Fun Wedding Reception Games

Wedding Reception Games to Keep Your Guests Moving

I don’t think anyone who has ever attended a wedding has not really been surprised as they all are very alike. We meet the new couple and watch the traditional dances with each other, the parents and maybe even the grandparents, but actually mingling with the other guests rarely happens. We have a tendency to stay with the people we know for our own comfort. Now we have couples using their imaginations to use games to help the guests have a good time and yet meet others as well.

This is a good game for getting guests off their seats and talking to guests they may traditionally just wave to and helps all invited to really feel like they are contributing members to the wedding day and not just watchers.

An excellent game your guests may really find fun, from your young guests to your grandparents, is a type of scavenger hunt type game.

For this game, your DJ or another appointed person will serve as your game leader. Before the reception, you should make a list of things for your guests to search for. You may even make it a per table game and have someone keep “score” as to which table “finds” the most items on the list. Some examples of things you might ask for are: someone with painted toenails, someone in a red dress, a gentleman with a black purse, (this will make a man have to ask a female at his table to hold her purse so he can raise it up to get the point!) – I think you see what I’m talking about.

Your DJ might also initiate a round of musical chairs – with a twist! They could have the gentlemen go to the dance floor and bend down on wone knee, acting as the chair. The ladies would then dance around the “chairs” and when the music stops, find a knee to sit on. The one who has no knee is out until the final couple are there. Another style of this game is to eliminate the couple if their “chair” collapses. This game usually gets huge laughs from your guests as well as adding a feeling of being welcome to be themselves at your reception.

If your wedding is small, say under 25 or so guests, a game to help them mingle a bit more might be to give each guest a number like counting them off, 1 – 2 or even 3, and then having them join like numbers to form a team. You might then have a list of questions about the couple and see which “team” can answer the most questions correctly. The teams would work together then to get an answer for the whole team.

Lastly, don’t think your guests will get upset or get offended by your playing these games with them. Wedding planners have said they have had a good time helping plan these games with couples and that guests have reported afterwards how much fun the wedding and reception was. But mostly, how much they would remember the special day had been to them!

Wedding Reception Games Played While Seated

Wedding Reception Games Played While Seated

Ever been in attendance at a wedding reception and felt bored, tired or just plain not included?  Talk about a nightmare!  This could be because you don’t have a DJ or maybe your guest just are not into dancing or walking around.

Well, now what do you do?  Believe it or not, it is easy to change the feel in the reception room and also help you guests meet others and have a better time while most importantly – also getting to know the bride and groom better.

One fun game that has a hint of a trivial pursuit game touch to it is simple to play using a card placed on the tables in front of each guest.  These cards simply have “Bride” on one side and “Groom” on the opposite side.  Have your DJ, wedding planner or other designated person to be the leader and ask the questions about the wedding couple.  Some sample questions are like “which one was born in Washington, DC?  which one had a favorite stuffed animal named Froggy?  or which one, at 7 years old, broke their arm pretending to be a super hero?”  You get the idea here I’m sure.

The guests don’t shout out the answers, instead, they hold their card up to the side with their choice on it.  It can be alot of fun and really open your eyes to what the guests think but even more fun to hear the true answers!

Just one word of advice for you on this game, don’t ask questioons about ex’s or questions too much on the sexy side – there will be grandparents and small children there you won’t want to offend.

Another version is to pit the men against the women on just two teams.  They can some up with their answers together as a group and pitting the men against the women is a concept that most enjoy and will certainly make for good entertainment.

There is also a cute game that gives the groom a chance to have a moment in the spotlight.  Just how well does he really know his bride?  Does he know how she “feels” and her “touch”?  You might just let the wedding party participate or as many guests that would like to play.  It’s really up to you.

Blindfold the groom and then line up the one;s that are playing.  The bride gets added to the group somewhere.  You then send the groom to find his bride!  Now the rules are pretty simple – he may shake their hand, they may kiss him on the cheek upon request or maybe he may feel their leg or hair. What you want is entirely up to you and what you are comfortable with.  I’ve even seen it where the groom could only touch the participants leg.  One time, the best man ahd shaved his leg put a garter on and groom felt it.  The groom might be required to kiss the knee of the person while blindfolded he chooses as his bride – several times the groom has ended kissing a gentleman’s knee and the guests laughed like crazy!  It was all in good fun and all enjoyed.

