You’ve just been told by your best friend that she would like you to become her maid of honor/ bridesmaid *reality sets in*
For all those who are wondering what a wedding gate crash is, it is a common activity carried out during weddings in Singapore. The gate crash is typically planned by the bridesmaids and occurs on the wedding day after the groom arrives at the bride’s house. Before the groom is allowed to enter the house, the groom and his groomsmen would first have to go through a series of games (i.e. tests). Depending on how the gate crash games are planned, the groom and groomsmen’s performance at the games may sometimes translate to the amount of money the groom would have to pay the bridesmaids in order to be allowed to enter the house. The money is then equally distributed among the bridesmaids.
The wedding gate crash is usually one of the main highlights of the day but these games have gotten quite a bad reputation. With games becoming overly torturous, disgusting and many a time, plain boring, many guys these days dread having to participate in these games. It’s sad to see such a fun tradition die down so here are some tips to planning an awesome, fun and enjoyable wedding gate crash!
1. Balance between your bride’s expectations and your groom’s likes and dislikes.
This is probably about the only time the bride is allowed to have a hand in “torturing” the groom so, trust me, they can have some really nasty ideas. As much as it is your duty to please your bride, try to balance your groom’s likes and dislikes as well. You won’t want a groom who has a weak stomach to feel uncomfortable all day because he was forced to eat wasabi, or a groom who feels easily shy to have to go too far beyond his comfort zone.
2. Be realistic about the timeline and be prepared to cut short the number of games.
During a wedding, delays are expected. It is always better to reduce the number of games than to try to cover all the games and rush through them. When planning the games, always play the key games up front and leave the games that you’re willing to do without at the end. While guys moan and groan about having to go through the gate crash, they too want to feel accomplished and want to have fun.
3. Customize the groom’s attire, or let them take charge of that!
This is quite common but I just wanted to mention it again because it really does add a nice touch to the wedding! For my sister’s wedding, I made the groom tees but I’ve seen in other weddings where groomsmen have free reign to come in their own theme and it is always fun.
4. Have a theme.
Most gate crashes I’ve seen don’t have themes but after implementing one for my sister’s wedding, I realized that it added another dimension of fun! Having a theme will help to create a fun atmosphere and even give you a chance to decorate the gate crash venue. For my sister’s wedding, we created somewhat of a jungle/ fairy tale theme. It was essentially something my younger sister, Jane and I, just randomly came up with. We wrote an opening paragraph…
[wc_testimonial by=” ” url=”” position=”left”] Once upon a time, in a land, far, far, away, there was a pair of star-crossed lovers, by the names of Donny and Jessica, who were meant to be. Alas, their happily ever after was not as easily attained as they would have liked. One fateful day, when the star crossed lovers were out, four evil bridesmaids, filled with envy at the sight of their romance, decided on a whim of impulse to take Jessica away. However, due to Donny’s constant refusal to exercise, and thus his lack of physical fitness, he was unable to keep up with the four possessive bridesmaids as they rode along on a toffee-colored horse carriage. They took her away to an abode atop a hill along raisin lane. This abode has been enchanted with various spells to keep trespassers and unwanted visitors out. It is rumoured that a ferocious fire-breathing tiger cat guards the metal gates, a moat 50 feet deep wherein lies man-eating piranhas and above that, lies a whomping willow which can tear your insides apart.
How will Jessica be saved from this terrible terrible fate? It is now Donny’s quest, armed with an entourage of able-bodied groomsmen to save the damsel in distress.[/wc_testimonial]
…just to set the context for the games and get the groomsmen excited and was also the foundation for choosing the right props to ensure that we had a cohesive theme. From the silhouette of my sister at the window, to the “do not enter” red tape, warning signs and jungle-themed scoring board, it set a really fun atmosphere for the games. They look like a lot of work but honestly did not take us more than half an hour to set up.
5. Plan meaningful games
Although gate crash games are known to be torturous or physically challenging, it isn’t really fun to simply…make the groom and his groomsmen do fifty push ups just because, or make him run up and down fifty times just to make him sweat and tired out. Instead, try to plan games that mean something to the couple.
Here are some simple questions to help you brainstorm:
- does the bride/ groom have any quirks?
- is the bride/ groom very good at something?
- is there anything that the bride/ groom tease each other about?
- is there anything the bride’s parents/ siblings/ friends tease the groom about?
