Planning an event is not an easy task, especially when it’s for a large group of people most of whom probably don’t know each other. The fact that the event is your own wedding takes it up the notch – or two! You want the day to go flawlessly and to be as perfect as possible. Your friends and family will talk about it for months, maybe even years afterwards, admiring your creativity and noticing the little detail you put so much thought into. You also want the day to be nothing but fun! At the same time, it is YOUR dream day so you shouldn’t be playing hostess all night and entertain the crowd. So how do you make sure that your 100+ guests enjoy the night and forget the time pass? Try incorporating some of these wedding game ideas that your guests will actually play!
Wedding Game Ideas
Having photographed quite a many weddings, both traditional and quirky, I’ve had a chance to put together a collection of wedding game ideas that have worked well to keep the crowd laughing. I always find that with games present during reception the atmosphere of the day always changes – there’s more laughter and action, people seem happier and you definitely don’t have guests checking their watch waiting for dinner call! From a photographer’s point of view, I love weddings that incorporate games as the guests feel so much more relaxed and it’s really easy to get those relaxed and candid photos that represent the real atmosphere of the day so well. As a wedding photographer Dublin I’ve seen quite a few games that work a treat, so here goes!
Some outdoor fun on a warm day…
Fun both pre- and post drinking! I love Jenga in all its shapes and forms (well, the shape is either vertical or it’s not a shape!) Wedding guests love it too, and it’s proving to be one of the most popular wedding game ideas. If you decide to get a Giant Jenga for your wedding, you’ll never lose your photographer! Or at least until the Jenga Tower falls. I love getting the shots of it falling and the players’ expressions!
Connect 4 ( try the giant version!)
Everyone played Connect 4 as a child – just bring a version for your wedding entertainment and let your guests be nostalgic! For a stylish twist paint the pieces into your colour scheme, and it will look stunning in the photographs.
Badminton or Croquet
You can’t plan much with Irish weather, but if your wedding falls on one of those beautiful dry days have a badminton or croquet set handy! I’ve seen guests have a blast with a bit of exercise before dinner, with mother of the groom kicking off her shoes and going for the win.
Rings are an essential part of any wedding, honour the tradition with a game of ring toss! Just like with Connect 4, you can use your wedding palette to make the game look more stylish!
Photo booth props
Even if you’re not getting a photo booth, the fun props make for great guest photos! Leave them at the dinner tables, and guests are sure to play around with paper moustaches and funny hats. The camera shyness magically disappears!
Put together a fun quiz about the two of you and leave the cards on the dinner tables with some pens. Let yours guests know that there is a prize for the group who gets the most answers correct. This will add some lively competition spirit to the day and also get everyone chatting and making friends! You can have the best man announce the correct answers and listen to the winning table erupt in joy.
Wedding advice mad libs
Want to hear some nice words and marriage advice from your family and friends? Create a Mad-Libs style form for your guests to fill out. Try leaving a copy on each table, rather than one for every guest – this will get them talking, joking and interacting with each other.
Date night jar
Asks your guests to write down date night ideas for you and your new husband, then pop them in a special jar! You can read out a few ideas for some late-night entertainment – this will definitely get a laugh and some other couples may go away with a few great ideas! Trust me, they’ll be grateful to you.
Growing up slideshow
Something that I include in a few of my wedding photographer Ireland packages is a beautiful and emotional slideshow that represents the two of you. The photos of you growing up, from your baby photos through to your teenage and college years, combined with your gorgeous engagement pictures and set to music. Displayed before speeches or the first dance, this slideshow will bring everyone together and bring out emotions in your guests.
Board games as centrepieces
Great as a mixer or something to do between courses, decorate your tables with boardgames. Your guests might not go through the full game of Monopoly (and you probably don’t want them to anyway!) but they will definitely never be bored!
Wedding guest bingo
This is one of my favourite wedding game ideas. It’s an amazing ice-breaker I used at my own multi-cultural multi-lingual wedding that really brought everyone together – I couldn’t believe my eyes! Prior to the wedding I asked each guest to tell me an unusual fact about them – like, one of my best friends (a very tall feminine girl) had acted as a bearded Viking in a student play. I then put together “bingo” cards with these facts and distributed them during drinks reception. Everyone immediately started chatting, trying to connect their facts with the right people, and even the language barrier wasn’t an issue! Ours was a very intimate wedding of 30 guests from 4 different countries but I’m sure it could work at a larger event, too.
Mr & Mrs shoe game
A classic evening entertainment that can be a lot of fun! If you’re uncomfortable being shoeless in the middle of the wedding reception, just use any other object. Prepare a list of questions about the two of you – like, “Who is more organized?” or “Who is the better kisser”? While you sit with your back to your new husband, the best man will read the list of questions and you need to raise the appropriate shoe without seeing what your partner says! The eruptions of laughter around the room are just priceless.