10 Reception Games to Keep Your Guests Entertained

A wedding guest playing with an oversized set of Jenga at a reception.

If you’re hoping to pack your wedding reception full of festivities and fun, then you need some games up your sleeve to keep everyone entertained. Dancing is always a hit, but not everyone wants to spend hours out on the dance floor. Even the most skilled DJ can’t keep the back tables entertained the entire night.

Here’s some inspiration for games, interactive experiences, and other means of entertainment to make your wedding reception a smash hit for everyone. These activities can work for massive outdoor weddings as well as smaller indoor spaces. Whether you plan to have an all-adult event or if you’ll have children running around, this list will include ideas for all.

1. Giant Classic Games

An easy way to entertain all age ranges of guests is to include some classic games…then make them giant. Set up a giant checkers board, giant tic-tac-toe pieces, giant Jenga, or even giant Connect Four. These give the kids and adults something to do. You can spread the games out across a large lawn or in a corner of an indoor event space. If the giant versions of the games are too large, you can always opt for normal or even tiny sizes.

2. Board Game Station

Board games are a great way to give your guests a dancing break. Have a selection of two+ player board games available to keep your quieter friends entertained. Be sure to include games everyone knows, like Uno or Life, but also feel free to add all your personal quirky favorites to the pile.

3. Art Station

Not only is art a great way to relax, but it’s the perfect way to keep kids busy. You don’t need to include finger paints or watercolors since these can get messy. Instead, try Crayons, colored pencils, and plenty of coloring pages or books. You can even include some items geared towards adults if you know anyone who would enjoy it.

4. Badminton

Badminton may seem like a stretch, but if you have the space for it then there’s no reason not to set up a badminton court. All of the necessary equipment is lightweight and easily portable. Guests of all ages can enjoy the game, and it’s not too competitive that anyone will ruin their nice clothes during gameplay.

5. Photo Booth

Photobooth props at a wedding.

Regardless of how you decorate your photo booth, guests always enjoy this fun activity. Add props, a theme, and anything your heart desires. Then enjoy how creative your guests get with their selfies. Feel free to hire a photographer for this section of the job or simply use a polaroid camera for a vintage feel.

6. Throwback College Drinking Games

If you’re looking to keep things casual and comfortable—especially for your old college buddies—then including some throwback games is fun. Have a station where you and your friends can reminisce about your college days. Include beer pong, flip cup, and even a card deck for Kings. Remember that you can always substitute alcohol for water if you don’t want things getting crazy.

7. Mad Libs: Wedding Couple Edition

This is a great thing to leave at the reception tables for the guests to pick up and fill out throughout the evening. Not only will it get people talking and exchanging ideas, but it will create a fun read for the bride and groom to laugh about later. You can even have the DJ read off the Mad Libs and give a prize to the funniest version.

8. Picture Scavenger Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt by giving your guests a list of 10-20 moments for them to collect via photo. Ideas for the list can be a group selfie, a stranger laughing, or the newlyweds kissing. Not only does this give the guests something to do during the reception, but the newly married couple ends up with more photos of precious moments.

9. Piñata

Bring back the childish excitement you used to have at birthday parties with a wedding day pinata. You can fill it full of candy, favors, or gifts. It can be an event reserved for the bride and groom, the whole wedding party, children, or you can open it up for anyone to take a swing.

10. The Shoe Game

A bride and groom playing the shoe game at their wedding reception.

Games like the Shoe Game are wonderful for entertaining and helping your guests get to know the newlyweds better. The newlyweds sit in front of their guests with their backs to one another. They both have a shoe in each of their hands: one of their own and one of their spouse’s. A host then asks the couple a list of questions, to which the couple can only reply by lifting one shoe or the other (indicating the answer to the question). Questions can include “Who’s the better cook?” or “Who said ‘I love you’ first?” You can also take questions from guests if you want.

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