18 Amazing Wedding Reception Games Your Guests will Love
While the wedding day is all about you, the wedding reception is all about the party! Here are some of the best wedding party games to fill the night with joy and laughter.
Some couples want to kick off their reception with icebreaking activities. Others want to give their guests some gaming options throughout the evening. Whatever your desire, be sure to tell your wedding planner about your gaming goals. That way, they can help you find a venue with plenty of space so the ring toss isn’t bouncing off guests as they wait in the buffet line.
Here are the top fun wedding games that everyone can enjoy.
Icebreaker games for wedding reception
Whether you labor over the seating arrangements or let guests determine where to sit gold-rush style, there will always be people near those they don’t know well or at all. Help your guests get to know one another with these wedding reception party icebreakers.
Reception wedding guest bingo
This reception wedding bingo idea serves as a conversation starter and tribute to your guests.
How to play. In traditional bingo, players use a scorecard with five rows and five columns (for a total of 25 spaces) of randomly numbered squares and the word BINGO across the top. A caller then reads out a letter and number combination. For example, the caller reads N14. That means players look under the letter N on their scorecard to see if the number 14 is in that column. If so, the player marks it on the scorecard. The goal is to get five numbers in a row either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
Reception wedding guest bingo is like the bingo you know and love, except there is no caller and, instead of a combination of letters and numbers, players mark off information about the attendees.
Create cards filled with personalized information about the attendees. Some suggestions include:
- Went to college with the bride.
- Has a September birthday.
- Owns three or more cats.
- Is a fan of the Dallas Cowboys.
- Collects porcelain figurines.
- Acts professionally.
- Has three or more tattoos.
- Studied marine biology.
- Can play the theremin.
Try to create clues that include a mix of family and friends, so it’s harder for a single guest to fill in the boxes from memory. The goal is to make people talk to one another. (“Do you know anyone here who plays the theremin; oh, also, what in the world is a theremin?”) Place a line under each prompt to fill in the name of a matching guest. The winner is the first (or however many you like) to fill in their entire card.
Picture scavenger hunt
Your wedding photographer will get great shots but even a professional can’t be everywhere at once. If you want to ensure that every second of the reception is covered from every angle, this is an excellent suggestion.
How to play. Create a list of Instagrammable moments and place the cards at each seat to encourage your guests to capture these events. Be sure to open a cloud account so people can upload the photos. Otherwise, these precious shots may wind up locked behind a social media barrier. Possibilities include:
- Newlyweds holding hands.
- Children having fun.
- The wedding cake.
- Parents with one of the newlyweds.
- A smiling couple.
- Group photo of your table.
- Selfie with a guest you don’t know.
- A toast.
- Full dance floor.
You can also create fun prize categories, such as best group photo, funniest candid shot, most romantic moment, etc.
The shoe game is a relatively new trend, but it’s quickly becoming a popular reception activity.
How to play. The newlyweds remove their shoes, keep one, and exchange the other. Then they sit back-to-back so they cannot see each other and answer a series of questions, such as:
- Who said “I love you” first?
- Who is the bigger baby when they have a cold?
- Who is funnier?
- Who is more likely to fall asleep during a movie?
- Who is nerdier?
- Who is more likely to get lost?
- Who takes longer showers?
- Who has better taste in films?
- Who is more likely to drop their phone in the toilet?
- Who spends more time on social media?
The newlyweds don’t answer verbally. Instead, they raise either their shoe or their partner’s shoe. It’s funny when the couple agrees; it’s funnier when they don’t.
Stand Up, Sit Down
This variation of the shoe game gets the whole crowd involved.
How to play. Choose a wedding party member to serve as the MC (if you have a DJ, they may be willing to fill the role). The MC then asks the crowd a series of true/false or yes/no questions. However, instead of answering verbally, everyone stands for true or yes and remains seated for false or no. Some possible questions include:
- Have you known one of the newlyweds for more than 10 years?
- Do you plan to dance tonight?
- Did the bride love the color blue when she was in kindergarten?
- Is the date of your birthday a prime number?
- Did you have to ask, “What are prime numbers?”
