Wedding Reception Forum
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Afternoon reception without dancing

My fiance and I are having an noon reception with a sit down lunch. His family does not dance due to religious decisions, but my family does. We are thinking of not having dancing, but I will really miss having that first dance with him or with my father. Would there be a good way to incorporate those two important dances without having a whole dance party? Also, if there is no dancing, what would be a good thing to do instead? Most of our guest list is coming from out of town, so I want to have something fun for all our guests at the reception. Thanks!

Re: Afternoon reception without dancing

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    Is his family opposed to sitting in a room where other people are dancing?  Just because they don't dance, I'm not sure why other people can't.  It's not like you're going to be dragging them onto the dance floor, right?They can talk, visit, chat, socialize, and enjoy each other.  Your guests can enjoy what they like to do.Really, I'm not sure I'd add anything else-like games unless you're having a very casual outdoor wedding that might lend itself to croquet or bocce or horseshoes.Without dancing, I'd guess you'll have a shorter reception.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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    Do the dances that you want, and maybe play quiet music for the rest of the reception (jazz, standards like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, etc.) so that people who want to get up and slow dance can do so. And if people don't want to dance, then you have it for background noise while they mingle and eat. You don't need a game or activity. Totally fine if your in-laws don't dance, but that doesn't give them the right to dictate your entire reception and judge others who do. A wedding with dancing isn't automatically a sex-filled, booty-shaking strip club atmosphere.
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    i went to a reception that had no dancing and it was only about 1 hour long in total...and a really long, boring hour at that. it too had most guests coming from out of town, myself included, and we all wondered why there was no dancing and nothing else to do (no games either). I like the suggestion of having dancing anyway and if they don't want to then that is fine.
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    I've been to several afternoon receptions with no dancing and no alcohol.  You should still have background music so you can still do the first dance and father daughter dance if you want to.  There's nothing wrong with that at all.  As for everyone else, don't try to do anything to replace dancing.  At an afternoon reception, everyone will eat and socialize and they usually end after about 2.5 hours.  
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    I find it sort of rude when a bride and groom do all the traditional first dances but then don't have dancing available for their guests too.  If the bride and groom get to do it I think the option should be extended to all the guests.Just because his family's religious beliefs dicate that they can't dance doesn't mean other people shouldn't be offered the chance, if they want to.  If you want to dance, provide music and a space so that everyone can, if they choose to.  As a previous poster said, I have been to a few weddings with no dancing (the bride and groom didn't dance either) and they were usually only 1-2 hours in length.No matter what you decide, have background music playing the whole time.
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    definitely make sure you've got the music on. the wedding i described in my previous post didn't even have music, nor dancing, it was at dinner time yet only had snacks - don't do that. i also don't like the idea of you having a 1st dance and/or m/s and f/d dances but not having dancing for everyone.
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    I am having the same dilemma....late a.m. wedding with a lunch reception and no DJ....do you have CD's playing in the background?  We are not planning on doing a first dance or throwing of the bouquet and garter, etc.  However, who do you have introduce the couple when they arrive, etc.  Thanks for your help in advance ladies!  : )
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    I *get* someone not dancing for religious reasons.. (actually I don't, but I try and walk in their shoes)

    I do not *get* extending your believes on to other people, especially when you are a GUEST of a party.  I'm sure more than half the guests they do not even know.  Pretty rude to tell a bunch of people you do not know and more than likely will never associate with again what they can and can not do.

    Even if you decide not dance, why would it be okay for you and your husband to dance in their eyes and not everyone else?  I assume if they are against dancing they are against all dancing.  If you are going to offend them anyway, might as well let your other guests still have fun.






    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. 
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