Help us call shenanigans at our wedding reception!
August 22, 2009 7:08 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: We want to do something interesting at our wedding reception, some fun "shenanigans" that will help break the ice amongst our guests (about five tables of eight people apiece).

This could involve singing, playing a game, and may even involve the knowledge our guests have about us as a couple or as individuals. The trouble is, we keep shooting down our own ideas! Some caveats are that whatever the "shenanigans" may be, they need to be family friendly and appropriate for a fairly large age range and for the not necessarily outgoing (so drinking games and naked twister need not apply). Some examples we've thought of are silly card games at each table, or passing out love songs that each table must dramatically interpret at the end of the dinner. You get the idea; but if ever there was a job for the hivemind, well, this is it. Thanks!
posted by littlerobothead to Society & Culture (15 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Some friends of mine had a traditional wedding but after an hour on the dance floor brought out a huge box of costumes -- indian feathered headdress, wigs, etc... enough for all the guests. Best idea ever!!!!
posted by mdiskin at 7:12 PM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I like the dress-up idea. A lot of people get more relaxed when they're wearing something weird, especially on their head (hats, masks, etc). I also hear that it makes for some great wedding pictures if you set them up as a photo op to the side.

If you're looking for something a little more interactive, maybe a scavenger hunt or hosting some kind of pub quiz event? It won't get everyone to mix and mingle, but it'll likely encourage table talk. I've also heard of people using board games as centerpiece additions, but that's gonna really depend on the crowd. I remember hearing about one wedding that used Yahtzee as a way of earning a kiss, instead of that wretched custom of banging glasses and silverware.

I also remember hearing about a couple that printed up their own newspaper to use as an ice-breaker. Guests could read the articles and then comment to their neighbor about how cute it was, collectively solve the couple-themed crossword puzzle, you get the idea. I think they also put in all kinds of funny, fake personal ads for their family and friends, so people had a good time trying to figure out who was who.
posted by Diagonalize at 7:25 PM on August 22, 2009 [3 favorites]

At a recent wedding we went to, they had put metal boards and magnetic poetry (edited for family friendly, as well as the nuns also present) on each table. Then instead of the traditional "clanging of glasses" to make the couple kiss, someone had to read the poetry. It was a great collaborative project for the tables, and then got a little competitive. We had a really good time with it.
posted by librarianamy at 7:27 PM on August 22, 2009 [6 favorites]

I went to a wedding where they did 'drinking games': each table was served a tray, one drink per person. All the drinks looked identical, and the whole table had to shot them at the same time. However one drink per table was 'different', and whoever got that drink 'won' the table. The table winners went against each other in a grand drink-off for round two.

7* tomato juice against 1 * tabasco sauce
7* water against 1 sake
probably more combinations that I don't remember, and you can probably come up with a whole bunch of non-alcoholic ones. But at this one the kids and grandparents and all joined in --- the brides younger brother (15 ish) got a shot glass of tabasco sauce on his turn.
posted by jacalata at 7:45 PM on August 22, 2009

the brides younger brother (15 ish) got a shot glass of tabasco sauce on his turn.

WTH? That's not fun. I didn't get all gussied up to snort tabasco sauce out of my nose on my cocktail dress.

I've heard of photo challenges- each table gets a disposable camera and a list of photos to take (get one of everybody at the table, get the youngest and the oldest person at the table, get the bride when she's not looking at the camera, etc).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:55 PM on August 22, 2009 [4 favorites]

I can't remember what this game is called, but maybe you could do something where everyone gets the name of a celebrity figure taped to there back and they have to figure out who they are based on asking everyone else questions about themselves.

You could also maybe do it in reverse, give everyone a celebrity to act like, and everyone else gets to guess.
posted by kylej at 9:19 PM on August 22, 2009

One of my friends, a professional singer with many musical friends and family, did a variant of the glass-tap to make the bridge and groom kiss. Instead they had a microphone set up and if you wanted them to kiss, you had to come up and sing a verse.
posted by Billegible at 9:23 PM on August 22, 2009

At a friend's wedding they put a different classic kid's game on each table, and used those as on the name cards for table assignments. Some that I recall included Operation, Hungry Hippos, Connect Four, and Jenga. They were a great ice-breaker as folks opened them up and started playing, and later table-hopped in order to play their favorites. The games made great party favors too!
posted by platinum at 9:32 PM on August 22, 2009 [3 favorites]

er bride and groom. not the architectural feature and the groom.
posted by Billegible at 9:48 PM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

We put Lego bricks on our tables, and our guests created all kinds of wild and wonderful creations with each other!
posted by ukdanae at 10:32 PM on August 22, 2009 [4 favorites]

Some friends enlivened their reception by composing a sort of fill-in-the-blanks scavenger hunt wherein each "item" on the list was a quality possessed by one wedding guest only (or something similarly unique). For instance, "_______ once escorted a drunk Stephen King out of his bookstore." Or "________ knows how to start a car using only a screwdriver." Or "_________ can converse in Navajo." Brilliant!
posted by scratch at 6:08 AM on August 23, 2009 [4 favorites]

Good stuff so far. More, more!
posted by littlerobothead at 6:33 AM on August 23, 2009

As a variant on Billegible's, one of my friends had a microphone set up where people had to sing part of a love song to get the bride and groom to kiss. Of course, his fraternity brothers took it upon themselves to get as close to skirting the "family friendly" stipulation as they could. (Example: "What's your favorite dish? I wouldn't cook it but I'll order it from Zanzibar's!")

For our wedding, the favors were a pack of cards and a booklet with the rules to six family card games - three from his side and three from mine. In the hunt to find enough people to play a game of X, pretty much everybody met everybody else and had a blast!

My husband's fraternity has a tradition of all his brothers serenading the bride with "You've Lost That Loving Feeling". It's a hilarious spectacle (especially if the bride plays along with the 'mood' of the song and pretends to be sad for as long as she can before cracking up) and really helps to get people talking and lighten the mood.
posted by bookdragoness at 10:19 AM on August 23, 2009

You could always turn it into a quiz show, where the questions are all about the bride, groom and family. (Helps if someone else does the quiz!). And of course, the table with the most points wins the prize...
posted by almostwitty at 5:48 AM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

My sister and her husband set up a photobooth area outdoors, with a blackboard and costumes, so that people could leave a photographic guestbook message.

Since her husband comes from a juggling background, they left some hoops and diablos out for people to play with.
posted by divabat at 9:30 PM on November 2, 2009

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