Nothing is worse than having a wedding reception filled with seated guests who look tired and maybe a little bit bored. Maybe this wedding doesn’t feature aDJ and rockin’ music. Or maybe the crowd isn’t into that whole dancing thing.
What to do? It’s not that hard. There are a myriad of activities you can plan that will not only engage and entertain the guests, but also help them get to know each other and – most importantly – the wedding couple just a little bit better.
Here’s one that’s fun and might remind you just a little bit of a football game. Make a placard for each guest. On one side, letter first initial of one the wedding couple and the opposite on the other side. Someone, and if you have aDJ or MC it can be him or her, or the best man or maid of honor, asks a series of questions. They might be simple, like “who was born in New York City”? Or they might be more complicated, such as “who, at 6, broke their leg when they were playing with their German shepherd puppy”?
Guests don’t yell their answer, but rather show their placard, turning it to the” side of they think the question pertains to the one side or the others side if it’s the opposite. The guests’ guesses can be revealing, but even more revealing, are the true answers. It’s a great, fun way for everyone to get to know a little more about the wedding couple .
One word of caution about the above activity: Keep ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends out of the questions and don’t ask anything that might be a little too revealing or too risque'. Remember, grandmothers and grandfathers and young children will likely be present!
If it’s too much work to create signs for each person, you can create just two and create two teams . Grouped together, the teams can work together to decide on the answer and answer as a group. This team versus team concept is always popular and sure to be fun for everyone.
One silly game that’s always a hit really puts one of the couple in the spotlight. How well does he or she know the feel and touch of their new partner ? In this game, everyone finds out. You can do this several ways. You can enlist just the wedding party in this game, or as many of the wedding guests that want to participate.
Line each participant up and blindfold one partner. Put the new partner somewhere in the mix, and send the other on a hunt for his partner. The participants can either shake hands or give him/her a kiss on the cheek. In some versions, they might feel their hair or their leg. The details are up to you.
Depending on how far you want to take this game, you can add a fun element to it that is sometimes popular. You have the partner feel the leg of each participant. The best man, or other male member of the wedding party, rolls up his pant leg, puts on a garter and has the groom feel that. The participant has to kiss whoever he thinks is his partner, while still blindfolded. Often, he ends up kissing the incorrect person.
For an activity that allows the guests to be audience members instead of participants, consider the game of “feed me”. In this game, one of the couple is seated and the other is (again) blindfolded. He/She given a piece of food and then spun around a few times so they are little bit dizzy. Guided only by the helpful words of his/her partner, he/she has to find their partner and get the piece of food into their partners mouth. Be sure to have the wedding party shadowing them so there are no accidents.
Once the one partner has fed the other, the tables are turned and the opposite is blindfolded and must find the other.
A few notes about this activity: when feeding , don’t use wedding cake or a piece of bread with dip. In other words, don’t use anything too messy. If they have a hard time finding the others mouth, they might likely smear the food on their partner's face and that is something that won’t make anyone – prettily made up just hours before – too happy.
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Neal McFarlane is a full-time Toronto Wedding DJ ,VJ and MC who enjoys sharing his decades of knowledge to elevate every single event he can.