Top 10 Lawn Games for Wedding

By December 6, 2018Advice, People
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There’s a good reason why so many couples decide on backyard weddings even if they have the budget for a more formal setting. There’s something romantic and exciting about getting married in the great outdoors.

If there are a lot of kids among your guests, your outdoor wedding is sure to give them an unforgettable experience. Lawn games are a great way to engage your youngest guests. You can put their parents’ mind at ease if you organize everything in advance.

At the same time, lawn games are truly family-friendly, meaning that adults are likely to find them just as fun. Guests with a competitive streak will love showing off their athletic skills and strategies. There are some games you can choose that are only fit for a mature crowd.

Preparing some cool lawn games can put a special spin on your wedding day. Let’s go over some of the best options.

bride playing bocce

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1. Bocce

You might know bocce as Italian lawn bowling. This is a game with ancient roots, and it’s loved all across the world. You need at least two players to get a game of bocce rolling, but it’s more entertaining when it’s played in teams.

Before your guests can start playing, you need to prepare a rectangular court. Traditionally, the size of a bocce court is 90ft x 13ft You can make do with a smaller playing field, so long as you maintain the proportions. One side of the court should be 5-7 times longer than the other.

If you’re good at bowling, bocce might come naturally to you. The object of the game is to aim your bocce balls as close to the target as possible. You also want to knock the opposing team’s balls out of the way. The players either toss the ball or throw it underhand.

Equipment

A bocce set consists of eight bocce balls, in two or four different colors. Also included is a smaller ball called the pallino, which is the target you’re aiming for.

These sets are widely available, and there are luxury versions you can invest in for the occasion. For example, you can opt for high-end wooden or metallic bocce balls. Custom engraved sets are an option too.

In addition to a bocce set, you should keep a tape measure at hand. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whose bocce ball came nearest to the target.

Number of Participants

This game is played in two teams of one, two, or four players. (Up to 8 participants.)

little girl plazing giant jenga

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2. Lawn Jenga

Jenga is more than just a board game, it’s become a household name since its introduction in the eighties. You can supply your guests with supersized Jenga blocks and everyone will know what to do with them.

The object of lawn Jenga is the same as always. Keep the tower balanced for as long as possible while following the rules. Working on a tower is far more satisfying when you’re outside and the tower can match or exceed your own height.

Equipment

You can order a lawn Jenga set online. Since this game is particularly popular at weddings, some manufacturers offer a custom wedding option. You and your new spouse can have each block inscribed with your names, initials, or the date of the big day.

DIY Jenga sets are an option too. This game requires 54 blocks, and it’s fairly easy to shape them out of blocks of wood. It’s also important to fashion a base out of plywood. If you or your spouse have basic carpentry skills, this could be a fun pre-wedding project. You can also hire someone with the appropriate experience to create Jenga blocks according to your specifications.

Number of Participants

This is a game that can be played solo. There’s no upper limit to the number of participants in this game, but we advise investing in two sets if you expect a lot of interest.

lawn wedding ringtoss

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3. Ring Toss

Here’s a game that will evoke country fairs and lazy summer afternoons. Ring toss is a test of skill, and kids can excel at it just as well as adults. If you like, you can lean on the carnival associations and hand out little prizes to the victors.

The basic idea is to throw rings around a peg or a bottle. It’s up to you to decide how to handle the scoring. If the game has mixed-age participants, you might want to adjust the point system to the age of the player.

Note that ring toss is also called quoits. The garden version is sometimes referred to as hoopla. If you like the classics, you can throw horseshoes instead of rings.

Equipment

Most quoits sets you can find online come in cheery, kid-friendly colors, and this can be a great choice for your wedding. But if you want a different style, it’s very easy to create a DIY set instead.

The easiest way to go about it is to use glass bottles as targets for the ring toss. For example, unadorned beer bottles have an old-time charm, but you can also paint the bottles white for your big day. If you have an artistic streak, feel free to unleash it.

