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Wedding Games & Activities

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Pre Wedding Activities

Planning pre-wedding activities is a little something extra that's not
required, but certainly fun and entertaining for the guests. If the bride and
groom keep in mind the distance some guests have traveled and keep activities
relevant to that level of fatigue, they're sure to hit on some winning

As you go about planning activities for the wedding, keep in mind other factors
as well. Do many people have children with them? Will you provide childcare or
will the children be participants in the activities? If you have several guests
who are older, perhaps activities can be tailored in a ay they can participate
as well.

Some of the more popular pre-wedding activities include things like a group
manicure. All the women in the wedding party or ho are close to the bride (and
certainly this could include men if they like manicures and want to hang out
with the ladies) head to a nail salon and get their nails done. This can be
relaxing for many women and provide a welcome respite from the hustle and
bustle of the wedding weekend. The men might choose to golf or play a game of
tennis while this is going on.

Many brides and grooms choose to provide structured activities for their guests
prior to the wedding. If the wedding is on a Saturday night, for example, they
might choose to provide a Friday activity, especially if most guests are local
to the wedding. You might have a wedding luau. Many times pre-wedding
activities center around bachelor and bachelorette parties, but what about a
stag party that includes all the members of the brides and grooms families? You
could plan some fun (and appropriate) games and head out to a restaurant for a
night of fun and games. Be sure to limit the drinking and carousing as this
might not sit well with some family members.

Here is a fun activity that can be done right before the wedding. Have someone
begin a gift basket. The theme of the basket is "advice for the couple" and
could be started by the best man or maid of honor. They take the basket to
someone else's house, perhaps an aunt or cousin and leave it on the doorstep.
That person adds an item (a book on how to end spousal arguments? Or a CD of
romantic music?) and brings the basket to someone else's house. This activity
can begin a week or two before the wedding and everyone should know it is
coming around.

The basket can also be circulated the weekend of the wedding, but this ill only
work if everyone is local and if they know the basket is coming. In this case,
it also might be helpful to have someone bring the basket to a house, collect
the item and the take the basket to the next location, reducing the need to
have each person take the basket to its next location. Once it's full, someone
can be in charge of putting the basket items together, wrapping it all up to
make it look nice and bringing it to the bride and groom. It can be delivered
right to the wedding as a gift in and of itself.

Whatever activities you choose, be sure to keep in mind the needs of your
guests and the limitations of those guests. If you want to plan an activity
that includes everyone, and you choose golf, but grandpa is in a wheelchair or
uses a walker, that might not be the best activity to plan.

Post Wedding Activities

For many couples, the wedding is not over once the reception is. Depending on
the location of the wedding and the couple's relationship with their families,
often there are other activities that follow the main event.

One of the most obvious is a breakfast the day following the wedding. This is a
time for everyone to touch base with each other, check in on how everyone did
and perhaps share memories of the night before. This breakfast activity can be
as simple or elaborate as you like. Some people like to have this breakfast at
a relative's house because that is friendly and familiar and more conducive to
everyone hanging out and enjoying themselves. It can be potluck style or
catered. You can also meet up at a restaurant.

Many families like to have the bride and groom open presents the day after the
wedding. There are many who believe the bride and groom are required to open
presents in the presence of family for good luck. In that case, building in the
opening of presents is essential. This can be a simple gathering of friends and
family or you can turn the present opening into an all-out activity, where each
item is opened, demonstrated or displayed and discussed in great detail.

Opening gifts doesn't have to a dry activity. You can add some silly fun. How
about starting with the smallest and moving to the largest gifts? Or working in
the reverse order? You might even create a game. Everyone has to guess what's in
each gift prior to its being opened. (Of course, people can't guess on their on
gifts.) Someone can be in charge of keeping a tally and whoever gets the most
right, wins a small prize.

The women in the bride's family might want to help her pack up her gown (or
send it to the dry cleaners) and preserve her wedding bouquet. This can easily
be done at home and the women (particularly those who are crafty) might want to
get started on preserving the flowers as well.

In the crafty light, some brides might want to plan a scrapbook party for after
the wedding. You won't have photos back from the photographer, but you can
scrapbook many other wedding events, such as pre-events like manicures, various
parties and the candid photos take by wedding guests the night before. More than
being focused on the photos, this activity gives the women a chance to reflect
on the events of the wedding, laugh at all the fun ties and journal and
preserve memories before some are lost. It will also help the bride feel as if
she's partly in control of all those photos before she leaves on her honeymoon
and takes yet more photos.

If gifts were opened on this "day after the wedding", crafty groups might want
to make thank you cards. Choose a design long before the wedding, perhaps even
making a prototype as well. Then have all the supplies on hand and give
everyone good ideas about how the cards should be made. Even the men can get on
this act, helping to fold the cards, perhaps handling any computer work and even
getting their fingers on glue and scissors. Send the bride and groom off with
these homemade cards so when they get back from their honeymoon, all they have
to do is jot off a quick note.

Some brides and grooms plan activities the day fter the wedding that are
designed to help everyone calm down, relax and unwind after what has likely
been a busy weekend. In this light, you can plan a picnic at the park and bring
along games to play. You might pack a football, a volleyball net or items to
play baseball. You might bring along water guns or a dartboard. Whatever it is,
the idea here is to have some fun and blow off steam. Make your own rules when
playing the games. It really doesn't matter. Today is about relaxing, unwinding
and spending some quality time with friends and family before the special
weekend is over.

Pre Wedding Reception Activities

There are so many little details to worry about when planning a wedding some
might get forgotten. One tiny detail that often gets overlooked is how to keep
guests entertained before the wedding reception "officially" begins.

There is no requirement that brides entertain their guests at all. After all,
they have already attended your wedding ceremony (which was surely engaging and
entertaining, right?) and they will soon get music, food and drink. What more
could they want? It turns out, a lot. While the bride and groom are off having
pictures taken, the guests are left to their own devices, chatting with other
guests and wondering when the buffet will open.

In that light, it's worth at least considering some pre-reception options for
keeping wedding guests entertained until the reception begins. Here are a few
options, some tradition, some not so, but still fun.

First, you can do the traditional thing and provide guests with drinks and
perhaps some light snacks. If the wedding is in the summertime, how about
providing lemonade and iced tea? Or if it's the winter, coffee and hot tea or 
even hot cocoa depending on the style of your wedding. Providing a light snack 
isn't a bad idea, either, and that can be some appetizer-type food or just nuts, 
especially if the meal will be heavy.

Now, if you want to stray from tradition, there are many options. Some brides
opt for entertaining the guests in the truest sense of the word. Clowns,
anyone? How about live music?

If you want to venture into the fun and funky, consult the party planning pages
of a local children's or parent's magazine. Here, you can find people who will
entertain your children at their birthday parties, but many of them will
happily take on wedding jobs. You can hire a clown to make balloon animals for
the kids (and adults) in attendance, or to juggle a few things. Some clowns are
true entertainers and will happily get the crowd involved by fetching items out
of women's purses and juggling them.

Other non-traditional options for entertaining your guests include hiring a
band to play music beforehand. If you plan to have classical music at your
wedding, you can have a band come and play covers of current pop songs, or you
can simply have your hired band arrive a bit early to entertain guests waiting
for the full reception to begin.

If there are many children at the wedding, it's not too expensive to hire a
children's band to sing and entertain the children for a bit. Then if the kids
are a bit bored at the reception, they'll still have the memory of the earlier
entertainment with them. In addition, while the children are being entertained,
the adults can have a chance to chat and they will surely thank the bride for
thinking of them in that way.

Some other options for entertaining your restless crowd before the festivities
begin are to include them in the reception before it begins. This is a great
time to ask people to sign the guest book and write something meaningful, since
they will have more time than they would usually have as they file into the
reception hall.

If the reception and the wedding ceremony take place in the same location, but
the bride and groom are off having pictures taken, it may not seem as if
there's this dilemma of how to keep the guests entertained, but there in fact,

In this case, you can have servers circulate with appetizer trays or you can do
something more elaborate, such as some of the suggestions above. One popular
option doesn't involve entertaining the guests at all. Say the wedding is being
held at a historic house or mansion. During the lull before the reception,
guests can be given a tour of the property. If the wedding and reception are
both being held at the couple's new home, a tour of the property might be in
order (assuming the guest list is fairly small).

Fun Wedding Photo Ideas

Pictures are an integral part of any wedding. Newlyweds are usually thrilled to
get their pictures back from the photographer so they can relive their special
day. But there are many special activities you can build into a wedding that
involve photos.

