When you think about all your guests – the people you know so well – you may not realize that most of them don’t know most others. In fact, this is perhaps the only time in your life when all of them will be in the same room. You certainly want to help them feel at ease with each other. This is why icebreakers, games and contests are so important.
The easiest and most obvious first icebreaker is to ask questions about the couple. How did they meet? What did he say? What does she do when she comes home from work? This can be done during the sit-down part of the reception, in which your MC could give multiple-choice options for answers, or let guests make wild guesses. Alternatively, this could be done during the cocktail hour, in which case each guest would be given a list of questions (carefully selected so that the answers would not be commonly known), and a task to ask other attendees if they know answers to the questions.
But don’t make it all about yourselves. Ask your MC to introduce the most important guests: parents, wedding party, any other special people, by delivering a short personalized message about how important they are.
Get the energy up by getting your guests moving! Depending on the venue and the guest demographics, scavenger hunts are a great option. Give them a list of unique items to photograph, and a limited time to accomplish the mission, and appoint a judge who will be evaluating the team’s work (the pictures could be sent to the judge as text messages). As a side benefit, with more people taking pictures, you will have more unique pictures or special moments captured.
Everyone has a competitive side. Offer prizes to winners in games or icebreakers. Here are some ideas for prizes:
– centerpieces for each table (for competitions within tables)
– right to be the first table to be served (for competitions among tables)
– right to dance with the bride or the groom
– personalized wine bottles from Fermentations
and many others.