Another fun game where the guests stay seated is the “feed me” game.  Again the groom is blindfolded and the bride gets moved into the crowd somewhere.  He is given a piece of food (something not messy like a grape or piece of cheese) and then he is spun around.  The bridal party stays close so there is no accidents of falling or the likes.  He is then guided only by the brides voice to find her and get the piece of food into her mouth.  When she has been fed, you do the same to the bride until she finds her and feeds him.

Now you think of some other games to make you day special!


Wedding Music Games

Wedding Music Games

Just as food and drink is expected at a wedding, music is just as important.  Of course, many have weddings with no music, but I think we all find it too quiet and frankly it can get boring.  Certainly it makes no difference if you “spin” music from an Ipod or contract a string group or even a DJ or live band, music should be included in your budget for your wedding.

A common misconception though, is that music is just for dancing.  There are many, many games you can add for your music to make the reception  and wedding day fun.

Many couples prefer to give away the centerpieces on the tables as prizes for the games they choose so there really is no added cost to playing a few games.

One popular game is musical chairs that we talked about in another post but you can also have a great time playing “Name That Tune”.  This game is ideal for under 50 guests.  Who ever is planning the wedding should get a list of the favorite songs of the bride and groom and creat a CD of those songs.  The guests should be divided into two groups and you can do this anyway you please.  Maybe guys against gals or just count off 1, 2 and do it that way.  Play a few notes of the song and then let each team tell you how many notes it might take them to name the song.  Another option would be to say how many seconds it might take them to name that tune.  Most all will enjoy playing this game and the bride and groom get to hear their favorite songs in the process!

If you are having a very elegant wedding, this game would probably not work as it moves away from that elegance.

Another game might be to let the guests “call out” the wedding couple to dance by doing something and then daring them to do it better.  It might be hula hoop to a song and then see if the couple can do it better, or dance something like the twist or a ball room dance and let them copy you.  The guests get to enjoy the interaction with the couple on a more one to one basis and still have fun themselves.  Many good memories may be enjoyed later when you remember “Granny” did the twist at your wedding!

As I always try to get you to remember, your wedding day is just that – YOUR WEDDING DAY.  Have fun in creating ways to make it a day you will relish for the rest of your lives.

Children’s Activities

Although some couples ask for children not to be present for there wedding, there are alot of couples who want families to attend, including the children.  Children at a wedding can be quite the problem if plans are not made to help them with something to do.

I think we all know what happens when children get bored or think they need to find something to do on their own.

Some will have the children in a seperate room with maybe some place to color, maybe play a movie for them, or even some board games depending on their age.  It really don’t take alot to keep them busy for ceremony itself as most are less than a half hour long.  As for the reception, depending on how long your reception is, you might plan on the movie with popcorn or healthy snacks with enough adults to have a ratio of 1 adult for every 5 children.  Remember, children won’t just jump in and play a game or do anything on their own.  The responsible childcare person you ask should realized they will need to initiate the activities to keep the children busy.

Some would prefer the children be present at the reception instead of a seperate room.  You might plan on a setting aside a table for the children to color or draw on.  Remember to only provide washable crayons or markers for your activity.  Weddings today also have bubbles on the tables which most all children love.  If you don’t mind them blowing bubbles all during the reception, then certainly give them their own bottle and turn them loose.

You don’t have to just limit the activity to coloring though.  Pipe cleaners to bend and make things with, Floam is another thing they can shape and keep, or even the pre-cut rubber peices that stick on scrapbooks to make things works well.  Most children love to make things and either keep them or give them to someone.

If your ceremony is more on the formal side, you may want to consider hiring someone to entertain the children.  Maybe a clown, a balloon twister, have a blow up jumping thing, or even a magician will certainly do the trick.  One couple even hired a children’s DJ and had them in a seperate room to dance all they wanted to children’s songs.

