8 tricks to get guests mingling with people bingo

September 10 | Guest post by Sunny
Click here to download the  Minglo template.
Click here to download the Minglo template.
We loved the Offbeat Empire's idea of Minglo, and immediately knew we had the right game to start off our wedding reception game night. Based on our experience (with 55 guests), here are my tips for adapting Minglo for your wedding…

  1. Make several different game boards (we used four), and alternate them in your pile. That way, when you hand them out, people close to one another will get different boards, and will likely end up talking to different people. This also allows you to ensure that you have a box that matches every guest.
  2. Make a list of all of your guests with a unique fact or two about each one. Use the list to make sure each guest gets included.
  3. When you build your boards (I did mine by using the Offbeat Empire template and adding the specifics with Adobe Acrobat), try to ensure that the vast majority of the squares apply to only one or two people. Note: My sister suggested I include one square about each person that applied, as far as we knew, only to that person. I thought it would take too long to play. I was wrong! Even playing blackout, it went pretty quickly. Next time I'll follow that advice.
  4. Give your guests the instructions orally — they won't read instructions well at a wedding.
  5. Require signatures. Otherwise people will simply fill in the blanks with names of people they know fit. My mom cheated! I don't care about the rules, but asking for signatures really gets people mingling.
  6. Require that each name be used only once.
  7. During the instructions, ask people to write down at least one additional interesting fact after each name they get. The only downside to Minglo, is that people find out one thing and then move on. I would have liked them to chat just a bit more.
  8. Award prizes! Since most people had traveled to our Colorado wedding, we gave away Colorado cookbooks, small camping items, and a book on Rocky Mountain National Park (where the wedding was held). I scoured thrift shops and Amazon to get them cheaply.
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Photo by Britt Nielsen

Overall it worked out fabulously for us. It really got people up, moving around, and talking to each other. It was the most effective strategy all weekend for making sure our families and friends were getting to know each other!

How are you encouraging your guests to mingle? Anyone else adapting Minglo for their wedding?

  1. Omg, I LOVE this! I honestly haven't thought this far ahead, as I'm still stressing over our destination wedding details, but this seems like the perfect way to get family, friends, and coworkers mingling. I'll definitely be incorporating this! :)

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  2. I love this idea!!! But of course I am a huge game nerd. Would be awesome for a larger rehearsal dinner too.

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  3. BRILLIANCE! We're going to be doing a board/card game reception, so this would be a great way to break the ice and get things rolling before dinner and games. And huzzah CO weddings – where were you at in RMNP? We're looking at a place near Evergreen right now. I'm totally hijacking your idea for locale books as prizes.

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    • Erin – Yay CO weddings! We had the ceremony at Lily Lake at RMNP, and the other weekend events were at one of the so-called "family reunion cabins" (definitely not a cabin) at the YMCA of the Rockies. But we love Evergreen – in fact, we got engaged there ! A romantic weekend at the Bear's Inn B&B.

      Everybody loved the local books, too.

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  4. AWESOME! I am working on an event now and had mentioned a bingo to get people talking. Was looking for ideas and this is perfect!!! Thank you!!

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  5. Now that is very tempting. Excellent plan guys!

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  6. I totally did Minglo for my bridal shower last month. I was worried about the guests forming small groups depending on if they were in my family or my FH's. This was a HIT!!! Everyone had a fun time with it, from my 18 year old niece to my 98 year old grandma.

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    • This was a huge issue for us too- I hadnt even meet some of my partner's family, and our families may never meet again. Plus much of my partner's family were native Spanish speakers; mine, English. This was the perfect way to get everybody talking outside of their group!

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  7. I love this idea. How did you collect (or come up with) the facts? Did you ask people to provide things when they RSVP'd or did you just think of them yourselves?

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    • While I was looking at the guest list, I tried to think about things that each person had in common with another. That way there was more than one for each space. After about the first 12, it got difficult. Plus there were people on the list I didn't know, so I added things like "is wearing a skirt" and "traveled out of the country this year."

      I only had 30 people at my bridal shower, so the more people you have, the easier it may be.

      Even after all that, there was still a person that found it funny that none of the squares matched. They came up and told me, and I replied "well you should have worn a skirt" We both laughed.

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    • I ran it by my helpers and my sweetie for ideas, and also included a question on the RSVP: "Tell us something about yourself that many guests might not know!"

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