Reception Ideas

An evening reception with no dancing

We plan on keeping our wedding around 50 guests give or take and have chosen to not have dancing. Would it be wrong to just have a dinner, drinks, cake and speaches and tie things up early or would people be expecting dancing at an evening reception? Other then dancing what other options do we have if we need to offer entertainment to our guests? Please nothing pricy as we have a low budget. Thank you. 

Re: An evening reception with no dancing

  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
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    We plan on keeping our wedding around 50 guests give or take and have chosen to not have dancing. Would it be wrong to just have a dinner, drinks, cake and speaches and tie things up early or would people be expecting dancing at an evening reception? Other then dancing what other options do we have if we need to offer entertainment to our guests? Please nothing pricy as we have a low budget. Thank you. 
    I think it's fine to skip dancing.  Just make sure you don't participate in any first dances/father-daughter dances etc. as well.  I'd still have background music and make sure the room is conducive to mingling.
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    Bride04272017charlotte989875SP29PrettyGirlLost
  • Ro041Ro041
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    I went to a wedding that had karaoke (actually I have been to a few).  They can be really fun.  

    Bride04272017
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
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    We plan on keeping our wedding around 50 guests give or take and have chosen to not have dancing. Would it be wrong to just have a dinner, drinks, cake and speaches and tie things up early or would people be expecting dancing at an evening reception? Other then dancing what other options do we have if we need to offer entertainment to our guests? Please nothing pricy as we have a low budget. Thank you. 
    Dinner and greeting your guests are the only things you technically need to do. Please tell your toast-givers to keep it to two minutes - sitting through a lot of speeches is generally the opposite of entertainment. No dancing is fine, especially with a shorter reception.

    Anniversary

    Bride04272017CMGragainSP29PrettyGirlLost
  • Dancing is not required at a wedding.  It was unusual to have it until the 1970s, when DJs and technology made it more budget friendly than having a live band.
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    SP29
  • It's not required but I imagine that the reception will be shorter.   As long as you're not trying to make it 5 hours, it's more than fine.  
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    There doesn't have to be dancing at an evening wedding reception. Just be sure to greet all your guests and have plenty of good food and free drinks. As long as you have those things, your reception will rock.

    But if the guests aren't allowed to dance, then don't have any spotlight dances.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • A friend of mine had a no-dancing reception.  It was in the church basement and super casual.  The only "down-side" I can think of is that it was much shorter.  After about 2 hours everyone was gone!!

    I agree with the others that as long as your okay with a shorter reception as a possibility, and don't have super long speeches you're good.  -Personally I wouldn't even side-eye the first dance, but I know others here are against it, and while I understand their opinions about you being able to dance and not allowing your guests to, I just don't really mind.

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
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    I've been to a few weddings without dancing.  They were just as lovely as those with dancing.   We all drank, ate and talked.  






    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. 
    charlotte989875SP29
  • Ditto PP.  Plenty to eat and drink are most important...keep speeches short and obviously no dancing yourself.  And the reception would be shorter than the typical 4-5 hour affair.
  • My wedding had zero dancing and based on the feedback that I received, no one missed it. We had our wedding at our favourite local restaurant so there wasn't even space. As long as you aren't doing any of the traditional dances, I don't think people will have an issue with it.
  • Dinner and greeting your guests are the only things you technically need to do. Please tell your toast-givers to keep it to two minutes - sitting through a lot of speeches is generally the opposite of entertainment. No dancing is fine, especially with a shorter reception.
    Sorry for the thread jack, but am I the only loser on the planet who absolutely loves wedding toasts and doesn't care about how long they go on? I'd so much rather listen to 30 minutes of toasts than witness the endless parade of bride/groom-father/daughter-mother/son-dollar-dances. 
  • Ro041Ro041
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    @mrose88 - I also LOVE wedding speeches/toasts/roasts.  It's always my favorite part.  I like to laugh and get teary eyed with the couple.  

