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The Game Themed Wedding

Everyone loved our son and daughter-in-law’s game themed wedding last summer. Though you may have attended similarly themed events, there were some unique ideas that we hatched in our own uniquely creative brains. This wedding combined traditional wedding elements with card games, puzzles and Mario Kart for a fun wedding that suited every age demographic.

When the bride and groom first suggested incorporating Mario Kart, I raised my eyebrows. When they wanted to haul in a TV to the reception and have a Mario Kart tournament, both my husband and I were skeptical. But everyone wants their own dream wedding, so we reluctantly tried to embrace the vision and offer our help. It turns out their game themed wedding was a hit!

Although the bride’s family usually does the bulk of the wedding planning, this bride was going solo. I had planned much of my daughter’s wedding so I offered to help where needed. Most of the ideas here are a conglomeration of many perspectives melded together.

Game Themed Wedding Reception Decor

Decorating the reception hall is where I had the most imput, but these ideas mostly came together as we brainstormed together.

Table Numbers:

The thought occured to us – what if we used playing cards to indicate seating? A perfect solution since our son was president of the Bridge Club in college, and has devised some intellectually nerdy way to use a deck of cards as his daily calendar.

As luck would have it, we ended up with exactly 13 tables for a perfect Ace through King hand. But rather than stick to Hearts as our only suit (which would have been appropriate considering the event) we alternated through all four suits. So 2 of Hearts, 3 of Clubs, 4 of Diamonds, 5 of Spades and so on.

So our table numbers were playing cards. Such cheap and interesting table numbers! Be sure to see if the playing card size will be visible against your other table decorations and that the table number stand is an appropriate size.

We had a hard time gauging what size we would need, so I also created larger playing cards on Canva. I printed 2 images twice per page (total of 4 images), so that you could print them on cardstock and fold them in half to show the design on both sides. I don’t have the copyright for these images so I apologise on not being able to share my template with you. We brought both sizes – the Canva design and the playing cards – to our reception to test which size would be best. We ended up using the larger ones.

Two playing cards, King of Spades, on photo stands. One is large and one is regular playing card size.

Seating Chart:

Using the playing cards meant that our seating chart was also fun and unique! We printed off guests that were seated together and displayed them with their corresponding playing card from the deck. You can see how we grouped our table guests in Frugal Wedding Planning Tips.

Choosing a slogan for our seating chart header was a bit of a challenge. No one else had a seating chart like this. Unable to borrow anyone else’s cutesy heading, we had to come up with our own. After more brainstorming, we landed on “Follow Suit to Find Your Seat”.

Corkboard seating chart decked with greenery. Header reads, "Follow suit to find your seat". Playing cards peek out from behind guest lists.

To Create This Seating Chart:

The board we used was a lovely find from Michael’s that is corkboard on one side and foam core board on the other. There are so many options for fun pushpins you can use! We chose these silver heart shaped pins from Amazon. We pinned the playing cards and the table names around the edges rather than pinning through the paper.

To hold the header in place, I attached craft sticks (leftover from our Program Fans) to the white side of the foam core board with white duct tape.

The header was designed using the bride’s stationery font, Callem, on Canva with a grid imposed over the top of the design. Maybe you used this method of for enlarging work before – you create a grid on your small copy (which I did on Canva) and create a larger grid, in light pencil, on your a blank copy. Then you copy the design by hand. Use the squares you have created as a guide. Be sure to that your grid’s sizes are in ratio so that your finished project is the correct size. After you’ve copied the design, gently erase your light pencil marks. Darken your design by smoothly going over it with a Sharpie. I created my larger grid on a section of poster board which was folded over to fit over the craft sticks.

Here’s a link for the grid design template reading “Follow Suit to Find Your Seat” I created in Canva. You will need a Canva account to view it.

Game Themed Wedding Attire

The wedding ceremony itself had absolutely nothing to do with games or gaming, but the bride and groom added some subtle Mariokart touches to their attire.

White ballet flats with Shy Guy painted on one foot and Princess Peach on the other.

A gifted friend was asked to paint custom shoes which featured the bride and groom’s player characters.

And we purchased some Mario socks for the groom and groomsmen.

Game Themed Social Hour Music

We had a great time creating this Spotify playlist for the Social Hour! It combines romantic jazz with mellow video game tunes. You’ve got Harry Connick, Jr. and Billie Holiday combined with Super Mario. It’s ordered to play well from top to bottom and has 2 hours and 11 minutes of music. Most of the video music is in the middle of the playlist.

Game Themed Wedding Reception Activities

As I mentioned, the wedding reception featured a Mario Kart tournament which launched while the wedding party had pictures taken. A guest was asked to man this event and set up a bracket for guests who wanted to participate as two player teams. From about 100 guests, 32 (16 pairs) joined in the tournament which lasted thoughout the down time before the official start of the reception, through dinner and on into the evening. The tournament was set up on the opposite end of the reception hall from the dance floor. Doors from the ceremony and leading to the buffet were located between these entertainment areas. After dinner, groups naturally congregated at the two ends for party or in the middle for visiting. The Mario Kart tournament finished with the awarding of 1st and 2nd place. Then the 1st place pair played against the bride and groom!

My son, the groom, loves to create brain teasers and puzzles for his friends to solve. For his sister’s wedding, he created a crossword puzzle of attending guest names. The clues required guests to gather information from each other to be able to complete the crossword.

For his own game themed wedding reception, my son created brain teasers, word and logic puzzles that the guests could work on together in the down time between ceremony and reception. We also had popcorn and pretzels available at a self-serve station.

If you like this idea, but don’t feel like creating your own, check out Etsy and Amazon for free printable wedding puzzles. Or download and print these Printable Wedding Games available from The Knot.

Find Your Own Style

In the end, we got lots of positive feedback about the wedding. Although I had had my doubts about the Mariokart Tournament, guests said they had a great time!

This wedding was very stylized. As a couple, you will need to decide the look and feel you want. I’d love to hear from you in the comments! What elements of this game themed wedding did you enjoy? Do you see ideas you would like to use or build upon?

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