amazing catering, a full open bar.  We'll be playing background music, and may even do a first dance/father daughter dance, if the room set-up allows.  We decided not to do a DJ or band.  It was a hard decision to make, because I know that -- on his side -- even casual acquaintances RSVP 'yes' because of how crazy fun the weddings can be. I hate to say it, but I don't think our wedding will be "a blast."  I think it'll be a lovely, meaningful, personal day with an amazing dinner party to follow. 

I am completely of the opinion that we are all ~30 year-olds and are perfectly capable of entertaining ourselves by celebrating, eating cake until we're green, and catching up with loved ones.  But I'm worried that his friends will travel 6 hours and be totally disappointed!  I have been casually spreading the word that it's not a blow-out party, but FI refuses to do this on his side.  I know I'm just being my self-conscious self, but is it inappropriate to let people spread the word that this is a low-key wedding, not a party?  Am I crazy? This is the absolute ONE thing that is making me terrified during planning, and I'm finally breaking down and asking TK ladies!

 

ETA: Holy typos, Batman.

Re: A Boring Reception?

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I wouldn't worry about it. You need to have the kind of wedding you and your fiance want to have. We didn't have dancing, either, which is one of the reasons we opted for a daytime event. We knew that would lessen the expectation of dancing. 


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    What you are planning sounds perfect to me!   You're having an open bar and great food.....I'm sure all his friends will enjoy that as they catch up with each other.

    But if you are so worried/terrified about it, why not have dancing?  You mentioned earlier in your post that "it was a hard decision" when deciding to have no DJ.  Is it simply because you would prefer to have a low key event and that's what you're used to?  Which is completely fine!

    Or is because you don't want to be "partying" and dragged out onto the dance floor?  We had lots of dancing, and the only time I was on the dance floor was when I willingly went out there, which was not much!  I was constantly being pulled in different directions by family and friends that wanted to talk and take pictures.

    Latham101114
  • JoanE2012 said:
    What you are planning sounds perfect to me!   You're having an open bar and great food.....I'm sure all his friends will enjoy that as they catch up with each other.

    But if you are so worried/terrified about it, why not have dancing?  You mentioned earlier in your post that "it was a hard decision" when deciding to have no DJ.  Is it simply because you would prefer to have a low key event and that's what you're used to?  Which is completely fine!

    Or is because you don't want to be "partying" and dragged out onto the dance floor?  We had lots of dancing, and the only time I was on the dance floor was when I willingly went out there, which was not much!  I was constantly being pulled in different directions by family and friends that wanted to talk and take pictures.

    A little of both I suppose.  Our venue doesn't have room for a dance floor, unless we get a very high decline rate (which is possible, given the distance).  I think there will be less than ten of his friends that would expect a party, so it really doesn't justify having a DJ that we don't really want in the first place. I just worry about being a crappy host.  If it were our hometown and people weren't travelling so far, I wouldn't feel the least bit sorry if friends showed up and left early because of a perceived lack of entertainment.  But I feel bad knowing that they're coming from so far. 

     I know that you mean no harm, but trust me... saying that we won't be pressured to dance is only something that people who LIKE to dance say, because those of us that hate dancing dread dancing events because there's always very awkward pressure to go out!  You carefree dancers don't mean to do it, I know.  But damned if there isn't always that one guy/girl...  :)

     

    PS:  I quoted a text box!  Woot Woot!

    daisey18axelandisabelle
  • Your wedding and reception sound a lot like what FI and I have planned for ours, minus the dances (we have no dancing room at all). We are still expecting to have a perfectly wonderful day full of memories, great food, and visiting with friends and family. Don't worry about this. It sounds like you are properly hosting your guests, and I think they'll have a lovely time.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • I would just like to add that if the main entertainment is going to be visiting, I'd have open seating so people can choose who they want to spend the time talking to. I would also skip the father daughter and first dance. As a guest that would just really make me want to dance too.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    ADH0906 said:

     I know that you mean no harm, but trust me... saying that we won't be pressured to dance is only something that people who LIKE to dance say, because those of us that hate dancing dread dancing events because there's always very awkward pressure to go out!  You carefree dancers don't mean to do it, I know.  But damned if there isn't always that one guy/girl...  :)


    I hear you there!  I have literally been dragged onto dance floors by friends, including one of my bridesmaids, who is supposed to be my best friend and not do horrible things to me!  Having had that happen is the main reason we opted not to have dancing and then did the morning ceremony so it would lessen the expectation, as I mentioned above, so nobody would miss it.  We knew we would get pressured, and we didn't want to be angry at our guests at our own reception!



    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • hordolhordol member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer First Anniversary
    I would just like to add that if the main entertainment is going to be visiting, I'd have open seating so people can choose who they want to spend the time talking to. I would also skip the father daughter and first dance. As a guest that would just really make me want to dance too.
    I agree completely with this. It's totally fine not to have dancing, but if the main entertainment is going to be visiting and catching up (which is great, I love that) then I think open seating is important. I also agree about the first dance and father/daughter dance--I think if you aren't having dancing for your guests you might want to rethink having dancing for yourself. If those spotlight dances are important to you, I don't think anyone will be offended that you got to dance and they didn't, but I just think that if the reason you are not having a DJ is because you don't like dancing then you probably shouldn't dance yourself, you know?
    image



    PitaPata Dog tickers
  • I'm surprised to hear the open seating comments.  I think open seating is almost always a terrible idea and have never enjoyed that 'cafeteria panic' moment of trying to figure out where to sit, especially if you don't know many people there.  We had planned to assign tables for dinner, and the space is indoor/outdoor and the courtyard garden (where the ceremony will be held) will be re-configured to have smaller seating areas ... same for the cocktail area.  It's all connected to the dining area, so I think people will be free to move and mingle after dinner. 