One fun idea that many brides employ is to take photos of everyone as they
arrive at the wedding, almost like you do at a high school prom or company
Christmas party. You can provide a backdrop and couples can pose either for a
paid photographer or for whoever happens to pick up the camera. These pictures
can be taken with a Polaroid camera for instant fun or with a disposable
camera. If you want slightly higher quality photos, go for a digital camera.

This can be an excellent way to keep guests busy and happy until the "official"
reception begins with the arrival of the bride and groom.

As an extension of that idea, you can take instant photos and create scrapbook
pages or memory book pages with the photos. There can be supplies on hand so
guests can create pages on site, or pages can be pre-made and photos simply
placed into the prepared spaces. If guests don't want to create pages on site,
or the bride doesn't want this particular activity going on, the photos can be
saved for later. As a gift for the bride and groom, someone can create memory
books with these photos.

If Polaroid cameras are used, another option is to have the people in the photo
sign the Polaroid photo and place that in a basket somewhere. The bride and
groom will enjoy looking at the photos later.

While it's not a particularly unique idea, many brides like to provide
disposable cameras on each table at the reception so guests can capture candid
shots of the reception and the table guests. These photos can be added to the
newlyweds' wedding album or they can be placed into a separate album showing
the wedding from the guests' perspective.

Another fun activity sure to be entertaining is to create a "silent photo
guess" area. Here's how this works: before the wedding, someone close to the
bride and groom collects pictures of the bride and groom at various stages in
life. The photos should depict the bride and groom doing things, not at
Christmas or with their first birthday cake. In other words, the photos should
include some action, but it shouldn't be obvious in the picture what has taken
place or where the person is.

Much like a silent auction, people will come along and look at the photos, then
take a silent guess as to what the photos show. They can write their guess on a
piece of paper and put it in a numbered basket that corresponds with the number
on the photo. Reading these guesses during the reception is entertaining and
sure to be amusing. The bride or groom can provide the real answers. This is a
particularly fun activity at a relatively small, family wedding where the
participants know the bride and groom very well.

If you want to provide an area for guests to have their photos taken but aren't
thrilled with the "prom night" idea, how about having a photo corner set up
somewhere in the reception hall or facility. Here, the wedding photographer
will take candid shots of wedding guests. They might be couples, but could also
be entire families, friends having a good time, or the groom being carried on
the shoulders of the best man. Whatever the pictures end up being, they provide
a fun, "let it all hang out" area for the wedding guests and a surprise for the
bride and groom. Since they will likely be busy with all the reception details
and having the time of THEIR lives, they might appreciate knowing their guests
had a pretty good time too, as evidenced in the photos.

Fun Wedding Music Activities

Music is as much a component of a good wedding as food and drink. You can have
a wedding without music, but it's likely it will seem a little quiet and dull.
So whether you have a full live band, a string quartet, a DJ spinning tunes or
recorded music from a boom box, it should be included.

But music's not just for dancing. There are a myriad of activities you can plan
around the music that will add an element of fun to your wedding.

One popular idea is to play musical chairs. Sure, this is a fun kid's game and
you don't want to insult your guests in any way, but you can have some fun with
this version of musical chairs. The chairs can be just about anything, from
chairs lined up from the food tables, to the floor, if you think your guests
might be open to sitting on the floor (and then having to get up and down
again). One fun option is to use the men as the chairs -- they kneel on the
floor, with one knee on the floor and the other bent. The women sit lightly on
the men's' knees as they are playing musical chairs. When either the man or
woman falls down, that couple is out, until one couple is left.

Some brides and grooms like to play musical chairs in order to give away the
table centerpiece, which many guests like to take home. Instead of assigning a
number and awarding the centerpiece to the person in possession of that number,
you have each table play musical chairs until the person left standing is the
one that gets to take home the centerpiece.

How about a rousing game of "name that tune"? This is a game that's best for a
smaller, intimate wedding where everyone knows the bride and groom well. Prior
to the wedding, whoever is planning the wedding should get a list of favorite
songs of both the bride and groom. Create a CD of those songs, and then create
a game of "name that tune". Guests can be divided into teams and then be played
just a small snippet of each song.

After guests hear that first snippet, they can then "bid" on how quickly they
can name the tune. So one group might say they can name the tune in 10 seconds,
while the other group might say 5 seconds. Once one group has bowed out, the
other group will then have to "name that tune". This is a fun game that gets
everyone involved and which the bride and groom are particularly delighted by.

Depending on the style of the wedding, there are many fun games you can play to
get the bride and groom out on the dance floor. Now, if this is a very large and
very elegant wedding, this option might not work since there is certain decorum
to maintain, but for a casual, fun, family-centered wedding some of these games
can be fun.

If guests want to "call out" the wedding couple onto the dance floor, they can
be asked to get out on the dance floor themselves first and hula hoop or
perform their own version of a break dance. Much in the way guests sometimes
have to "perform" to get the couple the kiss this is another way to get the
guests involved and having fun in order to create fun wedding memories for the
bride and groom.

Fun Ideas For Unity Candles

If you are planning a wedding and plan to have a unity candle as part of the
ceremony, you might want to think outside the box.

Traditionally, the unity candle involves three candles. The bride has one, the
groom the other, and their two lighted candles light the third candle. This is
done to represent the coming together of the two people to make one unit. In
some alternate methods, family members are invited to participate in the unity
candle lighting, often the mothers of the bride and groom, or other close
members of the family. Each family then lights a candle, and together they
light the unity candle to symbolize of the coming together of the families.

Now, there are a few twists you can add to this fairly conventional aspect of a
wedding ceremony. You can provide each guest with an unlit candle when they
arrive at the ceremony. After the couple lights the unity candle, they can ask
the guests to move to the front of the church (or wherever the ceremony is
being held) and light their candles with the lighted unity candle. This can
take a bit of time and might be best with a smaller guest list. But it is a
meaningful way to not only get your guests involved in the ceremony itself, but
also symbolize the union of family and friends with the marriage.

If there is a large guest list and it would be a prohibitive waste of time to
do a candle lighting involving everyone at the ceremony, some brides and grooms
like to bring the unity candle to the reception. Light the candle again and
provide each guest with a small votive candle (the candle holder will be on the
tables at individual table settings). As guests come into the reception area or
hall, they can light their votive and take it to their table to place into the
votive holder. This small votive candle can double as a wedding favor,
particularly if you decorate or enhance a plain votive candleholder in some way
to coordinate with your wedding.

Of course, you can forget having a unity candle at the ceremony altogether.
Many brides these days are trying to reduce the length of the ceremony and
spend more time planning the reception. In that light, some choose to do away
with a unity candle altogether. You can certainly do this, or you can cut it
out of the ceremony and make it part of the reception.

To do this, you can use the votive candle option suggested above, or you can
simply incorporate the unity candle lighting into the reception activities
themselves. For example, you might choose a quiet moment in the reception to
have a lighting of the unity candle. It might be during a short prayer prior to
the serving of the meal, or right before the cake is cut. In this case, the
unity candle can then be used as decoration on the cake table. As the bride and
groom cut the cake and pieces are served to guests, the candle can also serve as
a reminder of the couple's new bond and that the bond is shared with all the
guests as well.

Although having a unity candle at the wedding or reception isn't necessary, it
is certainly an option that many brides and grooms opt to include. But it's
important to remember that as with so much surrounding wedding planning there
are ways to make it unique and interesting and special to the couple getting

Engagement Party Games

The engagement party is a time when the families of the couple will get to know
one another. In some cases, this might be the first meeting between the two
families or groups of friends and any icebreaker activity will be a welcome

In that light, whoever plans the engagement party (likely the bride's family,
but it can be the engaged couple or anyone else who wants to plan the party)
should plan a few games and activities designed to help everyone get to know
everyone else.

First up is a trivia game. Create a "Trivial Pursuit" type game with questions
about the bride and groom's lives. You might contain the questions to just
facts and events relating to both the bride and groom (such as how long did it
take her to say "yes" when he asked, where did he propose, where did they meet,
etc), or you can include questions pertaining to their lives outside of each
other and before they met each other. Not only can this be fun, but also it's
an entertaining way for people to get to know each other and the engaged couple

One popular icebreaker that's used at corporate functions and company parties
can also work really well at engagement parties. Tape a card to each person's
back and encourage him or her to work the room, mingle with everyone and
particularly try to get to know someone they have never met before. Before
moving on to someone else, be sure to make a comment about the person on the
card on his or her back. Partiers write an impression of that person, such as
"she seems sweet" or "he knows a lot about the weather".

