Eight alternatives to singing and dancing at your wedding reception

Although the lifting of all restrictions has been delayed by four weeks, weddings are able to go ahead with no limit on numbers after June 20.

Sadly, there are still some rules which might prevent couples having the big day they dreamed about.

Social distancing is still required, meaning some might have to cut numbers because of the size of their venue.

And even if you are able to have everyone you want there, singing is still banned and the only dancing allowed is the couple’s first dance.

So if you’re getting married and still want your guests to have a good time, there are some things you can do instead of the traditional party.

Hold a quiz

You might not yet be over the great Zoom quiz trend of 2020, but a wedding is a perfect time to bring it back.

Bringing together lots of people with different backgrounds means varied teams and as restrictions mean tables can’t mingle, it’s a great way for everyone to bond.

Ask your venue to clear the tables after dinner to give everyone space to confer.

While general knowledge rounds are good, throw in a few questions about the bride and groom too to fit with the event.

Table board games

Either provide a selection of board games for everyone to choose from or pick some up for each table. You could even make them part of the centerpieces.

Ask family and friends to let you borrow any they have lying around so you don’t have to spend lots, or try picking some up in a charity shop or on eBay.

Look for games suitable for lots of players and think about your table plan – tables with kids should have games suitable for younger players, for example.


Despite its reputation, bingo isn’t just for grandmas. Grab yourself a bingo kit online and put cards and dabbers at each place setting.

You can even hire a professional caller if you have the budget.

Pick out some prizes too for anyone who scores the jackpot.

Murder mystery

While singing is banned, there are still entertainers you can hire within the rules.

Many companies offer immersive murder mystery events where guests watch actors and try to work out the killer.

If you fancy using one to keep your guests entertained, get in touch and talk to them about how they can work within the recent guidelines to keep everyone safe but having fun.

Book a magician

Another entertainer that is suitable for a restricted wedding is a magician.

Table mingling is not permitted so close-up magic might not work, some bigger tricks from a distance could work.

Again, it’s best to speak with the performer before you book about what is feasible at your venue.

Sports day and lawn games

If you have some outdoor space available, make use of it to have some fun.

Go old school and set up a sports day, complete with egg and spoon races, sack races and an obstacle course.

You can tailor it for your guests and buy some chocolate medals for the winners to enjoy.

Bring your own trainers if you want to have an advantage over those discarding their heels.

Lawn games like croquet can also be played outside during the reception.

Play rounders outside

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One couple played rounders in full wedding attire with their guests because of the ban on dancing.

While not everyone can play at once, you can easily establish some teams and others will enjoy watching from afar.

It’s an easy game to pick up if anyone who hasn’t played before.

Scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt is another great outdoor activity. Hide lots of objects and create clues around the outside of your venue.

It’s a great way to entertain both adults and kids throughout the day.

If you’re not up to creating one yourself, you can buy pre-made cards on Etsy, with some versions even considering social distancing.

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