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Looking to make your wedding reception a fun and festive affair your guests will never forget? In addition to a delicious feast, flowing drinks and a killer wedding playlist, some couples like to get the party started with wedding reception games, ice-breakers and other interactive experiences, which might include everything from classic lawn games to bride and groom trivia, a photo scavenger hunt, a well-stocked photo booth and plenty of activities to engage the kids, too.
These sorts of activities work especially well at large, outdoor weddings with space to spread out, but there are plenty of options for indoor weddings, too. If the idea of adding a couple of games to your wedding day sound like fun, by all means, have at it! We've rounded up the 30 of the best games and activities fit for a wedding reception that guests of all ages will enjoy.
Wedding Reception Lawn Games
Whether you have an affinity for corn hole, croquet or life-size board games, these classic lawn games and tabletop games will keep your guests entertained throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
Who doesn't love the classic block-stacking game Jenga? The traditional tabletop version adds a dose of fun and whimsy to any tented or outdoor reception area. Alternatively, upgrade to a life-size set of blocks that friends and family can build and destroy (and build again).
If you're up for another wedding DIY project, head to the hardware store for some lumber and request that it is cut into 54 block-size pieces, which you can then stain or paint or otherwise customize however you'd like.
2. Connect Four
An oversized version of this classic game is sure to garner attention from adults and kids alike.
3. Ring Toss
A carnival classic, setting up a ring toss game is sure to bring out your guests' competitive spirit. For extra fun, try writing the names of guests and bridal party members on bottles and rings to see who gets paired with who.
4. Corn Hole
Corn hole is the perfect lawn game for couples that want to make extra activities feel like a cohesive part of the overall wedding décor. This creative couple painted and personalized their boards and the beanbags, too.
Who can resist a round of croquet? Invite guests to grab a mallet and get a match started on the lawn.
If you have the space, why not set up a badminton court? The equipment is light and portable, and the classic game is easy enough for guests of all ages to play.
7. Bocce Ball
If you have lawn space, you can easily make a bocce ball area. An actual court isn't necessary—just set up balls and score cards and let your guests have at it.
8. Giant Dice
Shake things up with a jumbo set of dice! This unexpected wedding reception game is perfect for bringing guests together.
9. Giant Checkers
Simple and fun, get the party started by ordering a checkers mat so large it can double as a picnic blanket—or DIY your own.
10. High Striker
Guests will be clamoring for their turn to wield the mallet at this old-fashioned carnival game to see who's the strongest.
Group Games & Interactive Activities
Whether you're hosting an indoor or outdoor wedding reception, there are plenty of group games that will keep the party going.
11. The Shoe Game
This is one of our favorite games to play at wedding receptions! The newlyweds take a seat in front of their guests, sitting back to back. Each has one of their shoes, and one of their partners. The emcee or a member of the bridal party acts as host, and the couple has to answer the following questions simultaneously by holding up the shoe that corresponds with their answer. Estimate approximately 15 minutes to play the shoe game, and include questions like:
- Who said I love you first?
- Who made the first move?
- Who has better handwriting?
- Who dresses better?
- Who is the better dancer?
- Whose phone battery always has more of a charge?
- Who says I love you more?
- Who is more likely to be running late?
- Who is the better cook?
- Who got the best grades in school?
- Who do you love more than anyone in the world?
Though your guests won't be playing, they'll be laughing it up as your answers reveal the truth about how you view yourselves and each other in this silly game.
12. Wheel of Fun
To encourage guest interaction, consider creating a custom wheel of activities that can be spun throughout the reception. This creative option includes details like "Pick a Couple to Kiss," "Show Us Your Best Dance Moves" and the classic "Bride & Groom Kiss."
13. Word Search
Transform a chalkboard into a creative word search that your guests can try their hand at all evening long. The trick to DIY-ing this word search game is to write the individual letters in permanent paint and provide chalk only for circling words. Get creative and include personal trivia about the two of you as a couple for guests to find.
14. Poker Station
Rent a poker table, set up 10 seats and hire a dealer for the night. A poker station is usually a big hit with the gentlemen.
15. Dart Art Station
For artsy couples and guests, a dart art station is a fun daytime wedding reception activity. For the canvas, attach a couple dozen (or more) water balloons partially filled with paint to a large, blank canvas hung on a wall. Set up a dart throwing station at a safe distance (no one wants paint splatter on their formal wear, after all). Friends and family can throw darts at the canvas which will pop and splatter the paint inside the balloons, creating a one-of-a-kind piece for you to keep!
16. Themed Photo Booth
Dressing up is technically a game... isn't it? Regardless, guests of all ages love a themed photo booth! There are so many ways to get creative with how your guests to take selfies and group shots together. And when it comes to props, the more, the merrier, of course!
Your photo booth can have whatever sort of theme or vibe that you want. Skew towards silly fun with boas, over-sized glasses and mustache sticks—or, class things up with pretty flowers, ornate frames and signs that commemorate the wedding date.
