guests playing giant jenga at a back garden wedding in kent

38 fun games and activities for an epic wedding reception

Mar 13, 2021 | Weddings

Are you planning a wedding but not sure how to entertain your guests during the reception? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to bring all your guests together and meet new people? Either way, fun wedding games and activities at your wedding reception are a great way of doing this!

Whenever I speak to my couples during our pre-wedding consultation, they always ask me what fun things I’ve seen at weddings to entertain guests during the reception. I know you might worry about your guests having nothing to do during the wedding reception, between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, so I’m here to help! I love chatting to my couples about fun games ideas, and I’ve seen so many cool things that I thought – why not write it all down in one place so it’s easily shareable and can be referred back to by you! Yes, I know a wedding is super fun, but let’s be honest, there’s often a lull! Sometimes it’s when you are doing group photos, or portrait photos, or when you’re doing the rounds chatting to guests and everyone is waiting for their turn to talk to you!

Games and activities are the best way to entertain your guests at your wedding. Everyone loves a fun game! Weddings are a time for people to let their hair down, it’s a day off – sometimes a day off from the kids too… So give them something fun to do!

Get your guests bonding!

It’s not just about your guests having something fun to do – maybe your guests don’t know anyone else and you want them to have something fun to bond over. These games and activities are all great ways for your guests to get to know each other and chat to each other without any awkwardness. You never know, some of them may come into your wedding as strangers and leave as friends… or more…!

Why wedding games are great for photos

There are only so many photos of your guests standing around chatting that you want to look at, so having games makes the photos more exciting and gives everyone some fun memories! I love it when my couples have games and activities at their wedding, it just makes for such fun and unusual photos – as you’ll see!!

Whether your wedding venue has a huge lawn to take advantage of, or a small patio, or even if it’s in a small pub in a city, there’s always a way you can add fun games and activities to the mix on your wedding day. So here’s a list of the best and most fun games and activities you can provide for your guests on your wedding day.

Lawn games for your wedding

1. Giant Jenga

Giant Jenga is one of the most popular wedding games, it simply involves piling up some wooden bricks, and pulling them out one by one without knocking the whole tower down. Of course, when the tower eventually does fall, it makes the BEST photos – as you can see at Amber and Josh’s back garden wedding! In fact, I’ve been known to wait quite some time for the Jenga tower to fall at a wedding, all in the name of getting hilarious photos.

bride playing giant jenga wedding games at a back garden wedding in kent

2. Welly throwing

I’ve seen this at a wedding before, and it was so popular – more than you’d expect! Everyone had a go, and it was a good laugh. It also made for some epic photos – see a theme here?! Welly wanging (as it’s often known) is where you throw a welly as far as you can… That’s it!

welly wanging fun wedding games for your reception

3. Limbo

Of all the photo ops, limbo offers the most hilarious pictures. Think drunk guests falling on their bums and the crowd cheering each other on. It’s such a great game for everyone to have a laugh together and feel like part of a team. If you haven’t played limbo, you have been living under a rock – you walk bent backwards under a stick, and the stick gets lower each time. Muddy bums guaranteed.

4. Giant Connect 4

Even if you haven’t played this since you were a kid, it goes down really well at weddings. And yes, there’s a giant version. You can buy Giant Connect 4 here – it’s all about lining up the coloured discs to get four in row! It’s perfect for couples who might not feel confident chatting to people they don’t know but want to play some games just the two of them. Again, it’s great for photos. Yay!

Giant connect 4 at a wedding

5. Ring toss/hoopla

Turn your wedding reception into a mini carnival or village fair, with fun and easy to set up games like ring toss. It’s a super simple game to set up, but everyone loves it. If you haven’t played before, you have wooden pegs, and you have to throw the rings over the pegs. Somehow people get better at this the drunker they are… Buy Hoopla here!

6. Mallet smash

I call it a mallet smash game (I think I made that name up!), but it’s also known as a high striker, or strength tester. This is a pretty hefty piece of equipment to be fair, and probably one for the serious carnival-lovers – it’s something you can hire from circus companies, and they’ll probably have a whole bunch of other fun games too, so you can just get someone else to organise your fun wedding games and activities for you! The mallet smash game involves smashing a mallet into a lever with the goal of hitting the bell at the top. Why not see if your friends get better at it after a few drinks?

7. Coconut shy

Throwing balls at coconuts! A classic funfair game. This is another one that might be worth using a circus company for, if you hire it all from them you’re sorted for fun games! Here’s a Sussex company that hires circus games for weddings.

8. Beer pong

If you haven’t seen this team drinking game at a wedding, you must have at least seen it in American movies! All you need is a table, some red cups, a ball and some beer. Line up the empty cups like bowling pins, and throw a ball into the opponents’ cups – if it lands, they drink, and remove that cup. The team with cups left, wins!

9. Croquet

A very English sport, it is super simple to set up – you just need a croquet set, which you can buy here. You hit the balls very gently through the hoops. Usually for oldies but drunk 30-somethings love it even more, especially at weddings.

10. Darts

Great for pub weddings, you can easily set up a dartboard, or there may even be one there. It even works for outside weddings – you can aim the darts at a hoop on the floor or you can buy a lawn darts set here!

11. Space hoppers

These are ridiculously awesome for fun photos. Think split trousers, high competition levels and lots of laughter. They’re big blow-up balls you sit on and bounce on – set up a race track and challenge your guests to race each other!

12. Hook a duck

At a recent wedding, the couple used the hook a duck game for guests to find their place settings! They found their name and table number on the duck – it was brilliant because everyone had to play, and it got everyone involved in the wedding and bonding over being terrible at hooking a duck!

