If you've ever been lucky to attend a Chinese wedding, chances are likely that you have witnessed a series of wedding reception games played during the course of the lengthy sit-down meal held at a regal Chinese restaurant. Games are a definite highlight of the reception, and serve two main purposes: to entertain the guests, and to help the newly married couple be more comfortable with each other.
Typically, the emcee explains each game's particular rules, ushers the bride and groom into their necessary roles, and calls for volunteers if the game should require it. The first game occurs after the bride changes from her wedding dress to the traditional red dress. The bride and groom normally play three games in total, and they should emerge from each game flustered, while the guests roar with laughter at their antics.
Guidelines to keep in mind: - embarrassing positions always encouraged. - mild sexual innuendo with a dash of risque, is acceptable. - participation from the audience heightens interest. - props are good. - games that lost a good song length are ideal. - simple concepts work best, as many guests at a Chinese wedding won't understand English.
There are the typical easy games, such as:
- Egg Roll - Yum! you think. This one sounds easy, like an eating contest. Actually, the bride has to get down on her knees, in front of her husband who is standing up. The emcee gives her a raw egg, and she has to roll the egg up one pant leg, through the sensitive crotch area, and down the other side. To increase the difficulty level, blindfold the bride.
- Kiss and Tell - The blindfolded groom sits in a chair at the front of the room. One by one, female volunteers kiss the groom on the cheek. After each kiss, the groom is supposed to say if that kiss was from his wife. To up the hilarity, mix a few guys into the line-up.
- Whose Bum is it Anyway? - A variation on Kiss and Tell, the blindfolded bride must feel a number of male rear ends. Add a couple of females to the line-up. The results are often hilarious as the bride has no idea which bum belongs to her husband.
- The Shoe Game - The bride and groom sit back-to-back at the front of the room. Each takes off one shoe. The emcee asks a series of questions, like "Who is the better cook" and "Who will end up taking the garbage out all the time?" and the bride and groom respond when appropriate with a raising of their shoe. It's especially funny when both of them raise their shoes.
As a Chinese wedding game planner, I have been asked to devise new games that put a new spin on the typical fare. If you are asked to plan games, request an opportunity to interview the bride and groom, separately or together. Learn about how they met, what they like to do together and what they fight about. If you have the opportunity, speak to some of their friends and relatives, who can often pitch in with anecdotes and frank commentary on their relationship. Discover these nuggets, and you will be able to create games that really speak to their relationship!
For one Chinese wedding, I discovered that the bride and groom met through dragonboat racing. So in one game, the blindfolded bride had to use a dragonboat paddle to break a pinata hung in the center of the restaurant. However, I also learned that the groom had a penchant for mumbling and struggled to enunciate. Adding a funny twist to the game, the groom had to give his bride directions to locate and smack the pinata.
Or, you could go with a theme. For example, in one wedding I worked for, the Asian bride was marrying a Ukrainian, so I decided to use a food theme throughout. I therefore used a Ukrainian egg for the Egg Roll contest. And for a high energy game, I created a perogy passing contest. Two other couples joined the bride and groom in a race to transfer cold perogies - from mouth to mouth, naturally - from one side of the restaurant to another. The catch was that the bride and groom had to place their perogies in a small jar, while the other couples had salad bowls. Finally, I crafted a relay race that circled the perimeter of the restaurant. The bride and groom each recruited two team members, and the objective was to stick handle large exercise balls using a slightly greasy Ukrainian sausage.
More tips for successful gaming: - Choose a song that fits the game. For example, for a "Bum"-type game, play Touch Me, by Samantha Fox. - Briefly explain the significance of the game, if you have personalized it. - Avoid messes. Although I considered using borscht for the Ukrainian wedding, I opted not to. Nothing is worse than potentially ruining a bride's beautiful dress! Plus, the restaurant won't be pleased about having to clean up after you. - Involve the audience. Ask for volunteers, or if it's a bride and groom-type game only, encourage them to get up in order to watch and cheer.
In summary, the more personal and entertaining you can make the games, the more it will feel like they are a big part of their special day.