Even if you aren’t currently planning a bridal shower, aren’t they so much fun to talk about?!! I have a slight obsession with them. My oldest sister got married when I was five (I’m the youngest of 9 kids) and I got to be a flower girl, that’s all it took for me to be hooked. Long before I got married, anytime I would travel somewhere I would purchase one of those bible-thick wedding magazines and rip out pages of things I liked and put them in a folder in my bedroom closet. Luckily, I have over 50 nieces and nephews which equals a lot of wedding planning in the future! That means I can insert my large opinions now on this blog long before they’ve started planning, or even found their special someone (or gotten out of Jr. High).
I am of the opinion that a bridal shower, large or small, should include activities. I didn’t say “games”, which I know is a sensitive subject for some of you. When planning a bridal shower, most of the time you are bringing different families and groups of friends together. Activities are a great way to give your friend from 6th grade who got stuck sitting next to your great-aunt Helen something to do other than sit awkwardly trying to think of things have a conversation about. Here are some that I feel aren’t too cheesy. (What would you do without me?)
You’ll notice if you’re following the advice I gave in my Hosting a Shower on a Budget post that these fit into my three categories of 1- Something useful, 2- Something guests do while they mingle & 3- Something just for fun!
Create the sign-in book
I threw a shower for a good friend a few years ago and during the shower we had a station set up where guests could scrapbook an engagement photo of the couple onto some 12 x 12 paper with coordinating embellishments ribbon and patterned paper. Then all of the pages were used at the wedding for guests to sign as they entered the reception. Once the wedding was over, she just slid them into an album and called it good! This was great because it meant that the bride didn’t have to pay for the book (I provided all of the supplies), she didn’t have to worry about finding a sign in book and the shower guests got to add their own personal touch to the brides big day!
Mustaches/Lips Question Game
At my nieces bridal shower we played a fun version of the typical “get to know the bride and groom” game. I used a Silhouette machine to cut out pink lips and dark grey mustaches and attached them to bamboo skewers. Then I gave the bride and groom a list of questions about themselves to answer. At the shower each guest was given a set of lips/mustache and as I read a fact, they had to hold up either the lips or the mustache based on who they thought I was talking about – the bride or the groom. The person(s) with the most right answers won a fabulous prize (a box of candy)!
Connect 4 or Bingo
This one is probably my favorite. Let’s be honest, sitting there while presents are being opened by the bride is pretty boring. After about the fifth set of towels you start to eye the buffet table and wonder how you can politely sneak over there for a third round of cookies. This “game” not only solves that boredom, but will save you the calories of eating another cookie because you’ll be so engaged you won’t have time for another! Print out my FREE BRIDAL SHOWER BINGO CARDS. Then instruct the shower guests to fill in each box with a gift they think the bride will be opening (towels, casserole dishes, lingerie, etc.). They’ll get one free square by writing down the gift they brought for the bride. Then as the gifts are opened they can mark the squares they get correct and the first to Connect 4 or get a Bingo wins a prize! Play as many rounds as you have prizes for. I do the different size boxes (either 16 or 25) based on how many guests you expect at the party.
On a large poster board type or write out traditional wedding vows, leaving spaces for the adjectives, nouns, verbs, etc. Then ask guests to offer suggested words. Once you’ve filled in all of the spaces, read the vows aloud. It’s hilarious!
HERE’S ONE THAT’S ALREADY DONE FOR YOU WITH A FREE PRINTABLE – see, no work at all!
In a separate room from the main festivities, set up a video camera. Instruct guests to go in the room and leave a video message for the bride-to-be. They can reminisce about their favorite memory or share advice. Chances are, the bride hasn’t seen many of the guests in a long time and this will be a great keepsake for her to watch after the shower. I’ve never done this one, but that is only because the bridal showers we have in our family are so loud and boisterous, there isn’t a quiet room to put a video camera in! (We are loud talkers)
Whether you have guests fill out cute printable cards (like these free ones that are super cute), or just have them fill in a notebook that is gifted to the bride, I love this activity. There is all kinds of unsolicited advice given when you are preparing for marriage, and this gives all of your opinionated friends and family members a good place to write it all down. It’s actually really fun to read through what others find most important.
Date Ideas Jar
This is another great one to just have out for guests to do while they mingle. I’d add that the date ideas need to be $25 or less just to add to the creativity. I’m not sure why all the photos of this activity I’ve seen on the web have guests writing the ideas on wood craft sticks, but they are cute! I guess that makes it easier to pick one out, but I’m betting folded pieces of paper would work equally well.
Celebrity Couples Catchphrase
We played this at a couples Valentine’s Day party and it was a blast! Write celebrity couples on slips of paper and split into two teams. One person goes to the front and a timer is set for 30 seconds. They try to get their team to guess as many couples as they can in that time. The team with the most slips of paper at the end wins! Brainstorm a list of couples from history, current celebrities, politics, fairytales and movie characters.
See, not cheesy at all! Best of all they cost little or nothing and give your guests something to do!