  • SP29SP29
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    mrose88 said:
    Dinner and greeting your guests are the only things you technically need to do. Please tell your toast-givers to keep it to two minutes - sitting through a lot of speeches is generally the opposite of entertainment. No dancing is fine, especially with a shorter reception.
    Sorry for the thread jack, but am I the only loser on the planet who absolutely loves wedding toasts and doesn't care about how long they go on? I'd so much rather listen to 30 minutes of toasts than witness the endless parade of bride/groom-father/daughter-mother/son-dollar-dances. 
    I'm in the middle. I agree that I would prefer toasts over spotlight dances. I don't even mind a slide show or some personal jokes- as long as it's something that translates to the crowd (like my friend's sister telling the story about the first time the bride baked cookies and used salt instead of sugar). But I think there is a time both for one person giving a toast and the total time for toasts where it is just too much. If I'm thinking, "man, I need to use the washroom!", they've gone on too long ;).
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
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    edited January 20
    mrose88 said:
    Dinner and greeting your guests are the only things you technically need to do. Please tell your toast-givers to keep it to two minutes - sitting through a lot of speeches is generally the opposite of entertainment. No dancing is fine, especially with a shorter reception.
    Sorry for the thread jack, but am I the only loser on the planet who absolutely loves wedding toasts and doesn't care about how long they go on? I'd so much rather listen to 30 minutes of toasts than witness the endless parade of bride/groom-father/daughter-mother/son-dollar-dances. 
    Oh, I like them when people are good at them. But people who can tell funny or compelling stories also know when to shut up. It's the people who are already rambling or need to allude to every inside joke to prove their closeness to the couple who will go long - and then I like toasts not so much.

    Anniversary

    geebee908kimmiinthemittenInLoveInQueensSP29
  • I've heard way too many bad ones.   
    PrettyGirlLost
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
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    I went to a wedding once where the FOG gave a 45 minute toast. Then the FOB gave a 30 minute toast. It was awful. Long toasts are the worst. I'm there to celebrate, not participate in a toastmaster's event. If speeches go over 20 minutes combined I'm getting antsy. 


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    InLoveInQueensSP29PrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    edited January 22
    mrose88 said:
    Dinner and greeting your guests are the only things you technically need to do. Please tell your toast-givers to keep it to two minutes - sitting through a lot of speeches is generally the opposite of entertainment. No dancing is fine, especially with a shorter reception.
    Sorry for the thread jack, but am I the only loser on the planet who absolutely loves wedding toasts and doesn't care about how long they go on? I'd so much rather listen to 30 minutes of toasts than witness the endless parade of bride/groom-father/daughter-mother/son-dollar-dances. 
    Yes. In my experience, overly long or too many toasts contain too much "insider" humor and other information that I have no idea what it's even referencing. I hate listening to that for even a few minutes, let alone 30 minutes.

    But I also hate the endless parade of "special" spotlight dances.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • mrose88 said:
    Sorry for the thread jack, but am I the only loser on the planet who absolutely loves wedding toasts and doesn't care about how long they go on? I'd so much rather listen to 30 minutes of toasts than witness the endless parade of bride/groom-father/daughter-mother/son-dollar-dances. 

    I semi-agree.  I enjoy a speech (if it's more than a minute it's a speech, not a toast) but 5 minutes is my max.  I don't mind the inside jokes (who doesn't love seeing the bride or groom crack up? I'd rather be in on the joke but I can appreciate their moment) but I really like hearing someone superclose to the couple talk about the couple and why they're great together.  But I don't like 30 minutes of anything that I have to sit captively and watch. 
    I've been to a lot of weddings, but toast/speeches and spotlight dances combined have never taken 30 minutes.  Sorry, but if the speeches and dances take a half hour, you're doing something wrong.
    ernursejPrettyGirlLost
  • HeffalumpHeffalump
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    edited January 23
    mrose88 said:
    Dinner and greeting your guests are the only things you technically need to do. Please tell your toast-givers to keep it to two minutes - sitting through a lot of speeches is generally the opposite of entertainment. No dancing is fine, especially with a shorter reception.
    Sorry for the thread jack, but am I the only loser on the planet who absolutely loves wedding toasts and doesn't care about how long they go on? I'd so much rather listen to 30 minutes of toasts than witness the endless parade of bride/groom-father/daughter-mother/son-dollar-dances. 

    I don't like any of those things, so there's that. :smile:

    Here's the thing:  I don't remember any good toasts, so they can't have been that good.  But I do remember the bad ones, and they were downright painful.  Really killed the mood.  If I routinely saw great toasts, I would feel differently, but TBH, I really don't.  It's mediocre or bad.
    InLoveInQueens
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