- Are you wearing patterned socks?
Casual wedding games
Create an informal reception atmosphere with a few gaming stations. Then let your guests come and go as they please with these wedding table games.
Jenga is a classic balancing game that’s frequently as fun to watch as it is to play.
How to play. A classic Jenga tabletop set consists of 54 rectangular wooden blocks. To begin, stack the blocks in alternating rows of three to create a stable tower. Next, players take turns removing blocks from the lower part of the tower and placing them on top. Although players may use both hands, only one hand can touch the tower or a single block at any time. The game ends when a player causes some or all of the tower to tumble to the ground.
Another fun aspect of Jenga is that there are several variations of the game, so it’s adaptable to your wedding environment.
Giant Jenga. While the classic version of Jenga is suited for an indoor environment, Giant Jenga is made for the great outdoors. The rules are the same, except you’re trying to move blocks at least seven times bigger than typical Jenga blocks. You’ll want to get out of the way when this tower falls.
Guest book Jenga. This game is played with a classic (tiny) version of Jenga. The rules are the same, except that guests only get one turn because the blocks serve as a guest book. Once someone pulls a block, they should write some well-wishes to the newlywed couple on it, sign it, and place the block at the top of the tower. If a guest pulls a block with writing on it, they continue playing until a clean block appears. Should the tower fall, that guest rebuilds it, and a new game begins. After the reception, the couple can use the set for a fun and reminiscent game night or frame the pieces as a unique keepsake.
Mad Libs for the newlyweds
This fun fill-in-the-blank activity works best as a group endeavor.
How to play. Mad Libs are short stories with missing words or phrases. Instructions beneath the blanks provide prompts that range from general (such as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, prepositional phrase, etc.) to specific (for example, part of the body, a liquid, type of bird, room in a house, etc.). When playing as a group, only one person sees the story and fills in the blanks using suggestions from the group. Everyone else takes turns providing answers using only the prompts as their guides. Once all spaces are full, the story is read out loud, and hilarity ensues.
To personalize the game for the newlyweds, the couple should create stories based on special moments that led to their marriage (such as their meet cute, proposal, wedding vows, etc.) and remove the words and phrases with the most comedic potential. If the couple is not the DIY type or does not wish to have their precious memories turned into word salad, there are several wedding-related Mad Libs available online. Be sure to save the finished versions for your wedding memory box.
Outdoor wedding games ideas
Even an indoor reception may have an outdoor area where guests can enjoy a little friendly competition.
Bring the childhood thrill of smashing things with a stick to your reception.
How to play. If you somehow missed the semi-dangerous thrill of pinata smashing as a child, it’s relatively straightforward. A hollow, treat-filled, papier-mache figure is hung outside (often from a tree) in an area with plenty of open space (you’ll see why). Traditionally, pinatas are shaped like animals, but there are wedding-themed pinatas shaped like bride’s cakes, linked golden rings, etc. Next, someone is blindfolded, handed a stick, and spun around until they become dizzy. Finally, everyone gets out of the way as that person swings wildly, attempting to connect with the pinata and break it open. When the pinata cracks (and the blindfolded person stops swinging), everyone scrambles for the treats as they hit the ground.
As for those treats, candy is a must, but if you’re feeling creative, you can also include things like:
- Lottery scratch-off tickets.
- Glow sticks.
- Plastic mini liquor bottles (for adult-only games).
- Party favors.
Encourage your guests to channel their inner Alice with the Queen of Heart’s favorite game.
How to play. If your only familiarity with croquet is “Alice in Wonderland,” you may have some misconceptions about the game. First, the balls are not actually hedgehogs. Second, you don’t use flamingoes for mallets. Third, the hoops, or wickets, are not formed by arched, anthropomorphic playing cards with their hands and feet on the ground. Otherwise, everything is basically the same. Either two or four people compete to knock wooden balls through a series of hoops. After a successful run of hoops, the game finishes when players strike a wooden peg with each of their team’s balls. While this may sound easy (especially when you don’t have to worry about the balls scurrying off when you’re not looking), croquet is challenging, and games can get pretty competitive.
