Wedding Reception Games - Musical Chairs


Musical chairs is a great way to get your guests out of their seats.

Musical chairs is a great way to get your guests out of their seats so they can meet people they might not otherwise get to know. It is also an excellent way to make your guests feel like they are truly a part of the celebration, and not just observers.

Musical chairs can be played the traditional way, with your DJ or band playing a song that suddenly stops. Guests then quickly try to find a seat at their tables. Each table of guests should be short one chair; that way, after each round, one person from each table is out. When only one person is left at each table, he or she wins the table centerpiece. Winning the table centerpiece is a popular goal with musical chairs, but it can also be played with a little twist.

Winning the Centerpiece

Have your DJ play some music and tell one guest at each table to take out a dollar bill. The dollar should be passed around the table as the music plays. When the music stops, the people holding the dollar at each table must play a game similar to Simon Says. This is your chance to make your guests do pretty zany things ("Simon Says touch your nose while holding one leg in the air," and so on). When you're done putting them through the ringer, have them return the dollar to whichever guest took it out of his or her wallet. Those guests are the people who actually win the centerpiece. This can provide quite a few laughs because your guests are forced to do these wacky things, yet still don't win the centerpiece. The people who were willing to offer up their money are the real winners!

Along the same lines, guests at one table follow the musical chairs format and pass a napkin or salt shaker around the table until the music stops. The person holding the item (the "winner") then passes it to the neighboring table and makes a very brief speech to the bride and groom. The music starts again and the same process is carried out. Once a representative from each table has made the little speech, the winners are awarded the centerpiece to take home. This creates a little extra personal involvement for your guests. If you would prefer not to have someone from each table give a speech, you can alter this game a bit. Guests at each table pass around the item and when the music stops, whoever is holding the item wins the centerpiece.

The above scenarios keep your guests seated but still having fun. The following versions of musical chair will definitely have them on their feet, and provide alternatives to a few traditions.

Alternatives to the Garter or Bouquet Toss

The traditional garter toss can be replaced by a game of musical chairs. Played in the traditional manner, the last guy standing is the lucky winner! It's a fun twist on the tradition.

Instead of the bouquet toss, all the men stand in a circle facing outward. The women all stand around them facing inward. As the DJ or band plays the music, the men walk in a circle. When the music stops, each guy lifts the closest woman to him in his arms. The women still standing will sit down and one or more men (depending on how fast you want the game to end) also sits down. Continue the game until the last man lifts the last woman. That woman then receives the bouquet.

As an alternative to both the garter and bouquet tosses, play musical chairs using men as the chairs. The men line up and kneel on one knee. The women begin playing the game of musical chairs, but when the music stops, they must find a knee to sit on. People are eliminated when either the man falls down when the woman tries to sit on him, when the woman loses her balance and falls, or when both fall. This continues until there are only one man and woman left. They are the winners of the garter and bouquet.

Written by: Jessica Springgay