6 Outdoor Activities for Your Summer Wedding Reception

A bride and groom playing lawn games.

When the weather is lovely and there are a few minutes between the important moments of the wedding reception, it only makes sense to have some activities to occupy your guests during their downtime. These activities allow everyone to mingle, laugh, and get to know each other better. If your wedding celebration is going to be outside, consider these activities for helping people enjoy themselves during your important occasion!

1. Giant Versions of Board Games

Something about a giant Jenga, tic-tac-toe, or chess board makes a wedding reception feel a little tiny bit like Wonderland. Children who are at the wedding will find something to play with even if they don’t follow the traditional rules of the game, and adults who haven’t met before get a chance to bond with each other over something fun and universal. This gets people moving after they sit during a ceremony, which can feel really nice before moving on to dinner.

2. Traditional Lawn Games

A series of corn hole boards on a lawn at a wedding reception.

Classic games like a bean bag toss or horseshoes make for an entertaining addition to an outdoor summer wedding reception. Consider buying or renting games, or asking friends and family if they have some of these games you can borrow. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but there are also options to DIY versions specific to your wedding, using your wedding colors or themes as part of the decoration of the reception.

3. Summer Camp Relay Races

Really want to ramp up the fun? Get a cousin or friend to coordinate some silly relay races. Whether it’s running with an egg in a spoon, potato sack races, or a good ol’ game of leap frog, there’s sure to be some great photos from it. Try to choose games that will fit the level of energy the crowd is likely to exhibit, as well as the level of dress that people will be in. Some relays are doable even in a fancy gown, but most of them will be better suited to a more casual wedding. If no adults will be interested, consider having a few races just for the kids of the crowd.

4. Bonfire with Marshmallow Roasting

A group of friends cooking marshmallows over a fire.

If you have the space, one of the coziest reception options is to have a bonfire with supplies for roasting marshmallows. Not only do roasted marshmallows satisfy the child in us all, but the bonfire can be a great place to chat and get to know other people in the family that certain guests may have never met. The stories that come out around a campfire tend to be deeper than the average wedding chatter, so it provides a nice counterpoint if you have some wise souls in your guest list. It can also be a nice break for introverts who are a little overwhelmed by the dancing or music in other areas of the reception.

5. Scenic Photo Booth

Whatever the location of your reception, there is likely a place that makes for a perfect outdoor photobooth. Play up the location of the wedding. Are there mountains in the background, or a beach scene? Make sure it gets in the shot! Photo booths are even more fun if you provide silly moustaches, hats, boas, and other props.

6. Dance Floor Under the Stars

A canopy over a wedding reception at night.

If you want a truly spectacular summer addition, consider having your dance area outside. You can opt for a real dance floor, but just marking out a fairly flat area of ground and stringing up some Christmas lights can be enough to make an outdoor dance area look like a fairy wonderland once dusk settles. Bring speakers to supply the music, and make sure that a robust crew begins dancing when you want it to start. If you worry about rain, one option is to rent a tent or canopy that can cover the dance floor area so that outdoor dancing is possible without a rain-soaked level of commitment.

With games, activities, and outdoor beauty, your summer wedding reception is guaranteed to be a ton of fun for guests. The fun and games aren’t just about having a nice evening, though. As two families join, it’s great to have a lovely store of pleasant memories to draw upon as your family members get to know each other. This creates an even more solid foundation for your marriage. And who doesn’t enjoy a good roasted marshmallow?

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