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Reception Ideas

Reception Games

To be quite honest, no one in my family likes to dance and my fiance's family is the same way, so we do not want to have an awkward reception where everyone just awkwardly makes conversation to avoid getting pulled to the dance floor. Our thought is to have a guitarist that we know play some background music, and then while we are off taking pictures after the ceremony, we will have board games out for our guests to play. Things like checkers, chess, card games, apples to apples.. Just games to keep them entertained since our ceremony and reception are in the same location and there will not be a filler of transportation time. While guests play games (or mingle) we will have popcorn, m&m's, and pretzels to make it a nice game night theme. Then, when the bridal party all comes back from pictures, we can get everything started with the real food, cupcakes, the basic first dance/father daughter dance, etc. 

The question is: are games a good idea? I have had mixed reviews on this idea, but my fiance and I are really set on having our reception being one that is fun and enjoyable - whether the guests play games to kill time or to mingle among themselves. If you went to a wedding reception where there were simple games to play instead of dancing - what would you think? Also we will not be having alcohol, so would no alcohol and no dancing be too much?

Re: Reception Games

  • Games do not belong at wedding receptions. People will talk and mingle. You are overthinking. However, if you have a first dance and so on, you really need to open the dance floor to your guests as well. It is really odd to have a 'no dancing' reception if you and your groom will be dancing.
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  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Bobbing for apples isn't that great of an idea, in my opinion.  The rest would be okay, maybe a bean bag toss or something too.  I think it would be nice to have a space for guests to dance if they want to though, especially if you are going to do any dancing, as PP said.
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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited September 2013
    beyshel said:
    To be quite honest, no one in my family likes to dance and my fiance's family is the same way, so we do not want to have an awkward reception where everyone just awkwardly makes conversation to avoid getting pulled to the dance floor. Our thought is to have a guitarist that we know play some background music, and then while we are off taking pictures after the ceremony, we will have board games out for our guests to play. Things like checkers, chess, card games, apples to apples.. Just games to keep them entertained since our ceremony and reception are in the same location and there will not be a filler of transportation time. While guests play games (or mingle) we will have popcorn, m&m's, and pretzels to make it a nice game night theme. Then, when the bridal party all comes back from pictures, we can get everything started with the real food, cupcakes, the basic first dance/father daughter dance, etc. 

    The question is: are games a good idea? I have had mixed reviews on this idea, but my fiance and I are really set on having our reception being one that is fun and enjoyable - whether the guests play games to kill time or to mingle among themselves. If you went to a wedding reception where there were simple games to play instead of dancing - what would you think? Also we will not be having alcohol, so would no alcohol and no dancing be too much?
    No.  Games are appropriate for a backyard bbq or a Friday night get together with friends, not a wedding.  Also, if you are going to have a father/daughter dance, you really should keep the dance floor open for everyone.  It's rude to just have your dance and then not let anyone else dance.  If you choose for no dancing (and no alcohol), just be aware that you will probably have a shorter reception.  There's nothing wrong with that.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    doeydo said:
    Bobbing for apples isn't that great of an idea, in my opinion.  The rest would be okay, maybe a bean bag toss or something too.  I think it would be nice to have a space for guests to dance if they want to though, especially if you are going to do any dancing, as PP said.
    Apples to Apples is not the same as bobbing for apples; it's a trivia game.  Games don't really belong at weddings.  You don't have to have dancing; mingling and chatting would be fine.  But if you're planning to have first dances or father/daughter and mother/son dances, you need to keep the dance floor open so your guests can dance too.  Not allowing your guests to enjoy anything you provide in the way of entertainment for yourselves is rude.
  • While I do tend to agree with what's been said about games at weddings, I have seen games incorporated as a wedding theme mainly in the form of a Vegas themed wedding/casino night theme. Not my cup of tea but if its an actual theme it makes a bit more sense to the guests rather than it just being games to pass/extend the time. I've seen a few mention they played some outdoor games during an outdoor, picnic themed wedding as well. No one can say whether games are allowed at weddings but I'm not sure that's the type of memories I would want my guests to have of my wedding.
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Oh.  Sorry, I am not familiar with Apples to Apples.  To me, though, if it is a casual sort of wedding, I don't see a problem with a few little games for guests to play if they choose to.  However, I don't dance much and I wasn't bored at the weddings I attended.  I just talked to people and stuff.
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm not a fan of games.  I'm not much of a dancer either, but I wouldn't want to play games.  At weddings, I generally enjoy walking around socializing.  Playing checkers would strike me as the opposite of that.

  • It sounds to me like you want to have games available for your guests during cocktail hour (while you are off taking pictures, before the reception begins). Usually, during cocktail hour, guests just mingle, snack, and maybe grab a drink or two. There isn't dancing during cocktail hour, though some background music is often played.