Indoor wedding reception party games
As you make the rounds greeting guests and taking pictures, imagine how fun it will be to have these wedding reception games surrounding you.
Scatter some table tennis equipment, and one or a few tables, around and challenge your guests to channel their inner Serena Williams.
How to play. The standard way to play is for two or four people to face each other across a table that looks like a little-bitty tennis court. Then, using paddles, they volley a tiny white ball back and forth until someone misses or knocks the ball into the net or off the table.
Runaround. There’s a variation that allows a crowd to play. Have a group of people form a circle around the table. The game begins as usual, with one player serving the ball to the person across from them. However, after striking the ball, that person places the paddle on the table, moves clockwise out of the way, and the person behind them picks up the paddle. The same action occurs on the other side of the table after that person returns the serve. The players continue to circle until someone messes up. Then that person steps out of the circle, and the game continues until only one player remains.
Video game stations
Some video games scattered hither and thither can entertain younger guests (and those young at heart) throughout the reception.
How to play. Rent a few of the latest and greatest gaming consoles (or have some friends bring theirs) and watch your guests engage in multiplayer skirmishes. If you want to make these gaming sessions more inclusive, use games that involve movement and activity, like “Dance, Dance Revolution” and “Guitar Hero,” since they tend to be equally fun to watch and play.
Arcade game cabinets. Give your reception a retro “Stranger Things” feel by renting some classic game cabinets and creating a mini arcade. You can assemble a tournament of guests going head-to-head in games like “Street Fighter 2,” “Cruis’n USA,” and “Punch-out!!,” or foster a cooperative atmosphere with games like “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Rampage,” “The Simpsons Arcade Game,” and “Gauntlet.” Throw in a pinball machine or two, and you may have the best reception ever.
Indoor or outdoor wedding party games
These games are excellent to play inside as long as you have the room. If not, they are equally fun when played under the sun.
See, during the ceremony, the couple exchanges wedding rings. This game features rings. So, they’re sort of linked thematically.
How to play. This game can be either a single or multiplayer challenge. The goal is to get a set of rings hooked around a series of targets, usually wooden stakes or bottles on the ground or hooks on a wall. The challenge is more demanding as players get further from the targets. As a single-player game, one person throws their entire set or rings at the targets and is awarded a point for each successful toss. In the multiplayer game, players face off with the targets between them. Each team takes turns throwing toward the targets. Scoring can be the same as the single-player game, or you can award several points for rings hooked around a target and a single point for any ring touching a target.
Yes, we know it’s also called “cornhole.” We’re just not entirely comfortable with that name.
How to play. Players divide into two teams and take turns throwing bean bags toward a hole at the end of an angled board. (The alternate name is because bean bags are sometimes—or once were—filled with corn kernels, and the target is a hole. So, get your mind out of the gutter.) A single point is scored for every bag that lands and remains on the board. Three points are awarded for each bag that makes it through the hole. Like ring toss, the game becomes more demanding as players move further from the target.
Dance floor wedding reception games
There’s no need for the gaming fun to stop once everyone hits the dance floor. Here are a few fun wedding activities for guests as they bust a move.
Here’s a throwback to your grade school days, and it’s just as much fun as it was back then.
How to play. Get as many people on the dance floor as possible. Yes, Gammie Gladys can bring her walker. Once the floor is full of children and adults, the DJ or band starts playing a tune, and everyone struts their stuff. Tell them to be as funky or silly as possible. The important thing is that they’re moving and grooving because the song will abruptly stop soon, and everyone must freeze in place. Traditionally, anyone who fails to stop must leave the dance floor, and prizes go to whoever remains at the song’s end. However, you can make the game a little friendlier by allowing everyone to stay on the floor and creating fun prize categories, like the silliest frozen pose.
Name that tune
This wedding reception party game is for the music lovers in your crowd.
How to play. Wait until everyone has cut a groove for a few songs. Then have your DJ or band leader announce they’re going to play a few seconds of a song, and the first person to correctly guess the title wins a prize. Be sure to include tunes from several generations so everyone—from Baby Boomers to Zoomers—has a chance to win.
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