This icebreaker ends when the mingling session is over. The cards are then read
one by one and people not only get to know each other better, but enjoy hearing
all the comments people made about them. Try to ensure that comments are
complimentary or somehow presented in a positive light. Hurtful comments,
obviously, are not appropriate.

If this is truly the first time many of the guests have met, then another fun
game involving the wearing of cards might be in order. In this game, each guest
wears a card on their front that has their name on the front and a number on the
back. They don't share with anyone what their number is. Guests mingle and chat
and get to know each other over the course of the evening.

Toward the end of the evening, the cards are flipped over and the number side
is shown. Everyone gets a piece of paper and writes the numbers on the paper,
then tries to correspond the name of someone with their number. This fun game
can be hard for people who are bad with names, but it's fun nonetheless.

For an activity that doesn't put people on the spot quite so much, consider
letting the already marrieds help out the to-be marrieds. Place two pieces of
posterboard on the wall and mark them "advice from women" and "advice from
men". Now is the time to offer advice about wedding planning, not about being
married. That advice can come later. Encourage guests to offer their own
wedding planning advice. The advice from older people at the party could be
decidedly different from the younger couples in the group, making for an
enlightening group of comments.

Destination Wedding Activities

As brides get more and more creative in planning their weddings, locations
weddings are becoming more and more popular. Although this might result in a
smaller guest list, it can also result in some fun opportunities for activities.

Many brides like to have their weddings seaside, so they move the festivities
to a beach locale, either on their local coast or somewhere more exotic like
Jamaica or the Bahamas. In any event, there are several activities that can be
planned around this theme. If the wedding is also a weekend event where guests
will be around for more than just the wedding, the bride can plan a sailing
excursion. Charter a boat for a day and bring your guests out on the water to
relax, rejuvenate, and perhaps enjoy a meal.

If the wedding is in the Caribbean, how about a cooking demonstration? The
bride and groom can arrange for the wedding guests to enjoy a complimentary
cooking demonstration put on by the hotel or a local cook. Since much of the
food the guests eat while visiting for the wedding will be different than what
they eat at home, they might enjoy learning how to prepare it for home

Say the wedding is in Hawaii, another popular destination wedding location.
Here, you can plan several activities around the location. For example, what
about a luau? This could even take the place of a more formal or conventional
sit-down rehearsal dinner.

In Hawaii, guests will enjoy a hula lesson. Depending on the age of your
guests, be sure there is enough time between the wedding and the lesson for the
resting of aching bones, in case there are any.

At the wedding itself, there are many ways to incorporate the location into the
ceremony itself. At a beachside reception, you can play "pass the shell", where
a large shell is passed around and guests "listen" for some advice from the
other world. Once they get a piece of advice (really something they think of
themselves) they share it with the bride and groom, either verbally, or it can
be written into a book for the couple.

Other pre-wedding activities can include guided tours, shopping excursions and
wine tasting activities (if applicable). If you choose to include any of these
activities keep in mind that the bride and groom (or their families) are
expected to pay for the bulk of them. If you arrange a sailing excursion, for
example, you are expected to pick up the tab for the trip. Do not tell people
ahead of time that the activity will be x dollars. It's likely that won't sit
well with them.

Since one of the great benefits of the destination wedding is that only your
closest friends and family will likely surround you, you can plan some
meaningful activities that you wouldn't plan if the wedding were a larger
event. For example, you might plan a slumber party night with close friends
that includes movies, popcorn and drinks in your hotel room, villa or cottage,
depending on where the wedding is held.

Of course, if you plan a destination wedding, for some people this might double
as their vacation. In that event, you might not want to schedule too many
activities but instead let people find their own activities and entertainment
both before and after the wedding.

Dance Floor Activities

Dancing is an essential component at most wedding receptions. We look forward
to the couple's "first dance" and the bride's special dance with her father.
It's also a place to get loose and funky, if you're a guest or a member of the
wedding party.

But what if the wedding planners decided to add some fun and surprise to the
dance floor by adding fun activities there? This doesn't mean a rousing version
of the "Bunny Hop", which, while maybe essential, is hardly unique.

There are, however, many fun games and activities you can add to your dance
floor activities that are sure to be a hit.

Try a fun game of the "chicken dance". Ok, so that doesn't sound too original.
But if most of your guests are just sitting at their tables, watching a few
brave couples dancing, or just finishing their meals, you might want to get
everyone up and having fun. Try this game.

The DJ announces a number. Everyone looks under his or her chair, where there
is a number. Depending on the number of guests at the wedding, there might be
only numbers "1" and "2" or more, up to 5.

So, say the DJ announces number "4". Each person checks under their chair to
see what their number is. These numbers can be written simply on a piece of
masking tape and affixed to the underside of the chairs when the reception is
being set up. Each "4" in this scenario will head to the dance floor to do the
chicken dance with the other "4s". Not only does this get people out of their
chairs and on to the dance floor, they get to know other wedding reception
guests they might not otherwise know.

One dance floor activity that's gaining popularity is to bring in a dance
teacher for the wedding reception. As a kind of pre-dance activity, the teacher
will quickly walk people through their paces on the dance floor, perhaps
teaching a bit of the waltz or, for something completely different, a little
bit of the tango, before the music officially begins and dancing commences.

Having a dance teacher do a bit of teaching not only livens up the reception
right from the start, but it gets people out on the dance floor who might
otherwise be too self-conscious normally to get out there and let it all hang
out. And practically speaking, it will likely make the wedding guests feel more
confident in their skills before the "official" dancing begins.

Another fun activity to get everyone on the dance floor, including even the
most reticent, is something you can refer to as the "snowball" dance. This is a
good way to jumpstart the dancing at the beginning of the evening.

Here's how the "snowball" dance works. The wedding party, bride and groom
included, will head to the dance floor for a fun dance. The music for this
dance should be fast, something with a disco beat or a fast song that most
people have at least a passing familiarity with. After a bit of wedding party
dancing, the music stops. The female members of the wedding party move into the
crowd and bring back one male each. The male members of the wedding party do the
same, but they bring in female guests. The dancing then begins again. This is
repeated until all the guests are dancing. It's truly a snowball effect!

Centerpiece Activities

The question of who will get to take home the centerpiece can sometimes be a
central discussion at reception dinner tables, particularly if the centerpiece
is particularly pretty or original.

Making a game of who gets the centerpiece, then, can be an amusing diversion
and one many guests will enjoy participating in. Here are some ideas for giving
away that reception table centerpiece.

How about a game of 20 questions? Give each guest a piece of paper and a pen or
pencil. The MC or DJ asks a series of 20 questions, but first gives the guests
the basic background information, that is, that the answer is an animal, place,
person or thing. Once that's taken care of, people can shout out questions and
the MC or DJ will answer yes or no, and whoever figures out the answer first
gets the first centerpiece, and that particular table is done playing. The game
is repeated until one person at each table has won the centerpiece.

One of the most popular ways brides give away the table centerpieces is to put
a number on the bottom of the centerpiece and give each guest a number. At some
point in the evening, a number is called, each guest checks his or her number
and whoever has the called number gets the centerpiece. There are many ways to
put a twist on this traditional activity.

For example, you might provide each table with a number, but make it a lower
number (ie. between 1 and 10) and the DJ or MC could move from table to table
and have each guest do something a certain number of times. So, at the first
table, for example, the guests might need to do "head, shoulders, knees and
toes" six times and whoever does it first gets the centerpiece. Or, at the
second table, the guests might be required to sing the alphabet 3 times or sing
"twinkle, twinkle, little star" three times and whoever does that first get the

Another fun activity for divvying up the centerpieces is to require guests to
produce a certain item. The DJ or MC moves from table to table, announcing what
guests at that table will be required to produce in order to get the
centerpiece. Maybe it's a Georgia quarter or a mint, or a doctor's appointment
card. Whatever it is, the guest at each table who produces the requested item
will get the centerpiece.

You can always make it easy and offer the centerpiece to the oldest person at
the table, or the one who took the most number of years to finish college.
Perhaps you could create an activity where the person who has the strangest
talent (as voted on by the tablemates) wins the centerpiece. Then, if possible,
that person might show off the talent for the entire reception party.

If you like musical chairs, you can play a game of musical dollar bills in
order to give the centerpiece away. Someone takes out a one-dollar bill and
music begins playing. Everyone at the table passes the dollar bill around the
table and when the music stops, whoever is left holding the bill gets the
centerpiece. Or this game can be played a bit more traditionally with the
person with the bill being eliminated, and the game continuing until only one
person is holding the bill. That person can then be awarded with the
centerpiece. Or, for a fun twist, the bill can be passed around and when the
music stops, the person holding the bill is told to return it to the person who
first supplied it. That is the person who gets the centerpiece.

