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To Dance or not to dance?

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akw94

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Hi everyone,
We''re having a small ceremony/reception of about 40-50 people. There will be no official dance floor at the reception, but it is inside. Also, the ceremony will be at 12 so lunch will be about 1.
I can''t decide whether to have dancing. I''m not sure if it will be weird to have it w/o an actual dance floor (but do we really need a dance floor to dance??). Also, neither FI nor I are big dancers and we''d probably only do the traditional dances and then be mingling w/the guests most of the time.
Is a wedding w/o dancing weird? Is a lunchtime wedding w/dancing weird? I just don''t know. Part of me wants those traditional dances but I''m just not sure. I''m a bit shy in large crowds and although it''s all of our family, it might feel weird to dance in front of everyone.. but I don''t want to regret not having it.
What do you think?
Did you dance or not? If not, what did you do for 2-3 hours?

Also, we''re thinking of the ipod thing too so we''d also have to elect someone to dj, right?

Thanks!
 

akw94

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Thanks Ladyk, I don't know why I equate dancing w/an evening event but I do for some odd reason. I guess it's b/c I don't see myself dancing. I don't see myself drinking either but I think we will have alcohol..limited but at least wine and beer.
 

labbielove

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everyone''s opinion is different on the dancing/no dancing thing, i guess it just depends on the mood/feel/your guests, etc.

i definitely agree you do NOT have to have an "official" dance floor to have dancing.

our venue doesn''t have one and to rent it''s 500 at least. we''re opting to not have the dance floor, believe me, if there''s a dj, and room, people will dance!
 

So_happy

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your concern is actually one of the reasons why i chose a more expensive venue in the end.......because it was available at night and because it has a dance floor. BUT i''m a dancing person and so are my friends and FI and his friends so we really wanted it. we decided to cut back wherever else we could to make it work. HOWEVER, when we expressed this concern to the person showing us the first place she said "are you having alchohol?" to which i replied, "of course". and she did say that THAT will get people moving no matter the time nor place lol.

sounds like you''ll be just fine :)
 
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Good thread dixie94! While my boyfriend and I are just now planning our engagement when we went to a friend''s wedding last year we both said - we do NOT want a wedding like this! We do not like dancing. I am interested in hearing about weddings where there was NOT dancing. I tried to google the idea of no dancing at a wedding and the suggestions focused on the TYPE of music played - they reccommended some sort of classical music - ehh... But, I digress, my own wedding is not in the near future --- Dixie 94, the daytime wedding seems likes a good step towards avoiding the necessity of dancing...

Any more insight?!!
 

zoebartlett

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Hi Dixie,

I posted something similar to your question a while ago. https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/untraditional-weddings.56642/

While I''m not engaged yet, I was wondering about traditional vs. non-trad. weddings. I personally rather mingle than dance, but that''s just because neither my boyfriend nor I like to be the center of attention and we don''t dance. Slow ones on occasion but that''s about it.

My uncertainities were laid to rest when I read the posts in the thread above. It''s your wedding -- whatever will make the day special for you is what you should go with.
 

basil

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At my cousin''s wedding, the room in which the reception was held did not have a dance floor. It was a small-ish room and a small-ish destination wedding (~30-40 guests) but we still managed to dance on the carpet, and they still had the first dance and the father/daughter dance. The dancing space sort of ended up being in an aisle created between the tables. I think it wouldn''t be conducive to really active dancing (like swing or salsa) but for general slow dancing and such, it was fine. The dancing part of her wedding was pretty short, too. Maybe 1 hour. The rest of the time we ate and talked, and the DJ played cocktail music-type stuff. I thought it was quite nice.

I think if you set the mood by having the traditional dances, then people will get the idea and join in.
 

akw94

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Thank you ladies for your thoughts!

I think the biggest issue is do I want to have dancing. I just can''t decide! A big part of me says NO but a little part likes the idea of the first dance together.

Labbielove, good to know that we really don''t need an actual dance floor. It seemed silly to me to pay for that, especially since I''m on an extra tight budget!

So happy, I think what you chose makes sense and it sounds like it will be fun! I think you''re probably right that people will likely do what they choose as to dancing. I think I''m more concerned about whether to have those initial dances, since I assume they''d have to be announced by someone. I feel like it all has to be planned but maybe it really doesn''t!

