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Game On!

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Clay Austin Photography
Bring on the fun and family bonding at your reception with these games that can be dressed up for the most elegant of affairs

It used to be that fun and games were relegated to wedding showers and other ancillary nuptial parties. Thankfully, though, traditions evolve from generation to generation, and now receptions are as playful as they are purposeful (a way to meld the couple’s families). One thing is true, though, and that’s that bawdiness should forever be the realm of the bachelorette and stag parties. To keep things family-friendly after the vows while still letting the good times roll, here are some of our favorite ideas.

Tee Time
Jena Clem and her now-husband Todd Boring erected a putting green at their Harborside East reception (see above). Jacqueline Lawrence of Inventive Environments (www.InventivENVIRONMENTS.com), who oversaw the décor elements of the fall wedding, made playtime an elegant affair by painting the clubs and balls gold and setting up a golf station that included a collection of wooden boxed cigars and matchbooks custom-made in the couple’s wedding colors.
 
Hole-y Moly!
By this point, we’ve likely all seen corn hole games with cute monograms, his-and-her silhouette portraits, and lovely color palettes. But how about an heirloom-quality set with dovetail joinery, stained hardwood, and custom inlays ($4,695)? Charleston-based luxury game company Matthias Kaupermann (www.MatthiasKaupermann.com) makes one just like that, and trust us, it’s worth looking into for the wow-factor.

’Memba that?
Carolina Coaster Company (843/276-1743, www.CarolinaCoaster.com) make tiles that commemorate everything you can dream up. We love their Charleston-based fare—Rainbow Row, restaurants, iconic buildings, and public spaces—for favors, but there’s an easy way to turn them into a game, too. Buy sets of two and cover a table with the coasters, facedown. Place a sign nearby that explains how a memory game works, and that at the end of the evening, guests can take the memories with them.  

It’s a Toss Up
Bocce, ladder ball, horse shoes­—if you can throw it, the folks at Beach and Games To Go (843/304-1270, www.BeachAndGamesToGo.com) have it and will deliver sets to your events. (Bonus? If you’re hosting a beach wedding or honeymoon here, they also rent every bit of beach gear you could need.)     

Pile it on
Stackable block games, whether painted in pretty (wedding) colors, penned with sweet sentiments from your guests, or made into oversized chunks for “Giant Jenga,” are an all-ages hit. We’ve even seen one couple register on www.SimpleRegistry.com for a set to be made by family and friends for their reception.

Word Play
Custom crossword puzzles make terrific icebreakers. Theme the puzzles based on the couple, the bride, or the groom, and make sure to span the scope of their lives and relationship so player-guests from all chapters can weigh in. Search online for puzzle maker programs, print out on card stock, and place at table settings or at the bar with pencils in the wedding palette.