10 Fun Ideas for Non-Dancing Guests
Updated: Sep 11
We all love a killer playlist with an amazing DJ, but your guest's entertainment does not need to be limited to the dance floor. Thanks to COVID, celebrations are more interactive than ever, with couples surprising and delighting their guests with all sorts of wedding reception activities and entertainment to help break the ice and really keep that party going! We have seen everything from the beloved lawn games to professional performers, and even printing your face on a cocktail, here are our 10 favorite wedding reception ideas for the dancers and non-dancers in your crowd.
Challenge Your Guests to a Game
If you are getting married outdoors, we love to set up croquet or other popular lawn games. The options couples and guests both love include monogrammed corn hole, giant Jenga, huge checkers, over-sized chess, giant tic tac toe, and bocce ball. Then let your guests get a little competitive, drink in hand.
Another delightfully fun outdoor activity can also be a scavenger hunt themed after your event where they are each provided with a list of items that they must either collect or take photos of various items and present them before the opposing team to win a prize.
And of course, if your crowd is more sedentary, there isn't a person out there who doesn't love a rousing game of bar trivia...we suggest theming a few of those questions to see who knows the couple best!
Silent Disco DJ Battle
Okay, so this wedding reception idea technically involves dancing, but your typical line dance this is not. We love to see our couples put a twist on the standard dance party by hosting a silent disco. Guests don headphones set to a specific channel so that they can hear what the DJ is spinning. Everyone can rock well into the evening without the worry of a noise complaint. This also enables guests who want to converse to use their regular voices since they won't be straining to be heard over the speakers. Not unique enough for you? Take it to the next level and turn that silent disco into a DJ battle! Have two DJs playing different styles of music on different channels. Guests can flip a switch on the headphones to bounce from their favorite current hits to throwback jams from their high school years.
Guided Local Wine, Beer or Spirits Tasting
Make one of your bars into an interactive entertainment area by hosting a live tasting of your favorite local wines, beers or spirits. Simply come up with a theme, such as a tasting of beers from your favorite local breweries or a whiskey and bourbon flight of your favorite Tennessee and Kentucky spirits. It’s also a great way to show off drinks that are special to your relationship, like a lineup of Italian wines to commemorate your first big trip together to Rome or champagnes to honor your engagement in Paris. Then, have a sommelier guide groups of your guests through the tasting during the reception.
Hire Aerialists and Interactive Performers
From aerialists pouring your favorite wines to fire dancers out in the field, live performers create a “wow” factor at your wedding. Think about what makes the most sense at your venue. Will professional circus performers suspended in the middle of the ballroom draw them to the dance floor or would a bartender wearing a dress made of Champagne flutes greeting guests spark their fancy? Or do you prefer something a bit more sedate such as contortionists and baton twirlers on stilts or even a movable statues and a standup comedian to really set the mood off right?
Cheers To Love
Create custom labels that will serve not only as your table numbers, but also as a way for guests to write love letters for each of your anniversaries. We find that paint pens or Sharpie's work best for writing on glass. Then on each anniversary, open that numbered bottle and read the messages and good wishes that your loved ones have left you.
And for those date nights in between those passing years, have guests help the couple out with some of their favorite date ideas. Leave a jar of tongue depressors on each table along with a few pens. Ask guests to write down their favorite date night ideas on the depressors from one jar and put them in the other jar until its been filled.
Paint The Room
Commission your very own wedding art with this very creative wedding reception idea. We love it when couples hire a live event painter to capture the scene of their wedding. We have found that guests love to watch the scene unfold on the canvas throughout the evening. Place the artist in an area where they have a good view of the room, but where guests can also standby and observe.
If you prefer something a bit more interactive you can also hire a caricature artist to capture your guests' likeness in several silly wedding related poses offering them a little something to enjoy well after the event is over.
Offer a Build-Your-Own Cocktail Bar
Have your guests participate in the mixology of their drinks with a build-your-own cocktail bar. The bartender will mix up the base beverage, such as a gin and tonic, then guests can add their own garnishes from an herb and botanical station. If you prefer something even more interactive, offer your guests a martini bar where they can customize their cocktail by choosing between gin or vodka, shaken or stirred, and olives or a lemon twist before the move on to decorate their drink.
Have Fun in a Photo Booth—or Two
Photo booths, but especially GIF photo booths are always a big hit with guests. They love the many options that they provide with stills, as well as boomerang type photos. Being able to email them directly to themselves, they have instant access to share with the world just how much fun they are having at your party! Best part of all, is that as the host you will also receive the entire gallery at the end of the night. Just ask your photo booth vendor to share it with you. If you really want to make your guests' night, we recommend offering two photo booths. Each one should have its own theme, backdrop and props so that they can switch it up and see which one they like best.
Offer Cool Desserts
Delight your guests by offering an interactive dessert station where they can get gourmet popsicles dipped in chocolate then covered with their favorite toppings. Or bring in those homemade waffle cones and wild flavors like orange blossom chiffon and goat cheese with red cherries on Jeni's ice cream truck. For an even better dessert option, pair that Jeni's truck with the Peach Cobbler Factory's decadent desserts a'la mode!
If the sweet chill of popsicles and ice cream aren't your thing, we just love that summery smell of a fire pit where guests can gather around swapping stories about the couple while roasting marshmallows at a build your own s'mores bar...chock full of all of the couple's favorite chocolatey treats. Ever had a Reese's on a s'more before? If not, your'e missing out!
Set Up a Portrait Studio
A photo booth with hilarious props certainly are amusing, but why not give your guests a serious photo shoot? Set up a portrait studio, where guests can have a well-lit, posed shot in front of a glamorous backdrop. The resulting pictures will be ready to grace the pages of a magazine. The trick? The photos are taken by a pro photographer rather than a machine. This creates an experience where the guest and the couple both get to capture timeless classics. Oh, and you must have a wind machine because that takes it to a whole new Beyoncé status level!
What are your favorite non-dancing entertainment ideas?
Please let us know in the comments as we are always looking for new ways to have fun!