Games puzzles & activities for a wedding reception

Updated April 17, 2017

A wedding reception is an exciting time for the married couple, but the time can drag by for guests unless there are a variety of activities to hold their interests. It can also be difficult to keep children out of mischief while the adults are enjoying themselves. Games, puzzles and activities that cater to a variety of age groups can help guests relax, mingle, and keep the kids occupied; and make the reception a cut above the average in the guests' minds, too.


Bridal bouquet and garter games are almost standard for adults at a wedding reception. During the dancing for the bridal party and guests, various dance floor games can be played. These include "Freeze," in which the dancers are disqualified if they don't stop as soon as the music does. For those still sitting at the tables, they can play musical chairs there. Dancers and diners can also play "Switch", in which they have to move three seats over, or three dance partners over clockwise, saying hello to each person along the way, before meeting their next companion and either dancing or sharing part of the meal with them before the next switch is made.


A simple puzzle and icebreaker that does not take long to prepare is to cut playing cards into four pieces and have the people at the reception all try to match the missing parts of the card. The first foursome to meet and complete the card go to the bride and groom to collect their prize. More complicated puzzles can include a treasure hunt puzzle. Various prizes for the guests can be hidden around the reception location, and whoever finds each one first thanks to the clues is the winner. Couples might also like to a murder mystery-themed puzzle in which one of the guests is 'murdered,' and everyone has to figure out who did it.


One popular wedding reception activity is a scavenger hunt, in which the DJ asks for various items, such as a paper clip or silver cufflink, and the first person who finds the item goes up to win a prize. If the reception is a buffet, to avoid long lines and longer faces as people have to wait for the food, at-table and in-line activities can include a table quiz, bride and groom related Bingo cards, and the Newlywed game for the couple and other couples who don't mind participating.

Special Children's Activities

No matter what the children's age, they will enjoy a children's menu of foods they enjoy and a choice of activities they like. Each child should have an activity placemat for colouring, with their own small set of crayons. Blank paper and stickers can also be provided. Children can then be encouraged to make a special congratulations card for the bride and groom, with a second item of their choice as a memento to take home with them to remember the special day. Other popular children's favours that they can enjoy during the reception are small puzzles, or game and colouring books with a wedding theme. Their own treasure or scavenger hunt, set up and organised by several volunteer adults, can keep everyone busy and avoid tears and tantrums during the long day.

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About the Author

Since graduating from New York University with her Bachelor of Arts in 1996, Evelyn Trimborn has written both fiction and nonfiction for many websites and blogs on health, diet, nutrition, self-help, and business and finance. Her work has appeared on Amazon and at,, and