    If your wedding is on the more casual side, I suppose that you could leave a couple (2-3) of your favorite board games out on a table for guests to play if they so choose. However, I highly doubt anyone will do so. Most people are too busy catching up with family and friends, talking about the ceremony, etc.
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  • Games like the ones you listed don't promote mingling. People will get in little groups of 4-6 and then stay there for an hour or two until the games finishes. I would do something like lawn games, where a game can be finished in a few minutes, or skip them altogether.
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    doeydosouthernbelle0915
  • I think the games would be kind of awkward and they'd actually discourage mingling since once a game starts, it is usually closed off to others.

    I do think it could be fun to just have a pile of trivia cards at each table.  I've seen that done at restaurants and always enjoy it.  Just having the cards, not a formal game, could help with awkward moments or folks who have trouble starting a conversation. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I'm bothered by your use of the term "killing time".   It's a wedding - not a visit to the DMV.  People will mingle and talk without games.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    Dreamergirl8812southernbelle0915weddingmuse
  • E+R2014E+R2014 member
    10 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited September 2013
    I don't think games are a bad idea, mainly because I'm considering it myself. I've been to weddings where I know maybe 2-4 other people and you don't really want to dance so then what do you do. Just my two cents, but putting some party games in a corner on a table isn't terrible. If guests want to play, they can. I would only do games like Apples and Apples and other games that can be done with large groups of people. You shouldn't worry about what other people think. It's your day and you should do what you want. If no one plays the games, then so be it. But don't not do it just because everyone says it's a bad idea. Do what you want! :)
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    E+R2014 said:
    I don't think games are a bad idea, mainly because I'm considering it myself. I've been to weddings where I know maybe 2-4 other people and you don't really want to dance so then what do you do. Just my two cents, but putting some party games in a corner on a table isn't terrible. If guests want to play, they can. I would only do games like Apples and Apples and other games that can be done with large groups of people. You shouldn't worry about what other people think. It's your day and you should do what you want. If no one plays the games, then so be it. But don't not do it just because everyone says it's a bad idea. Do what you want! :)
    I really hate this phrase.  The moment you invite guests, it is no longer your day.  The ceremony is between you and your FI.  The reception is for your GUESTS....it's your thank you to them for attending.  So, if you really want it all about you, elope.
    southernbelle0915SKPM
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    E+R2014 said:
    I don't think games are a bad idea, mainly because I'm considering it myself. I've been to weddings where I know maybe 2-4 other people and you don't really want to dance so then what do you do. Just my two cents, but putting some party games in a corner on a table isn't terrible. If guests want to play, they can. I would only do games like Apples and Apples and other games that can be done with large groups of people. You shouldn't worry about what other people think. It's your day and you should do what you want. If no one plays the games, then so be it. But don't not do it just because everyone says it's a bad idea. Do what you want! :)
    You had me until the speshul snoflake crap.



    Anniversary
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    RedJacks25
  • First, no one ever dances at the cocktail hour (the time between the ceremony and the reception). The dancing at a "regular" wedding takes place later, usually after the dinner and after all the speeches, after the first dance with bride and groom, etc.  

    I would assume everyone has been to a lot more parties withOUT dancing than they have been to parties WITH dancing. People talk and mingle. Socialize. Laugh. Tell stories. I think if you're concerned about your guests ability to socialize, you should put some extra thought into both the timeline of your event and the layout of the furniture, tables, etc. You still want to encourage people to get up and move around.


    If I was having a wedding where I still wanted a "first dance" (meaning, dancing would be available. It seems weird and rude to have a first dance and not allow your guests to dance), but I knew my guests weren't big dancers, there's a few things I'd do. I'd have additional lounge-type seating, or high cocktail tables where guests could get up from their tables after dinner and gather around other areas. I'd have a good amount of slow songs played throughout the night, to encourage couples to get up and dance together. I'd break up the dancing of the evening with other events, such as a speech from the best man, or the cake cutting--lots of weddings want to "get it out of the way" so they have the rest of the evening to party, but you could definitely space it out. Mainly, however, I'd avoid ANY kind of forced dancing--no dancing for centerpieces, no "group dancing" of any kind (i.e. no macarena, no electric slide, no chicken dance, etc.). 
  • Board games and other activities are not suitable for a wedding. If people don't like to dance, they'll just mingle and talk. Games aren't good ice breakers unless it's a facilitated summer-camp-like session - which you definitely don't want to do. 

    Just skip it. Adults can handle a few hours of socializing without needing supplied entertainment. If they can't, then they'll be anti-social and/or leave early. Oh well.
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    weddingmuse
  • Wow, some of these responses were like daggers right in the heart. Thanks for the input ladies, but please -- be more mindful of the tone of voice you use when responding to these questions. All of the planning (while going to college full time and working part time) is enough stress on its own. In the future, word things as you would like to hear them if the words were directed at you. Some responses I felt attacked because they were so blunt and calling me "rude."

    Bottom line: Be more mindful of the words you speak. Please.
    erinbethpcolleenbj
  • manateehuggermanateehugger member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited November 2013
    beyshel said:
    Wow, some of these responses were like daggers right in the heart. Thanks for the input ladies, but please -- be more mindful of the tone of voice you use when responding to these questions. All of the planning (while going to college full time and working part time) is enough stress on its own. In the future, word things as you would like to hear them if the words were directed at you. Some responses I felt attacked because they were so blunt and calling me "rude."

