Reception games are not for everyone but if your wedding is being attended by a lively group it's a good idea to keep them entertained throughout the meal. This is especially important if you're having a buffet dinner. No one likes waiting in long lines for their food and it's no fun to sit around with nothing to do while other people around you eat.
The trick to all of these games is timing. Your MC will have to pay close attention to the buffet line until all of the tables have gone up to eat. The head table and parent's tables should go first and once they're all in line the MC should start on the first round of the game.
Here are a few game ideas:
That’s Our Song!
This is a fun game that doesn’t involve too much participation or potential embarrassment should you have a group of less outgoing guests. Name each table after a song title. The titles can reflect a theme or it could be a selection of songs from a particular band or artist. Instruct the guests that they will know it’s their turn to get in line when their song is played.
Guess that Tune
Before the wedding day, create short song clips using favourite tunes enjoyed by the bride and groom. Play one song clip at a time and ask that guests stand up if they recognize the song. You can require that the guests name the artist or the title of the song (or both), or that they sing a few lines from the chorus in order to win.
Guests are asked to stand up once they are sure they recognize the song. Pay close attention to who stands up first and give them the first chance to guess. If the table guesses correctly they will be the next to join the buffet line. If they guess wrong they’ll have to point to another table that will get to go up ahead of them as a consequence.
Dancing for Dinner
If you’ve got a lively group of guests this is a really fun game to play.
Create a CD of fun, upbeat music (it’s best to have songs that have good rhythm from the beginning as you’ll only be playing them for 30 seconds). In order to go to the buffet line each table has to volunteer at least one person to come up on the dance floor and dance for 30 seconds to whatever song plays (songs like “I’m Too Sexy” and “The Chicken Dance” are always good for a laugh).
If more than one table volunteers up front you can ask a trivia question about the couple to decide who gets to dance first.
Singing for Supper
This game is similar to the “Dancing for Dinner” game. In order for a table to be selected to go to the buffet line the entire table must stand in front of the head table and serenade the newlywed couple with a song containing the word “Love”.
Have the guests pass a napkin around the room from table to table while the DJ plays some fun music. When the music stops the last table to have passed the napkin (not the table currently holding it because then people would just pass it around their own table) will be the next to go to the buffet line.
This is a great game for those of you with a number of golf fans in the crowd. Set up a small putting green in the middle of the dance floor. Each table must send one representative to the green. The guests line up and each take turns putting. The first guest to get a hole-in-one gets to take their table to the buffet line.
Spin for Dinner
Create a large spinning wheel with each table number or name on it. Have the bride and groom take turns spinning the wheel. Whatever number the dial lands on is the table number that can go first. HOWEVER, before they can go up they must answer a trivia question about the bride and groom. If the table has already gone up move clockwise along the wheel to the next number that hasn’t gone up; they will be asked to answer the question instead.
If the table gets the answer wrong the spinner must spin again.
All you need for this game is a few bags of Hershey’s Kisses, some kind of container, and pen and a few sheets of paper (or a small white board and dry erase marker) for each table. The MC will ask the guests to guess “how many kisses” will be used in a variety of situations. In each instance, the table with the closest guess will get to go to the buffet line next.
Here are a few examples of “Counting Kisses” games you can play.
1. Have the groom pull out a handful of kisses and have each table guess how many kisses are in his hand. In the next round it would be the bride’s turn. (Depending on the number of tables you could also have the Maid of Honour and Best Man do this as well – just don’t have too many people doing this as it could become repetitive). Make sure to have the guests count out loud as the Kisses are counted.
2. Have the groom place as many Kisses on the bride as he can. Before he starts have each table write down a number for how many Kisses they think the groom can place on the bride. Have the bride do the same to the groom in the next round.
3. Fill a champagne flute or wine glass with kisses. Raise the glass for the guests to see and ask each table to guess how many kisses the glass is holding.
Some of these can be repeated or you can come up with your own creative “Kiss Counting” ideas to create additional rounds. You need about as many rounds as you have tables.