LMS, I think you''re right that the type of music does depict whether there is dancing. I''ll have to really think about what songs to put on our playlists.

Zoe, thanks for the link! I read it and it does make me feel better. It''s hard to balance what everyone says is the ''typical'' wedding w/what I want and what I feel comf. with. It''s good to know that you can have what you want and it''s ok. I guess my first step is figuring out what I want. I didn''t know it would be this difficult!

Basil, I agree that really active dancing wouldn''t work and that is just fine for me! Part of me wonders if people will push FI and I to dance if we don''t want to. That''s some of my concern too. I think I might want the first dance but then, don''t want to feel pushed to join in dancing w/others. I want to sit and talk to my guests and just hang out.. which is what I would do at any other party. So maybe by not having dancing, I''m actually trying to avoid the peer pressure!

I do feel better though that knowing that whatever we decide, it''s ok. I almost wish someone could make these decisions for me!
 

sarie_j

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Jan 15, 2007
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I''m with you dixie - I''m not sure whether I want dancing or not, so I think I''m just going to leave it up to the people there but it is definitely part of the reason I chose a daytime wedding -- I don''t dance in the daytime either, lol, and since we''re having limited alcohol as well I really don''t think ppl will loosen up as much as they might otherwise. My venue has a small dance floor at the front of the room where my dj will set up, so we''re going to come in and be announced, go right into our first dance, then have him play big band/blues for the rest of the afternoon. But if people want to dance they can, and I think we''re going to tell them the dj does take requests if they feel like it, that way I don''t have to if I don''t want to but everyone else can. And hey - if everyone else does, I may not feel so self-conscious about being up there myself.

Sorry that''s so lumpy sounding - I have to pull an early Sat morning at work and I''m not quite awake yet, it''s just that I have personally agonized over this same decision soooo long that I wanted to share what we''re doing.
 

KimberlyH

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We had a smal, evening wedding (30 ppl) and skipped the dancing. We had a guitarist play from ceremony through dinner. We had an hour long cocktail hour and then a 4 course meal, the venue had to ask my guests to leave a 11 (the ceremony was at 7, cocktail hour began at 7:30). It was like having a big family meal, very casual and relaxed w/ nice music playing in the background and no one cared that we didn''t do the traditional dances. My dad made a beautiful speech and fun was had by all.
 

aljdewey

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Date: 3/2/2007 8:28:47 PM
Author: dixie94
Thank you ladies for your thoughts!

I think the biggest issue is do I want to have dancing. I just can''t decide! A big part of me says NO but a little part likes the idea of the first dance together.

So happy, I think what you chose makes sense and it sounds like it will be fun! I think you''re probably right that people will likely do what they choose as to dancing. I think I''m more concerned about whether to have those initial dances, since I assume they''d have to be announced by someone. I feel like it all has to be planned but maybe it really doesn''t!
Dixie, I had a smallish wedding too - total of 30 people including hubby and I. We married in the rose garden of a public park overlooking the ocean, and our reception was a sunset harbor cruise on a schooner. We hired a caterer to do a meal aboard, so we had a nice meal and a sail.

Hubby doesn''t dance, and with so few people (and several of them single and dateless), it didn''t make sense to plan a traditional "dance" theme wedding.

HOWEVER.....we did still incorporate the traditional dances. When we arrived at the schooner, all our guests boarded first. We boarded last and went into our first dance together right away. When we were done, I danced right away with my dad, and then immediately following that, hubby danced with his mom.

Immediate after this, we cut the cake. Then, appetizers were brought out and the meal was started.

With all of the ''traditional'' things done up front, people could lounge over their meal and enjoy the scenery.

In your case (not being on a boat), you could follow a similar order, and after the cake cutting, you could have background music of some kind (jazzy, piano, whatever you like) while the meal begins....that would help transition to the mingling that you envision.
 

