Apples to Apples: your cocktail hour, wedding icebreaker

Updated Aug 23 2019
mswolfgang  
Photos by: Ben Blood
Apples to Apples Reception
Photo from Stacy & Daniel's Episcopal Dr. Seuss wedding by Ben Blood

Whether you're in the no-dancing boat, the no-alcohol boat, or you're just looking for something different to do during your cocktail hour, why not give Apples to Apples a try as your wedding icebreaker at your reception?

Stacy and Daniel still opted for a dance or two at their wedding, but they set out a few boxes of the mix-and-match card game between eating dinner and getting grooves on.

I know I'm not the only one out there who grabs at conversation-starter life rafts with strangers, right?

Now, obvs, Apples to Apples isn't the only card game out there you could set out…

It does have the benefit of being super-quick to learn, pretty damn inoffensive (compared to others, *cough, cough*), and an inexpensive method of entertainment that involves a large number of people of many skill levels.

What's not to love?

Of course, if don't want to go inoffensive, it's not like Cards Against Humanity hasn't shown up at the occasional engagement party before:

Frankford Hall Cards Against Humanity Engagement Photos

How would you break the ice at a wedding cocktail hour? Obvs, Apples to Apples isn't the only card game you could set out — what else would you suggest?

  1. Our cocktail hour and reception are in the same space so people probably will be eating appetizers at their dinner tables. To give them something fun to do we came up with a little 10 question quiz about our relationship that'll be set at each place. Participation is totally voluntarily but we thought it would be a fun thing to do, might get people talking as they compare answers, and we'll mail a prize to the winner(s).

  2. We had board games at all of the tables at our reception, including Apples to Apples. Originally we planned to only have family friendly games and make sure the games were age appropriate (my nieces enjoyed Snakes and Ladders, and my nephew liked playing with the jenga blocks even if he didn't get the point of the game). Two days before our wedding a friend asked what game was going to be at her table. I told her Munchkin, she said that she thought Cards Against Humanity would be more fun. I said that we weren't putting that on any of the tables because it wasn't family friendly. Anyways, I was convinced to put it on her table. It was the hit of the party.

    • We play CAH at family events. It's kind of a great time, but you definitely need the right crowd. You haven't lived until you've seen your baby brother explain the Pacman card to your grandmother (and watched her kick everyone's ass).

  3. We are planning to have a games table at our post-wedding party since many of our friends and family just aren't really into dancing. We are hoping to have the drawing game Telestrations and a collaborative card game called Hanabi. My fiance is a software engineer, so we've also played around with the idea of building a scavenger hunt app.

    • HANABI IS GREAT. I love Telestrations too.

      Blokus is another great light anyone-can-play game, but is a bit pricey now that it's won awards for making your kids smarter or something.

  4. I loooove apples to apples! I definitely appreciate the non-offensiveness of it, no one appreciates me when they beg me to plays cards against humanity with them, I try to warn them! I never pick the things that other people think are funny.
    Anyway! As a little something for guests to do during cocktail hour, we're going to get a guest book from the guestbook store! http://www.guestbookstore.com The little activity pages seem like they'd be a lot of fun to fill out, and will get people to talking if we're lucky.

  5. We played Apples to Apples during our reception and it was really fun! We too tried to stick with games that were family friendly. We had games on all the tables: UNO, Jenga, Candy Land, Yahtzee, Battleship, Trouble, Skip -Bo etc. The group Apples to Apples and the "Stump the bride and groom" game were the highlights. We also had random questions hidden around the reception area where people could find them, and answer them for points. Whoever had the most points at the end of the night got a gift basket. There was a tie for 3rd place and we had them play Jenga to see who would get the last gift basket. 🙂
    Here is our wedding- http://offbeatbride.com/2015/05/star-wars-games-wedding

  6. We put out Trivial Pursuit cards in little mini buckets- the bonus being that it is super easy to find Trivial Pursuit games at second-hand shops for super cheap. I was able to get four different versions and mixed up the cards.

  7. Obsessed with this idea!!! I love cards and game nights, am worried about my cocktail hour being in the same place as my dinner… This may be a wonderful combo <3

  8. Love this! We are having a games themed wedding and want to put a game on every reception table, including telestrations, apples to apples, scrabble, etc. We have a table of guests from Japan and will be providing them hanafuda. We also plan to include bride and groom mad libs or something similar at each place setting. We'd like to have each table play a game to determine who gets to take home the centerpiece (in this case, the party or board game). Also love another idea we've seen here to have guests sign Jenga pieces as the "guestbook".

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