Capitol Inspiration: 5 Icebreakers to Help Your Guests Mingle

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  • November 01, 2013

We have a little guest post for you guys today. A few weeks ago I got an email from a reader that told me she enjoyed reading the blog not as a bride to be, but as a maid of honor in her sister’s upcoming wedding! She said she had learned so much from helping to plan her sister’s wedding, that she’d love to share some of what she learned on the blog. So for today, we have Morgan sharing some ideas for getting your guests to mingle at your wedding.

Andy & I were fortunate in the fact that our families and friends mostly knew each other, since we had been together since high school – they had already met a few times before. But I’d venture to guess that more often than not, that is not always the case. I’d think most families (or at least extended families) might be meeting for the first time at a wedding, and to make sure everyone is a bit more laid back and open to mingling, I think Morgan’s got some really great suggestions. Take it Morgan!

From a Maid of Honor: 5 Icebreakers to Help Your Guests Mingle

wedding dance

[Image found here | Credit: John Hope Photography]

Weddings are beautiful, magical events, but they aren’t without their awkward and sometimes uncomfortable situations. As my sister’s recently appointed maid of honor, I’ve quickly learned that it’s your job to help your bride with whatever she needs. That could be anything from helping her pick out flowers to handling day-of logistics–anything to make sure the process is as stress-free as possible, so she can enjoy herself without worry. That includes alleviating any potential awkwardness throughout her blissful day. Here are a few tips I’ve thought up to help make the bride’s wedding day or night virtually free of those less-than-perfect situations.

Table Games

[Dianne & William’s Pi Day DC Wedding | Image: Maggie Winters Photography]

When helping your bride plan out her seating arrangements, remember that a lot of her guests may not know each other. There might be a few tables filled with friends who all went to high school or college together, but odds are that many tables will be composed of acquaintances at best if not complete strangers. It’s undoubtedly awkward to sit at a table with a group of people you don’t know, but as maid of honor, you can help ensure that your bride’s guests will feel comfortable and at ease. While browsing my sister’s wedding gift page, I came across the idea of having a conversation table topics game, which allow guests to get to know each other through various thoughtful and fun questions. Advise your bride to have a game or two, whether a board game or something else, at each table for guests to play between dance numbers and during meal courses.

Line Dances That Everyone Can Follow Along To

Many people are initially uncomfortable on the dance floor and need the DJ to call out a warmup or two to get the blood flowing. Movement naturally puts people at ease. Well-known dances include the Electric Slide, the Bunny Hop, the Wiggle and the Charleston. As cheesy as many popular line dances are, that’s the point–they give everyone a chance to be a little ridiculous together. The steps are easy and everyone either knows them already or can follow directions called by the DJ, and when everyone gets to be a little vulnerable together, it becomes easier to relate to one another.

Mabyn Ludke Photo

[Image Credit: Mabyn Ludke Photography]

Wedding Bingo

A bit of preparation is required for great wedding bingo. When you send out invitations, ask each guest to provide one interesting fact about themselves or their experiences. Some of the most interesting examples I’ve heard from our guests are “has hiked 400 miles of the Appalachian Trail” and “has a therapy horse named Jeopardy who has helped many children with autism connect for the first time.” Beautiful bingo cards including all the guests’ interesting facts can be printed and prizes can be awarded to those who match a fact with the correct guest.

Piñatas

The Mexican tradition of a beautifully constructed piñata filled with candy or other fun prizes can be great fun at weddings. Standing in a circle around the hanging piñata, everyone gets a turn to wear the blindfold and take a hit at it. You can make up consecutively more difficult rules as you go around the circle, like “must be standing on one foot” or “must hit using left hand only.”

[Image via 100 Layer Cake | Credit: Gavin Farrington & Grace H]

The Bag Game and Other Circle Games

Many games can be played with ten to twenty guests standing in a circle. Since we have about eighty guests coming to my sister’s wedding, we’ll have several circles. Place a large brown grocery bag in the center of the circle and have a pair of scissors on hand for each circle. Each player stands on one leg, leans over and picks the bag up by the edge between their teeth. Anyone who topples over is out. After each time around the circle, cut about an inch of the top of the bag so players are required to get lower and lower to pick up the bag. The last person left in the game wins.

The fun ways to invite interaction between guests are truly endless!

What do you think Romancers? Any other ideas from your wedding that helped your guests to mingle, relax, and get to know one another better? I think our photobooth accomplished that pretty nicely!

About the Author:

Morgan Gray is a writer from NY with a fetish for stationery. Her Maid of Honor title has inspired her to reach out to the Capitol Romance community. She hopes that her experience will help others in similar ‘dresses’!

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