If you're normally the first to leave when the lights go down low and the music is turned way up high, you are not alone. Music and dancing at the end of a wedding has become the norm, but it's not for everyone. If you are planning a laid-back rustic wedding, and would prefer light conversation with guests over a conga round the dance floor, then you will appreciate these tips for hosting a dance-free wedding.
1. Choose The Perfect Location
Beautiful surroundings create the perfect backdrop for good conversation. Ideally the venue will be away from other busy restaurants, or bars, as you won't have any loud music to drown out background noise. Instead your guests should be free to enjoy the sights and sounds of the natural environment that surrounds them. A collection of smaller rooms, enclaves, or garden areas works better than one large space, allowing for more intimate conversations, and frequent changes of surroundings.
2. The Timing
An afternoon wedding, with an early evening wedding breakfast, creates the expectation of an evening full of dancing. Choose a brunch wedding breakfast instead, then enjoy high tea on the lawn with your guests, before the reception ends at dusk.
3. Create The Atmosphere
Sparkling conversation requires more than just interesting guests. Think back to times when you have felt most relaxed, and spent all evening talking, to picture the atmosphere you need to recreate. Comfortable seating, lighting that is neither too bright nor too dim, gentle background music, and a comfortable room temperature, all go a long way to encourage guests to forget the time, and immerse themselves in conversation.
4. Provide A Conversation Starter
The wedding favours can prove to be an excellent conversation starter. Choose gifts that are variations on a theme, which encourages guests to wander around the room to discover what other people were given. For example, our beautiful woodland theme mugs are available with images of different creatures, and your guests may want to swap with each other, so everyone can have their favourite animal. Other fun ideas include football sticker packs, or bags of marbles.
5. Manage Expectations
Include a note in your wedding invite that lays out the plans for the day, including what the post-wedding breakfast entertainment will be. Simply telling your guests that you will be 'retiring to the garden for sparkling conversation, lawn games, and with any luck a beautiful sunset' makes it clear enough that dancing until midnight is not on the agenda.
6. Provide Alternative Entertainment
Many guests will be so absorbed in conversation, the time will fly by, but others will appreciate a little more entertainment. A mixture of lawn games and giant sized board games will be suitable for all ages. Vintage copies of classic board games left on tables makes a nice invitation to play, and helps continue the rustic wedding theme.
You can make your rustic wedding even more unique by shrugging off the expectation of music and dancing and instead allowing the reception to flow freely, and guests to entertain themselves.