If you ask for no children at your wedding and reception and you find yourself with children there anyway, you may want to have a children’s only dance and let the little ones dance their little hearts off.  Everyone will be entertained watching the children dance and some very memorable moments may be caught on camera to later enjoyment.  How many grandparents wouldn’t be smiling at watching the “Grands” dance.

Use your imagination and certainly look at your budget to plan on the little ones enjoying your wedding day as much as you do.

Fun Wedding Photo Ideas

Photo Ideas for Fun Weddings

One of the most important elements in a wedding are the pictures.  Couples can’t wait to get the photos back after the ceremony and photographers work hard and fast to get proofs to them as soon as possible.  There are alot of fun things you might consider adding to your wedding day to add some fun and special memories.

Recently, at a wedding reception I was in attendance at, the couple had provided a box with “props” such as funny hats, boas, scarfs, and beads – you may put anything you want in your box – and the photographer had a backdrop so each table could come and get “dressed up” and have a picture taken.  This provided lots of laughs and at the same time everyone had a picture taken for the memory album of the couple.  You could save money by having someone with a digital camera man the area for you and get those funny moments for your special day.

This is a great idea for entertaining and mixing the guests as they wait on the couple to make their entrance.

You might even expand that idea by having a printer or instant camera on hand and supplies for the guests to create a “page” for a scrapbook ( I would probably make pages alike and a place to put the picture on the page ahead of time.).  Should you not want them distracted by this activity, then by all means just take the photos and save them until you have time at home to make what you want.

Either way, you will see some funny pictures and bring back the fun and memories of your special day including who was there.

Although it is not a “new” idea, many brides will pass out one use cameras for the guests to use.  This may provide some candid shots for your memory book but my past experiences say don’t use them as your only source of wedding photos.  Children often manage to get them and take some really silly pictures and your wedding day memories will be of bugs, floors and little kids faces up close.

A wonderful way for the couple to have the two families work together is to collect pictures of the couple at various ages in thier lives.  I’ve seen slide shows on walls or even a photo album of the pictures and most all enjoy looking at them.  Carrying it a step further, you could have photos of action shots at younger ages.  Like shooting a ball or playing army or the like.  Then place them in frames and provide little pieces of paper for the guests to look at the photos and try and guess the age and activity that was happening in the picture.  A basket or jar with a number on it that matches the number on the photo will keep the answers straight.  The couple can provide the correct answers sometime during the reception and give away the table centerpieces to the one with the closest or correct answer.

Most importantly, just have fun and make sure you get photos of your guests too.  As the wedding couple, you will most likely be very busy and no matter how hard you try, you can’t always meet and talk to every guest in attendance.  These photos may be the last time you see some elderly family so don’t miss the chance to get a good picture of them when you can.

Do I Really Need a Wedding Planner?

Actually that is a good question!  As a Wedding Officiant, I’ve officiated weddings both ways.  In most cases, I suggest you consult a good wedding planner.  Are their exceptions?  Yes!  Let’s talk about both.

If your wedding is less than 10 people, close family and a few friends, then you probably don’t need a wedding planner.  There is little to get ready for the ceremony except setting up a good photographer, choosing your gown and showing up.  A good wedding Officiant should be able to help you with this size wedding.

If your wedding will be more than 30 people, then you should get a good wedding planner.  Why you say?  A good wedding/event planner knows what to expect and how to handle those little things that go wrong at the wrong time.  You don’t want your wedding day or the planning of your wedding day to be a JOB – you want to be able to enjoy getting ready for it without stress.  A bride has enough stress without having to take on the responsibilities of the event too.

So what do you look for in an experienced wedding/event planner?

  • Ask them how they got started in their business and how long have they been a wedding planner.

Sometimes, like wedding photographers, wedding/event planners just “open” their business and let you pay for their training. You don’t need to pay for their education – you need to let them educate you on how to have a stress free wedding day.

  • Ask to see their portfolio/website.

An experienced wedding/event planner will have one or the other – complete with referrals.  They will almost know what you need to know before you ask!

