Wedding Reception Forum

Venue without Dancefloor, need fun ideas!

Hi all! my first post- yay!
We are getting hitched May 19, 2017 at a beautiful venue/resort overlooking mountain views. It is a destination wedding and my fiance and his family are from Germany. (just a little background). The venue had a ballroom option or a smaller (more beautiful) main floor reception option. Due to many factors (size - 50 people, intimacy, price! my 2nd wedding/his 1st,  yadda yadda) we went for the beautiful yet smaller room option.

Our restrictions are stressing me a little bit. We can not have a loud DJ and dance floor b/c it has a small restaurant running in the venue as well..

We have hired a wonderful guitarist / DJ / announcer, and we are allowed to dance, just no amplified music. However, the dance "area" will be small. So, we might just have a few special dances ie: first dance, parent etc... But, we are fun upbeat people who usually get down at typical weddings.

So- we wanted to think of fun ideas for everyone to also join in - the room is not that huge, we could have like games, or call up special couples and dedicate a song for them... Likely the best thing is to have a itinerary of how we want the night to go: Toasts, dances, etc. Right? And give it to our musician/dj. He is really really good- and we are very excited that we found him- it was the missing link.

Please - I would love some ideas so that we can include others.... we dont just want to have a dinner. There are fun German customs as well- that i think we can incorporate.

Thank you!! so much :)

Re: Venue without Dancefloor, need fun ideas!

  • I agree with both of the above.  

    I think as a guest it would be suuuuper awkward to be called up to dance in front of everybody.  I love to dance at weddings, but I absolutely do not want to do that with no one else participating and all eyes on me!  I dance in groups, not as an exhibition, and unless your guests are all trained dance performers they probably feel the same way.  Not to mention that the rest of the guests are unlikely to enjoy watching watching random people who aren't the bride and groom dance for them.

    If dancing is important to you and there is no room for more than a few of your guests to dance at once, I think that may be a very good indication that this particular arrangement at this particular venue isn't a good fit for what you want your wedding reception to be.

    I also agree no games, particularly when space is an issue.  Games won't take the place of dancing for anyone who was hoping to dance and overall I think they generally feel forced.
    SP29CMGragaincowgirl8238
  • I wanted to add my own personal experience.  I went to a wedding where most of the non-dinner portion of the reception was taken up by special dance after special dance, including a "traditional" piece involving the groom and all the bridal party members dancing for the bride.  That one dance lasted about 15 minutes, and it was awful, awkward, and uncomfortable to watch as a guest.  I felt bad for the BP and the bride.  The whole night was just way too "planned" with special activities, and it felt like a children's birthday party except no one was really having fun.  Don't do this to your guests!!!  

    Either have a venue where people can dance the night away, if that's what you want, or have your venue where dancing isn't really an option, in which case you'd be looking at a lovely but probably much shorter reception.  People will talk and mingle for a while, but without music I would picture your night ending not more than an hour after dinner.  From your post, it sounds like you and FI are big dancers, so why not switch to the larger area where dancing is okay?
    InLoveInQueensPrettyGirlLostcowgirl8238
  • If dancing is important to you, then you should pick a venue that allows for dancing.

    As for games- I think it is fine for games to be available should guests want to play, but they shouldn't be required or forced to. I enjoy dancing, but I would not get up on the dance floor for a "spotlight" dance of my own.
  • If you can't have amplified music you can't have dancing. No one will be able to hear it. 
    CMGragainPrettyGirlLost
  • So, after some thinking (we are well under way in our planning)-- we are not going to change vendor because it is simply beautiful and perfect. We have decided to have a dance as husband and wife, and sort of make our way throughout the room and around the tables. However we dont want to do any other dances (or maybe just mom and son, or myself and dad....) we are having a live musician, he can play with or without amp. We are allowed speakers, btw. We will have him play most of our favorite songs. And we have a bunch of ideas outside of a wonderful dinner, a custom cake (we are even thinking of handing out the cake ourselves!) a special toast with beer steins (he is german and his family are not accustomed nor would feel comfortable to big crazy weddings).

    so, i guess i should have also mentioned these details! and after the nice dinner, we will invite for after party on the back overlooking the lawn, under the heat lamps for cigars and whiskey - if we are allowed.

    I think it will be fabulous, with a little planning and organization :) No games per say, but my fiance said his sister has some kind of skit or thing planned- time to get in touch with the bridesmaids to help !!

