Want to keep wedding guests entertained and energized with lively wedding lawn games but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered.
In this blog post, we take a deep dive into the popularity of wedding lawn games. We discuss the pros and cons of including lawn games in your big day, provide some ideas to help inspire you, and much more. Whether you’re working on a minimal DIY-style budget or looking for extravagant, over-the-top ideas, this guide has tips and tricks to fit any style.
The complete guide to wedding lawn games
Why include wedding lawn games?
Engaged couples want their guests to feel comfortable and welcome, and wedding lawn games are a great way to spark conversation between guests and help break the ice. Based on your surroundings, there are a wide variety of outdoor games to accommodate just about any space or group.
Set up lawn games and provide snacks, cocktails, or even coffee to entertain partygoers after the ceremony. Get the party started while you’re busy with photoshoots, changes, and other day-of checklist items that will keep you apart from your invited guests.
Including wedding lawn games in addition to a dance floor, photo booth, or other activities that guests can participate in, is a helpful way to keep the energy high. Outdoor games are affordable wedding entertainment ideas that can be worked into almost any stage of the event.
Should you include lawn games at your wedding?
Here are five questions you should ask before choosing to include lawn games at your wedding.
1. Do you have space? Be realistic when you ask yourself this question. While the venue may technically include enough space for a badminton court, is it really a good idea? Servers, bartenders, photographers, and your guests should be able to move about freely and comfortably without being subject to the dangers of a rogue birdie or flying beanbag.
2. Is the reception inside or outside? If the reception is indoors, do you have a separate event space included outdoors? Is there a smoking area, patio, outdoor bar area, or other space included with your rental? Always ask the venue before setting up games in outdoor areas not specifically included in your event rental.
3. What games are already available to you? Do you already have lawn games on hand? Do you have friends or family with games they’re willing to lend you for the event, or will you need to buy them?
4. Does your venue offer any lawn games or similar activities? Many popular wedding venues with outdoor space offer rentals for outdoor receptions. Does the venue offer bundle pricing or package discounts? Ask your venue about their policies and any additional fees or insurance information lawn game rentals may entail.
5. Do wedding lawn games fit within your budget? If you don’t have access to any games now, will the cost of purchasing lawn games fit comfortably into your entertainment budget? To help keep costs down, consider DIY options or hit your local thrift shops before purchasing any expensive outdoor games.
Where do you find lawn games for a wedding?
1. Look online for new, used, and affordable outdoor games. Bundles are available on popular shopping sites like Amazon or eBay, as well as online party sites like Oriental Trading. Additionally, you may find exactly what you’re looking for by searching Etsy for personalized wedding lawn games.
2. Party and event rental companies often include lawn games as add-on options for wedding packages. Because event rental services also often specialize in birthday parties, carnivals, festivals, and other outdoor events, they may have an eclectic mix of rental options available.
3. Shop secondhand. Visit yardsales in neighborhoods near colleges, high schools, and other areas that include lots of outdoor competition or recreation opportunities. Check local thrift shops, flea markets, and other secondhand shops for unique finds at a bargain.
4. DIY your wedding lawn games with thrift finds. Visit secondhand shops regularly to find items you can upcycle or use in DIY wedding projects. Create a DIY ring toss with wine bottles, tapered vases, or add a little whimsy by using unique sculptures or other objects for your targets.
Pros and cons of wedding lawn games
The experience. Give your wedding guests the opportunity to make memories with one another and create stories to share in the years to come.
The logistical benefits. Keep games accessible during the transition into the reception if you’re serving buffet-style. This will help keep attendees’ minds off the line for food. Wedding lawn games can also help keep serving lines short, allowing the bartender and caterers to restock.
The engagement booster. Wedding lawn games encourage friendly competition and keep the energy high. A little gameplay also helps encourage guest engagement and conversation. You never know, your wedding day could lead to a lifelong friendship!
The risk of injury. No matter how safe you intend to be, there’s always a risk of physical injury when lawn games, life-size games, or athletic events are involved at a wedding. When coupled with alcohol, well-meaning games can potentially become dangerous.
The overly-competitive guests. No one wants to see a wanna-be-Heisman-winner try to relive their glory days during a wedding reception, okay? Have you ever seen someone lose their mind over a cornhole loss at a family BBQ? It’s not cute.