 

Table games ideas for your wedding

13. Trivia quiz about you!

Write questions about yourselves, print it out with space for people to fill out the answers, then get guests to swap sheets and mark each other – you can read out the answers before or after speeches. This game is great for getting your guests chatting on their tables, and helps them get to know you better, which is always fun, and pretty much guarantees a laugh. All wedding photographers love a good reaction photo, and this guarantees lots of shocked faces when they learn things about you they didn’t know!

14. Photo challenges

You can either lay out disposable cameras (Fujifilm Instax cameras are great but expensive) or let guests use their phone cameras, and set photo hunt challenges. Ideas of challenges could be: someone in a wedding hat; someone holding two canapes; the Jenga tower falling – use your imagination! It keeps people entertained and gives them something creative to do, even if they’re there on their own! It will help your friends and family get chatting to each other. You can even have prizes for the best photos!

15. Board games

This one is a great copout if you want to put in minimal effort! Put games on a table and let people take them. Perfect for your more introverted guests!

16. Bowling champagne bottles

Get some mini champagne bottles (these are usually in the form of blowing bubbles!) and put them in a bowling formation on every table, with a small ball for each guest. It’s a great way for everyone at the table to bond, especially if they don’t know each other!

17. Lego

Add some lego pieces to a party bag and leave it in each place on the tables – they can make a small figure and swap with people too – another great way for people to get chatting!

Fun things to keep your wedding guests entertained

18. Alpacas for the kids (and big kids)

Yup, you can hire alpacas to come to your wedding and… stand there. They’re super cute, kids love them, and drunk adults REALLY love them. Plus they’re like big cats – they just love being fussed.

19. Mr Frosty Snow Cones

Hire a snow cone vendor to make fun colourful snow cones for your guests – great for a hot summer wedding.

20. Cocktail bar

This can be DIY or you can hire a whole bar and staff. I love the DIY option – you can even ask guests to bring a bottle! You can even make a personalised cocktail menu and name the cocktails after things you love!

21. Photo booth

Hire a local photo booth or just DIY it with some props and a Fujifilm Instax!

22. DIY photo frame

Just like the photobooth but even more rustic. Make a fun frame – anything from a polaroid style to an old-fashioned frame, and you can even put your names on it! Then guests can spend the reception taking fun and silly photos of themselves in it. Bonus points: use a wedding hashtag and get them to share the photos using the hashtag. Silly wedding photos live on forever! Bonus bonus point: Use it as your guestbook!

23. Draw the groom

Challenge guests to draw a picture of the groom! The funniest one wins – you could get all the guests to vote, to really bring everyone together.

24. Model aeroplane throw

Add a DIY model aeroplane to your favours/party bags and challenge guests to a game to see who can throw it the furthest!

25. Pinata

Who doesn’t love smashing things and having sweets rained on them? Adults love it, kids love it. Wedding photographers love it… All for different reasons!

26. Magician

Done well (aka not cheesy 90s style), a magician can seriously turn a dull reception (not that yours will be!) into a room full of laughter.

guests laughing at the magician at a wedding in kent

27. Learn circus skills

Hire a circus entertainer to teach your guests some circus skills, from plate spinning to juggling and hoola hoops!

28. Cake before dinner

Drunk people generally don’t eat cake at weddings, especially if there’s also dessert. You have to get the timing of the cake cutting just right to make sure people actually want to eat it, and aren’t busy doing something else (dancing, playing in the photobooth etc) – so cutting the cake after the ceremony is perfect because everyone’s ready for a bit of cake, they can appreciate it because they’re not drunk (yet) and it saves you money on fancy canapes in the afternoon.

bride cutting cake with her hands

29. Hire a brass band

They make such a wonderful racket, and people can’t help but feel joy when there’s a brass band playing! It makes the atmosphere feel electric and gets everyone dancing and smiling.

30. Bucking bronco

If you’ve ever fancied flashing your pants at your parents and loved ones, get a bucking bronco at your wedding.

31. Glitter bar

Something to do in the afternoon, and makes you look like you’re at Glastonbury. Just make sure it’s an eco-friendly glitter! You can hire glitter bar artists, or just buy a bunch and put it on a table.

32. Booze camera

I’m sure this game has a name, but I can’t think of it, so I’m just calling it Booze Camera. Stick a GoPro to a bottle of something gross and film people faces as they take a swig. Not very Covid-friendly, but I’m living in hope that one day soon we can swig from the same bottle and not worry about killing gran.

33. Singalong ceremony

This is the same wedding that had the brass band, and the band played “All you need is love” mid-ceremony, and it was awesome – although this kid didn’t seem to think so…

34. Bring your dog

No reason not to have your dog at your wedding! (Unless they’re like my dogs, who would nip people on the bum and steal all the food…) And wedding guests will love giving it a fuss. They’re a part of your family, so they should be VIP guests! Just make sure they have a quiet cosy place to nap when it all gets too much.

35. Have a homemade photo booth

Ok, so you’ll end up with a spare bedroom full of tat you’ll never use again, but that’s what FB marketplace is for! People love a photobooth, it gives non-dancers something to do, and it means you’ll go home with some ridiculous photos to laugh at! Bonus: turn it into a guestbook where people stick the photos in the book.

36. Hire an ice cream van

Nothing completes a wedding like a Mr Whippy. Or you can go fancy, if you want. This is a fun day off for people, and a day off means eating what you want! This is especially perfect if you’re having a summer wedding.

37. Mini golf

A wedding classic! So much fun and great for photos.

38. Cornhole

Chuck a beanbag into a hole! A soft landing if it hits the camera too!!

I hope those fun wedding games and activities gave you some good ideas for your own wedding!

If you’re getting married and want fun wedding photos like these, get in touch!

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