The Gist: It’s as simple as it sounds: Bingo with wedding-themed cards
How to Play: Create bingo cards, but replace the word BINGO with BRIDE along the top margin. Instead of numbers, list facts relevant to weddings or the married-couple-to-be inside each square. (Examples: where the couple is getting married or the place they got engaged). Follow traditional bingo rules: the first guest to mark off a line horizontally, vertically or diagonally wins a prize.
The Gist: It’s the purse version of scavenger hunt
How to Play: Before the shower, create a list of standard items you might have in your purse — start with the basics (a compact, credit cards, keys) and work your way up to more random or risqué objects (condoms, dog treats). The host calls out the items on the list and the first guest to pull the object from their purse wins a small prize, We love the idea of giving out the bride’s favorite things, like books or movies, beauty products or baked goods.
The Gist: A game that puts those vocab skills to work
How to Play: Create a chart by labeling pieces of paper with the bride’s name written out across the top margin and several categories down the left side (flowers, cities, restaurants, movies, colors, etc.). Give each guest five minutes to come up with words that fit each category and start with the letter’s forming the bride’s name. When time is called, the host calls out each category and each guest reads off what they wrote. Answers chosen by more than one guest are disqualified. The guest who has the most unique words takes the prize.
The Gist: A way to put the bride in the hot seat.
How to Play: Before the bridal shower, interview the groom and ask him questions about the bride and their relationship: “Where was your first kiss?” “What’s his most annoying habit?” Then at the shower, ask the bride the same questions and see if she can answer correctly. To get the full effect, record video footage of the groom’s answers and play back his responses to each question for everyone to see and hear (allow a pause between questions.)
The Gist: It’s like the story-telling version of mad libs.
How to Play: Players take turns thinking of lines to add to a romantic story about the bride and groom (example opener: “Tess and Toby met at the office”). Pass the sheet around and have each person write a new line, folding the paper to only reveal the freshest sentence. After everyone has contributed, the final piece is read aloud to the bride.
The Gist: A way to see how well guests really know the bride and groom.
How to Play: Before the shower ask both the bride and groom about their love story (how they met, their first date, the vacations they’ve taken together, etc.). Make a list of their answers mixing up the bride and groom’s responses Print out copies of a list of the quotes, and have guests circle who they think said each of the statements. Make sure you pick out statements that could easily apply to both the bride and the groom, like “The first thing that attracted me was (his/her) smile.”
The Gist: Think of it as a live game of clue.
How to Play: Write one juicy question about how each guest is related to the bride or groom on index cards. (Example: “Who did Tim bring to the prom?”) Hand a card to each guest as they arrive and explain that they have 30 to 40 minutes to come with the answer to the question. After swapping info and mingling, each person reveals their relationship to the to-be-weds.
The Gist: Guests recall their funniest moments with the bride.
How to Play: Each guest introduces herself and dishes about three experiences she’s had with the bride – one of which isn’t true. The person who correctly picks out the lie gets points. The best part? The truths can be wackier than the lies (cue the hilarious story swapping).
The Gist: It’s like the wedding version of charades.
How to Play: Label notecards with wedding movies (include classics, chick-flicks and obscure picks for a good challenge). Divvy the group up into two teams. Players pick a card from the pile and act out a scene from that film without speaking a word, while their team members try and guess the answer within a three-minute time limit!
The Gist: It’s like the celebrity version of Balderdash.
How to Play: Split guests up into two teams, having each member write the names of 10 to 20 celebrities on separate sheets of paper. Throw all the names into a hat or bowl and mix them up. The first player from Team A draws a name from the hat, stands up and tries to explain the celebrity to her teammates without actually saying their name. If teammates guess correctly, the second player draws a new name and goes on as before. Each team has one minute to get through as many names as possible until all the names are out of the hat. Shake up the next round and only allow players to define one word to the celebrity.
The Gist: At a couple’s shower, players are scored on how accurately they are able to portray the engaged couple.
How to Play: Cut paper into strips and write descriptions of scenarios from the couple’s past or future on each one. (Example: “John tells Jane he can’t go shopping with her because he’s busy getting drinks with the guys.”) The guests break into two teams, draw a strip and then act out the different scenarios with the bride and groom-to-be sitting front row, of course! The couple gets scorecards (from 0 to 10) and will judge based on acting chops and accuracy. The key is to get the couple’s mannerisms and quirks down (overused phrases, habits, gestures).