What about the rings? You can order pool rings online, or you can fashion them yourself out of rope or tubing.

Number of Participants

The minimum number of players here is two, and there is no upper limit.

lawn-croquet

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4. Croquet

If you want a lawn game fit for a formal or vintage wedding, why not go for croquet?

This game has many different variations but the basic rules are simple. The players use mallets to hit balls through a wicket on the lawn. Croquet was especially popular in 19th century England, and it was one of the very few games that could be played by women and men alike. Today, it’s popular all around the world, and it has many variations.

Even if your guests aren’t familiar with the rules, they’ll learn the ropes soon enough. Croquet requires some patience and precision, but it can get excitingly competitive once your guests get into it. It might be a good idea to hire an instructor who will show them how to play this game. Instructors are generally willing to work with children as well as adults.

If you and your spouse decided on an Alice in Wonderland-themed wedding, a croquet court can be the perfect finishing touch. But this lawn game is a good option whatever the theme of your wedding might be. You can always use the mallets as photo props even if you don’t personally want to play the game.

Equipment

Croquet sets are available starting from $25. But we recommend a higher-priced set if you have the funds for it. Cheaply made croquet mallets are liable to break, and you also need sturdy wickets.

Number of Participants

This game can be played by two, four, or six players.

lawn tic tac toe

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5. Tic-Tac-Toe

This game is simple, quick, and universally known. At the same time, it’s a quirky option, as your guests probably won’t expect to see a giant tic-tac-toe game set up on your lawn.

Tic-tac-toe provides fascinating visuals for your wedding photographer to utilize. We recommend combining it with other, more dynamic lawn games.

Equipment

Purchasing a giant tic-tac-toe game made from hardwood isn’t too much of an investment. But if you want to make it wedding-themed, it’s better to create the equipment yourself.

You can use rope or tape to set up a board. The X’s and O’s can be made from wood, cardboard, or any other material. You can even go with different letters or shapes. For example, why not use your initial for the X’s and your spouse’s for the O’s?

Number of Participants

Tic-tac-toe is a two-player game, and children tend to love it.

lawn badminton

6. Badminton

The predecessor to badminton was a game called ‘battledore and shuttlecock’. This developed into badminton during the 19th century.

While tennis is a great wedding lawn game option, we think that badminton has a wider appeal. There are always guests who want to try it, even if they’ve never played this game before. It’s also safer to play when there are kids around. The shuttle is a lot less likely to cause injury than a tennis ball.

The rules of the game are simple: get the shuttle over the net. The size of the court is 44ft x 20ft and the net should be around 5ft high, but you can modify the dimensions to fit the venue.

Equipment

If you can, we recommend going for a higher-quality badminton set. There are some extremely cheap options out there, but they might disappoint your guests. You want to make sure they have quality racquets and plenty of shuttles that are the right weight and size. The weight of the shuttle ranges from 0.168 to 0.194 ounces, and it should come equipped with sixteen feathers.

As for the net, you don’t necessarily have to set up poles for it. Hanging your badminton net between two trees is a charming option which gives this game an air of spontaneity. Since it’s your special day, feel free to decorate the net with ribbons or flowers.

Number of Participants

Badminton can be played in singles or doubles, so two or four players at a time. This wedding game is likely to garner an audience.

bride and groom playing cornhole

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7. Cornhole

Here’s a simple and engaging wedding game that will provide your guests with hours of fun. All you need is a raised board with a hole cut into it, and a collection of bean bags or corn bags. The players take turns aiming for the hole from a distance. Like some other games on this list, cornhole comes from the 19th century.

Equipment

This lawn game is especially appropriate for your wedding day because you can make it a part of the decorations. There’s no reason why the cornhole board should remain unadorned.

You can opt for luxurious, hand-made cornhole board that will wow your guests. Some manufacturers offer wedding-specific designs, but you can also order a custom cornhole set to fit your wedding theme.