Some fun, and fairly traditional, ideas include the birthday person getting the
centerpiece. At each table, the person who has a birthday closest to the wedding
gets the centerpiece. Or if there are married couples at the table, the couple
who have been together the longest can get the centerpiece, or the couple who
were married most recently. Perhaps the centerpiece should go to the person
with the longest hair, or the strangest shoes (again, this would be voted on by

Buffet Table Activities

Most wedding receptions include a buffet-style meal where everyone stands in an
enormous line waiting while those at the food table decide if they want Italian
or Ranch dressing on their salad.

There has to be a more unusual way to get people to their food, and a faster
one at that, right? There are several fun options you can employ to feed your
guests quickly and with a minimum of groans of hunger.

Here are some fun options.

One of the most popular is the number system. Each table is assigned a number
and the MC or DJ calls numbers at various intervals. The people at that
numbered table then find the buffet and begin their feast. You can place the
numbers in a variety of locations. For the most utilitarian version, just place
the number in the flower arrangement on the table.

Some brides don't like this look of numbered table as if at a convention. In
that case, you can put the numbers under the flower arrangements, or under the
chairs. If you have place cards at the tables, you can write a small number
somewhere on the card so people know which table they're sitting at. For a fun
variation, you can have the florist play around with the table floral
arrangements. If the arrangements are going to have a dozen flowers, you could
have the florist add one extra flower to table "one", two extra flowers for
table "two" and so on and make the guests figure out which number table they
are based on how many extra flowers they have in their arrangement.

The flower method could be cost-prohibitive, of course, if you have a large
guest list and many tables.

Now, if the number system doesn't thrill you or make you think "unique", there
are other options. Each table can have a color and the DJ simply calls out the
color name. Depending, again, on how many tables you have at your reception,
you could coordinate the tablecloths with the color of the table. So you might
have white, pink, lavender, beige, and yellow tablecloths, and the guests
sitting at that table simply move to the buffet table when the color of their
tablecloth is called.

Another popular option for moving people easily to the buffet table involves
having a little fun with your guests. You provide each table with a buzzer,
either a bell like you might find at a store, or a small silver bell. Just
something they can buzz or ring. The DJ or MC asks a trivia question, or a
question about the bride and groom. The tables buzz in with their answers. The
guests at the table with the first correct buzzed answer move to the buffet
table. You repeat the process until everyone is finally on their way to getting
some grub.

The trivia method is an especially fun way to help guests to get to know one
another, as they might have to work together to come up with an answer. If your
guests are hungry, you're sure to hear muffled groans and sighs of exasperation.
But even with the small complaints, this is always a crowd pleaser because it's
fun and gets everyone involved.

Now, this next option is fun but can engender a bit of jealousy sometimes. When
people get their place card, whether it's placed on the table, or they pick it
up when they look at the seating chart, you can put a number on it. But not
everyone at the same table will have the same number. If you have 100 guests,
for example, you might choose to have 10 people at the buffet table at a time.
So each person would be assigned a number 1 through 10.

In the same scenario as above, the DJ or MC will call a number and those
numbers will head for the buffet table. There are sure to be more than one
person from each table heading for the buffet table, but the guests at each
table won't get their food at the same time.

This staggered feeding can be fun or a nuisance, depending. It solves the
problem of half the room being finished with their meal while waiting for the
"later" table to finish theirs before the festivities start, but it can also
mean that one or two guests might be long done with their food (or wanting to
head back for seconds) when others at the table haven't even eaten yet.

Bridal Shower Games

If you're hosting a bridal shower, there are literally hundreds of games to
choose from. Some are silly, some are serious, but all are about having some
fun with the bride before she's married. Here's a sampling.

One fun game really puts the bride on the spot with regard to her knowledge of
her husband-to-be's life. Prior to the party, have someone ask the groom a
series of questions, such as where he was born, what his favorite food is,
things like that. Then at the bridal shower, put the bride on the spot by
asking her the answers to the questions. See how many she can get right
(hopefully at least half!). If she does well, give the girl a prize; she
deserves one.

One all-time favorite game is toilet paper wedding dresses. This game involves
separating the guests into teams consisting of at least 2 people and no more
than 5. Give each team a roll or toilet paper (or 2) and have them fashion a
wedding dress out of the toilet paper. One of the team members will volunteer
as the model. Provide them with a "dress up trunk" filled with jewelry and
shoes. They must make the dress out of the toilet paper, but they can
accessorize with the provided jewelry, shoes, gloves and hats. Place a time
limit on this (5 minutes is adequate) and have the bride vote on the best
dress. Be sure to provide prizes for the winning team!

Another fun game that's always a hit is making the bride get dressed while
blindfolded. Tell the bride she is to pretend she's on her honeymoon and the
power has gone off. She must prepare for her wedding night in complete
darkness. Provide her with a suitcase filled with items and then blindfold her.
She must get dressed in a certain period of time (2 minutes is adequate) while
completely blindfolded and with no help from the guests. Include some silly
items like oversized sunglasses, garden gloves or a flannel nightgown just to
make it fun. This is a photo opportunity, so be sure someone is waiting to
record the end result!

Another fun game puts the shower guests more on the sport than the bride. In
this game, everyone puts their purses in the center of the room. Create a list
of items commonly found in a purse and assign a point value and create a list
of less common items and give them a higher point value. So you might give
lipstick 2 points, a tampon 3 points, and sunglasses 5 points. But a granola
bar could be 10 points and a staple remover, 15 points. Then go through the
purses awarding points and give the person with the highest number of points
(and therefore, the most items and probably highest number of unusual items) a

Before the shower, create bingo cards for this shower bingo game. In the
squares, put pictures of items you think the bride will receive at the shower.
So, boxes might include things like lingerie, towels and the like. As the bride
opens gifts, have people mark off that item on their bingo card. If nobody gets
a "bingo" give a prize to the person who marked off the most number of items.

This next game is a derivation of a popular game that's often played at
bachelorette parties and involves a stripper. This is the clean version. About
30 minutes into the party, have the bride leave the room and pass out pieces of
paper. Have everyone write on the paper everything they can remember about the
bride's outfit, hair, etc. How many rings is she wearing? What color is her
blouse? Is she wearing open or closed toed shoes? Once everyone is done
recording their observations, the bride comes back into the room and a prize is
awarded to the person with the best observation skills.

Bridal Bouquet Activities

When a bride orders her wedding bouquet, it might not seem that any
"activities" will come from it other than as a thing for the bride to hold. But
the bridal bouquet can be the source of many interesting activities and
meaningful gestures.

During there ceremony there are all kinds of possibilities. Certainly you can
go traditional and have a flower for both the mother of the bride and mother of
the groom. The moms, in particular, love this activity and guests usually
appreciate it as well. But what if you turned that traditional gesture on its
head and supplied flowers for both the mothers and the fathers?

If the bride supplies flowers to both the men and women, there are a couple of
ways to do this. What if dad's flower was enclosed in a verse that he will then
get up and read at the ceremony? What if it was a flower to recognize the
members of the family who have passed, and it gives dad an opportunity to
recognize those family members?

If the bride chooses not to have a unity candle, but wants some gesture like
it, she can have her bridal bouquet designed by having several small bouquets
put together. At an appropriate time during the ceremony, the bridal bouquet is
"broken up" and various people might receive a share, such as the mothers and
fathers of the bride and groom.

Now, if the bride wants to hang onto her bridal bouquet during the wedding
ceremony, but is willing to have some fun with it at the reception, there are a
few options there as well. How about a dance involving the bridal bouquet? This
is silly, but fun. The bridal bouquet is on display somewhere near the dance
floor and guests must guess a flower that's in the bouquet before they can
enter the dance floor. The first few guests might not have a problem as some
flowers are obvious, like roses and tulips, but others might give people pause.
Of course, this won't work if the bridal bouquet is all roses or some other
single and obvious flower but for a traditional mixed bouquet, it can work well.

For a naughty touch, the bride can hide her garter in the bridal bouquet and
actually put it on her leg before the groom takes it off. Or she can have a
couple of breakaway bouquets that are wrapped in garter belts, so hers doesn't
get thrown, but instead the tiny bouquets with garter belts attached are thrown.

When it comes time for the bride to throw her bouquet, there are several
options. Some brides choose not to keep their bouquet and simply pluck one
flower out of it before chucking the whole thing during the bridal bouquet
toss. This is an alternative to having a special bouquet set aside for
throwing, and there are others as well.