    Bottom line: Be more mindful of the words you speak. Please.
    Oh goodness, sweetheart, no one was mean or rude. They gave you honest feedback - which I agree with. Look, if 10 people with zero investment in your life/wedding say, "this is a bad idea," there's probably at least some truth to it. 

    You were not attacked in the slightest. Saying, "Your plan doesn't sound good" is not an attack. 

    How many weddings have you actually attended?
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  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    beyshel said:
    Wow, some of these responses were like daggers right in the heart. Thanks for the input ladies, but please -- be more mindful of the tone of voice you use when responding to these questions. All of the planning (while going to college full time and working part time) is enough stress on its own. In the future, word things as you would like to hear them if the words were directed at you. Some responses I felt attacked because they were so blunt and calling me "rude."

    Bottom line: Be more mindful of the words you speak. Please.
    I would really appreciate it if you would specify exactly which poster, post, or phrase struck like a dagger or an attack. You received clear opinions as to why many posters feel games are not appropriate or necesary at a wedding reception. You preface your own original post by stating your idea has already received mixed reviews. Honestly, the rudest words posted in this thread were your words admonishing posters whose opinions YOU solicited.
  • beyshel said:
    Wow, some of these responses were like daggers right in the heart. Thanks for the input ladies, but please -- be more mindful of the tone of voice you use when responding to these questions. All of the planning (while going to college full time and working part time) is enough stress on its own. In the future, word things as you would like to hear them if the words were directed at you. Some responses I felt attacked because they were so blunt and calling me "rude."

    Bottom line: Be more mindful of the words you speak. Please.
    I read through the entire thread and thought that every response given was tactful and polite in every way. No one attacked you personally and no one called you rude, but explained that your plans could come across as rude to the guests who do in fact want to dance. You asked for feedback from strangers, please don't go throwing around phrases like "dagger to the heart", that is extremely melodramatic. I am a full time college student on academic scholarship and work part time as well, and I keep that completely separate from my wedding planning. This shouldn't be stressful, I recommend taking a step back and reevaluating what is actually causing you stress.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • beyshel said:
    Wow, some of these responses were like daggers right in the heart. Thanks for the input ladies, but please -- be more mindful of the tone of voice you use when responding to these questions. All of the planning (while going to college full time and working part time) is enough stress on its own. In the future, word things as you would like to hear them if the words were directed at you. Some responses I felt attacked because they were so blunt and calling me "rude."

    Bottom line: Be more mindful of the words you speak. Please.
    Oh brother.... Are you really feeling "daggers to the heart" and unnecessary stress because of an internet thread about games at a wedding reception? It seems very dramatic to me. 

    Here's the deal - posters here are internet strangers. They're not invested in your event and don't know you personally. Therefore they'll give you a good idea of what your friends/family might really be thinking but not want to tell you to avoid hurting your (apparently sensitive) feelings. I really think it would be a good exercise to read through this thread again and try to be less emotional. I truly believe you'll see good, honest feedback and fewer "daggers".
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  • arrippaarrippa Sam Adams Craft Commonwealth member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited November 2013
    beyshel said:
    Wow, some of these responses were like daggers right in the heart. Thanks for the input ladies, but please -- be more mindful of the tone of voice you use when responding to these questions. All of the planning (while going to college full time and working part time) is enough stress on its own. In the future, word things as you would like to hear them if the words were directed at you. Some responses I felt attacked because they were so blunt and calling me "rude."

    Bottom line: Be more mindful of the words you speak. Please.
    How do you know tone of voice from reading posts? Honestly, I am stumped that you feel attacked from people stating their own opinions.

  • I think games available at a reception can work & be fun if it fits the overall "feel" of the event, which it sounds like yours does fit.  If nothing else, the kids will play and stay occupied. I don't think it's odd to have them available, if they don't get used, no big deal.  
    Also, I've been to lots of weddings where the bride & groom do one dance & that's it.  They wanted the experience of a first dance together, but without the space, time, expense of a DJ etc of a full dance.  I have never been offended that I didn't get to dance. 
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited November 2013
    beyshel said:
    Wow, some of these responses were like daggers right in the heart. Thanks for the input ladies, but please -- be more mindful of the tone of voice you use when responding to these questions. All of the planning (while going to college full time and working part time) is enough stress on its own. In the future, word things as you would like to hear them if the words were directed at you. Some responses I felt attacked because they were so blunt and calling me "rude."

    Bottom line: Be more mindful of the words you speak. Please.
    If you are this sensitive, you are exactly the type of person that should take our advice......your friends and family will never tell you the truth for fear of hurting your feelings and putting "daggers in your heart".  
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    JoanE2012 said:
    If you are this sensitive, you are exactly the type of person that should take our advice......your friends and family will never tell you the truth for fear of hurting your feelings and putting "daggers in your heart".  
    This. This 1,000x. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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