The Reception: Creative Activities for Non-Dancers

Traditionally receptions revolve around music and dancing, but what about those who don’t like to dance? There are many creative ways to entertain all kinds of guests. This post contains creative activities for any wedding reception.

Remember it is always important to consider who your guest are and what they would feel comfortable doing. Not all of the ideas provided will appeal to every type of reception. Go with your gut! If you think it would be fun then they probably will too; that’s why they love you!

Getting Them Involved

Wedding I Spy 3I Spy is a fun one that you can look back on after the reception is over. Place a card at each table with descriptions of events for your guests to take pictures of along with a URL to a site where they can upload. You can ask them to look for anything you can think of: the flower girl dancing, the oldest married couple, the best man embarrassing the groom, the bride talking with her new mother-in-law, or the maid of honor helping out. It is an inexpensive way of conserving your wedding day fun as well as getting the guests smiling!

 You don’t have to break your budget trying to please your guests. Sometimes it’s the little things that will make them feel the most excited about your reception. Including them in your decorations is a simple way to go, but also very effective. Your family and friends can look at the pictures and tell each other stories, reminiscing about the fun times they have shared with you.

Booklet 1 - CopyMessage Booklets are a fun way to get advice from your friends and family. Simply decorate your own little notebook or buy one. Then write a question for all the members of that table to answer. Your guests can share their booklets with other tables for the opportunity to answer more if they choose. The questions can be really anything you’d like. Be creative and have fun with it!

  • What’s your most cherished memory with the groom?
  • How did you first meet the bride?
  • What is the best advice for a long and happy marriage?
  • What was your favorite part of the wedding ceremony?

Guess WhoReinventing the game Guess Who to contain members of your wedding party or your reception guests (possibly two versions: bride’s side and groom’s side) is a creative way to personalize something most people already know how to do. For those you haven’t heard of Guess Who, it’s a game for two where each person draws a card containing a character. Then the two take turns asking each other questions like “Does your person have brown hair?” Eventually one of the players will figure out who their opponent drew; they are the winner. However, if the characters on the cards were their friends and family, they would be able to ask more entertaining questions!

Other Party Entertainment

Dessert TableSweets are always a good idea when entertaining, so consider arranging a dessert table. Guests of the bride and groom may not be close, but they can bond over delicious treats! It may seem like something odd to consider as entertainment, but think about when you spend time with friends. Are there not snacks or a run to Sonic/Dairy Queen/a grocery store? Food is a great ice breaker and an easy thing to provide in bulk.

PhotoboothPhotobooths are fun for being silly and having fun with those who love. You might think it would be too pricy to include at your reception, but maybe not. The idea of a photobooth is simple; all you have to do is recreate it. Pick a corner and hang some curtains, possibly that correspond to your wedding theme. Inside use a couple stools or any small seat you can get ahold of. Provide a camera with a timer feature, and your guests can have their own homemade photobooth experience!

If you feel like spending some money or you have an artistic friend or family member, hire an artist! They can set up an easel and sketch your guests. You could even have yourself drawn next to your groom/bride. This would be a fun keepsake for your guests to look back on.

Bag TossOversized Games are another fun activity for your reception. This can be anything you find fun: checkers, Jenga, bag toss, ring toss, you name it! Guests can bond while playing commonly known games with somewhat of a twist. Plus you can make them yourself which means they can be personalized to your wedding. Incorporating the colors of your wedding into these games becomes an easy way to decorate your reception area as well as entertaining friends and family.

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The Reception: Dances for All to Enjoy

There are many dances involved with a wedding reception. When planning this party, it’s important to consider all your options. They don’t all have to be incorporated in this time, but they are all great ways to share a moment with your loved ones.

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First Dance - CopyFirst Dance

It’s traditionally expected to see the bride and groom share their first dance together as a married couple during the reception; when specifically they take the spotlight isn’t. Some choose to move directly to their first dance after being announced and others wait until after a cocktail hour. Timing aside, it’s important for the bride and groom to decide on a song that they would want to call “their song.”

 

Father Daughter Dance - CopyFather Daughter Dance

This is a sweet moment for the father of the bride and his daughter. After giving away his little girl at the altar, this man deserves a chance to share a moment with her. This dance can mean many things to many people because of how we all have very diverse families, so choosing a song may be difficult. It is a bittersweet moment and one that won’t be forgotten.

 

Mother Son DanceMother Son Dance - Copy

The father of the bride gets to express his love for his daughter during the wedding ceremony as he gives his bride away and during the reception as he shares a dance with her. What about the mother of the groom? The groom honors his mother during the reception by dancing with her to a song just for them. It can be just as emotional as the father daughter dance because of the relationship they share.

