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Planning a wedding without dancing, but not really sure how to fill in the time at your reception? No worries, we shared some of our favorite alternatives that are just as exciting. So if you are not into dancing and want to get entertainment ideas for your reception, keep reading. 

Alternative Ideas to Dancing at Your Wedding

photo of bride and groom having a wedding without dancing

Since you came here looking for tips on making your receptpion without dancing as fun as possible, let’s start there.

Later on, we’ll talk about why some couples opt to skip the dance floor.

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#1 Play Games

groom with blind fold

A wedding with games is always fun, especially when you are spending that time with your friends and family.

As an alternative to dances, you can always arrange team games with a wedding theme involving all your guests. 

Starting from active games like football or volleyball and ending with table games that can be even be themed.

If you have a lot of space, corn hole is always a classic! For smaller receptions, try the shoe game. 

And if you and your guests are more into puzzles, you can arrange a Murder Mystery Wedding that will surely stand out from all other ideas. You can be as creative with this game as possible.  

All of this can be accompanied by soft background music during a cocktail hour reception. You will see how each guest is enjoying their time with bonding and entertaining wedding games.

#2 Karaoke Time

group of people having karaoke time

After dancing, singing is everyone’s second-favorite form of entertainment. People love belting out their favorite hits, even if they can’t carry a tune. Heck, sometimes it’s the guests that can’t sing well that make this such a blast.  

Thanks to apps and YouTube, you don’t even have to rent a karaoke machine anymore (although I’d splurge on one if you’re having a big reception, as the sound quality is better). An event planner can direct you to the best place to rent one. 

A friend of mine had a karaoke machine at her reception a few years ago. Trust me, we had so much fun. I still remember it with a smile on my face.

#3 Live Entertainment

liver entertainment at a wedding

Not really a fan of singing, either? No problem, hire a musician to do it for you! Ask the band to play during dinner, so no one is tempted to hop on the dance floor. Of course, a live band costs a lot more than a DJ, but it’s a worthwhile splurge.

If you’d rather forgo music altogether, but still love the idea of live entertainment, get creative. Magicians (they’re not all cheesy, I promise), acrobats, even fire spinners are all highly entertaining options that every guest will love.

#4 Backyard Picnic

bride and groom having a picnic

If you want to skip dancing AND tables, go with a backyard picnic!  As you are already with your close friends and family members, you can arrange a lovely indoor wedding picnic in your backyard and have quality time with your guests. 

It can be a great option if your guest list is not that big and you don’t want to spend much on a larger venue. You can make a barbeque, hot dogs, or sandwiches and enjoy your special day with your loved ones. 

And if you have a guest who knows how to play guitar, you can ask them to play and sing songs. Having your wedding outdoors gives you all the opportunities to have a great time and make lasting memories. 

Taking photos of this special day of yours will allow you to remember it for a very long time. And that is something all couples want for their weddings, to make great memories.

#5 Wedding Quiz Game

groom holding a domino with the word "quiz"

Although this kind of falls under games, it’s not quite an active or table game, so I felt it worthy of its own mention. 

If you’re having a relatively small reception with just a few people, host a little trivia-night competition! Prepare the questions for the quiz ahead of time. 

Then, divide your guests into teams. For smaller parties, you can even pit one guest against another, Jeopardy-style. Oh! Or pit the couple against each other, just like that old Newlywed Gameshow!

Seriously, there are so many ways you can go with a quiz game.  It is something that will be very fun, heartwarming, and special for the couple regardless of the guest list size. 

Everyone will get to know you or your guests with this game, making this special day even more unique and memorable. This way you will also see how well your friends know you.  

#6 Hire an Artist to Paint Your Guests

a painting of a bride and groom holding balloons

Having an artist paint your wedding day is a very creative and special way to capture your most precious memories.

