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At the end of the day, your wedding is a party. Granted, it's probably the largest, most important party you and your groom have ever hosted, but still—the entertaining essentials are the same. Good food, good music, and good people almost guarantee a good time. But it doesn't hurt to have a few tricks up your sleeve, too. Enter these exciting wedding game ideas. From puzzles and Mad Libs to bean bag racing and a good game of "I Spy," adding a little action to your reception, whether it be for kids or adults, is never a bad idea. Plus, wedding games are a natural way to encourage interaction and include your guests in your big day. Maybe you want to build in an icebreaker to ensure that your friends and family meet their tablemates; or you might just want an activity that's going to keep kids busy so their parents can enjoy themselves on the dance floor. For the best wedding games for guests both young and old, check out these DIY ideas as well as activities from real weddings.
Fill-in-the-bank scrolls are a blast for guests—and they leave you with a keepsake to read at each anniversary (just ask a friend to collect them all at the end of the night, and then compile them into a guest book). To make them, download our template, roll each sheet around a mini pencil, tie it with cord, and place one atop every plate.
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Personalized Coloring Book
In case you missed it, coloring books are #trending among people of all ages. Incorporate them into your celebration with a custom keepsake made by an artist who transforms photos into line drawings, then delivers them in easy-to-print PDF form. Set them out on tables at the rehearsal dinner, reception, or morning-after brunch. Or pack them up as favors—just don't forget crayons ($60, curiouscustom.com).
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Since this couple shared their wedding day with their daughter's first birthday party, bringing in games for the kids was a no-brainer. Friends large and small enjoyed gunnysack races (in sacks customized by the bride's friend) and tug of war.
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Pucker up! Everyone can have fun at your reception with this kissing game that puts a lively twist on the cootie catchers you played with as a child.
Parents know what a lifesaver those kid-friendly paper place mats—mazes, connect the dots, word-finder puzzles—can be at a restaurant. Here's a more updated (read: attractive) interpretation of that idea, perfect for a dedicated children's table at your reception.
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Engage budding Picassos with just-their-size coloring books and chunky gemstone crayons that little fingers can easily grasp. Challenge them with foam puzzles that can be arranged into every letter of the alphabet, and capture their attention with DIY mini kaleidoscopes.
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For an outdoor wedding, we can't think of a more appropriate source of entertainment than yard games. During cocktail hour at this wedding, adults and children alike played rounds of corn hole and croquet, while a nearby lemonade stand supplied refreshments. Lawn game equipment was stored under a pair of tents, along with a pair of chairs for those who preferred to watch the games.
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Give budding brainiacs a potted succulent pet (they're resilient enough for youngsters to care for) and magnifying glasses to inspect their new green friends. Spark creativity by offering Charley Harper coloring books filled with the artist's iconic drawings, and a bundle of twig-shaped pencils.
The Details: Coloring Book, $16.95, CharleyHarperPrints.com; mini haworthia plant, price upon request, TropicalPlantsOrchidsinc.com; jumbo magnifying glass, $5.97, AnytimeCostumes.com; Bags-n-More "Branch & Twig" colored pencils, from $5.94, Amazon.com.
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Appeal to tweens' social side by setting out cards they can fill in together with monogrammed pencils. That is, if they can keep themselves away from their magic 3-D drawing pads—complete with glasses—and mind-boggling chain-link puzzles.
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Keep your littlest guests occupied with this photographic scavenger hunt. Who knows? One of them might even snap your favorite shot of the night.
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This bold timeline serves as a three-dimensional reminder of when you first met your guests. Play it during cocktail hour and guests will be sure to mingle.
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Hoping your college roommate chats up your future husband's childhood friend? Find-your-match cards are a sweet way to ensure they'll meet. Announce the rules early in the evening (consider asking a member of your wedding party to explain them). Each guest will receive a card with the name of one half of a famous couple—and will have until the end of the night to find its mate.
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Some guests are too shy to share their life stories. Help them bypass the small talk and go straight to the good stuff with introductory cards that reveal shared interests or personal triumphs.
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Here's a guaranteed dance-floor hit: Instead of numbering your tables, assign a song title to each one. When the tune plays, the whole table has to get up and get down.
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Portable Kids' Meals
Sitting still at the table can be hard for kids, especially at an outdoor reception, where there's lots to explore. Pack colorful mini suitcases with no-fuss foods, toys, crayons, and paper; stamp names on card-stock luggage tags. Kids can tote them around and play as they eat .
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Partake in a few rounds of karaoke! A professional-grade karaoke machine and six microphones were set up at this after-party for entertainment. The bride and groom included song request slips with their wedding invitations to help them build the playlist and to give guests fair warning that the party would require audience participation.