Wedding Reception Game Ideas

by Kathy Adams

At a wedding reception, a good chance exists that many of the guests do not know each other, and the children present may be looking for something to do after a short while. Games serve as both an icebreaker for the adults and makeshift playtime for the children, keeping everyone in good spirits for the festive occasion.

Hilarious Hoops

Offer up a bunch of hula-hoops for a hula-hooping contest. Begin by telling guests that if they want the bride and groom to kiss, they have to be able to keep the hoop in motion for more than 30 seconds. Each time someone succeeds, the newlyweds kiss. Turn the event into a hula contest using as many hoops as you have on hand; the winner is the person who keeps his hoop moving the longest. Offer a prize such as a small bag of candies, a lei, or a wedding-themed plastic prize necklace.

Birthday Bonus

For this game, the birthdays that come closest to the birthdays of the bride and groom at each table win a prize, such as the centerpiece, a photo with the bride and groom, or an extra slice of cake. If a child wins, she gets to be the leader for the next children's activity.

The Alphabet Game

Give each child a pencil and a sheet of paper with all the letters of the alphabet pre-printed on the paper, along with a space next to each letter. Encourage the children to fill out the blank next to each letter with an item they spot in the reception hall, such as "cake" for the letter "C." For the difficult letters -- Q, X and Z -- encourage the kids to find a person in the room who has one of those letters in her name, using the name to fill in the space. The winner is the first person to fill in the entire alphabet or comes closest after a set amount of time.

Ad Libs

This game begins by having all the guests pair off into teams. One participant of each pair holds a sheet of paper partially filled out with a story about the bride and groom, with some words left out. For instance, the story may begin: "Matt and Olivia met at ____ (place) on a (adjective) night in __ (year). Olivia was working as a_ (occupation) and originally thought Matt was a __ (noun)." The guest with the paper calls out for a place, adjective and year, following the sheet of paper, filling it in with the second person's response. Once every paper at each table is filled out, guests read them aloud for laughs.

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About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.