At most wedding receptions, the main entertainment is in the form of a DJ or band. But what about guests who don’t like to dance? Let’s face it, a wedding reception can sometimes be a little boring for those folks. That’s why we went on the hunt for easy party games you can add, ranging from individual projects to table games to group activities.
For the Cocktail Hour -The Objective: The post-ceremony cocktail hour is when your guests will first begin to really relax, talk to each other, and hopefully start making new friends. If your crowd is from different areas, social groups and backgrounds, it's nice to provide a helpful nudge to get them all intermingling. Sure, the cocktails themselves will probably help with that, but a couple optional ice-breaker games won't hurt. If you can award some kind of prize to the winner, it's a great incentive!The Game: Wedding Guest Bingo takes some organization, but it's a lot of fun. At my sister's wedding the guests were a mix of our Canadian family and my brother-in-law's English one, but by the end of the cocktail hour, everyone was firm friends.Along with their RSVP, every guest was asked to provide an “interesting fact” about themselves. I then collated these into 4-5 Bingo cards, which were displayed at the reception during cocktail hour, alongside some mini pencils and the promise of a prize to the first two guests to get a “Bingo”, done by matching facts to guests. It definitely brought out the competitive spirit in some, but most just enjoyed the conversation starters.Also Consider: Putting the anonymous facts at each table, and having guests work out who is who through a 20 Questions-like game (this works better if the tables are quite mixed, and made up of guests who don't know each other well).
During Dinner -The Objective: Traditionally, games played during the dinner hour (usually in between courses and speeches) are done with the goal of making the newly-wed couple show their affection by kissing. People will often use the old-fashioned glass-clinking for this, but making it a game adds an element of challenge.The Game: Before dinner, we informed the guests that anyone who wanted to see the couple kiss should be prepared to step up to the microphone and perform a song or poem containing the word Love. This led to much laughter, including a particularly memorable song-and-dance routine performed by six of my cousins to Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love. Also Consider: Having guests write original poetry, fill out custom wedding Mad Libs, or perform skits about the couple.
Getting the Couple Involved -The Objective: If you're going to encourage yours guests to embarrass themselves for fun at your wedding, you might want to consider turning the tables at some point. Mainly, for this idea is for the guests' entertainment.The Game: The Shoe Game can be hugely fun. The couple sit back to back in view of all the guests. They remove their shoes, and trade one with each other so that they’re holding one of each. Someone (usually the MC) then asks the couple a series of questions about themselves and their relationship (ranging from the sweet and fairly straightforward “Who said ‘I love you’ first?” to the controversial "Who is the better driver?"). The couple answer by holding up the corresponding shoe, and the entertainment comes from the fact that they can't see what each other is answering, though some occasionally-incredulous peeking occurred at my sister's wedding.Also Consider: A Spouse Pub Quiz, where tables compete on their knowledge of the newly married couple. The couple themselves can be involved by reading out the questions and supplying the correct answers at the end.
Kissing Games - The custom of making a bride and groom kiss during a wedding reception can be made even more fun by making the guests earn the kiss instead of just commanding it by tapping on their plates or glasses. The website Classy Wedding favours offers a few alternatives, such as the "Golf Game" in which you set up a miniature putting green in a corner and have guests try for a hole in one in order to get the couple to kiss. The "Demonstration Game" involves guests showing the couple exactly how they should kiss. You can add more fun to these games by having a photographer or video camera at each point to record the action and showing it on a big screen in the reception hall.
Bouquet & Garter Toss - Spice up the bridal bouquet toss by having all the women form a circle around the bride and play a song such as "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls. Instruct the women to toss the flowers around the circle until the music stops. Whoever is left holding the bouquet when the music stops gets to keep it. Make the garter toss more entertaining by playing a rowdy song, like "Macho Man" by The Village People, and have the groom sit on a chair with the garter around his leg. Each man has to run up while the song is playing, remove the garter and stick it on his own leg before sitting down. Men take turns doing this until the song stops, and the one in possession of the garter gets to keep it.
Wedding Musical Chairs - In the wedding dance version of an old favorite, musical chairs, male guests form a line on one side of the room while female guests stand on the other side. As the wedding music plays, each line passes bridal items, such as the garter and bouquet. When the music stops abruptly, the guests holding an item must dance with each other to a fast song. This is a great way to get guests of all ages out of their chairs and having fun.
Blindfold the Bride - This interesting wedding dance game involves the five senses. The bride is blindfolded and spun around and then must find her groom by feeling the faces of the groomsmen, who form a line in front of the bridal table. As the bride feels her way to her mate, she feels the faces of each man with her hands while guests shout out “getting warmer” or “getting cooler,” which helps her find her true love. Once she finds her groom, the bride dances with him to the delight of wedding guests. This makes guests feel as if they had something to do with getting the lovely couple together in a hilarious way.
The Dollar Dance - To make the traditional "Dollar Dance" more exciting, create separate trivia jars for the bride and groom. When the guests line up to dance, they have to pay a dollar and pull a trivia question out of the jar of their choice. If they don't answer the question correctly, they have the option of going back to the end of the line and trying again or dancing with the opposite person (guys with the groom or girls with the bride). The guests will be rolling with laughter at the end because it's guaranteed that some people will give up and just dance with the wrong person, most making an elaborate spectacle of it while they do so.