Scooba

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Apr 10, 2006
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a 2-3 hour lunch time reception with no dance floor and no dancing is not weird, that''s a short enough time that people will just eat and mingle and not get bored...and I don''t think that alcohol will lead to dancing at a lunch reception with no dance floor
 

Scooba

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Apr 10, 2006
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431
we had an evening e-party at a yacht club with lots of alcohol and no one danced because we didn''t lead the way
 

monarch64

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Hmm, Dixie, I don''t know...I don''t think I could''ve gone without dancing, but our circumstances were a little different from yours.

We had a Sunday wedding, ceremony took place at 12:30 outdoors, then we moved indoors to do the receiving line right inside, then had a cocktail hour and then ate...then we did just a few of the traditional dances, which included DH''s and my first dance, and the father/daughter dance, and honestly I don''t remember what came next, but those are the only two we really, really wanted. I do remember we had SO many pics going on due to our very overzealous photog...(although in the end I"m glad she was overzealous as we had a lot of great photos), but really not a lot of people danced, it was more my younger girlfriends who were drinking, and a few older couples who probably were drinking too, lol, and then the flower girls and jr. bm''s. It was such a gorgeous day that most people actually were mingling outside on the patio.

I do not regret at all that few people danced. Even though we paid the DJ to do the ceremony plus the 4 hr. reception, and it seemed like sort of a waste, I''m glad we had our first dance together as husband and wife, and that I got to dance with my dad. Those two things were far more important to me than any expense, you know?

Where I''m from, there actually are very few weddings I''ve been to that HAVE dancing. Or alcohol. Mainly weddings are held in church basements or people''s backyards and they are not only dry but there is no dancing per religious beliefs. So I come from a different kind of background as far as dancing at weddings is concerned...I just wanted to put that out there, because it doesn''t make you wrong or not appropriate to choose to not have dancing at your wedding reception. There are a lot of reasons why couples may or may not choose to have dancing, I''m sure you already know that...

Where did you decide to get married, if you don''t mind posting it here? If you''d rather not I understand. Just wondering...I really wish you the best--you are sooo beautiful and a smart lady, I hope everything goes smoothly for you and that you have a beautiful wedding!
 

RoseAngel04

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We are doing the traditional first dance, father/daugher, mother/son dances for sure! FI and I even plan on taking a couple of dance lessons for our first dance! However, I don''t think there will be a TON of dancing other than the traditional dances we will do. There will be some, but I don''t imagine it will be a dance-a-thon for a couple of reasons. 1) We''re having an early wedding from 11-3:30 and we''ve heard that ppl tend to not dance as much as afternoon weddings compared to evening ones. 2) We aren''t serving alcohol.
 

San Diego Bride

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hi dixie,

my husband and i were married at 11:00, had a cocktail hour from 11:30-12:30 and then a lunch reception from 12:30-3:00. we wanted to have our first dance, but did not want dancing in general at the wedding. we opted to not have a dance floor or a dj so people wouldn''t "expect" it. the tables were positioned so that there was some room in the front for a bride/groom dance and a father/daughter dance. (my husband and mil decided against a dance).

here''s how we handled the music: we had a string quartet for the ceremony, harpist for the cocktail hour, and then our ipod for the reception. we did have a day-of wedding coordinator that controlled the ipod (or cd, i don''t remember which). we had our introduction/entrance, then i danced with my husband, and then my father. after that we had a blessing and the food was served. that seemed to be a nice "break" to shift from the dancing. during the seated meal we played stuff like lorena mckennet and sarah mclachlan. after lunch we toasted our guests (rather than the traditional moh/best man toast) and invited our guests to serve themselves at our dessert buffet. we then changed to latin music (my family is cuban) for the rest of the time. by the time we started having dessert it was already 1:30 so everyone just mingled until 3. we had plenty of alcohol (martini bar included), but our group was more than happy to mingle rather than dance.

i guess the bottom line is that it depends on your wishes and your guests. it''s your wedding.
 

TravelingGal

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I wanted to dance. TGuy did not. We had a daytime wedding on a Friday and I wasn''t sure if it would work out. But friends all said they wanted dancing so I was able to convince TGuy.

