When you picture a wedding reception, typically most people picture a dance floor filled with the couple's closest friends and family. But dancing is not the only way to have a wedding reception! I hear from couples occasionally that aren’t big dancers and are reluctant to make a big part of their night dancing, when it just so isn’t them!
I hate hearing this! Your wedding should be a reflection of you guys and the things you love. There is no rule book that says dancing needs to be a part of the wedding to make it legal. The aim of your wedding reception is to celebrate the fact you just got married!!! You can celebrate any way you’d like.
And then with Corona, a lot of couples are concerned about the risks of dance floors. Dance floors are usually crowd (no 6 feet of distance), there’s a lot of heavy breathing (hello, respiratory droplets), and they just don’t feel safe with that risk in the current climate. So the question of what to do instead of dancing is coming up even more than usual.
The sky really is the limit! Think about the ways you like to celebrate and hang out with people in everyday life. If you’re are a loss for ideas, I’m going to give you some of my favorite wedding activities, besides dancing and then I’ll also follow that up with some tips to help you make your non-dancing event be successful.
Board Games: I personally love a game night. I think a board game is a fun activity and can serve as a great ice breaker for a group of people who might not know each other as well. If you are hosting a game night reception, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First off, make sure there are games at all levels. You want to make sure there are some classics with simple rules for people who might not be as comfortable with complex strategy games. Additionally, think about your crowd. While Cards Against Humanity might be fun with your college friends, it might be uncomfortable with Nana at the table.
Movie Night: I planned a movie under-the-stars wedding a few months ago for our wedding impossible series (check it out here!). I love this idea! I think it would be such a fun alternative to a typical wedding and a really great option if you are looking for a more seriously social-distanced choice.
Trivia Night: This option is great because it gets everyone doing something together. If you’ve ever attended a trivia night at a bar, you’ll get the basic gist of this.
Focus on the Food: Instead of the meal being the preamble to your evening of dancing, treat it as the main event. This can take a lot of different forms, from hosting a formal multi-course dinner party or something more fun where you have guests sample a variety of wine and cheese pairing throughout the night.
Craft Night: I’m a crafty lady, so this sounds like a dream for me. Invite someone to teach your guest how to make something. This can take pretty much any form from inviting someone to teach your guests how to do calligraphy or having them leave with a new piece of DIY art. I’d would recommend avoiding any activities that are too messy (skip the pottery lesson) or require a lot of specialty equipment (probably not the time to try out glass blowing).
Lawn Games: If you are lucky enough to live in a region where an outdoor wedding is still possible, consider setting up lots of socially distanced lawn games. Think things like corn hole, giant Jenga, and even oversized checkers. These games are normally available to rent (if you don’t want to be the proud owners of giant checkers).
Things to remember!
-Your wedding doesn’t need to be as long as a traditional wedding. While most wedding receptions range from 3 to 5 hours, make sure your reception’s length is suitable for the activity. No one wants to have trivia night for 5 hours!
-Give guests a heads up. Whenever you are doing something super non-traditional at a wedding, I think it’s nice to give guests a heads-up so they understand what their night is going to look like. You don’t need to spell it out on the invitation (although you totally can), but make sure that it’s clear on your wedding website.
-Consider hiring a DJ or at the very least a playlist. Just because you aren’t dancing doesn’t mean you can skip the music. Music is a crucial part of creating an event that flows well throughout the evening. Even if you are skipping the DJ, I’d encourage you to create a well-curated playlist and make sure that you have a sound system set-up.
-If guests will be sitting for most of the evening, think about upgrading chairs or even creating lounges. While the most inexpensive chair options that your venue or your rental company offer may work great for a 20-minute ceremony, but if you anticipate having guests sit for the majority of the wedding day, you might want to give them something a little nicer to rest their butts on. I’d recommend heading over to your rental company and seeing what chair options they have available and doing something with a little more cushion.