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Reception Ideas

How to host a small reception?

Hi first post so I hope I'm doing this right. My fiance and I arnt having a large wedding. It is mainly his family and my parents, with a few close friends. The problem is I love dancing but I doubt since it will be less than 30 people coming that there will be many other people dancing. I still haven't met the majority of his family. I have no idea how to host a small reception where everyone can enjoy themselves. I am either use to a large party with lots of dancing, or a small party with lots of drinking, drinking games, and inappropriateness. So obviously I'm really stuck here and could use some advice please. Our venue already has a caterer where we're paying $30 a head no matter what we chose for food so I still kind of want to have some sort of small sit-down dinner incorporated into the reception but I've never been to a wedding where there was dancing or any other thing involved if there was a sit-down dinner. Please help.

Re: How to host a small reception?

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited July 2016
    Well I've attended a ton of weddings with sit-down meal that had dancing.   How the food is presented (i.e sit-down, stations, buffets, family style) never affected the dancing part of a reception.

    I've attended a few small weddings like yours.  None of them had dancing though.   Not that they couldn't have dancing, it just didn't fit the vibe those certain couples wanted.   They had a nice cocktail hour where everyone mingled.   Then a nice sit-down dinner (3-5 courses).   People talked, socialized, etc.     Those weddings were just as nice (and sometimes nicer) than larger party atmosphere weddings I've attended.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    OurWildKingdom
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    My sister had a small wedding, fewer than 30 people. There wasn't dancing because an event that size and of the formality of a wedding just doesn't really lend itself to dancing. Which is ok! My sister's wedding focused on amazing food (and open bar) so we had a blast just enjoying the food/beverage and socializing. 

    I'll second the recommendation that you go to a fun bar with dancing after the dinner reception if you're in that kind of mood.  Or, ensure your reception room has extra space, turn up the speakers hooked up to an IPod, and start the dancing yourself. 
    ________________________________


    OurWildKingdom
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    You can always have music being played. Maybe people will dance, maybe they won't.
    OurWildKingdom
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited July 2016
    My sister had a small wedding, fewer than 30 people. There wasn't dancing because an event that size and of the formality of a wedding just doesn't really lend itself to dancing. Which is ok! My sister's wedding focused on amazing food (and open bar) so we had a blast just enjoying the food/beverage and socializing. 

    I'll second the recommendation that you go to a fun bar with dancing after the dinner reception if you're in that kind of mood.  Or, ensure your reception room has extra space, turn up the speakers hooked up to an IPod, and start the dancing yourself. 
    That's what we're planning: we'll have a Bluetooth speaker (wicked cheap on Amazon) connected to one of our phones or FW's iPad. We have two spotlight dances planned (one just us, one with our families), and then we'll get the real dancing started!
  • We are not having dancing at our small wedding, but a few of my friends are going to go to a club after and dance. We won't be joining them but doing a dance club after might be an option for you.
    OurWildKingdom
  • cgss11cgss11 member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper First Anniversary
    I had 34 guests at my wedding. We had a DJ (came in the package), and there was dancing. We did the first dance, then there was a good luck dance where the dj invited couples to come dance with us, then he switched it to some faster music. The dance floor was not packed the entire time, and there were times that it was empty, but it honestly was totally fine. 

    I think the DJ was a little panicked because he came up to me concerned a few times and asked if he should try to get people back but I just said no, keep playing whatever and they'll come if they want. And they did. And bonus that those that did do more of the dancing got to request lots of silly favorite songs (spice girls). 

    I wouldn't stress over it, or worry if it will be silly with such a small group. Be a good host, and people will enjoy themselves. 
    ILoveBeachMusicSP29OurWildKingdom
  • Hi first post so I hope I'm doing this right. My fiance and I arnt having a large wedding. It is mainly his family and my parents, with a few close friends. The problem is I love dancing but I doubt since it will be less than 30 people coming that there will be many other people dancing. I still haven't met the majority of his family. I have no idea how to host a small reception where everyone can enjoy themselves. I am either use to a large party with lots of dancing, or a small party with lots of drinking, drinking games, and inappropriateness. So obviously I'm really stuck here and could use some advice please. Our venue already has a caterer where we're paying $30 a head no matter what we chose for food so I still kind of want to have some sort of small sit-down dinner incorporated into the reception but I've never been to a wedding where there was dancing or any other thing involved if there was a sit-down dinner. Please help.
    Here is the order of things:

    1.  You enter the reception.
    2.  The host welcomes the guests.
    3.  Usually the Best Man makes a toast to the bride and groom.
    4.  Eat.
    5.  You personally greet everyone at their tables, unless you have already has a reception line.
    6.  People talk and enjoy themselves.  No games or activities necessary.
    7.  You cut the cake and it is served.
    8.  Guests start leaving.

    If you want a spotlight dance, it is often between the speech and lunch/dinner.
    If you want dancing, just leave the music on.  Ask your bridal party to get dancing started and others may, or may not follow their example.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    OurWildKingdomKnottie3623956c84217914HuntersHappiness
  • I just attended a small wedding, and had such a great time. There was no dancing, but they had their iPod hooked up, and played music. They served lunch, tea, coffee and cupcakes. No alcohol, except a champagne toast. It was nice to catch up with family and friends.  Honestly, I've attended dozens of weddings, but this was one of my favorites. 
    SP29
  • kjb76kjb76 member
    10 Comments Second Anniversary
    We are having a small reception with not dancing. Not because we don't want to, but because our venue doesn't lend itself to that. We will be doing a first dance though at the end of the cocktail hour before we head into our sit down dinner.
    We plan to go to a karaoke bar afterwards so we can celebrate in a more festive atmosphere.
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