  • Make sure their personality and yours is a match.

You are entrusting them with the details of your dream wedding ceremony – so make sure you can communicate with them and that you BOTH understand what is expected of each other.  The wedding/event planners I have worked with in the past are like night and day.  One very professional planner was on top of everything and actually was available to enjoy the ceremony while keeping everything on time and in place.  Another one was still making decorations in the back while the reception was taking place.  I think you get the picture.

  • Understand what is included in their fee – in other words – make sure you know what you are getting from them and that it is in your budget.

From time to time, I see couples wave off a wedding/event planner as an “un-necessary” expense.  To me that is like waving off the Ob/Gyn as an un-necessary expense to having a baby.

Finally, talk with the professionals you have already chosen and see who they recommend.  I recommend one to all my clients if they don’t have one.  I’ve worked with them and they are fantastic so it makes me job easier and the bride and groom more comfortable on their wedding day when they are used.

How To Choose A Good Photographer

One thing a bride and groom want to make sure they get the best for their money, is choosing an experienced photographer.  This once in a life time day should not be left to “a friend of a friend” or the little cameras sitting on tables.  Your wedding ceremony will happen one time – and an experienced wedding photographer knows what moments to capture and how to do it without being IN the ceremony.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been officiating a wedding ceremony only to have a photographer get almost in between the bride and groom and the Officiant.  A good wedding photographer knows how to get the shot without becoming the primary focus of your friends and family.  YOU should be what they are looking at and not the photographer.

So, what do we look for in our wedding photographer?

  • Ask them how long and how many weddings they have photographed.

Unfortunately, there are some who “just started” the business and have no experience.  A good wedding photographer will train with an experienced wedding photographer so that they won’t be “learning” while YOU pay them.

  • Ask to see their portfolio of weddings.  (not baby pictures, families or pet pics)

Wedding photographers always have a portfolio of their past clients.  If they tell you they are “putting one together” or “don’t have it with them”, tell them you will wait to see it or find someone else.

  • Ask for referrals from brides they have done business with.

Most brides love to give referrals of people who made their day memorable.  Their wedding photographs are the memories they will keep for a lifetime and they will not hesitate to tell you how they feel about how they used.

  • Find out how they “normally” shoot a wedding.

Sometimes they will take most of the pics before the ceremony and only have a few to take after the wedding so you can get to your reception!

  • Find out in writing what to expect in your package.

Again, don’t get surprised by finding out after the wedding that they didn’t include the reception or that your package only includes 7 photos and you will be charged to get the others.  (I’ve seen this happen unfortunately.)

  • Make sure you “get along” with and “understand” your wedding photographer.

You don’t want to feel uncomfortable with someone you are entrusting your wedding memories to.  Make sure your personalities go together and you feel comfortable talking to them.

Lastly, don’t over shoot your budget – but don’t skimp on you memories either.  The old adage “You get what you pay for.” is definitely true when you choose your wedding photographer.

Bridal Bouquet Fun Ideas

The bridal bouquet seems to be thought of as only the flowers the bride holds, but this is far from the truth.  The birdal bouquet certainly may serve as a focal point of many activities or gestures.

During the ceremony, there are many traditional floral possibilities.  Of course, one is to present a flower to the couple’s mothers.  It certainly makes the molthers happy and the guests always smile when it is included in the ceremony.  It could be carried to another level though by presenting the fathers a flower also.

Flowers given to the parents may be used several ways.  The father’s flowers may have a verse or poem attached to it so they may read it as part of the ceremony.  The flower may also be given in remembrance of those family members no longer with us and a chance given to the fathers to say a short something about that family member.

Many brides like the unity candle idea but not using candles.  The bride might consider having her wedding bouquet designed as many small bouquets bound together.  At a designated time during the wedding ceremony, the bouqueet is “taken apart” into the smaller bouquets and given to people, such as the parents of the couple.

Some brides really want to keep their bouquet but are open to having some fun with it during the reception or the ceremony and there are several ways to do this.  You might consider “dollar dances” with the bouquet.  It would be on display somewhere near the dance floor or with the DJ, so that once the “dollar” is paid, someone has the right to dance with the bouquet.

