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Wedding Reception Games

It can be fun to add a few games to your wedding, to either get everyone involved, to provide some funny entertainment, and to importantly find which lucky guy deserves to take the garter off. Below are some games we have come across whilst photographing weddings, which were entertaining to watch and great to photograph.

Remember that whilst games are great fun, and are a fantastic way to get your guests mingling, they do take time… the time spent playing games will cut into time for on the dance floor so don’t go overboard.

Girls to compete for bouquet

Musical Chairs with Men
All the ladies chose a guy and bring him to the dancefloor. The guys then get into a circle with the men facing outside so that all their backs are to each other, and get on one knee (as if they are about to propose). The ladies stand in front of the guys. As the music plays the ladies dance as they go around the circle, like  normal musical chairs. When the music stops, instead of a chair, the women must sit on a guy’s lap. Each round take one guy away so that one lady is without a man to sit on each round. The winning gal can win either the bouquet, or another prize.

Ping Pong Pants Game
All the ladies select a guy and bring them onto the dance floor. They are then given a ping pong ball which they must get from one leg of the guys trousers to the other via the crotch. This can be a lot of fun but is only recommended if your guests are not too conservative.
Guys to compete for garter

Dance Off
The guys stand in a row or a circle and do their best dance moves to impress the bridesmaids for their chance to remove the garter. This can be highly entertaining to watch, especially if the guys at your wedding think they can dance! The bridesmaids tap the guys on the shoulder if their dance moves are not up to scratch, meaning they have to leave the dance floor. Guys are asked to leave the dance floor until just one winner remains. A good song for the guys to dance to is LMFAO – Sexy And I Know It.

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Jockey Game
Guys are given a chair, a jockey hat, a foot pump, a name and a balloon. The pump is put on the chair and the balloon is attached to the hose end. Then on the DJs mark the Jockeys but jump up and down on the pump using their bottoms to blow up the balloon. The first one to pop the balloon wins. (Make sure the chairs are study for this one!!)
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Scavenger Hunt

Ask all the men to come to the dance floor as you explain the rules, that they must have permission for every item they bring up and must return it at the end of each round. Then announce “the first #number of guys to bring (a particular item) to the dance floor and show it to the bride stays in the game. Each round you keep reducing the number, thus eliminating a few people each round until you only have two guys left. You can ask them to bring handbags, shirts, belts, a bracelet, shoes, a sock, tie, chewing gum, etc. A good item for the finale is lipstick, and that they must be wearing it.

Find Your Shoe Game
All the guys get onto the dance floor and must remove their left shoe (or both) and add it to a pile in the centre of the dance floor. The bride is seated on the other end of the dance floor. The guys are asked to turn around so they can’t see their shoe, and the bridesmaids then mix up the shoes, and possibly hide them. Then the guys must find his correct shoe. The first to put it on and kneel in front of the bride will win the opportunity to remove the garter.

Balloon Stomp
Guys are given a balloon which is attached to a piece of string and then tied to their ankle. The object of the game is to be the last one standing who’s balloon is un-popped. Make sure someone checks that everyone blows up their balloon large enough (the smaller their balloon the harder it is to pop). Warning: If your guests are very athletic this game can get a little crazy.

Everyone can compete for a prize

Knights, Horses, Cavaliers

wedding gamesThis game can be used to find the winning guy for the garter, or just for entertainment with a prize going to the winning couple. Everyone has to partner up and dance around, and when the music stops, the person playing the music will shout Knights”, “Horses” or “Cavaliers”. Horses : one partner will go on all fours, like a horse, and the other partner will straddle their back. “Knights!” , one partner will sit on the other partner’s knee. The partner therefore has one knee up to be sat on and the other on the ground for support.  If “Cavaliers!” is called, then one of the partners will lift their partner up into their arms. However, one leg lifted by their partner is allowed. Each round, the last pair to form the correct position has to leave the dance floor

Marriage Advice
This is a great game to play at a smaller weddings with close friends and family and can be quite entertaining to hear the advise read out. Provide guests at each reception table with index cards and pens. Their task is for each table to come up with the best marriage advice for the newlyweds. This makes for a great memento for the bride and groom as well as gets everyone on each table chatting, yet doesn’t take much time. Make sure you designate someone with a sense of humour to read all the advice and pick the winning ones and read out some of the best or funniest advice. Award prizes for the funniest/best advice etc.

Like the Marriage advice game, this is great to get everyone on each table interacting. It depends on your guests whether this is something you think they’d enjoy. Guests are asked to write a short limerick about the bride and groom. Give guests a copy of these instructions, and ask them to write one or more verses about the bride and groom. The limericks will be read out later in the evening, and a winning table can be chosen. Eg.
She wore something borrowed and blue
her shoes were all shiny and new,
he said to her, bold:
You forgot something ‘old’
She laughed and said: ‘Dear, that’s you!’

Silent Shoe Game

wedding game photography

Earlier in the night get guests to write their questions on pieces of paper for the bride and groom. They have to start with ‘who is the most…’ e.g. ‘who is the most likely to spill their drink’ or ‘who is most likely to snooze the alarm clock in the morning”. Alternatively these questions can be pre-prepared by the bridal party. The bride and groom sit in chairs back to back and in each hand they hold one of their own shoes and one of their partners shoes. When the questions are read out, the bride and groom each respond by simply holding up the shoe of the person they think is the correct answer. The responses can be quite entertaining to see how often they agree and what is the answer to some of the funny questions.

Potato Matchbox Game
Guys or girls are given a potato with string which must be wrapped around their waist so the potato is left swinging between their legs. Then with a matchbox in front of them and only using their hips, they must swing the potato to push the matchbox along the floor to the finish line. Watch that nobody is using their hands to move the string, possibly have a practise round to make sure everyone understands the rules before the competition starts.

All you need is a pole, this is a sure way to get everyone on the dance floor. This is a great game if there’s lots of kids, and also is one game where the kids can beat the oldies. Prepare a prize for the winner.

Dance Floor Statues
Everyone dances on the dance floor, when the music stops they have to pause. The last person to freeze is out each round. this can make for entertaining photos as people hold crazy positions.

Congo Line
This is more of an impromptu dance event, although it could be somewhat planned by asking your bridal party to form one.

Head and Tails
This game is short and sweet, and gets all your guests involved without using too much of your precious dancing time! The bride and groom stand in the centre of the room, or on the dance floor and take turns flipping 2 coins, (or they can flip one each at the same time) as the guests try and predict the outcome. Ask all the guests to stand, and put their hand on their head for heads, or their bottom for tales. As you will be flipping two coins they use both hands to predict the outcome. (so either two hands on their head, two on their bottom, or one hand on their head and one on their bottom).
If they are incorrect, they sit down whilst those who guessed correctly continue playing the next round. It is a good idea to make the first round a practise round to make sure everyone understands the rules. When there are not many people left, ask them to come onto the dance floor to play the last few rounds under the watchful eye of your other guests. If it is a tie you can keep going until someone wins.

wedding game photography

Always a fun game to bring out the inner child. This can work well if you have a specific theme and would like your guests to dress up, for example a beach themed wedding would work well with a pinata full of leis.


I hope these suggestions are of help! You will need to discuss these ideas with  your MC or DJ as they will most likely be organising them on the night.

And if you are looking for a wedding photographer please check out our portfolio and wedding blog, and feel free to contact us.  

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