  • banana468 said:
    If I see that you chose to dance and then find out that there is no dancing for me I'm wondering what you were thinking.   Either everyone dances or no one does.   Remember, the reception is FOR your guests.   You're one of the guests but you're not performers putting on a show.   


    This.

    You can't have dances and performances in front of your guests and then not allow them to dance, particularly if you know they are a crowd that enjoys dancing.  Would you gather everybody around to watch you eat a big juicy steak in front of them and then not give them any food?  Of course not!  This is the same sort of thing.  Either you make it possible for your guests to dance or you cut dancing all together.  To do otherwise is rude.
    InLoveInQueensPrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    So, after some thinking (we are well under way in our planning)-- we are not going to change vendor because it is simply beautiful and perfect. We have decided to have a dance as husband and wife, and sort of make our way throughout the room and around the tables. However we dont want to do any other dances (or maybe just mom and son, or myself and dad....) we are having a live musician, he can play with or without amp. We are allowed speakers, btw. We will have him play most of our favorite songs. And we have a bunch of ideas outside of a wonderful dinner, a custom cake (we are even thinking of handing out the cake ourselves!) a special toast with beer steins (he is german and his family are not accustomed nor would feel comfortable to big crazy weddings).

    so, i guess i should have also mentioned these details! and after the nice dinner, we will invite for after party on the back overlooking the lawn, under the heat lamps for cigars and whiskey - if we are allowed.

    I think it will be fabulous, with a little planning and organization :) No games per say, but my fiance said his sister has some kind of skit or thing planned- time to get in touch with the bridesmaids to help !!

    It won't be "fabulous." I would hate attending a wedding like this, where I'm expected to watch the couple and VIPs "perform" for me but I don't get to dance.

    And I would not help you with this if I were your bridesmaid.

    I think you really need to rethink this before you alienate your guests.
    InLoveInQueens
  • Jen4948 said:
    So, after some thinking (we are well under way in our planning)-- we are not going to change vendor because it is simply beautiful and perfect. We have decided to have a dance as husband and wife, and sort of make our way throughout the room and around the tables. However we dont want to do any other dances (or maybe just mom and son, or myself and dad....) we are having a live musician, he can play with or without amp. We are allowed speakers, btw. We will have him play most of our favorite songs. And we have a bunch of ideas outside of a wonderful dinner, a custom cake (we are even thinking of handing out the cake ourselves!) a special toast with beer steins (he is german and his family are not accustomed nor would feel comfortable to big crazy weddings).

    so, i guess i should have also mentioned these details! and after the nice dinner, we will invite for after party on the back overlooking the lawn, under the heat lamps for cigars and whiskey - if we are allowed.

    I think it will be fabulous, with a little planning and organization :) No games per say, but my fiance said his sister has some kind of skit or thing planned- time to get in touch with the bridesmaids to help !!

    It won't be "fabulous." I would hate attending a wedding like this, where I'm expected to watch the couple and VIPs "perform" for me but I don't get to dance.

    And I would not help you with this if I were your bridesmaid.

    I think you really need to rethink this before you alienate your guests.
    I agree, this sounds like guests are invited to a dinner show after the ceremony, not a reception. Having to watch other people dance and do skits (ugh) and then not being able to dance, even as someone who doesn't really dance, would make me feel so uncomfortable. I think a lot of people are going to leave early once they realize that only special people get to dance and participate in celebrating and everyone else just has to sit there and watch.


    OP, a first dance opens the dance floor. Without a dance floor there's no reason to do a first dance except to put on a performance and forcing your guests to be your captive audience. And please don't force your bridal party into a skit or help, that's so awkward and is a great way to have your wedding talked about (and not in a good way).
    SP29cowgirl8238
  • Hmmm ok. wow i keep getting surprised when i check these replies,... :O

    The reception is technically a "reception dinner", with a musician.. The wedding he attended (only 1) in Germany, the bride and groom danced around the room to the cinderella song, it was really cute, and romantic, and simple. I think he sees this as happening for our day..

    We were told by our venue that there has been some dancing / dances in the room, in the area near the fireplace where our sweet heart table will be.

    As for the other, fiances sister would like to do something nice, I dont know what it is yet- fiance said skit, but i dont think he knows exactly what that means. Like i said, im waiting to hear from his sister. My sisters- one is making the cake (a baker). I am all about getting everyone involved.. My dad is making the Arch that we will be married under.

