By: Awuradjoa Quansema Sam (Mz Raj) -Professional MC/ Voice Talent
People are divided on the issue of playing games at wedding receptions. While some find wedding games entertaining, those on the other side of the divide feel weddings are enjoyable by themselves and so there’s no need adding on extra activities and games. Some even argue that such games could be embarrassing. Whichever side you are on, you may be right! I have hosted wedding receptions where the couple and I agreed to play some games and others where there were no games at all, but were still fun. Your wedding day is your special day, you are unique and your wedding should be customized to suit your taste and preferences. What matters is your happiness and that of your guests.
Usually, the major form of entertainment at wedding receptions is music. Some folks may find such a reception very boring, especially if they don’t love to dance. In such a situation and if you belong to the second school of thought, you may not want to play games per se but inculcate other fun activities so not to make your reception mundane. That is why it is important to hire a Professional MC, who will plan the reception with you, consider the calibre of guests that would be in attendance and suggest ideas that would make each guest feel special and involved. You could do more music and dance, some comedy or hilarious wedding-related pieces by the MC or a Professional comedian, Poet or Spoken Word Artist or even, surprise Artiste performances, choreography, among others.
On the other hand, if you are a fan of wedding games, you and your MC can agree on a number of games to play at your wedding reception. Ones, which your guests will enjoy. Note however, that, too many games in just one event can drag it unnecessarily, especially if there already are a lot of items on the running order. For most receptions I have officiated, I have played not more than 2 games in one event. I believe just one or two interesting short games will do the magic! In playing wedding games, my focus as MC is usually to create a merry atmosphere and as much as possible, involve the hosts (couple), guests, bridal party, all functionaries and vendors present in the event, without losing focus of the most important activities of the day.
Wedding games are icebreakers and also come in handy to shield any delays or unforeseen circumstances as they occur. If you enjoy wedding games and probably thinking of playing one at your wedding reception, below are a few you can choose from.
The Shoe Game: This a very common wedding game, intended to find out how well the couple know each other. All that is needed for this game to be played is two chairs (positioned back to back) and your shoes. You take off your shoes and switch one with your partner, therefore; the groom holds one of his shoes and that of the bride and vice versa and you take your positions on the two chairs. The MC then asks a series of questions about the couple. For example, who is more romantic? When you’re asked a question, you raise your partner’s shoes if it best represents or describes them or your shoes if it best describes you. The interesting bit about this game is that, you can’t see your spouse and so you’ll have no idea if your answers are the same, although reactions from the guests can give a clue.
The Shoe Game
Charades: This can be simply put in the Ghanaian context as “Pick and Act”. A single person would act out an idea, phrase or sentence (usually provided by the MC) while the other person or rest of the group will guess. The charade is done without speech, but gestures and sometimes, mimes. Many times, I have not engaged only the couple in this game; but also the bridal party, by pitching the groomsmen against the bridesmaids and sometimes, the guests. At the end of the day, the winning team is declared.
Spot Your Wife: Some couples are not comfortable playing this game. The reason being, “what if I choose the wrong woman?” For the few who have dared to play, it is very interesting and the guests love it too. In this game, the groom is blind-folded and is tasked to identify his wife from a queue of ladies. Some grooms use clues as their wives perfume or cologne, rings, height or body shape and the wedding gown, which obviously feels very different from all dresses worn by the other ladies in queue. When he chooses right, the aftermath is up to the couple on what they decide to do or what the MC suggests they do- hug, kiss, dance – whatever excites them. And what if he makes the wrong pick? Well, that will be unfortunate but something fun can still be created out of the situation. However, it appears most men are very smart and two grooms I have so far worked with on this game both got it right. But, on a second thought, should it always be “spot your wife”? I guess not as the tables can be turned for the bride to spot her husband…. simply, the “spot your spouse” game. I can’t wait to have a brave bride who would want to try this game.
Spot your wife/Spouse Game
Clinking of Glasses: I was introduced to this game by a Canadian-based Ghanaian couple, whose reception I hosted in September this year, Nana Offei and Ernestina. They said it was very popular in Canada and some other parts of the world. They could not tell me exactly what the game was called, but I got the concept. After our planning meeting, I decided to read about the game and discovered it’s termed “clinking of glasses”. It’s simple, anytime during the reception, guests who would love to see the couple kiss would clink their drinking glasses with their cutlery and the MC, at his or her discretion, would heed to their calls and ask the couple to kiss, or sometimes, ignore. Trust me, it’s really fun and a sure way of getting your guests actively involved in the event. If you are not a shy couple, you might want to try this!
Couple kissing during Clinking of Glasses
Garter Removal and Toss: The garter is a piece of clothing which a bride wears underneath her gown, usually on her thigh. Historically, there are various beliefs surrounding the garter, including it being a symbol of the newlyweds consummating their marriage, as well as bringing good luck to any of the guests who is able to rip it off the bride. Today, the removal of the garter is the sole preserve of the groom. In the course of the reception, the groom dances toward the bride (who would then be seated), buries his head beneath her gown and removes the garter. After the bride tosses the bouquet to the single ladies present, the groom tosses the garter to the bachelors. The man who catches the garter would then place the garter on the woman who caught the bouquet, believed to be a sign of good luck and the next in line to get married.
Removal of Garter Tossing of Bouquet
The list of wedding reception games is endless……… and you can also create one to spice up your big day if you are a lover of games but f you are not fond of wedding games, create your own kind of fun; weddings shouldn’t be boring. As an MC, I always say, your wedding is the biggest party you may ever have in your lifetime so it is important that you inject as much fun into it as possible –games or no games.
NB: All photos are from wedding receptions I have hosted or officiated
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El Edem (Salt Photos)