Some of you who've read the Offbeat Empire blogs for a very long time may remember a post we did many years ago about a game we made up at a company function years ago called Minglo aka Mingling Bingo, a fun game for wedding guests.
Well, an Offbeat Bride reader named Sandra recently wrote in to share the version of Minglo that she did at her recent wedding, and we wanted to share it with those of y'all who might be looking for a fun game for wedding guests at YOUR weddings.
So, here's the Mingling Bingo card that Sandra created for her wedding guests, which quickly explains how the game works:
Now, here's how to make your own fun game for wedding guests.
Step 1: Brainstorm identifiers
Do a brainstorm to think of identfyers that feel easily recognizable, but never like you're “outing” people. For the Offbeat Empire party, one of our early ideas included “nonbinary” but the last thing we wanted to do was encourage attendees to question each other’s gender identities. (“SO! YOU LOOK ANDROGYNOUS — TELL ME ABOUT YOUR BOTTOM PARTS.”)
Our goal was that every item would be something fun that everyone could either immediately recognize, or would be eager to talk about with strangers.
Here were the ideas we came up with for the Offbeat Empire party version of Minglo: Art degree, Bike parked outside, Burlesque performer, Chest tattoo, Chicken owner, Child-free, Converse, Facial piercing, Gamer, Geeky tattoo, Gluten-free, Grad student, LARPer, Long-haired dude, Rainbows, Star Wars, Utilikilt, Wearing feathers, Wedding band tattoo, Yogini
Obviously, your list will totally depend on your community. You could go more general (Drives a Prius) or you could go super family-focused (Has Grandma Roma's Ziti recipe).
Remember, you want to keep it good-natured enough that it’s things wedding guests WANT to talk about. The goal here is not shame bingo.
Step 2: Design cards
Our cards were designed by Offbeat Bride’s associate editor, Superman. She has nicely provided her template so that you can download it and add your own identifiers!
The doc is a PDF, so if you have Photoshop you can get crazy with it. If you don’t, you can print it out and hand-write your identifiers and xerox that shit. Woot!
Step 3: Think about rules and prizes
As you can see from Sandra's cards, the prize for winning MINGLO at her wedding was getting to request a song from the DJ. You could create other prizes like a selfie with the couple, special cupcakes from the caterer, or premium wedding favors.
Your rules and prizes don't need to be a huge deal because of course the real goal here is just people talking to each other.
I will say that neurodivergent folks at our party LOVED playing Minglo. As one attendee said:
I really enjoyed MINGLO because I have social anxiety and really am not good at social events with a lack of structure (without a specific thing to do I tend to spend my time quietly eating, listening to other people talk, then drifting back towards the wall and waiting for it to be acceptable to leave). Here I knew exactly what I was doing, asking people specific questions (do you have circus skills? Have you filled in your tabletop gamer square?) and a perfectly natural reason to circulate (saying “I think I see a long-haired man coming in; it was nice to meet you!” made sense in this context, and not like something John Cusack might have said in Better off Dead). Also was really good for helping me remember people’s names.
Pro-tip: this wedding guest game is great for wedding showers and other pre-parties, too!