Throwing the bouquet is almost expected at every reception, but there are options to how that is done.  Brides sometimes opt not to hang on to their bouquet and simply pick a single flower for their memory book and toss the rest when it is appropriate.  Other brides will have a “throw away” bouquet to toss so they may keep the original.  If you have alot of single women at your wedding, you might consider having a break apart bouquet the florist has tied together loosely so that when the bouquet is tossed, it comes apart into several smaller bouquets and more get to “catch” the flowers.

Take a look at your guest list and see what might work for you and your personality, but most of all, do what you like best.

Fun Ideas for Destination Weddings

Brides are becoming more and more creative in planning their wedding day and location weddings are becoming increasingly more popular.  This sometimes has a result in a smaller wedding but allows for more opportunities to add some fun too.

Beach wedding venues have become really popular in the past few years, to the point of beach venues being very popular or even planning an exotic wedding location such as the Bahamas or Cancun.  No matter where you plan, there are alot of things you can do to make the wedding alot of fun.

One thing is if you should have a destination wedding that may require guests to be there for the weekend or more, you might plan some activities such as scuba diving, a boat tour or even just a game of volleyball on the beach.

Chartering a boat for a day of fishing or to go tubbing provides for some good fun and relaxation and time to get the pressure off from getting ready for the wedding.

A caribbean wedding might call for a cooking show or planning a luau.  You might plan these before a more formal dinner or a sit-down dinner such as your rehearsal dinner.

A Hawaii venue might be fun with a hula lesson.  One thing to remember though is to allow for some recuperation time for your older guests so they don’t have aching muscles from all that hulaing LOL.

A fun game is also a pass the shell game.  A rather large shell is passed to each guest with a small journal book.  As the “listen” to the shell, they listen for advice for the wedding couple.  (they actually think of some good advice for themselves)  They would then write that advice in the little journal and the couple will be able to read it for years to come.

You could plan a shopping trip, a guided tour or even a wine tasting event but you should remember the couple is expected to pay for these events or the couples family.  Telling guests that the event will be X amount of dollars will likely cause some hard feelings or cause them to not show up at all.

Usually, a destination wedding is for those who plan on having just their closest friends and family in attendance, so for some of your guests, this may also serve as a “vacation” for them.  If so,k you may want to use caution in planning too many activities or things to do and allow them to plan their own activities.  You might want to plan only afternoon or evening joint activities in order to allow them to do their own thing at other times.

Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular today so have fun and see some place you have always wanted to see on your wedding day.

Responsibilities of the Parents of the Bride and Groom

Your wedding day will be one of the most important days of your life.  Unfortunately, it may also be one of the most difficult for you to get done without having a mental breakdown or ending up feeling stressed trying to do it all.

Of course, we don’t get to choose our parents, (smiles) but there are some guidelines as to which family is responsible for what.  Remember, these are just guidelines and all families are different.  Hopefully, this will help you not forget some important things while planning your wedding and help you enjoy the planning instead of stressing while planning.

Responsibilities of the Parents of the Bride and Groom

Mother/ Father of the Bride – Your help will be one of the most difficult things for you to do.  Why?  Because it is your baby girl leaving the nest.  You can assist her in many ways while adjusting to her being the woman you have helped her to become and realizing how wonderful your daughter really is.  This will be one of the most special times in your relationship.

Here is a list of things you may be asked to help her with:

