Based on Governor Baker’s Phase 3 guidelines, here in Massachusetts, no dancing and no bars are allowed at weddings/events…masks, social distancing and hygiene protocols must be followed, and Phase 4 (which gives more allowances to weddings/events) will not happen before a vaccine or therapeutic treatment. Whew…that’s a LOT to take in as a wedding professional…and I imagine so as the couple getting married, as well! So, let’s get creative since Phase 3 is here for near future.
As a planner, I trouble-shoot by trade…so there is no better time to do that than now!
First of all, here are a couple of thoughts of mine before we jump into my list of 6 alternatives to dancing at your wedding.
Outdoor weddings are going to be the most flexible and with the most allowances. Tent and outdoor weddings have truly been my niche for the last 10 years. This is my client….the at-home, beautiful and festive tent wedding client. So this is my wheelhouse.
There may be thoughts floating about that if you have your wedding at home or on private property, that you may be able to slide under the radar with dancing and bars…but you will want to consider that if your guests come under the assumption that rules will be followed, they should be. There will be guests who might be okay with sliding under the radar, but there are guests who might be anxious enough venturing out to your wedding. So, please use good judgement with the guidelines stated by the Governor.
Okay, now to the good stuff! Let’s try to shake off the traditional structure of weddings as we know it and be open to creativity. The most important thing is that you and your guests are together to celebrate and have fun!
Marx Entertainment and Tanya Costigan Events have joined forces for this post. Marx Entertainment not only provides DJ services, but can also be hired for services such as festive yard cards, movie set-ups, and more! See below!
6 Alternatives to Dancing at Your Wedding:
Rent an outdoor movie set up!
After dinner, guests can physically distance their chairs or blankets in the grass….or you could even project the movie onto the tent itself, or rent a screen for under the tent so guests can watch from their tables. Choose an appropriate, widely-liked movie …and you can even show a photo slide show before or after the movie.
(Another idea to expand upon here is to play a same-day clip of your wedding day…on your wedding day! This can be something to bring all the feels!
Some filmmakers who provide this service are Epic Filmmakers and
Summer Wind Wedding Films)
You can even get some great outdoor lounge furniture from Marx Entertainment for an elevated look and comfy couches. He also has light-up tables for a cool evening glow on the lawn. See that here.
Touch-less Photo Booth!
Having a photo booth is something fun and gives guests (and you) a keepsake! Marx has touch-less photo booths that allow you and your guests to use virtual props, and then the ability to send the images to your phone or email. So good, right?!
One of the most often asked question I hear as a planner is…
“do people really use them if we put them out at our wedding?”
My suggestion here would be to put a pretty chalkboard out that explains rules that groupings at games should not be more than 6 people, that people should wear masks, and I would also suggest that you put sanitizer stations throughout the game area. Hiring a cleaning crew to staff this area during the wedding, to keep it wiped down and sanitized, is also a smart option.
You could even make this area festive with Marx Entertainment’s Yard Cards! These range between 3-5 feet tall.
Dinner (or After-Dinner) Show!
Oooh, let’s throw it back to the swanky old-times…maybe an ode to the 20’s with a nice after-dinner jazz show with a live singer and band.
5. Table Games!
People love board games, and it’s a great way to allow your guests to enjoy the evening in their existing table grouping! Let Marx Entertainment provide the music, and get those games going!
Trivia, checkers, cards, Clue, Monopoly, Cards Against Humanity……you name it! You can theme the games…for instance if you wanted to provide vintage games, or kid’s games for a fun kid-at-heart theme. You can provide a few for each table.
I have actually had clients do this at their wedding even before the pandemic was here. Guests enjoy it!
Have an amazing bonfire and place small groupings of sitting areas near and around the fire. Put some pre-wrapped s’mores goodies, sparklers with matches, citronella candles and pashminas at each sitting area. Perhaps include some pens and cards for guests to leave well wishes, favorite memories, etc. for you to keep after the wedding.
Consider having live acoustics from Shawn Santanello in the area of the bonfire for some chill vibes.
Some tips for success:
•Consider shortening the wedding day if you feel it will help take the pressure off of the lack of dancing
•Add the day’s schedule of events, in a fun and pretty graphic on your website, or send out by mail. This way guests know what to expect and how to dress.
•Breathe and enjoy. While we cannot change the situation at hand, we can come back to basics and enjoy our loved ones and the meaning of the day. Think of this as a new way to infuse your theme and get creative.