Weddings should be fun for all who attend. I believe that creating an extraordinary experience for my wedding guests is possible. For my own wedding, I didn’t want a standard wedding with assigned tables, seating, speeches, and boring small talk. Far from it, I wanted my guests to be laughing hysterically and having a great time.
I think my husband and I accomplished this feat by providing an all inclusive “Wedding Hunger Games” for our guests.
In Part I we delve into how you can create similar wedding games to entertain your guests!
Check out Part II, which looks at Ideas for Wedding Reception Games.
7 Steps to Create Your Wedding Hunger Games
The Wedding Hunger Games were the brain child of my husband, Andrew. Although I helped where needed, he and one of his friends completed a majority of the work to make the games come to life. Neither my husband nor I are huge fans of the series “The Hunger Games.” However, the name seemed to work for our wedding and acted more as a tongue-in-cheek joke that guests and the emcee for our wedding could rally around. Many guests assumed that if they lost the games they might not get to eat that night!
Note: I am not going to sugarcoat the effort involved in designing and executing a wedding project such as this. If you want wedding games that showcase the bride and groom, it is going to take a bit of effort. In all, Andrew estimates that it took about 12 solid hours to come up with ideas, shop for materials, and create and assemble the games.
Step 1 – Create Rules
Create a basic set of rules for your games (see below for sample rules). In our case, we decided on 6 teams with 10 people to a team. Each team rotated and visited all six game stations every 10 minutes. For a 60 person wedding party, the games ran fairly smoothly. I cannot see why you could not do the same thing for a wedding guest list of up to 100 people. However, logistics could get challenging beyond that number of guests.
Step 2 – Brainstorm
Brainstorm ideas for fun and simple games that can be completed in 10 minutes. Depending on your venue, the weather, and how many guests you have participating, this could be a mixture of indoor and outdoor games.
Step 3 – Choose Games
Decide on the final games that you want. Make sure that you practice each game to ensure the game can be played by the number of team participants you assign. You may find that a particular game cannot be played with a certain number of players and will need to adjust.
Step 4 – Supplies
Assemble a list of all materials that you will need. Don’t forget about pens for each team, extra scrap paper, and a list of answers for any games that you play.
Step 5 – Buy Items
Purchase all materials, including extra amounts where appropriate. Plan ahead as some materials may take some time to arrive if you shop for materials online.
Step 6 – Assemble
Assemble each game into its own container. You will likely have a close friend or venue staff to setup the games. Make it as easy as possible for them to follow your verbal or written instructions on how to setup each wedding game. Don’t forget to explicitly state the location of each game at your wedding venue.
Step 7 – Double Check
Liaise with the host of the wedding games ahead of time. Make sure this person knows what to do and at what time. Sit back and watch the hilarity ensue.
Sample Rules for Wedding Games
You can see a scan of the final rules that we used, printed on gold color heavy cardstock. The gold color tied into our overall 1920’s gold, white, and light pink color scheme and added a nice touch!
My husband thought it would be fun to add a few rules of his own such as:
- No peeing on the giant old tree
- No swinging from the chandeliers
- No talking to the ghosts upstairs
Materials Needed for Wedding Games
Let’s review the materials that you will need to DIY your wedding games:
- Game Rules (as above)
- Poster board with all teams and members – I used a giant piece of black poster board and hand wrote each team and team member name on it. The poster board can be mounted to a piece of cardboard to make it more sturdy. At the wedding, setup an easel in a central location so that each person can easily see which team they are assigned.
- Station Numbers/Letters – I hand drew each station number in the same font and color scheme as my wedding invitations.
- Items for each game – After you have chosen the games to be played at your wedding, write down a list of all materials for each game that you intend to play. Some games will not need many materials at all. For example, a Yahtzee game simply needs 5 dice and a shaker to roll the dice.
- Scorecards for Each Team – Your scorecards need to include all games that you plan to play at your wedding. Make a scorecard for each team so that they can record their scores from each game as they play.
- Wedding Games Host – This is perhaps one of the most important elements. You must choose a dynamic and entertaining individual – someone that is comfortable and used to speaking in front of large crowds and engaging with people. Luckily, Andrew’s brother is a great speaker and entertaining guy.
- Prizes (optional) – We bought 10 mini bottles of champagne to award the team that posted the top overall score.
Host and Execute Wedding Games
For our wedding, the best man was the emcee and assumed the duties of wedding games host. Whoever hosts your wedding games, make sure that this person has a loud voice and can persuade people to quickly form into their teams. A microphone helps in this regard. Once all teams are formed, the games should begin immediately. If you have correctly written out the directions for each game, there should not be any confusion. The host will need to have a timer or watch as well as some way (loud horn) to let guests know that one round has ended and the next round begins.
At the end of the games the host can award prizes to teams. We bought mini bottles of champagne and awarded one to each member of the winning team.
Let me know in the comments section below if you plan to do something similar for your wedding.
And don’t forget to read Part II where we look at ideas for wedding games.