Anniversary DanceAnniversary Dance - Copy

This is a fun one for all married couples at the reception. The song isn’t really as important to this dance, but what happens during the song is what makes it special. It starts when DJ invites all the married couples to the dance floor. Then as the song goes along, he or she calls out numbers of years and couples leave when a year longer than their marriage is announced. At the end of the song only those who have been together the longest will still be dancing. It’s a sweet way to recognize relationships that have lasted the test of time.

Dollar DanceDollar Dance - Copy

This dance is a fun way to spend time with your guests and make some money doing it. It is very popular and has a long history dating back to European immigrants coming into America. History aside, this is how it works! First, the bride and groom enter the dance floor. Second, guests line up (males by the bride and females by the groom) to dance with the couple. However, this opportunity comes at a price, at least one dollar. The bride and groom can either collect the money in a purse or bag, or they can have the maid of honor and best man collect it for them. Each guest gets roughly 15-20 seconds with the bride or groom, normally a slow song is chosen for this. This dance can be a time consumer if you let it, so use it carefully!

Who to Choose: What Will They Do?

There are many things to prepare for a wedding and many people involved to help. This post will serve as a guide of who has what tasks.

Everybody

Bride and Groom

The bride and groom work together for the majority of the wedding and planning. For them to have a day that is truly about the both of them they must work together to get what they both want. That includes everything from choosing the date and sending out thank you cards. However, there is so much in between. They must decide upon a venue, invitations, officiant, theme/color scheme, flowers, photographer, wedding cake, and picking out rings (the groom buys the bride’s ring and the bride buys the groom’s ring). Also, they must set a budget (unless that is set for them by whoever is helping pay for the wedding).

Bride

Although the bride shares many tasks which her groom, she still has choices to make on her own. First, she picks her maid of honor and bridesmaids. To thank them she organizes a bridesmaids’ luncheon where she will present them with gifts to show her appreciation of their hard work. Second, the bride buys her groom a gift. She might also prepare vows to share her love with him, if they choose to do so.Bride - Copy

Groom

The groom also has his fair share of additional tasks for the big day, more than the bride even. First, he must choose his best man and groomsmen; the groom also picks their clothing. He will buy them thank you gifts to reward them for their hard work just like the bride does for her ladies. Second, the groom buys his bride a wedding gift. He would write vows for her also, again only if they decided to share vows on their wedding day. Third, he pays for their marriage license along with the fee for the officiant. Lastly, the groom reserves rooms at a nearby hotel for guests who will be traveling for the wedding.Groom - Copy

Bride’s Parents

Over time the tradition that the bride’s parents pay for all wedding expenses has somewhat went away. They still help, but the groom’s parents and the bride and groom open their wallets too. However, the bride’s parents have roles that aren’t as well known. Together they help with the guest list as needed and host the couples’ first engagement party. Along with lending a hand whenever their daughter needs advice. They do separate on a few details:

  • The mother of the bride typically only has one additional task. She is to tell the groom’s mother what she has picked out to wear for the wedding so that their outfits don’t clash.
  • The father on the other hand has many responsibilities for his daughter’s wedding. The most well-known role of the father is to walk his little girl down the aisle on the big day, probably the most important and tear-jerking task for him. Then, he gets to spend some quality time with her during the father-daughter dance at the reception. The bride’s father has many other jobs that he must attend to after the reception, making sure everyone gets paid!Bride's Parents - Copy

Groom’s Parents

The groom’s parents also throw an engagement party for the bride and groom is they wish, only after the bride’s parents have done theirs (if the groom’s parents choose not to host an engagement party then friends of the bride and groom are allowed to). They also help with the guest list. Their most important task as the groom’s parents is to organize and hold the couple’s rehearsal dinner, which is normally the night before the wedding. They may give money to help with the wedding just like the bride’s parents do.Groom's Parents - Copy

Maid of Honor

The maid of honor, honor attendant if this role is given to a boy, is the most helpful person for the bride. She throws a bridal shower and bachelorette party for the bride along with many other smaller tasks. The maid of honor helps the bride with dresses and any other job she is asked. During the wedding, she witnesses the marriage of the bride and groom and signs their license. She also tends to all the details of the bride throughout. The maid of honor fixes the bride’s train and veil as needed along with holding her bouquet. After the wedding, the maid of honor helps the bride get ready to go on her honeymoon.