Are there are a lot of single women coming to the wedding? Maybe one thrown
bouquet won't be enough. Many brides these days are opting for something a
little more fun. There are a few options, really. One popular option is to have
the florist create several small bouquets and then bundle them to look like one
bouquet. They are tied lightly with a ribbon. When it comes time for the
bouquet toss, the bride unties the ribbon, and throws the "bouquet" which is
actually several little bouquets. Several women will catch the bouquet, rather
than just one.

Active Wedding Reception Games

We've all been to receptions that are standard -- we welcome and celebrate the
new married couple, watch them dance, and enjoy cake with them. But creative
couples often enjoy coming up with fun games that include the entire guest list.

Including the guests is an excellent way to get people out of their chairs,
meeting people they might not otherwise know and feeling like they are truly a
part of the celebration, not just observers.

One fun and active game that can be played by all your guests, including
grandma as well as the young children, is "want it now".

In this game, you designate a master of ceremonies (if you have a DJ for your
wedding reception, this person can serve as the DJ). The MC will have a list of
"wants" prepared before the reception. Everyone sits at their tables, and waits
to hear the command. The MC says he wants a person with painted toenails. All
the women with painted toenails run to the front of the room, toward the MC.
Each time a table sends someone to the front first, they get a point.

Points should be tallied during the course of this game and prizes awarded at
the end of the game. Be sure to have some obvious "wants", as is the painted
toenails, or a man with a mustache or a child with a pink dress. But also
include some surprises, like "a man with a brown purse" which will require a
man to find a woman at his table with the brown purse and run up to the front
of the room with that.

Another fun wedding reception game that includes all your guests is musical
chairs using men as the chairs. All the men line up and kneel on one knee. The
women begin playing the game of musical chairs, but when the music stops, they
must find a knee to sit on. No "chairs" are removed during the version of the
game, but instead people are eliminated when either the man falls down when the
woman finds his knee or when the woman falls down. Both are out either way, and
if both fall down, they are also both out then (as well as perhaps a bit
bruised). This is a fun game that often brings on gales of laughter and adds to
a relaxed reception atmosphere.

If many guests are traveling a good distance to the wedding or don't know many
other guests, it's always fun to include a game that will allow them to now
only get to know each other but the bride and groom as well. For this game,
you'll need a MC again, which can be a very outgoing member of the wedding
party or the DJ. The reception guests are broken into two groups, which can be
as simple as having people count off "1, 2, 1, 2" and so on until the entire
guest list is either a "1" or a "2". Then the two groups band together for the
duration of the game.

The DJ, or MC, offers a series of questions relating to the bride and groom.
The teams should work together to answer the questions, then as quickly as
possible provide the answer. The bride and groom will confirm if the answer is
correct or not. This is an excellent way for otherwise "stranger" guests to get
to know one another and have some fun in the process. It's also an excellent way
to get to know the bride and groom!

Organizing games at a wedding reception is a great way to get people involved
and make them feel they are truly a part of the celebration. It's also a way to
fill time, if the wedding planners know this isn't a "dancing" group or if you
want to loosen people up for a long night of celebrating. Whether a small or
large wedding, reception games work for just about any group.

In addition, don't assume wedding reception guests will be offended or annoyed
by these active games. Most people report to wedding planners they truly enjoy
being more active and having fun games to play during a wedding reception.

Outdoor Wedding Reception Activities

If you are having your wedding reception out of doors, that opens the door for
many activities that would be hard to pull off indoors. You can plan games and
activities based on the outdoor theme and carry that theme indoors if part of
the reception is inside as well.

Depending on where the reception will be held, you can plan many activities
based on the setting. Whether it is the park or on a farm, there are a myriad
of activities you can plan.

Let's start with some basics based on popular wedding locations. One fun game
for a winery wedding is a blindfolded wine tasting game. If the bride and groom
are wine drinkers, this might not a game the bride and groom should be a part
of, but instead guests and wedding party members. Blindfold perhaps a half
dozen volunteers and have them do a blind taste test (provide something to
clean the palate between sips). The volunteers should guess which wine is the
pinot noir, which is the Cabernet, and so on. A bottle of wine is the obvious
prize for the winner of this game.

Say you are having a reception at a country club on a golf course. It's
possible your theme will include golf elements, so why not include golf in some
reception activities or games? You certainly could head to the golf course for a
"hole in one" contest, or have a driving contest to see which guest has the best
stroke. As a simple, "who gets the centerpiece game", you could have people
guess how many golf balls there are in the floral centerpiece (which could
decorate a plain large glass vase filled with flowers). Similarly, there could
be a large vase or other clear container filled with golf balls at the
reception somewhere and guests could guess how many golf balls are in the vase.

A silly game could be made on the dance floor by asking everyone to include
their best golf swing into their dancing for one particular song.

Now, if your reception and ceremony are both to be held outdoors and guests
will be milling outdoors, think about games or activities that can take place
outdoors and still keep to your level of formality or informality. For example,
if the reception is being held at a park, perhaps guests might enjoy a "walk
down memory lane". Prior to the reception, someone can use potted plants or
arbors to create a little private lane, which guests can walk through. Along
the path, guests will find pictures of the bride and groom at various stages in
their lives. There should be a place for guests to record their thoughts and
memories along the way as well.

If your wedding and reception are fairly casual, you can always tell guests
ahead of time to prepare for a ball game or some other fun outdoor activity.
Women can bring a pair of sneakers. Just imagine the fun photos you'll get out
of a rousing game of football or baseball played by women in dresses and
sneakers and men in suits and sneakers!

You can provide a challenge activity involving barefoot dancing in the grass or
a Frisbee toss in the backyard. Is there a pool in the yard where the reception
will be held? Why not have a swimming activity for after the whole of the
reception is done?

Wedding Cake Activities

Upon arrival at the wedding reception, many guests head for the cake table so
they can admire the cake. Some time later, the bride and groom come along for a
picture opportunity and the grand cutting of the cake. Then everyone enjoys cake
and it's gone. Believe it or not, there are many more activities that can make
the wedding cake more about fun and less about tradition.

Of course, watching the bride and groom push cake into each other's mouths is a
long-enjoyed tradition, but there are many more fun -- and less messy --
activities to consider as well.

One new option that's gaining popularity is to have cupcakes instead of a cake.
This is a method that is usually more affordable than having a cake and it can
be a lot of fun. Cupcakes are decorated in alignment with the wedding theme,
just as a cake is, but the cupcakes are instead arranged on tiered cake plates
and displayed on a cake table until it's time to eat them. The cupcakes can be
simply handed out on plates to each wedding guest.

Now, what's fun about using cupcakes instead of a whole wedding cake is you can
save money, certainly, as many reception halls and caterers charge a per slice
fee to cut and serve the wedding cake, but you can also build activities into
the cupcake presentation. For example, the cupcakes that are for the bride and
groom can have a different decoration than the ones for the guests.

As an extra touch, you can have the baker include a special prize in one or
several cupcakes. A small charm or tiny toy can be baked into the cupcake.
Whoever gets the charm wins a special prize. These prizes can range from a gift
basket or gift certificate to a restaurant to a dance with the bride or groom.

Some brides like to use a Southern tradition and have charms baked into the
wedding cake. Similar to the idea above for cupcakes, this involves baking
small charms or tiny toys (but usually charms) into the cake. Those who get one
of the charms are said to have good luck. You might even consider having charm
bracelet charms baked into the cake, which are then made into a charm bracelet
for the bride.

Not everyone enjoys cake. How about an activity for those who won't be eating
cake? They can be required to do the "Macarena" or the chicken dance during the
time when everyone else is eating cake. If they manage to do the dance
continuously while the other guests enjoy cake, they win a prize. Or they
simply get to sit down, as now they are tired!

In keeping with the dance during cake theme, how about a requirement that in
order to get cake, a guest must perform an impromptu dance first? Or there
could be trivia questions about the bride and groom or about popular culture.
Guests must correctly answer the questions before getting their cake. There
could be competitions among tables or individuals for most questions answered

Many people believe that once the cake is cut, they are free to leave if they
wish. Since cake cutting usually comes after the meal and after dancing and
other traditional celebration activities, many people take the opportunity to
leave the party after the cake is cut and enjoyed.

If the bride and groom want their guests to stay after the cake is eaten, it is
worth some extra effort to build some activities into the cake-cutting event so
people will stick around longer. This can be as simple as telling people not to
leave, or can be more subtle and fun.

