It feels like a tale as old as time at this point; COVID-19 restrictions have changed once again to restrict the number of guests permitted to sit at each table and dancing is not allowed. But you’re going ahead with your wedding anyway - woohoo! - and now you’re after some way to entertain your guests and yourself during the reception. Here are 15 ways to do just that!
Please note, not all these suggestions will suit everyone’s budget, theme or personal preference and at the end of the day, it’s up to you to choose something you will love.
1. Hire a Comedian (or another entertainment specialist)
There are some quality comedians out there that would be more than happy to come and make you and your guests laugh for fifteen minutes to half an hour. Some will even cater a few of their jokes to suit you personally by getting to know you both a bit before the wedding. Check out these listings to get started and don’t be afraid to meet with a few comedians, even amateurs, to find the right person!
2. Mini Group Games
These games limit potential contamination by not having to pass things around or share resources. Make sure you have some little but fun prizes to give out after each round if you do a few, such as a chocolate bar or special invitation to visit the couple after the honeymoon. Some simple yet fun game ideas are:
Bingo! But make it wedding-esque or related specifically to you as a couple. For example, Bride’s favourite colour or Groom’s go-to dinner choice.
Points for pocket or purse items. Most points at the end wins.
Who knows the bride and groom best quiz! Have the MC read each question, guests write down their answers and have three prizes; best knowledge of the groom, best knowledge of the bride and best of both!
Speeches are already common-place but draw it out! Ask each member of your bridal party to tell a funny story or share a special memory rather than just a select few. You could also allow an Open-Mic for guests to share as well. Just be sure to sanitise the microphone after each use.
If your wedding is themed in any way, consider doing some trivia questions about the theme, or even the couple. A bridal party member can host this portion of the evening and guests can work together to find the answers.
5. Origami and other quiet games
Some of your guests may prefer a quiet option if the noise or activity becomes too overwhelming. A small basket on the table with cross-words, origami paper and instructions, mindful colouring, drawing paper and pencils can give guests a chance to relax quietly or be entertained in the brief pauses between entertainment sets.
6. Mad Libs
Leave wedding-themed Mad Libs at each place setting for guests to pick up and write through the night. Your guests will be laughing and chatting before you can say “wedding”. Take them home to laugh over later or ask the MC to read out a few for crowd entertainment and vote for the funniest one!
7. The Shoe Game
A classic but a fun one. The bride and groom sit back-to-back with a show of their own and their new spouse in-hand and are asked a series of questions such as “who will cook dinner the most?”. The couple raises the shoe of who they think it will be without seeing their spouse’s answer. For a unique twist, ask members of the bridal party or close family members to sit in a circle back-to-back and answer the questions by holding up a flower for the bride and glass for the groom.
8. Picture Scavenger Hunt
Ask guests to capture snaps of key wedding moments from their seats. For example, cake cutting, couple kiss (you or a couple at their table), a guest mid-laugh. Create and send out a Google Folder link for guests to upload their photos the next day and laugh!
9. Guest Table Guess Who
Have two tables face off against each other by playing a round of Guess Who. Have the table decide who the “who” is and each table takes turns asking the other questions to guess who!
10. Family Feud
Have each table of guests act as the “family” and have pairs of tables face off against each other. You can survey your friends ahead of time, use a specific topic or theme (such as weddings) or just Google a few options and answers to save time. Classic, simple and sure to get a few good laughs.
Remember, you don’t have to actively entertain your guests for the entire night. After dinner, dancing usually goes for about two hours or so (it feels longer, but usually maxes at about three hours, exclusive of drunken Nutbush renditions), so you don’t need to worry about the entertainment until dinner wraps up.
P.S. if you choose to book a DJ, often they are able and happy to also MC the event (make sure to book this ahead of time) and will keep the energy up as you journey through the games or entertainment portion of the evening.
Until next time, keep making your special moments unforgettable x