    I was married before 10 years ago, we did a dance and all of that while everyone watched, and swayed along, and clapped at the end. Thats not what we are looking to do. I think he kind of wants to coordinate something so we go to the tables, joke around, maybe have one of my brothers or someone else spin me around... make it kind of lighthearted.

  • Remember julia roberts and her husband in "Eat pray love"... something like this! Quiet, nice, romantic.

    We both- do not like these crazy loud DJ and such. That to him and his family will be the weird and over the top thing to do. This will be rather personal in nature. And, we are not asking anyone to participate who doesn't offer !
  • Hmmm ok. wow i keep getting surprised when i check these replies,... :O

    The reception is technically a "reception dinner", with a musician.. The wedding he attended (only 1) in Germany, the bride and groom danced around the room to the cinderella song, it was really cute, and romantic, and simple. I think he sees this as happening for our day..

    We were told by our venue that there has been some dancing / dances in the room, in the area near the fireplace where our sweet heart table will be.

    As for the other, fiances sister would like to do something nice, I dont know what it is yet- fiance said skit, but i dont think he knows exactly what that means. Like i said, im waiting to hear from his sister. My sisters- one is making the cake (a baker). I am all about getting everyone involved.. My dad is making the Arch that we will be married under.

    I was married before 10 years ago, we did a dance and all of that while everyone watched, and swayed along, and clapped at the end. Thats not what we are looking to do. I think he kind of wants to coordinate something so we go to the tables, joke around, maybe have one of my brothers or someone else spin me around... make it kind of lighthearted.

    Remember julia roberts and her husband in "Eat pray love"... something like this! Quiet, nice, romantic.

    We both- do not like these crazy loud DJ and such. That to him and his family will be the weird and over the top thing to do. This will be rather personal in nature. And, we are not asking anyone to participate who doesn't offer !
    This style of wedding sounds wonderful, and if it works for you that's great. What everyone is saying though is if you're going to have a dance (even one around the guests) you should also have space for dancing for the guests. Again, don't something that is exclusive for you and is not open to your guests. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited November 2016
    The point everyone is trying to make is that providing any kind of entertainment or hospitality leads to expectations that all your guests will be entitled to receive or participate in them, which in turn leads to hurt feelings and alienation if that doesn't happen. If you lurk, you can find other threads where we advise them not to have dancing if not every guest can dance and to limit spotlight dances. Remember, the reception is to thank your guests for attending your wedding. Take "romance" and your past experiences out of the question and put yourself in the position you are asking your guests to take. Ask yourselves how "thanked" would you feel as a guest by being expected to watch the couple perform spotlight dances while you do not get to dance at all. The answer should be that you wouldn't feel "thanked" at all -- and neither would your guests. Therefore, you need to give this up and not plan dancing for yourselves if your guests can't do it.
    InLoveInQueens
  • Hmmm ok. wow i keep getting surprised when i check these replies,... :O

    The reception is technically a "reception dinner", with a musician.. The wedding he attended (only 1) in Germany, the bride and groom danced around the room to the cinderella song, it was really cute, and romantic, and simple. I think he sees this as happening for our day..

    We were told by our venue that there has been some dancing / dances in the room, in the area near the fireplace where our sweet heart table will be.

    As for the other, fiances sister would like to do something nice, I dont know what it is yet- fiance said skit, but i dont think he knows exactly what that means. Like i said, im waiting to hear from his sister. My sisters- one is making the cake (a baker). I am all about getting everyone involved.. My dad is making the Arch that we will be married under.

    I was married before 10 years ago, we did a dance and all of that while everyone watched, and swayed along, and clapped at the end. Thats not what we are looking to do. I think he kind of wants to coordinate something so we go to the tables, joke around, maybe have one of my brothers or someone else spin me around... make it kind of lighthearted.

    You can make your way around to the tables in any way you want. If there's music playing, you can dance around to the tables. This is very different than a spotlight dance. The difference being a spotlight dance is that everyone stops what they're doing and watches you dance, usually for about 2 minutes. You can't have a spotlight dance to do table visits and expect everyone to watch! 

    You mentioned earlier that there would be room for dancing where your sweetheart table is. That's an incredibly easy fix. Ditch the sweetheart table, and sit with other guests, and bam, room for dancing. 
    InLoveInQueenscowgirl8238
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