For some couples, creative a dance floor where guests will want to spend the entire night is a top priority while planning their wedding. However, others would rather plan moments for their guests to experience that have nothing to do with the songs of the moment. We fully understand and support both! When we happened upon this article from Brides about how to create experiences for guests who would rather not dance, we immediately had ideas we wanted to share with you.
Below, we’re sharing our own take on our top 10 ideas for weddings where a dance floor with a great DJ or band are not a must-have. As a note, almost everything we’ve included has happened at our weddings. Take a peek!
1. Hire an Artist
An artist can paint your reception as it happens. Typically, you will talk with the artist of your choice in advance of your wedding to choose which moment you would like painted (first dances are popular). Then he or she will arrive a little before your reception starts to begin painting an outline of your piece. Your chosen moment will happen, your artist will paint, and he or she will continue working on the piece throughout the night. Guests are typically fascinated by this process!
2. Have a Photo Booth
Photo booths have become a classic activity to include! Some photographers have photo booths as part of their company’s offerings, so the process of determining which booth is right for your wedding can be very seamless. We always enjoy when photo booths are equipped with beautiful backdrops (sequins are a favorite!) because they feel more glamorous, and guests always have fun with props. Many companies will print photos on-demand for guests to enjoy (an easy favor!), and another copy is always kept on hand for the couple to enjoy.
3. Host a Game Show
Laura and Mark wanted to create a completely interactive experience for their guests at their Franklin Institute wedding, and we were happy to plan all of the details! They opted for a live game show, with categories all about them,, which offered friendly competition among guests. Plus, the space also included beer and wine tasting, Adirondack chairs to relax in, and even fake turf. The beer garden feel was definitely achieved!
4. Welcome Guests to Game
Caroline and Mike celebrated their wedding day at her parents home, which meant there were plenty of opportunities for guests to interact with their location. C+M loved the idea of life-sized games, so we sourced the largest game of Connect Four we’ve ever seen! Guests also were able to interact with a few of Caroline’s favorite horses with carrots and apples at the ready for guests to feed them.
5. Creatively Serve Your Menu
Guests always look forward to what they will eat and drink at a wedding, and we always enjoy having opportunities to be creative with “how”. Molly and Andrew flew their favorite ice cream sandwiches in from Seattle, and we’ve also had couples serve popsicles during summer weddings. Another great idea is to ask servers to pass intermezzo. This way, guests can enjoy their course on the go, whether that means eating on the dance floor or pausing in between turns of a lawn game.
6. Enhance Your Bar
When a couple mentions they would like their guests to enjoy an enhanced bar experience beyond simply sipping cocktails, we look to bartenders who are known to interact. The team from 13th Street Cocktails is one of the best because of their creative, artisan drinks. The 13th Street Cocktails team has a unique ability to combine ingredients in new ways, and they are also happy to share why things pair well together.
7. Create a Kid-Friendly Spot
If kids are on your guest list, think about creating an environment for them to enjoy. Some may be content to jump onto the dance floor, while others might prefer something that’s more on their level. We’ve designed low tables with kids in mind that are decked out with coloring books, games, and more for them to enjoy together. We also recommend serving kids’ meals earlier. They’re not accustomed to eating late, and a wedding day is not the time to try to push their limits.
8. Sketch Your Guests
In our experience, guests are delighted by customized experiences, especially when they’re at the heart of the moment. Denise Fike is a local to Philadelphia, and she creates fashion sketches of guests at weddings. A fashion sketch would feel similar to having an artist paint live at your wedding. The difference is your guests will receive a unique piece to take home with them.
9. Opt for a Cool Cigar Lounge
To this day, cigar lounges are still popular. But, the Traveling Tobacconist goes beyond supplying guests with cigars. Instead, the team hand rolls cigars on site at your wedding. They also arrive in an airstream trailer that serves as an amazing cigar lounge. The trailer creates an atmosphere for guests, and we like that it’s a location specifically dedicated to smoking.
10. Invite Guests to the Circus
Andrea and Mike celebrated their wedding day “under the big top”. The night was made memorable by circus performances! During cocktail hour, guests witnessed aerialists pouring champagne, and they could see a peek into their future with one of the fortune tellers. Once the reception was underway, there were more performances, this time by a contortionist, sword swallower, and a fire breather. A+M’s wedding was unforgettable for everyone in attendance!