Your wedding day is one of the most important days in your life, and you want it to be memorable for all the right reasons. And, while the ceremony itself involves making promises and reflecting on your future together, the reception is all about celebrating your union.
Traditionally, wedding receptions involve drinks and nibbles on arrival, followed by dinner and dancing. But times are changing, and wedding receptions are too.
Wedding Reception Entertainment Ideas
Today’s couples still embrace many traditional aspects of the reception, but they are also looking for that extra something to make the reception a fun and memorable experience for their guests and themselves.
Speaking of which, one of the best ways for you to relax and fully enjoy your wedding day is to hire a professional wedding planner or entertainer. Handing your reception entertainment over to a professional ensures that you, as well as your guests, can relax and enjoy the fun.
With that in mind, we’ve created a list of fun wedding reception ideas, ranging from simple table games to rather less conventional entertainment, that are guaranteed to provide fun for everyone.
Wedding Day Bingo Games
Find the Guest Bingo is a brilliant idea for getting guests to mingle. Plus, it’s fabulous for keeping them entertained while the bridal party are having their photographs taken.
- Bingo cards with guest descriptions (e.g., wearing a fascinator, worked with the bride, etc)
- Small prize
How to play:
- Hand each guest a bingo card on arrival (Etsy and Amazon UK, or make your own)
- Guests locate other guests who match the descriptions on the card and write that person’s name in the appropriate box.
- The same guest cannot be used to fill more than one box
- The first guest to get a full house wins the prize.
Wedding Speech Bingo
This variation is guaranteed to make the speeches fun – no matter how awful they might be!
Bingo cards should contain words or short phrases associated with wedding speeches, such as ‘my wife and I’, etc. During the speeches, guests listen carefully, crossing off phrases as they hear them. Make this even more fun by keeping speakers out of the loop. Just watch their bemusement as guests voice their approval at random points in the speech!
A fun way of entertaining guests and providing some different memories of your wedding day. Simply provide a list of 10-20 different moments in the wedding, e.g., bride and groom kissing, bride’s mother dancing, etc, and get guests to take photographs on their phones. Remind them to share the photos with you afterwards.
Why not make your wedding favours a bit different by adding them to crackers? Purchase a cracker kit and personalise with small favours and conversation starters, or fun facts about the bride and groom. Alternatively, add conversation starters to pre-made crackers.
Wedding Day Charades
Place cards with wedding themed ideas on the table. Categories could include romantic movies, love songs, wedding related phrases etc. Guests can play at the table between courses or after dinner.
Wedding Bake Off
Guaranteed to cause lots of laughter. Be warned, it can be messy – aprons are essential! Here’s how it works:
- 4 teams with 2 volunteers per team (involving the bride and groom, as a team or separately, goes down well)
- 1 ‘expert’ (competent home baker) to demonstrate piping and simple rolled fondant roses
- 2 judges (preferably familiar with the GBBO TV show!)
Each team requires:
- 6 undecorated cupcakes
- Small bowl of buttercream and a spoon
- Disposable piping bags fitted with star nozzles
- Small tubes of green icing (readily available in most supermarkets)
- Coloured sugar paste
- Cardboard display stands or plates for each team
- Paper plates and knives for sampling.
Have your ‘expert’ demonstrate how to pipe swirls, make rolled sugar roses and pipe green leaves. Now give your teams 10 minutes in which to produce professional looking cupcakes. Judges should comment on entries, sampling if they wish, and then determine the winning team.
Another (less messy!) variation of this game is to have guests replicate the bride’s wedding bouquet. Provide an assortment of cheap and cheerful ‘silk’ flowers, Oasis, scissors, florists tape, plastic bouquet holders and ribbon and enjoy the fun. Allow a little extra time for this version. Judges could award marks for bouquets that don’t fall apart, closely match the style of the bride’s or are the most impressive. Why not have the bride try them out?
Adult Bouncy Castle
Kids and adults alike love a bouncy castle – it’s a great opportunity for them to release their inner Tiggers! Let your guests know about this beforehand so they can bring a change of outfit – wedding finery and bouncy castles don’t always mix!
A popular choice – provide some old-fashioned favourites to send guests on a trip down memory lane.
Ice Cream Van
A cool idea for summer weddings!
If you’re based in Ireland, you can book an ice cream van, or other fun party foods, directly through the PartyWizz platform.
Perfect during the spring and summer months and easily available to hire. Games include:
- Connect Four
- Giant Jenga
- Noughts and Crosses
- Giant Snakes and Ladders
- Coconut Shy
- Limbo competition
Make your wedding even more magical by hiring the best wedding magicians to entertain your guests. A magician can entertain guests while the photographs are being taken, or during the gap between dinner and the evening reception.
A wedding day quiz can be fabulous fun and a great ice breaker. Hold your quiz at the end of a formal dinner, when each table can form a team, or kick the evening’s entertainment off with one. Questions could relate to the new couple, wedding traditions, famous couples, or even the wedding year. P
lay the traditional way with a quizmaster, paper and pens, or have even more fun playing on mobile phones and a digital screen, via platforms such as Kahoot! where the on-screen leader board is sure to bring out your guests’ competitive side!
A DJ and dancing always go down well, but there are plenty of other musical ideas which make for a fun wedding reception:
- Name that Tune
Give everyone an opportunity to demonstrate their musical knowledge. Divide guests into two teams and have your DJ play snippets of various songs. Teams take turns to correctly name the song within 30 seconds. Should a team fail to get it right, the opposing team can answer and claim the point.
- Tribute Bands
Abba, Elton John, Elvis, Queen – guaranteed to get everyone up on their feet!
- String Quartet
- Barber Shop Singer
There’s something magical about fireworks, and what better way to round off your special day? You may think that darkness and a venue with an outdoor space are essential prerequisites for a firework display. However, it’s also possible to have indoor fireworks (check whether your venue allows them first). Ice fountains are particularly effective on the top of your wedding cake or inserted in desserts and cocktails.
That’s a wrap
If you’ve enjoyed this post, all that’s left for you to do is decide what you’d like to include in your celebrations to ensure you have a fun-filled wedding reception.
We’ve tried to include a wide range of ideas to appeal to all tastes and budgets. Some are more expensive, or require more planning, than others, but all are guaranteed to add to the fun enormously.
And, if you like an idea, but it’s not quite right for you, tweak it and make it yours, it will make your day even more special.
We wish you all the best for your forthcoming nuptials, and hope we’ve inspired you to create the sort of fun wedding reception that you and your guests will remember for years to come.