As someone who has been shepherded to the center of the dance floor in order to pretend to vie for a bridal bouquet more times than I can count, trust my authority when I tell you that guests at your wedding do not want to be forced to participate in any activity. That includes lawn games.
According to a recent New York Times wedding trends piece (so take this with a grain of salt) many couples are skipping the cocktail and appetizer hour, hands down the best part of a wedding, in favor of Jenga and cornhole. There are even now entire companies devoted to providing easily purchasable lawn games for nuptial entertainment:
“Upstate Jamboree offers four-hour rental packages that cost $900 to $3,200. The basic package provides lawn games like cornhole and croquet, while more expensive ones also offer the couple’s signature games, which Mr. Mason, a carpenter, builds by hand. Other companies, like Power of Love Rentals, let customers rent each game for three days for a flat fee, though customers are sometimes responsible for picking up and returning the games themselves.”
In theory, a wedding with KerPlunk and Yahtzee instead of the chicken dance sounds pretty good. One couple said they wanted guests to put down their phones and get to know each other,and thus provided games and prizes to promote mingling. This situation, I have no problem with. Optional games sound like an excellent ice breaker as long as there is plenty of booze and participation is not mandatory. Yet when couples start paying thousands of dollars for lawn games, obligatory mirth for the benefit of the wedding photos seems sure to follow. I am very much anticipating a viral Reddit post in which a bride asks if she’s the asshole for forcing her stone-cold sober guests to spend four hours playing compulsory Red Rover in the near future.