Couples looking for activities for their wedding receptions might find a unique solution with a small business located in Hartford.
Husband-and-wife team Dustin and Hezel Garness started Garness Games two years ago after wanting to spread a family-favorite game called Kubb or “Viking Chess”–a lawn game that combines aspects of bowling and horseshoes.
“I said, ‘I think I could build one of these instead of buying one.’ So I built it, and it turned out pretty well,” said Dustin. “And then I thought, ‘I wonder if anyone will buy these.’”
“We found that people have been really happy with [our games] because it gives guests something to do during that sort of awkward time after the ceremony.” -Dustin Garness
After selling a handful of Kubb sets, Dustin decided to turn the idea into a business, hand making and selling lawn games like Cornhole, oversized Tumbling Blocks that are reminiscent of Jenga, yard dice, and more. The couple began renting out their games just last year.
Garness Games’s first interactions with weddings started as selling customized games as wedding gifts. They recently started renting to wedding parties, something Dustin says Hezel is especially happy to help with.
“My wife has always really had a passion for weddings and wedding planning,” said Dustin. “Now she has an excuse to go to weddings way more often.”
Cornhole | Yard Dice | Kubb | Yard Dominoes | Tumbling Blocks
Tic-Tac-Toe | Ladder Golf | Connect 4 | And More
The couple have also started working with Renee Bauman, owner of wedding boutique Hitch Studio in Brookings, who has incorporated their games into her wedding packages. She helped the couple get involved with renting to weddings, according to Dustin.
“We were talking to a wedding venue about stuff and didn’t get a really good feeling about it, so we talked to her. She’s been super helpful for us,” he said.
Parties can rent lawn or table games, or games can be made with custom colors and designs for the event with enough notice to allow construction.
Dustin says the most popular options at weddings so far are Cornhole and giant Giant Connect 4. One of their recent additions, Golf Cornhole (Chippy), has been well received as well.
“That one’s been super popular, especially if they like to golf,” he said.
“Personally, we very much value our marriage and think marriage is a really cool thing for people, so we like to be a part of that as much as possible.” -Dustin Garness
One of Garness Games’s table game options, Tumi-Ishi, involves stacking and balancing asymmetrical wooden stones and is often used as a centerpiece for wedding receptions.
Each product is made of high-quality wood and can come in varying sizes and wood finishes to suit each couple, depending on the game.
Garness Games will deliver any rented games to the venue, pick them up afterwards, and will even deliver for free within 25 miles of Sioux Falls with a minimum order of $200.
“We’re willing to work with people and can customize things to match as much as possible,” said Dustin.