17. Create a Custom Snapchat Geofilter for Your Reception
If you're on Snapchat, you've probably noticed that when you're at certain venues or events new filters are available that are specific to that place. Those are called geofilters, and it's incredibly easy to create a custom one for your wedding reception. Pricing is determined by the size of the area where the geofilter will be available and for how long it's up. It's only $5 an hour for a custom geofilter that covers about 20 square feet—a sizable section of your reception space. Set up a sign to alert your social media savvy guests, and they'll be snapping away in no time!
18. Board Game Station
Offering a selection of quick, multi-player board games will entertain your more introverted guests throughout the evening. Classic games including Yahtzee, Uno, Scrabble and Life are all great options.
19. Video Game Station
Yep, that's right: You can even have video games at your wedding reception—you can even have small prizes for winners along the way. We love multiplayer classics that get guests up on their feet including Dance, Dance Revolution, Rock Band or Guitar Hero, but gamer couples (and guests) might have their own favorites they want to have on hand!
20. Throwback College Drinking Games
If you're having a more relaxed, casual wedding, you might want to consider setting up stations at your reception where your friends can relive their college days with drinking games like beer pong and flip cup. One option: Substitute water for beer in the solo cups so things don't get too reminiscent of those college years.
Reception Table Games
Another option is games for guests to play at their tables at the reception. Table games are perfect for breaking the ice among guests who might not know each other, or whiling away the time as they wait for the newlyweds to make their entrance.
21. Mad Libs, the Wedding Edition
Customize these free-to-download wedding Mad Libs that you can leave on tables around the reception for guests to pick up throughout the night. It's a fun way to get everyone talking and laughing and it will be a treat for the two of you to read later for some laugh out loud moments. (Alternatively, you can also have the emcee read off some of the best answers during the reception to give everyone a laugh.)
22. Dare ... or Dare
Get your shy guests up and active with dares made just for them! On the back of their name cards, or within custom fortune tellers, such as pictured above, include simple dares like "Take a selfie with the cutest guy at your table," "Kiss the person next to you" or "Take a shot with someone you don't know." The table with the most dares completed wins! (Since you'll be writing the dares, you can tailor the dares to your guests' comfort level.)
23. Bride and Groom Trivia
At each guest's seat, leave a cute sheet with some trivia questions about the two of you—they could be multiple choice, true/false questions or fill-in-the-blank. Guests can fill out the questions whenever they like, and later, the emcee can read off the answers. Whichever guests gets the most answers correct at their table can take home the centerpiece.
24. Picture Scavenger Hunt
Send your guests on a digital scavenger hunt by creating a list of 20 wedding moments for them to capture with their phones, such as: the newlyweds kissing; someone cheers-ing; a group selfie; etc. Not only does this give your guests a fun activity, you'll end up with even more pictures at the end of the day.
Up the stakes with your photo scavenger hunt by turning it into a contest where you'll vote for the best photo in each category after the wedding. This way, your guests will go for quality photos, not just quantity. And don't forget to remind guests who are playing to use your wedding hashtag on social media so you can easily find all the fun snaps!
25. A Wedding Riff on Cards Against Humanity
If you love the sometimes outrageously insulting game that is Cards Against Humanity, you'll love "Cads About Matrimony," which has all the ridiculousness of Cards Against Humanity but focuses on wedding and marriage topics. It's a great table game, especially for your friends' tables and bridesmaids and groomsmen (your grandparents might not always catch the occasional PG-13 humor).
Keep your littlest guests entertained with games and activities just for them. Here are our favorite wedding games ideas for kids!
26. Coloring Station
Coloring can keep children occupied for hours, and best of all, it's mess-free! Adorn each child's place setting with a coloring book or some doodle paper and crayons just for them. If you have a dedicated kids' table in your wedding seating chart, you can even cover the entire table in butcher paper so the kids can draw directly on their table, which is always a big hit!
27. Lego Centerpieces
Another great option for the kids' table is to have a centerpiece made of Legos. The kids can pull it apart and make their own creations through the reception, breaking down and building again.
28. Giant Tic-Tac-Toe
It's simple and fun, and an extra-large version will add an unexpected twist to the classic game. Plus, it's X's and O's (i.e. hugs and kisses!) so it's perfectly on theme for a day that's all about love.
29. Hopscotch and Hula Hoop
Create a play area where kids can burn off some of their energy (in a non-disruptive way). Hopscotch, hula hoops and jump ropes are some of the classics that can keep them occupied and active without causing any sort of disruption.
What kid doesn't love a piñata? Keep it on-theme by getting a piñata shaped like a giant wedding cake, heart or other symbol of love and let them have at it after or around the time when the wedding cake (or other dessert) is being served. Of course, the newlyweds will have to come and take a swing with them, too!