Sit down {but don’t stay down} wedding reception ideas

A sit down wedding reception is the most traditional and common form of wedding reception. That said, just because you are having a sit down dinner doesn’t mean you actually want your guests to sit down all night! Probably the last thing you’d want is your guests feeling obligated to stay in their seats at your reception. These are some of our favourite ideas to have your guests mingling, dancing and partying with you at your wedding!

Song request RSVPs

We love that moment at a wedding or party when you hear your favourite song (usually there is a squeal of “omg I love this song!”) and then next thing you know you’ve dragged three people to the dancefloor with you to break it down! Well, this idea encourages that exact moment for each of your guests. As their song comes on to play, they will hopefully jump out of their seat and take half their table with them to the dancefloor! Simply include a song request as part of your guest’s RSVP cards and then provide the list to your DJ or band for them to incorporate into your reception music.

Lovely images from: DinglewoodDesign on Etsy and Katelyn James

Song table names

This is another great idea for ensuring your guests end up on the dancefloor at your reception. Instead of numbering your reception tables, why not name them after different songs that you have cued your band or DJ to play during the evening? Your MC can then provide an instruction for your guests that when their table’s song comes on that table gets up to dance (preferably dragging some of the neighbouring tables with them!) You could ask your music maestro to look out for moments when the dance floor is quiet and put on one of these songs.

Amazing images thanks to: Hey Wedding Lady, Green Wedding Shoes, and Passion For Flowers

Dancing shoes

With all this dancing, guests might get a little fatigued in the foot department. This is where some pre-prepared dancing shoe options will come in handy!

Lovely images via: the Wedding Party, Style Me Pretty, and keeplifesimpledesign on Etsy

Dessert buffet

Not all of your guests will want to boogie the night away, but you don’t want those who aren’t dancing to feel like they have to be sitting down. One of the things that make guests feel like they have to sit is when they are waiting for food to arrive. If you are having a reception that includes waited tables, why not skip the sit down dessert and opt for a dessert table instead? This way as soon as the main course is served guests will feel comfortable getting up and about, especially to seek out delicious sweet treats! Dessert tables have the added bonus of making your wedding look fantastic!

Amazing images thanks to: Polkadot Bride, Mon Cheri Bridals, The Wedding Scoop, and Style Me Pretty

Drinks table

Another great way to get guests out of their seats is a drinks table. Not all your drinks have to be served this way.. maybe you could go for a themed table like a mimosa bar or a sangria bar. Sort of like the “water cooler” effect, guests will mingle, chat and make new friends while they get their yummy beverages. And most likely those beverages will encourage some great dancing later on in the night!

Amazing images thanks to: Indulgy, Wedding Chicks, Intimate Weddings, and DesignerCanvases on Etsy


Two words: giant Jenga. We have never played this and been disappointed! If you are having a wedding with an outdoor area, some lawn games might be just the trick to get guests up and about. Plus, they are so much fun!

Lovely images via: Wedding Party and Huffington Post

Set the tone

After all is said and done, the best that way you, as bride and groom, can encourage your guests to mingle, dance and have a great night is to do exactly that yourselves! If your guests see that you are wandering the room, making moves on the dancefloor, helping yourself to dessert, and having a fantastic time, they are likely to do the same. No doubt your energy with infect your guests with the desire to party the night away! ♥

wedding reception dancing
Guests making the most of the dancefloor at a wedding reception

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