For example, each person could receive a slip of paper with his or her cake.
These slips of paper could be prepared ahead and provided to the catering
company with instructions that one folded strip of paper be placed on each
plate with the cake. The paper might give an agenda for the rest of the evening
or might ask its recipient to perform a little dance, to head over to give the
groom or bride a kiss, or might ask them to take the flower girl out on the
dance floor for a spin. The unknown will keep all the guests guessing and
provide some entertainment as the instructions are carried out.

Seated Wedding Reception Games

Nothing is worse than having a wedding reception filled with seated guests who
look tired and maybe a little bit bored. Maybe this wedding doesn't feature a
DJ and rockin' music. Or maybe the crowd isn't into that whole dancing thing.

What to do? It's not that hard. There are a myriad of activities you can plan
that will not only engage and entertain the guests, but also help them get to
know each other and -- most importantly -- the bride and groom just a little
bit better.

Here's one that's fun and might remind you just a little bit of a football
game. Make a placard for each guest. On one side, letter "Bride" and on the
other, "Groom". Someone, and if you have a DJ it can be him or her, or the best
man or maid of honor, asks a series of questions. They might be simple, like
"who was born in New York City"? Or they might be more complicated, such as
"who, at 6, broke their leg when they were playing with their German shepherd

Guests don't yell their answer, but rather show their placard, turning it to
the "bride" side of they think the question pertains to the bride or to the
"groom" side if it's the opposite. The guests' guesses can be revealing, but
even more revealing, are the true answers. It's a great, fun way for everyone
to get to know a little more about the bride and groom.

One word of caution about the above activity: Keep ex-boyfriends and
ex-girlfriends out of the questions and don't ask anything that might be a
little too revealing or too risque. Remember, grandmothers and grandfathers and
young children will likely be present!

If it's too much work to create signs for each person, you can create just two
and create two teams -- a team of men and a team of women. Grouped together,
the teams can work together to decide on the answer and answer as a group. This
"men versus women" concept is always popular and sure to be fun for everyone.

One silly game that's always a hit really puts the groom in the spotlight. How
well does he know the feel and touch of his new wife? In this game, everyone
finds out. You can do this several ways. You can enlist just the wedding party
in this game, or as many of the wedding guests that want to participate.

Line each participant up and blindfold the groom. Put the bride somewhere in
the mix, and send the groom on a hunt for his bride. The participants can
either shake the groom's hand or give him a kiss on the cheek. In some
versions, he might feel their hair or their leg. The details are up to you.

Depending on how far you want to take this game, you can add a fun element to
it that is sometimes popular. You have the groom feel the leg of each
participant. The best man, or other male member of the wedding party, rolls up
his pant leg, puts on a garter and has the groom feel that. The groom has to
kiss whoever he thinks is his bride, while still blindfolded. Often, he ends up
kissing a man.

For an activity that allows the guests to be audience members instead of
participants, consider the game of "feed me". In this game, the bride is seated
and the groom is (again) blindfolded. He's given a piece of food and then spun
around a few times so he's a little bit dizzy. Guided only by the helpful words
of his new bride, he has to find her and get the piece of food into her mouth.
Be sure to have the wedding party shadowing him so there are no accidents.

Once the groom has fed his new wife, the tables are turned and she is
blindfolded and must find him.

A few notes about this activity: when feeding the bride, don't use wedding cake
or a piece of bread with dip. In other words, don't use anything too messy. If
the groom has a hard time finding her mouth, he might likely smear the food on
the bride's face and that is something that won't make a bride -- prettily made
up just hours before -- too happy.

Overnight Wedding Reception Ideas

Some brides these days are turning wedding receptions on their head and
creating super long receptions that run through the night and into the morning.
If this is you, planning some activities for those long nighttime hours is

Generally, if an all-night reception is planned, it goes something like this:
the wedding is held in the early evening and reception follows. By about
midnight, many of the guests will have left and the group that is remaining
(generally the younger guests, but not always) will continue to dance and party
and revel into the early morning hours. At some point, breakfast will be
provided and everyone will go home to crash.

Why do you need activities for such a reception? The answer is simple. You want
to keep people entertained through the nighttime hours, you want to keep them at
the reception and not let them give in to driving home to crash and sleep and
you want to provide them with a real party. Let's face it: if they are willing
to hang in with you for the duration, they deserve something for their effort.

First, you need to be fairly organized about the activities you plan. Consult
with your DJ about these activities and leave it to him or her to keep things
on a schedule. Do not plan to cut cake in the middle of the night. That
activity should take place during the more traditional evening hours, so those
not intending to stay all night can leave. However, if you're determined to
keep your guests all night, you could hold one activity back with the hope it
will keep guests in the house longer.

Depending on your guest list, you might hold off on the father-daughter dance
until after midnight, or you could save a few toasts for the late night hours.
In any event, having some other fun events is a great idea.

As guests begin to fade, bring in a pioata, which you can find shaped like a
wedding ring, a bridal dress or a champagne flute. Fill it with a variety of
goodies. Candy is always popular, but you could also fill it with silly toys
found in the carnival section of the party store. Have the DJ play a spirited
song and let everyone have a chance at the pioata. Do this on the dance floor
and really let people have a swing at it. There should be plenty of room. Once
the piņata breaks, everyone can enjoy a taste of sweet candy or can enjoy some
silly little carnival game or toy.

People who stay for the duration of the wedding are going to need a rest. Plan
a photo presentation or video viewing for this purpose. You could have someone
who's familiar with PowerPoint create a photo presentation or have someone put
together a video of photos. Do this around 2 or 3 am and have it last a good
half hour to 45 minutes. This gives everyone a chance to sit down and relax and
also gives the DJ a chance to sit, have a rest and rejuvenate for the next round.

In that same vein of allowing the guests a little relaxation, one activity that
some brides employ is a non-activity. If the weddig is outside, you can provide
inflatable mattresses and have some torches lit. If guests ant to sit down and
relax, they can do so on the mattresses and still be part of the activity while
resting. If it's been a long day and someone needs to rest, those reception room
chairs don't seem the most comfortable. If the reception is indoors, think about
providing large pillows for guests to sit on or create a corner with inflatable
mattresses and lots of fabric. This can be a chatting area where people can go
to rest but still be part of the fun. They can chat and catch up with other
guests and then head back for more partying when they're rejuvenated.

Wedding Weekend Activities

Weekend weddings are becoming more popular, particularly as families are spread
further apart. They usually begin on Friday night, continue with the wedding
Saturday and conclude with a post-wedding breakfast on Sunday before everyone
returns home.

Planning activities for these weekend-long celebrations doesn't have to be
difficult; in fact, it can be quite a bit of fun if you keep everyone's needs
in mind. First, consider the wedding. Will this be a formal wedding with a
sit-down dinner at its center? If so, you might want to ban a formal rehearsal
dinner and replace it instead with an informal barbecue dinner or picnic.

But how will you keep people occupied during the long weekend? There are many
activities to consider. Will the wedding be near a lake? How about planning a
day at the lake on Saturday, filled with pre-wedding activities like swimming
races and beach volleyball.

One popular pre-wedding activity is a scavenger hunt. Prior to the wedding
weekend, a list of meaningful items should be drawn up, and guests placed in
two teams. The list should include things like "get a brochure from the jewelry
store where (groom) bought (bride)'s ring" or "take a picture of the group at
the location where the couple got engaged". You will have to tailor the
scavenger hunt list to the location of the wedding and the energy of the guests
who will be participating.

You can even offer lavish prizes for the team that wins the scavenger hunt,
such as gift certificates or gourmet food and wine baskets. It might seem an
obvious choice to divide the teams into groups who know or are related to the
bride and teams who know or are related to the groom, but it might be a little
more fun to mix it up a bit. You can create teams of friends versus family, or
men versus women (always a popular choice).

Another activity that's popular during wedding weekends is a competitive sport
activity, such as baseball or flag football. Again, add a special twist. Offer
prizes for performance (first home run gets a kiss from the bride) or make
silly rules, like members of the bridal party have to wear tiaras while running
bases or members of the groom's family should always have their shirts on

It's important that during the wedding weekend, planners keep in mind that the
weekend itself might be expensive for some guests, particularly those who had
to fly in for the occasion and many of the activities should be free, or
inexpensive. If they are more expensive, and planned for the entire group, they
should be paid for by either the bride and groom or their families.

