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8 Fun Alternatives to Dancing at Weddings

Wedding inspiration and other ways to keep your guests entertained on the big day.

We understand that dancing isn't everyone’s cup of tea. There are plenty of other ways to have fun on your big day – it just takes some creative thinking and planning.

Entertainment
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Photo: Tec Petaja

Though we know most wedding attendees love to tear up a dance floor whenever the occasion calls for it, we understand that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. However, dancing at weddings is generally the activity of choice for wedding entertainment, which can be intimidating for engaged couples with two left feet.

If you and your future spouse blanch at the thought of going on the dance floor at your wedding reception, or you’re hosting intimate nuptials where a night of partying doesn’t seem in the cards, we have a list of alternatives to dancing at weddings to suggest. Keep in mind these are not one-size-fits-all solutions; the formality and setting of your wedding reception will affect what type of entertainment is appropriate. There are plenty of ways to have fun on your big day – it just takes some creative thinking and planning.

Guests Seated in Dramatic Reception Space

Photo by Carasco Photography; Floral & Event Design by HMR Designs

Discover some ideas on how to keep your wedding guests entertained:

Cocktail Reception 

Instead of having a full dinner, consider making your reception a cocktail party with plenty of appetizers. People will mingle and enjoy themselves like they would at any other soirée without your guests feeling the pressure to go straight from dinner to dancing. Note: If you choose not to have a formal dinner service, either let your guests know or make sure the hors d'oeuvres or food stations are heavy enough to keep friends and family feeling anything but hungry.

Campfire 

If you’re having a beach wedding or an event at a summer camp-style venue, a bonfire is a festive way to celebrate and keep warm. It will bring your guests back to simpler times and give everyone something to chat about for years. However, no one likes to have smoke in their face for hours on end, so be sure to set up some lounge areas with heaters nearby for friends and family to continue to mingle. Add a s’mores station or fun campfire games for an extra treat!

Lawn Games 

When designed properly, lawn games can fit in perfectly at an elegant garden party. Corn hole, croquet, bocce ball, a ring toss, and even horseshoes are popular choices for lawn games at wedding cocktail hours and receptions. Once the sun goes down, consider turning part of the venue into a fun neon-themed carnival or a miniature golf course that's well lit of course!

Strike a Pose 

Photo booths and photo walls are popular even at weddings with dancing, so they’re sure to keep people occupied sans dance floor! Rent or make an additional one so everyone isn’t stuck waiting in line for too long – you can also find photo booth options that are more interactive to keep friends and family entertained while they're enjoying the entertainment and waiting in line.

Game Night 

If you're one of those couples who is known for having friends and family over for game night, why should your wedding be any different? Have classic board games available, but don’t push the activity on people! Some don't love games and would rather just talk to each other instead. Like anything wedding-related, you want to ensure your guests have a great time throughout the event and don't feel forced into anything.

Sing it Out 

Karaoke can provide the party vibe without dancing, and guests can always get up to dance to the performances if they wish! It's a great option that's the best of both worlds – and once again, if you and your future spouse are known for singing karaoke or being the life of the party, this is a wonderful way to honor that fun spirit without following the typical wedding reception timeline.

Live Performance 

Even if you don't have a dance floor, your friends and family still likely want to hear some great music! Consider hiring a band or singer, but have them play lower-key music that's not necessarily something that will make people want to dance. You could even turn your wedding into a jazz club, book dueling pianos, or hire a rock band to put on an incredible concert-like performance.

Casino Night 

While you shouldn’t have people bet for real money at your wedding, casino games can be a lot of fun and will always be remembered by your friends and family. Consider craps, blackjack, roulette, poker, or any of the popular choices to bring Las Vegas to your wedding reception. Perhaps prizes for big winners can be made available in addition to favors!

Discover 24 entertainment ideas that have nothing to do with a band or DJ, learn more about having fireworks at your wedding, and read everything you need to know about live event painting.