The full bar absolutely without a doubt contributed to the party atmosphere. People were shy about dancing at first but I don''t mind being a big dork (and I LOVE dancing) so a goofy friend of mine and I tore up the dance floor for a bit by ourselves to kick things off. I had a song list and requested funky 70s music to start, and that totally got everyone laughing and coming on the floor because they couldn''t resist. I find that this kind of music is great because even if you don''t dance, people will find themselves singing along to the music and having fun. The best part was that my uncles and aunts (who are all in their 60s and 70s) wouldn''t get off the floor...they were having such a good time.

Also, our dance floor was right next to the full bar at the restaurant, so everyone just congregated there. It wasn''t something that was in the middle of the room...more off to the side and people didn''t feel like they were a spectacle, so that helped a lot too. Our wedding would not have been the same without dancing...even TGuy ended up boogeying down!
 

eks6426

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I think it really depends on the crowd you''ll be having too. I had a Sunday lunch time outdoor wedding with about 70 people. Probably 2/3 of the people were relatives many of whom were over 50. They were not the dancing type so we decided not to do dancing. Instead we had a meal with background music (We used an IPOD and made playlists and hooked it up to some big speakers). We got married on the Quad at University of Illinois Champaign. We actually had our reception outside with the tables set under trees. The tables had white table clothes and flowers etc. but the food was more "picnic" themed...we actually had someone grilling chicken & hamburgers and then a buffet of fun salads, fruit etc. The quad area had a lot of open space so the kids and the younger folks actually had some frisbee games etc. It was fun and non stressful and went by really fast.

We also did no alchohol because my husband''s family doesn''t drink. (Although he and I do...they would have been offended!) I completely agree that most people need booze to dance.
 

akw94

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Thank you so much Sarie, Kimberly, Aljdewey, Diamonds are Hot, Monarch, Rose Angel, Novia, TravelingGal, and Island Dreams!! It is really fun to hear about what everyone else is doing or what your wedding day was like.

Sarie, I like your idea of having the first dance right away and then letting others take the lead.
Kimberly, having a guitarist sounds lovely! I am looking for a violinist to play for the ceremony but we''d have the ipod for the reception (as a means of saving $).
Aljd, it sounds like your day went perfectly! A rose garden overlooking the ocean sounds incredible!! I like the idea of the traditional dances first, then the meal, then background music for people to dance or not dance..whatever they want.
Diamonds are Hot, thanks! I think you are right and I am just fine w/having lunch and having a chance to talk to everyone.

Monarch, thank you! It really sounds like you had a wonderful day! We have an outside patio also so if the weather is nice, I think that people will have a chance to be inside and outside. This is great for me since initially, I wanted an outdoor ceremony and reception. I think you''re right about having those traditional dances. I was talking w/my dad and step-mom the other day and she mentioned the father-daughter dance and he became very happy. I was so surprised! But since he seems to want it also, I will definitely do it. And I really do like the idea of a first dance as husband/wife right after the ceremony... it seems like a perfect transition from ceremony to reception. I decided to go with Old Orchard Country Club and it is working out perfectly. I''m excited! Thank you so much for your warm wishes. I really appreciate what you said!!

RoseAngel, your dance lessons sound like fun! It''s interesting to hear how many people are having/had earlier weddings and are having little/no alcohol. I was worried about this but it certainly seems like there''s no reason to be.

Novia, thanks for mentioning that your husband and mil decided not to dance b/c I know my FI doesn''t really want the dance w/his mother. I was wondering how that worked but am hoping he will have it so it''s not just me and my dad out there dancing! Your music choices sound beautiful! I am going to have to pick someone to help w/the ipod. I don''t think my group is a big dancing group but I guess we''ll see!

TG, sounds like your wedding was a lot of fun! In my case, neither my FI nor myself are big dancers so I am positive that neither of us would be taking the lead on the dancing. However, if our friends and family want to, that''s fine w/me!

IslandDreams, it''s great to know that so many people have used ipods! Your wedding sounds great and relaxing and I''m hoping mine is just as enjoyable! Our space has an area for us to set up tables for the kids which I am so happy about. There are a lot of kids in our family so I like the idea of having them have fun too!

Thank you so much everyone! I don''t know how I''d manage all this w/o you!!
 

FireGoddess

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I was at an evening wedding with only 40 people. There was dancing.

I was at an 11 am wedding with the reception from 1-4. There was dancing.

There was alcohol at both events, now that I think about it.
 
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