Instead of thinking about the what punishment you want to inflict (lol), try to think about the topic and try making the games personal with inside jokes, etc. And most importantly, always remember that the groomsmen are also part of the games so don’t just focus on the groom. Most of the games we tried to create did stem from the questions above in one way or another. This point is a long one and bear with me as I relate some of the actual games we played and the intentions behind them.
Case-in-point #1: Donny’s super duper donald duck impression
Donny can do this super good donald duck impression. He can even sing a song while speaking donald duck. Hence, this game was quite a no brainer. We knew that Donny would succeed this game with flying colors but what we wanted to see most was the groomsmen doing it themselves. Here is a summary of the game:
– Donny would have to choose a song
– In 3 minutes, Donny would have to teach the groomsmen how to sing in donald duck
– At the end of the 3 minutes, the groomsmen would all have to sing the song of choice in donald duck and each groomsmen had to have a 10 second solo. Donny would end of the song with his donald duck impersonation.
Case-in-point #2: The lion dance
Because Donny is neither Chinese nor Singaporean, the lion dance is a pretty foreign concept to him. As a surprise to both Donny and Jessica, my mom decided to get a lion dance and the lion dance troupe agreed to let us use the equipment for the finale of the gate crash games. It was really fun seeing the boys put up a show, with Donny as the main drummer and the rest of the groomsmen taking various instruments and the main lion.
6. Spice up the boring, traditional games
The most commonly played gate crash game is one we commonly call suan (sour), tian (sweet), ku (bitter), la (spicy). This game is based on a Chinese idiom with the belief that in every marriage, couples would go through sour, sweet, bitter and spicy (does this even sound right?) times. This game is most commonly played by making the groom and groomsmen eat items that are sour, sweet, bitter and spicy. Of all the games typically played during a gate crash, this game has gotten the worst reputation because well…you won’t even begin to imagine how disgusting food made by evil bridesmaids could be :P
To be honest, we thought long and hard about whether or not to include this game because it’s well…plain boring. It’s tradition but…it’s boring. After much thought, we decided to play this game but make it more interesting! We knew what we did not want right from the start – no disgusting food. Hence, we decided that for this game, we will use the various forms of suan, tian, ku, la to test Donny’s knowledge of Jessica (he is known for his SUPER good memory) and put him in a test against his groomsmen. Here is a summary of the game:
– The bridesmaids had 4 questions and each question was tied to a penalty representing each of the 4 flavours.
– Before posing the question to Donny, he would first have to choose a groomsmen to “go against”.
– If Donny got the answer wrong, he would have to do the penalty but if he got the answer right, the groomsman that he chose would have to do the penalty instead
It was super fun to make the groom and groomsmen turn against one another and that really switched the knob up to the next level of fun :) The 4 questions we came up with and the corresponding penalties were:
- What time was Jessica born? (guess the hour) – the loser got pinched by members of the audience to represent “sour”
- Jessica’s vital statistics – the winner of the game would get to put lipstick on all the other men and will have to kiss out the phrase “I LOVE JESS” to represent “sweet’
- Name all the subjects Jessica took during her O levels – The winner will have to lie on the floor with his face turned sideways so his cheeks faced up. The loser would then have to do 20 pushups and make sure his lips touch the cheeks of the other guy. This game represents “bitter”
- Guess which is Jess’ lipstick. We got Jess and the guests to kiss all over a piece of paper and Donny had to guess which was Jess’ lipstick. The winner would have to stand in the middle with his hands up to act as a “pole” and the loser would have to dance around the “pole” and do a sexy dance to represent “spicy”
7. Involve the audience
A wedding is an event for everyone and you’ll be surprised that all your aunties, uncles and family friends would love to participate too!
It was really fun to see the audience enjoy the games as much as we did. The audience had two main responsibilities:
- For games that could have a judging element, we asked the audience for volunteers to judge the games. We put a bench (it usually isn’t there), paper and markers at the side so that they could see the games easily and be part of the games area.
- For games that had penalties, in particular the suan, tian ,ku, la game, we also got volunteers from the audience to carry out the penalties and it was hilarious when relative after relative and friend after friend came to pinch Donny on their own accord during the “sour” penalty
In conclusion, although I was initially dreading planning the gate crash games, I must say that it was a lot of fun trying to reinvent the wheel and it really does not take much effort to think of something more creative :) Would love to hear some of your awesome gate crash suggestions down in the comments section!
All photos in this post were taken by the awesome Bobby Kiran Photography!