It’s true to say that we place a lot of pressure on ourselves when we host an event; whether it be something as simple as a dinner or a birthday party or something as elaborate as a wedding, we want it to be fun and exciting and, most of all, we want our guests to have the best time. This pandemic has caught us all off-guard but there are some perks to doing things differently.

So, what do you do at a wedding reception when guests aren’t allowed to mingle and only the newly married couple is allowed on the dance floor? How do you keep everyone entertained?

Here are 10 things to do when you can’t dance at a wedding.

1.  Chair Dancing
Yes, it’s exactly what the name suggests and, although it may sound like it’s only for the older generation, believe us, it can be loads of fun and it’s way more inclusive than the usual dance floor.

2.  Trivia
Create a list of questions about the newly married couple and have each table compete; the table with the most questions correct wins a prize. You could ask questions such as:

Where did they meet? How long have they been together? What is Partner A’s middle name? Where are they going for their honeymoon? What is their favourite thing about each other? You could expand your range of questions simply by using a love and marriage theme. In which country was same sex marriage first legalised? Why does a marriage ceremony traditionally end with a kiss?

3.  What’s That Song?
Play only the first few introductory bars for well-known songs. Guests receive points for identifying the song correctly. You could extend this to artists as well.

Tip: The app, Kahoot, works well for these kinds of quizzes.

4. Finish the Song Lyric
Play a part of a well-known song and stop playing mid-way through a lyric. Guests receive points for getting the rest of the lyrics correct. You could even award extra points for those guests brave enough to sing the missing lyric.

5. Match the Disney Movie with its Famous Love Song

We’re certain you will be surprised that the men will know just as much as women. Start by providing a set of large cards for each table. Each set should consist of the titles of Disney films e.g. Pocahontas, The Lion King, Tangled, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Enchanted, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid, Hercules, Tarzan, Mulan, and Cinderella, to name a few. As your MC plays the part of the love song from each film, each table holds up the card with the name of the Disney movie from which the song originated. The table with the most correct wins a prize.

6. The Wedding Shoe Game
This is such a popular and fun game. Place two chairs back to back on the dance floor. The couple sits in the chairs and remove both their shoes. Partner A gives Partner B one of their shoes and vice-versa, so the couple are now holding one of their own shoes and one of their husband’s/wife’s shoes. The MC will ask a series of questions about the couple e.g.
Who will be doing most of the cooking?
Who is the better driver?
Who is more likely to ask for directions?
Who is more likely to get lost?
Who wears the pants?
Who is the better dresser?
Who is the better kisser?
Who made the first move?

After each question, the couple hold up the shoe belonging to the person they think is the best answer to the question.

7.  Wedding Mad Libs
To play Mad Libs, write up an abbreviated version of your love story (your celebrant may be able to help with this), then remove some keywords, leaving a blank line in their place and identifying whether each omitted word is a noun, a verb, an adjective or an adverb, etc. Print out enough copies of the ‘fill in the blanks’ story for each table to have a copy and give this copy to one person on each table. Without showing the rest of the guests sitting at the table, he or she works through the script, asking the other guests sitting at their table to offer the missing word. eg. ‘I need a noun’ (guests might say ‘table’). Each table’s story is ultimately read aloud. Check out the example Wedding Libs.

8.  Write Poetry
Provide each table with a number of printed word cards. Each table has three minutes to compose a poem on any given topic which is then read aloud to the newly-married couple. Topics might include love, weddings, marriage, kissing, cooking, first dates…think about topics pertinent to your bride and groom.

Tip: Use ‘Magnetic Poetry: Love Edition’ for inspiration.

9. Wedding Speech Bingo
Create bingo cards with words guests will hear when the speeches are delivered. To win you need to have crossed off a full horizontal or vertical or diagonal line.  This should ensure everyone that listens to the speeches!

10.  Live entertainment
It’s hard to beat having live musicians, like a great soloist or duo to entertain your guests. Simply ensure there are at least 3 metres between the musicians and your guests. 

Really, all people need to be able to have fun is a time and a place. With food and drink and a reason to celebrate (your marriage), your guests will have no excuse not to enjoy themselves.


A huge thank you to Rita O’Reilly, Civil Marriage Celebrant from Celebrant Connect Australia, and Rebecca Wright, Marriage Celebrant who compiled these ideas!