But there are plenty of activities that don't have to be expensive, but can
provide big bang for the little buck, such as the scavenger hunt suggested
above. If the wedding weekend guests will mostly be family, you can schedule a
home movie-viewing event, including home movies from both the bride and groom's
families. For even more fun, consider an activity where the movies are mixed up
and the guests have to guess which family's videos they are watching. This
might sound easy, but depending on the contents, it could be hard, particularly
if the bride and groom are babies in the photos.

Wedding Toast Activities

Giving a toast is a responsibility that puts fear in the speaking hearts of
most members of a wedding party. While it's not usually something that is
particularly long or involved, it's public speaking (which doesn't sit well
with many people) and really puts people on the spot.

If you are planning a wedding and know that most members of this wedding party
are hams who won't mind the whole "public speaking" thing, then by all means
keep the toasts traditional with dad, the best man and others taking their
expected turns at the microphone.

But if you're looking for something different, either because you want to save
putting people on the spot, or you simply want to do something different and
fun, read on.

First, you can certainly take the whole toast thing off the agenda if you wish.
There are no rules requiring a toast at any wedding. Weddings should be unique
events and reflect the personalities of the bride and groom.

But if you want to do something a little different, there are options. You can
go the video route, which asks people to essentially make a toast on camera and
then the video is given to the bride and groom later. This isn't a particularly
unique idea, but it does solve the issue of not wanting to put people on the
spot and still gives everyone a chance to say something special to the bride
and groom.

If your guest list includes many outgoing people then consider "pass the
microphone". This can work in several ways. You can either be silly with it, or
deadly serious. Most people like silly. Say dad takes the microphone first. His
last name ends with T (so, let's say dad's last name is Smith). He must find
someone whose first name begins with a T (Tom? Tony? Tina? Theresa?) and pass
the microphone to that person, who then gives a toast.

This method of giving toasts does put people on the spot (certainly before the
fun begins you can warn them so if they are really uncomfortable, they can
escape to the restroom or bar) but it can also be a lot of fun. Getting people
when they least expect it and then asking them to remember something funny or
meaningful about the bride and groom can result in interesting, funny and
truthful results.

You might also decide that one person at each table be required to give a
toast. Number the tables and at various intervals, have the MC or DJ call a
number, which will require guests at that table to decide amongst themselves
who will give the toast at that table. Certainly, more than one person can if
they like, but there will likely be at least one ham at each table who will
enjoy standing up and toasting the newlyweds.

Say you have plenty of public speakers in the group, and finding willing toast
participants won't be a problem. But you think the subject matter might be.
There's an easy solution to this problem. You can provide open-ended topics for
the toast speakers. Say you are providing an "open mike" toast arrangement,
where anyone can request the microphone and offer a toast. The DJ, MC or
someone else in the wedding party (perhaps the maid of honor or best man) can
offer the speaker a surprise topic, which might be pulled from a champagne
flute or drawn out of the floral arrangement on the head table. There might be
slips of paper to choose, or just one sheet of paper with several ideas.

The speaker might choose to finish this sentence, "I remember when (groom's
name here) was a little boy, he always ..." or answer this question, "When was
(insert bride's name here) at her silliest? Tell us the story". You might have
to give each speaker a minute or two to collect their thoughts, but you're sure
to have some interesting stories, some unique anecdotes and some different
perspectives on the bride and groom.

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Games

Wedding rehearsal dinners are a time to relax, calm down and enjoy a quiet
evening before the big event the next day. But adding some fun and games into
the rehearsal dinner isn't such a bad idea. It's a great way to help everyone
let off some steam, calm down and enjoy each other.

If you're planning a sit-down formal dinner, fun games and activities can still
be on the menu. In fact, if a formal dinner is part of the plans, having some
interesting activities on the agenda is not only a good idea, but also an
excellent one. There's been a lot of planning, and a lot of stress and the
wedding party and close friends and family will welcome the opportunity to have
a little fun.

The success or failure of any games or activities largely depends not just on
the planning but your venue. If you're having a sit-down dinner in a
restaurant, try to get a private room. Then a myriad of fun activities can be
planned, such as "pin the veil on the bride", in which blindfolded guests spin
around a few times, then try to pin the veil on a picture of the bride. Silly,
yes, but also fun.

One fun activity sure to help everyone blow off some steam is charades. Whoever
is up will act out a scene from the bride or groom's life, so it might be when
graduating from college, or getting a huge promotion at work. The "it" person
might choose to act out when the bride tripped and fell at another person's
wedding or when the groom saved a dog from getting hit by a car. This is a
little twist on charades that helps people get to know the bride and groom
better, and adds intimacy to what is already an intimate event.

If the wedding rehearsal dinner is a bit less formal and held in someone's
home, there are many more activities that can take place. For example, how
about a night of playing board games? Who needs formal food? You can have that
the next day at the formal wedding. At this rehearsal dinner party, the games
are center stage.

Bring in some sandwiches and tell everyone to wear their comfortable clothes
and settle in for a night of board games. You can set up games on different
tables, divide people into groups of 4 or 5 and have everyone rotate tables at
designated times. You can even instruct game players that when they move to
another table, the game stays out the way it is. So, for example, dad might
begin playing Monopoly where the bride was and he's stuck with only a little
money in the bank and no houses on Boardwalk.

So, let's say the bride and groom are big into sports. If the wedding is to be
held in the summer and the days are long, how about a game of touch football or
baseball? You can play bride's family against groom's family, men against women,
or for a twist, the bride plays with the groom's family and the groom with the
bride's family. Any combination works. The idea here is to have some fun, relax
and enjoy each other's company.

Other outdoor activities can include anything that is physical and might help
people blow off steam. Has the bride been more a "bridezilla" than anything?
How about a game of tag where she's it? Or you can create two bridesmaid's
dress-up trunks. Go to a thrift store, fill the trunks with old prom dresses
and large-size shoes, and costume jewelry. Divide the guests into two different
teams and have someone sit with a timer. The team who dresses one of the men
(ideally, the groom and best man or perhaps the two dads) first wins. Be sure
to have a camera at the rehearsal dinner/event, because this is one activity
you'll want to have pictures of!

Wedding Guest Book Activities

Traditional brides don't have to have traditional guest books. Certainly you
can purchase a standard guest book and ask your guests to sign it, but there
are so many more guest book-like activities that are more unique.

Let's move from the popular to the less well known. One very popular option
allows guests to sign a picture of the bride and groom. Simply take a picture
of the bride and groom and have it matted in a mat several inches larger than
the photo itself. Place a frame around this, but don't include the glass or
Plexiglas frame. You'll add this later. Some people prefer to use "bulldog"
clips to keep the mat together instead of putting the picture in the frame. The
picture can be framed after the wedding.

Most couples choose a nice photo of themselves for this picture/guestbook
option, although if there's a formal engagement photo, this is an excellent way
to preserve that photo and show it off to friends and family. If photos are
taken before the wedding with the bride and groom in their wedding attire, you
can certainly use this photo. Many couples opt to either leave the mat empty or
they place a temporary picture in the mat and add a wedding picture later.

Be sure to have a nice Sharpie marker handy and place the picture on either a
sturdy easel or on a table where guests are sure to see it.

Another option is instead of providing a picture of the bride and groom to
sign, the guests are provided with a picture of themselves! Simply provide a
Polaroid camera and assign someone the job of taking pictures of the guests as
they arrive at the reception. Once the picture is dry, provide a Sharpie and
they can sign the picture, make a note to the bride and groom or hand draw a
silly picture. It can be whatever the guest wants it to be. This is a unique,
and personal, way for guests to "sign in" at the wedding.

Whoever handles the taking of the pictures should also handle putting them in
an album of some sort. A scrap booker might provide a special memory book with
the Polaroid pictures in it, or the pictures can simply be placed in a nice
album and presented later to the bride and groom.

Many guests don't give a great deal of thought to the guest book. They whiz by
the guest book table more concerned with getting their cocktail and hitting the
dance floor. If this is a concern, provide a "traveling" guest book. Send each
guest something either to sign or decorate before the wedding.

In this "traveling" guest book scenario, there are several options. One of the
easiest is to send each guest a small piece of paper and ask them to write
something meaningful or thoughtful for the bride and groom on it. The pieces of
paper are returned prior to the wedding (to ensure a better response, provide a
self-addressed stamped envelope with the paper) and can be compiled in some
meaningful way for the bride and groom and presented to them on their wedding

If the guest list is a creative or particularly close group, there is one other
option that is even more meaningful. Again, in a scrapbook fashion, send each
guest a piece of paper to sign or decorate. The paper should be the size of a
photo album, so it might be a 6 x 6 piece of paper, an 8 x 8 piece of paper, or
even 12 x 12, if the guests are up to that larger size.