    I don't mind slow dancing (I enjoy it, in fact) and the father/daughter and first dances will not be so much spotlight ... no announcement, etc.  But if space allows, we will have a small open area where couples are free to pair off if they like, even if that is only the patio right off the dinner area.  Slower music will be played all evening, so I think it may happen naturally (as it has at dinner parties in the past).  I feel this is starkly different than pushing all tables to the sides and creating a huge dance floor that engulfs the conversation areas.  I guess I might be way off base though, given the previous comments?

    Latham101114
  • As a bride who didn't have dancing at her wedding, I have to agree that YOU guys dancing but not having dancing for others bugs me. It's like feeding each other a slice of cake because it's "tradition" and then not offering your guests any cake because you don't like it. I wholeheartedly agree that if you don't want dancing you shouldn't have it, but you also shouldn't rub your guests' noses in it, for lack of a better word.


    Wow, I hadn't considered it in that way.  If there's room for me and fiance to slow dance (there may not be) then there will be plenty of room for the ...oh, 5 couples, tops?... to dance as well.  The music will be there regardless, but there will definitely not be a "Now the father/daughter dance!" moment. We won't have a special song, etc. 

      In my group of friends, we often have casual dinners in the summer with the radio on afterwards where sometimes couples will sometimes break away and have a dance on the porch.  It's not an after dinner dance party, but just a quick moment with a partner. If dancing does happen, I imagine it will be similar...and certainly not exclusive to me and my fiance.  Maybe that's not all that common in most circles though? They would be easy to skip, though I know my dad would be hurt. (Can you tell I've been overthinking this for quite awhile?)  Now you have me worried, Stage!

    Latham101114
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    We had assigned seating. That's really just for the meal anyway. People are free to get up whenever they want OR trade seats if they would rather be somewhere else. It's not like they are tethered to their chairs. 


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • I think your wedding plan sounds lovely! I love to dance, but I also enjoy parties without dancing. It sounds like you are putting in a lot of thought and care into properly hosting your guests and I am sure everyone will have a wonderful time. I went to a beautiful afternoon wedding where there was really no dance floor, but the bride still had a first dance with her husband and the father daughter dance. I did not feel bad that they danced and I didn't, but everyone is different. I've never been to a wedding with open seating, but that just may be how it is in my social circle.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Assigned seating simply indicates where people should sit to *eat.*  There's no requirement that they stay there the whole reception and socialize only with those persons at their table.  As Addie says, people can get up and move around to socialize with others.
    Latham101114axelandisabelle
  • What time is your reception? If you're really worried about it, why not do something in the afternoon? Then all of his out of town guests could have their own after party and drink and get rowdy.

    I'm not much of a dancer, but if it was an evening reception and I was drinking I'd probably expect a dance floor. I'd be fine without it of course, but doing something earlier and maybe a little more casual has less of those expectations.

    Or just have him spread the word that you don't want dancing at your wedding, it's not typical of the weddings in your family and then they'll be prepared.
    Anniversary
  • I would keep to your plan with background music only.

    If they get a bored..out of town..you can always provide list entertaining place to go.......

    on your wedding website.

    It is your day, you can party how you want to.

  • @ashleyep, that ship has already sailed.  It's a 5:30 ceremony with dinner at 7:00.  It's a Friday, so afternoon wasn't really an option.  I think just convincing him to spread the word is the easiest at this point.
  • We had no dancing - even though my husband would have enjoyed it, seeing he was a regular on American Bandstand  - but there was no room where we held our reception and I'm DEFINITELY not a dancer! We had an iPod playing in the background with love songs I picked (like 400 - definitely no repeats!) and everyone sat around the tables and talked and talked. Everyone wanted to meet the families, friends, and fans of ours. :) (I'm being hyperbolic with "fans," but I wanted some alliteration thrown in :)). It was definitely not boring - a ton of fun!
  • I agree with Stage: if there's no dancing, that should mean absolutely NO dancing. I would get along just fine at a reception that didn't have dancing at all...but if the couple did spotlight dances and then there was no dancing for anybody else, I'd be put off by it.

    *I felt sorry for my husband before I met him. Take a number.*
    image

    [Deleted User]
  • I'm not sure if your wedding has happened already, but I'm having the same issue. We are a more subdued couple and our wedding is going to be very small and private. However, I do want some of the traditions, too. I will just have a cd playing in the background of our reception but there is a song that exemplifies our relationship so well that I want my husband-to-be and I to dance to it. There is a very small area to possible dance and I think what I might do is ask anyone who also wants to get up and dance to join us. We'll be able to dance to our special song without being the spotlight.

    Also, you could look around your area for some fun activities to do either the day before or the day after, depending on their travel plans. There is a website   http://www.projectwedding.com where you can make your own little website about you and you can include all of that in there.
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