It is extremely important to choose the right maid of honor because she (or he) is involved in almost every aspect of the wedding. Someone like Jane from 27 Dresses would be a better choice than Tom in Made of Honor.Maid of Honor

Bridesmaids

The bridesmaids do not have any exclusive jobs. They do not have as much responsibility as the maid of honor, but they help her with her tasks. Whatever the maid of honor needs the bridesmaids are ready to help. They also directly help the bride along the way.Bridesmaids - Copy

Flower Girl

The flower girl simply has to look cute and walk down the aisle. She can drop flower petals as she walks or just carry a small bouquet of her own. The flower girl is normally no older than 8, but just be careful not to go so young that she isn’t comfortable with her job.

Flower Girl - Copy

Best Man

The best man is the groom’s equivalent of the maid of honor; he is just as important as she is too. He is the other signature on the bride and groom’s wedding license. He has to throw the groom a bachelor party, make sure all the men in the wedding have the right clothes, confirms honeymoon reservations the day before, returns all rented items after the wedding, and much more. He toasts the couple at their rehearsal dinner and reception following the wedding ceremony. The best man is responsible for bringing the groom’s clothes to him and getting him to the wedding on time. The best man keeps track of the bride’s wedding ring and the money to be given to the officiant. After the reception is coming to a close, the best man is responsible for getting the bride and groom’s bags into their car and well as decorating it.Best Man - Copy

Groomsmen

The groomsmen are in the same boat as the bridesmaids. They have no additional responsibilities, but are there for support. If the groom and best man need something done, they may be asked to take on a task or two. For the most part, groomsmen help with the bachelor party and show up early to the wedding to help wherever they are needed.Groomsmen - Copy

Ring Bearer

The ring bearer is similar to the flower girl, but is given more responsibility. The ring bearer is normally a young boy, about the same age as the flower girl, who walks down the aisle with a satin pillow, often at the same time as the flower girl. The pillow holds the bride and groom’s wedding rings. When the time comes, the best man and maid of honor take the rings from the pillow and give them to the bride and groom to exchange.Ring Bearer - Copy

Deciding the Dress: For the Bride

Many different options are involved when choosing the perfect wedding dress. You must choose a veil, neckline, waistline, skirt, and train. Within each of those areas there are many styles to consider. This post guides you through each of the components of a wedding dress in order to help you choose the best fit for you.

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First, veils are the most iconic feature that a bride can incorporate into her wedding attire. The many lengths of veils correspond to the type of ceremony that is chosen. However, there are many things to consider when picking out a veil.

  • The blusher is not a veil alone, it is merely an addition
  • The most popular is the elbow length
  •  Shoulder length veils are uncommon
  •  Fingertip length veils aren’t typically paired with dresses that have trains
  • Drama increases as the length of the veil increases

When choosing your veil it is extremely important to consider your venue, party attire, and your personality. If you are looking for a causal event then maybe you want to look into the elbow or fingertip lengths. On the other hand, if you want an elegant wedding with drama the chapel and cathedral lengths might be more your style.Veil- Copy

Second, there are seven necklines to choose from including: Square, Sweetheart, Boat, Scoop, Jewel, V-neck, and Surplice. It is extremely important to consider your upper body. In order to look like the perfect bride, the neckline must not be too bulky or too revealing. More busty brides should lean toward Scoop, Boat, and Jewel necklines. Small chested ladies would look better in Sweetheart, Square, and Surplice necklines.

Necklines - Copy

Third, a waistline that will prove to be flattering is essential. All women want to look skinny and this is where that can be made possible. Avoiding a dress that will drown or suffocate the bride is an absolute must. Slimmer women might look more toward the Basque or Drop waists. Meanwhile heavier set women might lean toward the Empire Waist or Princess Seam.

Waistlines- Copy

Fourth, skirts add personality to any dress. For a more simple and conservative look the Fanback or Streamers styles would be the way to go. Bubbles, Overskirts, and Bustles create a princess feel while Tiered and Flounce seem punk. There are many statements that can be made by the skirt of a dress; make sure your decision reflects how your guests should see you.

Skirt - Copy

Fifth, one of the most iconic aspects of a wedding dress is the train. The different styles of trains can match the level of formality of your wedding. Of the trains shown below, they become more formal as you move to the right. For example, a simple outdoor wedding would most likely feature a bride with a Sweep train. However, a bride with a Watteau train belongs to an upscale wedding in a vineyard.

Trains - Copy

No matter what type of wedding you are planning, choosing the right dress is a must. Be careful when inviting friends and family to accompany you. They have to be supportive of you and focus on what is best for you, not them. Say Yes to The Dress is a fun tv show to watch when thinking about your dress. They have a wide range of styles and could be helpful in your search.

Every groom deserves to look back and see their bride as more beautiful than they ever have before. Let love be your inspiration for your wedding day decisions. I hope this has been helpful and good luck! Feel free to comment below!