It’s not cheap by a long shot, but if you have the extra wiggle room in your budget, you won’t be sorry. Besides, since you’re skipping the traditional wedding dancing, you can use the money saved from not hiring a band to pay for it. 🙂

Set the painter up in a place where they can see the entire venue.  It will be very interesting to see how the painting turns out throughout the process. Maybe even give each guest the opportunity to get their portrait painted as a super special memento. 

 You can also ask the artist to paint the background of the picture beforehand to save time during the dinner if you’re planning a shorter reception. 

#7 Photo Booth Fun

photo booth as an alternative for a wedding without dancing

It is always fun to have a photo booth with silly prompts. But what if you can game it up and make it more professional and extravagant?

You can arrange a professional portrait photoshoot for you and your guests. Set up an area for the photographer to make the shooting and enjoy the excitement and laughter of your friends and family. 

The gamechanger here is that you will have professional photos at the end and a not silly photo taken by a machine. You and your guests will have an extraordinary experience with this activity. 

If you go with photo booth options that allow you to save each snapshot, you can print them all out later and create a memorable collage (or heck, even a whole photo wall dedicated to your party). 

#8 A Relaxation Day at the Pool

bride and groom having fun at the swimming pool

Swimming and relaxing at the pool is definitely a non-traditional wedding entertainment idea, but trust me, people will LOVE it (especially on a hot summer day). My friend got married in the blistering heat, and I would gladly have traded in the dance floor for a pool!

Combining this great experience with light food, cocktails, background music, and fresh air would be the best choice for you and your guests. 

For a winter wedding, book a hotel with an indoor pool. Bonus points if it has a spa, too. That way, you and your partner can release some of that pre-wedding stress with a good massage. 

#9 Casino Night

bride and groom playing in casino

The idea of having a casino night at your special event is very unique but at the same time a very entertaining and fun activity. And it is also easy to arrange. You can hire a dealer to manage the game or ask a friend who can host, making it even more fun.

If you’re playing with real money, check local regulations ahead of time. Some states require a license to gamble, even if it’s just at a small personal event like a reception. You can get around it by gambling with fake money, then giving prizes to guests based on how much they “win.”

However, if you can use real cash (and your guests are comfortable with that), it could be a great way to make some extra honeymoon funds. After all, the house always wins!

Why do people not want to dance during their weddings?

There are many reasons why people don’t want dancing weddings, and each one is just as valid as the next. 

For some cultures, dancing is considered taboo, either in general or during certain times of the year. Some couples just aren’t comfortable on the dance floor. Others may have physical limitations that make dancing impossible. Whatever the reason, it’s YOUR reason and that’s all that counts on your wedding day. 

The good news is- as we saw above- there are SO many ideas that replace dancing during your wedding that are still more fun and entertaining. Whether you’re having an indoor wedding, brunch wedding, or afternoon wedding, there’s always something amazing to do to entertain your guests. 

Are Weddings Without Dancing Boring?

If you have alternative entertainment ready, instead of dancing for your wedding party, no, it’s not boring at all! After all, dancing isn’t the only way to enjoy your night with your friends and family.

Remember, not rocking on the dance floor does not mean not having music at all. Light background music will make the atmosphere of the day more pleasant and enjoyable. 

I was once at a wedding with no dancing, and even it was a bit awkward at first, after a few cocktails and fun activities, everyone was enjoying their time. 

Final Thoughts

Non-traditional entertainment is always creative and gives more uniqueness to your special day. 

And if there is something you don’t want to do at your wedding, then don’t. It is your day after all. 

Let your guests know about your ideas and prepare them for the activities that you will have. 

No dancing at a wedding is something unusual, but surely other activities are fun too!

newly married bride and couple smiling at each other

What do you think about a wedding without dancing? Share with us below!

Lusine Masuryan
Lusine Masuryan

Hi there, I am Lusine! A young enthusiast who loves to write about beauty, pets, food, and so many other things. When I am not writing, I am most presumably hanging out with my dog Benji or watching Netflix. I am also into cooking and yoga. Probably the best two things to do when I need some self-time.

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