In a letter that arrives with the paper, the guests are instructed to create a
memory page for the bride and groom. They might include photos, quotes, little
anecdotal stories, or combine all of these with stickers or embellishments.
It's thoughtful, meaningful and personal and it's an excellent way to include
guests who might not be able to attend the wedding, but would still like to be
a part of it.

Nice Bachelorette Party Games

Planning a bachelorette party is one of the easiest parts of a wedding to plan.
There are literally hundreds of ideas for things to do and a myriad of options
for games. Many of those ideas are a bit on the racy side, but there are plenty
that that are just plain clean fun.

For example, one popular bachelorette game involves asking the guests to become
poets. Ahead of the party, take 50 index cards and on half, write romantic
things, like "roses", "cuddly", etc. On the other 25 cards, write very
non-romantic words or phrases, like "nose hairs" or "ironing". Then have each
guest draw one card from each pile. They should then create a silly poem based
on the two very different words or phrases they have chosen, for example,
"Roses are red, your nose hairs are ewwwww."

One fun game that is sure to engender at least a few laughs is "name that
item". Take a paper bag (a fabric bag is better if you have one) and fill the
bag with typical "male items". The items might include a razor, a money clip, a
tie, shoe polish, etc. Seal the bag, or fold it over really well. Then have each
guest feel the bag and try to guess the contents. Have them write their guesses
on a piece of paper. After everyone has had a chance to feel the bag, the
contents are shown and the person with the most number of correct guesses gets
the bag of male-oriented items.

Here's a fun idea. This game might take the whole of the bachelorette party,
but it's a fun one that involves all the guests, helps them get to know one
another and provides video proof you all had a good time. You need video
cameras for this game, so if the host only has one camera, be sure to ask
guests to bring more video cameras. Make sure you also have enough blank tapes
for this game.

Depending on the number of guests at the party, you'll divide the party into
two or more groups. It's best to divide the group into teams small enough so
that the whole team can get into one car. So you'll have maybe five women on
each team. You'll give each team a video camera, blank videotapes and a list of
"scavenger hunt" type activities they must perform and tape.

Some video scavenger hunt ideas include having a complete stranger sing the
national anthem, having a member of the team sing "I wish I were an Oscar Meyer
hot dog" in the meat section of the grocery store and taping a stranger who can
do a good impersonation of John Wayne.

The teams should be given a specific amount of time in which to complete their
assigned tasks and then return to the party location (ideally, a home, in this
case). The videos are viewed and the teams vote on the team that did the best.
Bonus points are given for the team that creates their own stunts.

Bachelorette party games are not only designed to bring fun to the party, but
sometimes to help people get to know one another. This might be a good
opportunity for the bride's best friend to get to know the sister of the groom,
or for the bride to get close to the groom's cousin or niece. So an icebreaker
game isn't a bad idea.

This isn't perhaps the most intellectual of an icebreaker game, but it will
likely break the ice early in the evening before you head out to other events.
Play a game called "I never..." and see who takes the most drinks. So the first
woman says, "I never..." and completes the sentence. The women who have done the
thing the first woman says she's never done take a drink. Then the next woman
claims to have "never" done something.

Some suggestions for this game are: 

"I never ..." 

* Lied about my age 
* Lied about my weight 
* Shoplifted 
* Got a speeding ticket 
* Ran naked through my house

Naughty Bachelorette Party Games

If you are planning a bachelorette party and want to include some naughty
games, the possibilities are endless. The games and activities can just barely
stretch into the naughty category or they can be all-out embarrassing dirty

Before planning any of these games, make sure the bride is willing to play long
with them and is outgoing enough for the "public naughty" games. You don't want
to put her on the spot or make her feel uncomfortable. However, if she's game
and willing, many of these games are very popular and extremely fun for girls
who enjoy a good time.

First up is "Suck for a buck". Buy a plain white T shirt and letter on it with
fabric paint, "suck for a $", attach Lifesavers candy to it and have the
bride-to-be wear it. When you go out that evening, try to solicit men to suck
the lifesavers off the T-shirt. At $1 a man, this is a nice way to pay for a
few drinks while you're out as well!

If the bride isn't comfortable with the Lifesaver idea, have her wear a candy
necklace or bracelet instead and have the men simply bite off a piece of the
candy necklace/bracelet.

How about the game where you ask the guests which of them would like her
virginity back? The women who say yes line up and are each given a maraschino
cherry in a bowl. They are told they have to eat the cherry without using their
hands. Doesn't sound so hard, right? In fact, it gets a little tougher and
messier when the host then adds a squirt of whipped cream to each bowl and the
women have to find and fish out the cherry all without using their hands.

This activity isn't quite so naughty, but it could be, depending on the bride's
expressions. As she opens her gifts, and this is assuming there are gifts at
this bachelorette party, someone writes down all her expressions as she opens
each gift. So there might be "oohs" and "aaahs" and "how cutes" coming from the
bride. Once she is done opening gifts, someone says, "If we were outside
(bride's name) hotel room on her wedding night, this is what we'd hear" and you
then list the various expressions and comments she made while opening her gifts.

Believe it or not, there are hundreds of products you can buy for steamy
bachelorette parties. From fake penises to pin on pictures of hunks on the wall
to portable stripper poles, it's all out there. How about a penis piņata? You
could make a game out of who gets to hit the piņata. Turn any drinking game
into the piņata game. For example, if the guest would normally take a drink,
instead they hit the penis piņata. You could fill the piņata with the always-
popular candy, but you could also fill it with sex toys, just to add to the
spiciness of the game.

If the bachelorette party is going to be held at a bar or somewhere other than
home or in a hotel room, there are a myriad of activities you can come up with
to entertain the girls. For example, create a series of challenges. One
challenge might be to wander up to a man at a bar. If he were munching the
bar-supplied nuts, the challenge would be to say, "Mmmmm. I love a man with
salty nuts".

Kids Wedding Reception Activities

Not all brides and grooms want to exclude children from their wedding. Many are
happy to welcome children into their wedding both as members of the wedding
party and as guests.

Having children at a wedding, however, poses a myriad of problems. Do you leave
the children to their own devices and hope they behave and don't get in the way?
Do you provide a room with childcare so they are "present" but not too much
under foot? Perhaps the best solution is a simple mix of both, with a
smattering of fun built in.

First of all, if children are invited to the wedding, take into consideration
the ages of the children. Babies will have to stay with mom and/or dad, for a
variety of reasons. So planning to have all the children in another room might
not be feasible. But if the children are toddlers up to about age 12, you can
provide a separate room for them with childcare and a make a number of
activities available to them.

If the children will be in a separate room at the reception, you can provide a
coloring table, perhaps a TV with an appropriate movie ready to roll, and some
board games. That could probably be enough for the duration of the wedding
reception. Be aware of a few things: there should be a ratio of at least 1
adult for every 5 children if the children are toddlers, or 1 adult to every 10
children if the kids are older. Don't expect the kids to take up the activities
on their own, but rather tell the childcare provider to get the kids involved
in the activities by doing them him or herself.

What if the children will be part of the reception festivities? What activities
can be geared specifically to children at the reception? There are plenty of
things you can do, really. You can certainly plan a coloring table at the back
of the reception hall or room. There, you can provide loads of paper, coloring
books, markers and crayons. Paints are not recommended, for obvious reasons,
and moms will thank you if you remember to supply the kids with washable
markers and crayons only.

The art table can be more than just coloring, however. Buy a huge bag of pipe
cleaners. Kids can amuse themselves for long periods of time, making animals,
odd figures and the like. Make sure you have at least 20 or more pipe cleaners
for each child, however, as children can go through these quickly. Think about
"clean" clay, the new products that don't stick to anything and don't leave a
trace on furniture. With a few different colors, kids can create a variety of
figures, faces or forms.

Many brides like to plan more formally for their small guests. There are
several options if this is the route you want to take. One popular option is to
have paid entertainment on hand just for the children. This can take place in a
separate room or toward the back of the reception room or hall if it's large
and the guest list is big. You can hire a clown or a balloon artist. You can
have someone braid the children's hair and provide temporary tattoos. If there
is a separate room available, you can even hire a children's musician to come
and entertain the kids. The options are endless.

If no plans are made for the children, but they arrive at the wedding expecting
entertainment, you'll have to make some plans. One option is a "child only"
dance, which allows only the children on the dance floor. This is not only cute
to watch, and could be entertaining as well, but it will bring a smile to the
face of every grandma and grandpa present.

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