The potential damage. Whether you’ve supplied the games yourself or they came as part of the venue rental or a party rental service, keep in mind the risk of potential property damage.
The fees. You could be out the cost of an expensive jumbo lawn game or owe your venue replacement fees if things go awry. A recommended rule of thumb: Don’t spend more on wedding lawn games than you’d be willing to part with. Rain, tomfoolery, or loss could end up costing you later.
14 wedding lawn game ideas your guests will love
1. Giant Jenga. Also called High Tower, giant Jenga is likely to wow your wedding guests. Include this simple yet exciting fan favorite if your venue allows for ample tumbling space. The life-size tumbling tower game can be purchased or made at home with relative ease. Be sure to include lightweight wood and sand down all cut edges if your game pieces are homemade.
2. Truth or dare giant Jenga. A surprise twist on the already exaggerated classic, including truth or dare prompts on Jenga blocks can really spice up an already nail-biting lawn game. Label block ends “T” or “D” to make the game more fun for spectators too.
3. Jumbo tic-tac-toe. Easily create a DIY outdoor tic-tac-toe game using camping stakes and rope to outline the board. Purchase cheap wooden Xs and Os from a local craft supply store, decorate if you wish, and ta-da — a DIY wedding lawn game for less than $10.
4. Blanket Scrabble. Look for Scrabble board blankets on sites like Etsy or CafePress. You can order or create DIY tiles for a low-cost game that puzzle fans and linguistic guests will enjoy.
5. Lawn bowling. Best for outdoor receptions with a large flat surface, lawn bowling can be played with large inflatable pins or large, lightweight versions of the heavy originals. Want to take the fun a step further? Encourage guests to form teams and compete for a winner’s medal or belt.
6. Jumbo lawn Yahtzee. Purchase inflatable lawn dice and print your own Yahtzee scorecards to impress your guests with a humorous spin on the classic game. Watch your guests burst into laughter as they maneuver life-size game pieces through the grass while playing “Yardzee.” With various dice sizes available, ranging from 12 inches to over two feet tall, you can purchase pieces that fit your space and your budget.
7. Bocce ball. Bocce ball is a classic outdoor game played all over the world. This game of skill can be played by individuals, or in teams, making it a great addition to outdoor weddings. While the game requires few materials, it does require quite a bit of space.
8. Cornhole. Cornhole, the classic bean bag toss game, is one of the most popular and recognizable American lawn games. Consisting of just two backboards and a few bean bags, corhole is easy to set up and affordable to replace if needed. Consider ordering custom backboards that display your wedding date, location, or thematic wedding hashtag.
9. Golfing cornhole. A twist on the classic aim-game, golfing cornhole requires players to putt golf balls instead of tossing bean bags. If your friends and family spend a lot of time on the course, this could be a great game to include on the big day.
10. Rubber horseshoes. Easy to learn and simple to play, horseshoes are a sure crowd pleaser. When it comes to weddings, we recommend swapping out heavy metal horseshoes for rubber ones. Rubber is a safer, less expensive alternative to the classic game piece.
11. Ring toss. A favorite at both carnivals and weddings, ring toss is a fun game for all ages. Make carnival-style games extra fun for kids by including a small bucket of carnival prizes, like yo-yos or finger traps, that winners can pick from.
12. Giant Connect 4. A large-scale version of the childhood classing, relatively inexpensive outdoor Connect 4 games can be found online. Unlike the version we all played as kids, however, the giant version of this game is also a spectator sport!
13. Badminton. For seasonal outdoor weddings at venues with ample space, badminton is a fantastic low-risk game for guests who want a little athletic action. Outdoor badminton racket sets are inexpensive and easy to find, but the net may be more of a hassle. If you invest in setting up a net, include a volleyball or beach ball as well to provide your wedding guests with multiple net-based games to choose from.
14. Croquet. Croquet is one of the most popular outdoor games seen at weddings. The materials are easily acquired and stored in a set. Croquet is simple to set up, easy to learn, and guests can comfortably play in formal attire.
Put this wedding lawn game guide to use!
Up next, continue the post-ceremony fun with our guide of 21 wedding cocktail hour ideas your guests will love.
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