Number of Participants

Any number of players can play this game, and it’s appropriate for children too.

lawn giant chess

8. Chess

If you want to set a more sedate pace, why not host an epic chess game? Set up a giant board and wait for the fun to start. Chess is very likely to attract spectators, and it may get a discussion going too, which makes this game an excellent icebreaker.

The great thing about an outdoor chess board is that it will lend an interesting, dreamy mood to your venue. If your wedding theme is based on contrasts, this is the perfect way to complete the visuals. Make sure the board is well-lit, so the game can continue well into the night.

Giant checkers is another excellent option to keep in mind. It might be easier to fit a red-and-black checkers board into your color scheme.

Equipment

How big does your outdoor chess board need to be?

You can order chess pieces that are six feet tall, but this might be overkill. People generally like oversized pieces that come up to their waist. Make sure to get a vinyl chess mat of the appropriate size. While most chess sets come in black and white, you can find other color combinations if you spend some time looking around.

Number of Participants

A game of chess requires two players and any number of kibitzers. We recommend setting up a game for adults and a separate game for children.

 

groom bride playing connect four

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9. Connect Four

Here’s another board game that’s been modified into a lawn game. Connect Four was invented in the mid-seventies. It’s the perfect choice for a retro seventies- or eighties-themed wedding.

This is a fast-paced and kid-friendly game. You can decorate the giant grid, making it into an eye-catching part of your outdoor décor.

Equipment

You can find giant Connect Four boards in various sizes and price ranges. While it’s possible to build your own board, we recommend looking into custom options that you can order online. A professional can carve your name and the wedding date into the board or discs.

Number of Participants

This is another two-player game.

outdoor wedding bar

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10. Cocktail Making

A cocktail making competition is a fun challenge with delicious results. You can start this wedding game in any kind of venue, but doing it outdoors is the best option. Set up a cocktail making booth and decorate it lavishly. If you like, you can even spice things up by introducing blindfolds and timers.

Equipment

We recommend investing in a cocktail making kit. It will ensure your guests will have the tools they need to work with, and you’ll have straws and other accessories for the finished drinks.

The selection of ingredients is up to you, but some basics include gin, bourbon, vodka, rum, and vermouth. In addition to tonic water, you want to stock up on OJ, cranberry juice, and sparkling water.

Don’t forget about the garnishes and the sweeteners. Sliced citrus fruit, salt, and sugar are must-haves. You can also go for olives, coconut cream, and various spices.

Number of Participants

Any adult guest might be interested in this competition. Make sure there are enough ingredients to work with and decide on a scoring system in advance.

bride groom dog on lawn

Plus One: Treasure Hunt

There’s one more family-inclusive game that works well in any outdoor setting. This one comes with some extra work on your part, so we don’t recommend it to every couple. But if you have some time on your hands and you love adventure, a treasure hunt can make your wedding an unforgettable experience.

Prepare a list of items hidden all around your venue. Consider cheap, everyday items of various shapes and sizes. You can add a few abstract targets as well. For example, prompt your guests to find something they consider a symbol of love.

This game can engage everyone on your wedding list. You should make sure they all have a printed list of items to search for. Since this game is fairly elaborate, you’d want to prepare a prize for the winner.

A Quick Word on Prizes

Not every wedding game requires a prize. If you feel the need to give the winner a reward, think of something small that anyone can use. Gift certificates are always a good choice, as are candies and potted plants.

A Final Thought

Lawn games serve as a great icebreaker. Your guests get a chance to mix and mingle, engage in conversations, and have fun together. You won’t have to constantly worry about entertaining the crowd if you set up the right games. We especially recommend this option for venues where music isn’t an option because of noise regulations.

But here’s another important upside to consider. When you have cool wedding games at your reception, you and your new spouse get to have some fun together.

The big day is sure to be stressful, and you’ll have a lot of pent-up energy. Playing an outdoor game can help you get rid of the wedding jitters. So, if you can’t decide which game to choose for your wedding, ask yourself a simple question: what do you and your future spouse like playing?