Puzzlecrafting - A Mini Wedding Hunt

I am a puzzlemaker, so it should not come as a surprise to anyone that I included a puzzle in my wedding reception. Two years later, I thought some documentation was in order, if only to help and inspire those who wish to embed something like this into their own event. If you’re working on a puzzle for your party, you have my permission to use or adapt any part of the mini puzzle hunt outlined in this post.

With the inherent stress and expense of planning a wedding, I decided to go with something low-key that would be simple to put together and relatively easy to solve within a limited time frame, with the goal just being to provide an additional source of entertainment for those who would enjoy it. Since only a small number of our guests were interested in puzzles, I wanted to make sure this aspect of the event didn’t interfere with anything else that was going on, so I made the trailhead look like a simple decoration to anyone who wasn’t paying attention, but still fairly obvious to those who have an eye for that sort of thing. The framing around the main “Welcome” blackboard was a message in Morse code: "Play discreetly. Start under the fairy’s drink."

This led players to a cocktail dispenser labeled “Fairy Juice,” and an envelope taped to one of the table legs underneath it.

The envelope said “TAKE ONE” and had several copies of a piece of paper with a clue. (This was the case for every envelope in the hunt to make sure players can each have their own copy.) The first two lines in the poem prompted players to look at the yellow labels of the drinks, which had the names of the drinks written in code on the back; again, a detail which eluded any guest that wasn’t specifically looking for it.

The code allowed players to translate the names below the clue and led them to a gold poster with an expansive family tree, where they were made to count how many times each name appeared. (The inspiration for this puzzle actually struck when I was creating the family tree. I noticed certain names repeating and it felt like fertile ground for a puzzle. I highly encourage incorporating bits of your own personal story into the hunt!)

Counting the names resulted in a series of six numbers, which appeared as table labels on small wooden branch pieces. Each branch had a set of letters taped to the bottom, several of which were nonsense, just so it wouldn’t be immediately obvious how to put them together if you didn’t solve the first part of the puzzle.