  • Help the couple find a wedding site and reception site, get recommendations from friends and family if necessary.
  • Hold an engagement party for the couple.  Not all families do this but it is the bride’s family that is responsible if it is to be done.
  • Although the couple will prepare the guest list, it is ultimately the bride’s mother who makes the call on the number of guests they can have.  She will call the groom’s parents to find out who they would like invitations sent to and also has the task of saying too many and helping them to cut the list to fit the budget of the family.
  • The bride’s mother will also have the responsibility of talking with the groom’s family to see if there are any family or ethnic traditions that may need to be incorporated into the wedding ceremony or the wedding reception.
  • Talk with your daughter and find out what she wants you to wear on the big day.  Once you know what she wants, talk to the groom’s mother and decide what the two of you will be wearing.  This will make you feel more comfortable with each other and you will make the couple happy.
  • Attend and possibly help the Matron of Honor with the bridal shower.  Remember it is the Matron of Honor who host’s the bridal shower but you can certainly help with the guest list.  Don’t forget to include the groom’s mother in this event!
  • The bride’s parents are also the host and hostess of the reception after the wedding.  The bride and groom have enough to do that day and you will be ultimately responsible for helping things to run smoothly.
  • The mother of the bride help’s her to choose her wedding gown.  Sometimes the Matron of Honor will help with this and it is up to the bride who goes with her to look for the perfect gown.
  • The father of the bride will also help to coordinate his apparel for the big day with the other men in the wedding party.  This will also include the groom’s father.  Usually, the groomsmen and groom will rent their apparel to match the colors the bride has chosen for the day.  It is fairly simple for the dads to place an order for theirs at the same place.
  • The mother of the bride usually keeps track of the gifts received by the couple or the bride.  Sometimes the Matron of Honor will also help with this if there is a shower in which the mother is not in attendance.  The list of who gave gifts and what was received would then be passed on to the bride’s mother.
  • When the couple leaves to go on their honeymoon, the bride’s parents usually stores the top layer of the wedding cake until they come back home.  She will also make arrangements for the brides wedding gown to be cleaned and prepared for storage.  Upon the couple returning, she will deliver them both to the couple.
  • The mother of the bride is the last one to be seated at the ceremony.  She is also the first to leave at the end of the ceremony.
  • The father of the bride is the one who is responsible for delivering his daughter to the wedding ceremony.  If by limo, he would ride with her.  He also gives his daughter away on the big day.  Some families will have both parents escort the bride down the aisle.
  • During the dance at the reception, the bride’s mother will dance with the bride’s father, then the groom, in the mother/son dance.  Remember, you are not losing your daughter, you are gaining a son!
  • If directions are needed to get to the wedding venue, the bride’s father is responsible for making the maps or direction sheets to be sent with the invitations.  This ensures all knows how to get to the wedding venue.
  • The mother of the bride heads up the receiving line and greets the guests.  Traditionally, since she is the reception hostess, she will be first to be finished and go to make sure the reception is as planned.
  • At the reception, the father of the bride gives the first toast to the groom and a little welcoming speech.  This helps set the tone for the reception and helps people to mingle with the couple.
  • They will sit at the parents table if it was planned in the reception plans.

Mother/ Father of the Groom

  • Once you are told of the engagement of your son, call the bride’s parents and congratulate them.  Let them know you are happy with your son choosing their daughter.
  • Have an informal party with your family and invite the bride’s family so everyone can introduce themselves and get to know each other.
  • Prepare a guest list for the couple of your family and friends you would like to invite.  Be sure and ask how many you are allowed to invite.  This is where things may get sticky but remember, it’s nothing personal and expenses must be kept within budget.
  • Make arrangements for your guests that are coming from out of town.
  • Attend the bridal shower and buy a gift.
  • Make sure the bride’s family is aware of any ethnic or family traditions that need to be included in the wedding ceremony.
  • Get the information as to where the couple have registered and pass that information to your friends and family.
  • Consult with the bride’s mother about the outfit she plans on wearing to the wedding.  You may every want to shop together and choose outfits to coordinate with the bride’s colors.
  • Keep track of your RSVP’s and notify the bride’s parents of the number you will have attending.
  • By tradition, the groom’s parents plan and pay for the rehearsal dinner.   Plan that about 6 months before the event.
  • The father of the groom, traditionally, will toast the bride at the rehearsal dinner and the parents will present her with a gift special from them.
  • The father should coordinate his wedding apparel with the other men in the wedding party.
  • Stand in the receiving line with the bride’s father.

As you can see, there are responsibilities for both sets of parents and they are clearly defined.  These are only guidelines of traditional responsibilities but never the less may keep you from going crazy when no one seems to know who should be doing what.

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