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Games for Weddings and Mental Health Meet Ups

This week I’ve written a guest blog for Lisa Bourne a wedding and naming ceremonies celebrant based in Yeadon Leeds.
I first met Lisa when she booked me to take part in the Men’s Mental Health event in Leeds. The event aimed to reach out to men and offer advice and/ or a safe space to discuss mental health issues. There were groups there who provided opportunities for men to sign up to activities or social groups which promoted inclusion, tackled the feeling of loneliness and isolation and promoted general wellbeing. Since then I have helped out at The Abbey House Museum Time to Change board games events which Lisa runs as a volunteer. Sometimes it’s just me and Lisa and other times a couple of people come. I know that the nature of mental health issues can mean that although I want to do something I can’t always. We’re both more than happy to offer this service and perhaps in time more people will feel able to come and in the meantime I can witter at Lisa about my mental head stuff and play the occasional game!
The other significant part Lisa is about to play in my life (besides listening to my woes and playing games with me at least once a month!) is that I have booked her to be our wedding celebrant. I am so excited and the more I see on her facebook page and website, the more I know that she will make our ceremony unique to us. We will need to visit the registry office to formalise the wedding as unfortunately humanist celebrants don’t have the power to legally marry you yet (- keeping my fingers crossed on this one) but it means that our wedding can be free of patriarchal traditions and rules which is something that means a lot to both of us.
Weddings are all about getting people together. That can mean that friends who never usually meet or relatives that don’t know each other are thrust into a room together, sharing a table, trying to think of things to say. There’s often a twilight zone in the middle of the wedding where day guests and early arrivals for the evening mill about aimlessly trying to work out whether they should go back to their room, eat something or not or whether they will be needed for the photos. The answer to this is board games – of course. Well you didn’t expect anything else from me!
Our next Time to Change event is at The Abbey House Museum on 9th April 10 to 11.30am
Check out my current event listings here.
Guest Blog – click here

Games for Weddings

5 reasons why if you treat yourself to one extra ‘thing’ at your wedding, it’s got to be board games.
1. Memories are made of this.
What do you want people to remember from your wedding? You want them to remember what a fun day it was, the people they met and spent time with, how special that shared time with you and your family was. Games are fun; games bring people together: that’s the whole point. For many families Christmas is the only time they get the board games out. Why? Because we associate board games with fun, with family, with quality time and memories. I’m not suggesting that I bring Risk or Escape From Colditz and we all settle down for a six hour intensive, strategic battle (well, not this time!). I’m promising to bring the sort of games that you remember from your childhood, fun games that you will want to share. The sort of games that make you name 7 things beginning with ‘F’ before the timer runs out, without offending Grandma or teaching the children any new words.
2. Kids have to sit still to play games and they will.
At various points you will want the children to sit still for a while, to have some calm time. Playing a game with children is a great way to grab a bit of family time; it can be a long tiring day for the little ones. Just as with the books, our favourite games are those that both adults and children can enjoy. The best bit is – once you’ve played them through a few times – they’ll play happily on their own and you can move on to a more complex game or simply go back to your wine! Poo, Dobble, Exploding Kittens and Don’t Panic are quick to learn and fun to play.
3. 4 Hours in and you’ve run out of things to say to Great Uncle Jeff.
Never fear, once you’ve got him engrossed in Mancala you’ll be discussing tactics and strategy. Or, we can crack out Downfall or Guess Who and he’ll soon be regaling you and anyone in earshot with comical (and probably embarrassing) memories from your childhood. This is a great way of sparking conversation or providing a focus, and equally true of tables where everyone knows each other or where strangers are sitting together. Get people playing and they aren’t strangers for long.

4. The Twilight Zone

Apart from the temporary distraction of the photographs, the time between the wedding and the evening reception can feel a little flat. Providing a carefully chosen selection of games gives guests something fun to occupy their time. Games like Anomia, 5 Second Rule or Jenga are all good group games that people can dip in and out of when it’s their photo call. The fact that people can swap in and out of the games also encourages people to mix and get together.

5. Games that are funny are HILARIOUS when you’ve had a glass (or two) of fizz.

Any game that requires dexterity or quick fire answers is entertaining as it is but, add a couple of glasses of fizz and the level of challenge intensifies; you find yourself crying with laughter as the first celebrity that your friend names is Michael Fish! You struggle to regain your composure as the timer ticks down and you wrack your brains for a type of insect. An insect. Any insect. Come on, you know that a hamster is not an insect and yet your brain only has this to offer! Or, you can try to steady your hand as you perch a chair on top of another precarious chair. (Frowning and holding your breath helps with this!). People laughing at your “concentration” face does not help. Then as the chairs come crashing down, the people on the next table see you all laughing and shout over ‘Can we have that next?’ Suddenly there you are with people mixing and having fun. Just what you said you wanted at the start.

Click on the image.

Cards or Die is all about board gaming fun and creating great memories. Get in touch to chat to us about which games would suit your wedding.
You can always pop along to a Cards or Die event and see what it’s all about.