Ask MarryThis!:
Umm, I don’t dance, mmkay?

No dance wedding

Today we tackle a lesser-known wedding issue — a bride that doesn’t dance. While personally, I’m a dance fiend, I TOTALLY get it. Can you imagine if your least favorite thing to do was just EXPECTED at your wedding? What if every wedding involved public speaking, or entertaining your annoying estranged sister or fake smiling at your boss? Oh wait … minus the sister, I did ALL of those things at my wedding! Hmmmmm.

Anywhooo, this month’s question is from the lovely Jess Livezey who is currently in the midst of her own wedding planning that you can read all about here.

Dear MarryThis!,
     “The only time I’ve ever danced unchoreographed was on my 21st birthday, and that’s only because I had some liquid courage.  [My mom] said that people come to a wedding and expect to dance, which is fine, but I really want to find a way to get everyone to have a good time and mingle without a dance floor being the only option. I’ve seen ideas with board games and such, but I worry that it would isolate different groups — do you have any (budget friendly) suggestions?  I just don’t want to spend 2+ hours dodging requests to shake my groove thang!”
     – Jess

No dance wedding activitiesSara Gray Photography

Dear Jess,

You have such lucky wedding guests! There is usually a significant portion of people at weddings who aren’t big on dancing either, so preparing separate activities will be a big relief to you AND your peeps! Here are a few non-dancing ideas:

Those who cant do, teach.

For those non-groovy guests, why not consider hosting a short dance lesson before the official dancing starts? We did this at my wedding and it was a huge hit! We hired a few dancers from a local studio to come for an hour and teach 3 different box-steps. This worked particularly well at our wedding because we played 1940s music all night, and most people under 30 don’t know how to actually dance without shaking their booty. (Not that I’m against a good booty dance.)

A dance lesson will put everyone on the same level, and will give your non-dancing guests a pass on feeling goofy since everyone is learning at the same time.


Still too much dancing? Try finding a game that has no player limit. I LOVE bunco. Bunco is a dice game that can have 4 people or 400. The BEST part is that you have to change partners every round, so this game would also be a great icebreaker for your guests to get to know each other a little better. All you need are dice, tables and chairs (and maybe a few small prizes for the winners)! How cheap is that? Here’s a great video tutorial on how to play. Bunco is a very high-paced, exciting game — the faster you roll, the more points you get, so there’s no time for awkward small talk.

No dance wedding activities Rich Reed

Dinner and a show.

Giving your guests extra stuff to watch will also ease the pressure to dance. Look into hiring a local comedian or a non-cheesy magician to go around and do a few small tricks for each table (the kids would LOVE this).

Do you have any loud, outgoing friends? (I DO!) One word: karaoke. Only a few people actually like to sing, but EVERYONE likes to watch — it’s like ‘America’s Got Talent’ up in here!

Get back to the basics.

When you boil everything down, it’s really good energy and conversation that turns a good wedding into a great one. Don’t forget the importance of a well-planned seating arrangement. You are the only one who knows each and every guest, so use your best judgement and put like personalities together. Even with additional activities, think of your seating arrangement as the foundation of your party.

Well, readers? Do you have any awesome non-dancing activities? Let’s leave more ideas for Jess in the comments below! I hope this helps, Jess! Thanks so much for your question, and thanks for reading!

XO, Allison

Are you having a wedding crisis? I’m here to help! Send your questions to!

Allison is the owner and editor of MarryThis! With a love of weddings and a flair for budget-friendly ideas, she feels that gorgeous weddings don't have to cost an arm and a leg. A graphic designer by day (Allison Doty Graphic Design -, Allison also creates the visual presence of MarryThis!

4 Comments on "Ask MarryThis!:
Umm, I don’t dance, mmkay?"

  1. jess liv says:

    this is so great! if you don’t mind, i’m totally going to create a link to this for my wedding wednesday post tomorrow (: thanks for all the awesome ideas — i especially liked the dance lesson idea; it’ll give my guests something to take away from the day that they can use for years to come (or however long the dougie or another current dance lasts).

    • Allison Allison says:

      So glad you like it Jess! We’ll never turn away good link juice. 🙂 I was a little nervous about the dance lesson at first, thinking that no one would do it, but EVERYONE did! It was so amazing! We didn’t even have enough room on the dance floor for everyone. It cost $120 for two instructors to come to the wedding for 2 hours — and it was SO worth it. Good luck my dear! 🙂

  2. Kp says:

    oh dancing. long long ago at the beginning of our relationship, Fiance made some joke about how I had two left feet to a few of our friends, and I was SO embarrassed. It’s stuck with me (he was sincerely kidding and doesn’t even remember that he said it, but he’s apologized about a thousand times now), and now I dread the idea of going dancing and sucking at it in front of people. I figure day of I can blame any bumbling dance moves on the big poofy dress, right?

    Thank you for the brilliant ideas, but…

    no, not everyone loves watching Karaoke. I don’t like to be a debbie downer in anyone’s comment section, but I really truly can’t stand listening to someone drunkenly butcher a good song when I could instead be listening to the actual artist sing it. I’ve always found it incredibly obnoxious, but mostly I hate that Karaoke can’t exist in a room without peer pressure from every Tom, Dick and Harry to “go on, SING something!” …a fate I rank even lower than dancing.

    NOW, I know I’m not alone, but I also know that whatever you choose to do at YOUR wedding, I know that Karaoke lover or not, I would grin, bear it, and tell you that it was the best wedding I’ve ever been to. So no worries with whatever you decide to go with. 🙂

    I also wanted to throw into the ring – if you have an outdoor space, bean bag toss or ladder golf could be hits too. Or, you know, there are about a thousand fun little things a DJ can throw in that are more for guests to watch (like that game where the b&g sit back to back and hold up their hands to answer questions like “who’s going to take out the trash without griping?” so everyone can laugh) And lastly, depending on your budget, there are companies you can hire to bring in small gaming tables so friends who are not dance savvy could play casino-style games all night.

    Aaaand that’s about the longest comment ever. sorry.

    • Allison Allison says:

      Haha! Oh no! A karaoke hater! Well, I stand corrected! I am also not the type to participate in karaoke, but I do love to watch other people. I think it’s the thrill of not knowing whether to expect total embarrassment or an amazing Whitney Houston moment.

      I love the idea of having a casino night! That seems like an activity that would still feel appropriate when you’re wearing a nice dress and heels. Thanks for the comment Kristin!

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