The Gist: A shower-friendly version of Memory.
How to Play: At the beginning of the shower, the bride shares their “love story” with the group, bringing up key events (where they met, how they proposed, etc.) After opening presents, the host surprise guests by asking questions about the bride shared earlier. Throw in curveballs with questions like “How many times was ‘love’ used in the story?” The person with the closest number gets a special prize.
The Gist: The bridal spin on classic crossword puzzles. How to Play: Create a custom crossword puzzle (Puzzle-Maker.com makes them for free) using 10 to 15 one-word answers that correspond with clues that describe the bride, the groom and their wedding. While guests scramble to fill out their crosswords, they’ll chat and swap stories about the couple. For round two, turn the tables and make guests’ names an answer. Provide clues about each person in attendance, like “Aunt of the bride” or “This person traveled the farthest distance to attend the shower.”
The Gist: Everyone tries to figure out what the bride did with whom.
How to Play: Hand out index cards and have each guest write a description of their favorite memory with the bride (the more adventurous, the better). The bridesmaids or hosts will collect the cards and take the bride on a trip down memory lane. All the guests will have to guess who … snuck out of the house to meet the bride at a high-school party; met a pop star on a weekend in Miami with the bride; and more.
The Gist: Test everyone’s wedding knowledge. It’s perfect if this is the first of your friends to get hitched.
How to Play: Come up with some great trivia questions for the game either by online or creating your own. You can frame it so that one person is in charge of asking all the questions and holding the answers, or you can print each question on cardstock with the answers placed inside a small envelope taped to the back of the card (a pretty easy DIY project) so everyone can play. Form teams, or keep it simple and give points to the first person to yell out the correct answer. The winner is the person with the most correct answers.
The Gist: Guests “shower” the bride with marriage and life advice.
How to Play: Tuck a pretty blank card into the shower invitations for guests to share their advice for a happy marriage – this can also be in the form of a recipe, a poem or funny story, and so on. At the party, guests take turns reading their words of wisdom to the group, and everyone tries to guess who gave that piece of advice. After all the cards have been read, the host can compile them in a scrapbook as a keepsake for the bride.
The Gist: You eat cake and try to guess the flavors.
How to Play: Two people, “the hosts,” will set up a cake bar complete with bite-sized cake pieces (mini cupcakes, cake pops or cut-up pieces of regular cakes) and know all the flavors. They will write each flavor out on an index card ahead of time, put them inside separate envelopes behind each plate and run the show. Each player is blindfolded and walks down the table with one of the hosts, who notes the player’s flavor guess. The player takes sips of champagne between bites to cleanse the palate. (Of course, the hosts can sip champagne at any point in the game.) Whoever guesses the most flavors correctly wins.
The Gist: Just like the original, you get to show off your awesome drawing skills.
How to Play: In a bowl, place slips of paper that have different wedding-related sayings on them (“tossing the bouquet,” “going to the chapel,” “always a bridesmaid” and so on). Divide the group into two teams. The nominated artist takes a piece of paper from the bowl and sketches clues (using dry erase markers) for the saying on a big easel or white board. There is a 60-second time limit. If the first team can’t guess it right, the other team gets a shot. The winning team is the first to guess 10 sayings.
The Gist: Have guests answer extreme wedding etiquette questions.
How to Play: Write a wedding etiquette question on an index card — the more outrageous the scenario, the better. Think of some nuptial nightmares like: What do you do if the best man sprays champagne all over the guests? If you accidentally knock into the wedding cake? If two bridesmaids get into a fight at the altar? If you see the groom’s aunt stealing items from the bathroom amenity basket? Hand out one etiquette card to each guest and have her write down an honest response to the situation. Then, have the bridal party gather all the cards and read the questions and answers aloud. (Put Auntie in handcuffs, perhaps?)
The Gist: Helps the bride and groom write their wedding vows.
How to Play: Tell the group that they’re going to help the bride write the couple’s wedding vows, but each person only gets to write one sentence. Start circulating two clipboards, one with the header “I (the bride’s name) take you (groom’s name) and promise to” and the other with the reverse. Give each clipboard to one guest and instruct her to write a vow phrase under the header: “I promise to … not roll my eyes when you yell at sports on TV”. The first guest must now fold down the first line so that it’s hidden underneath and pass to the second player to add her sentiment. After both his and her versions have made it through the group, read the vows aloud for all to hear.
The Gist: A just-for-fun idea for a lingerie shower How to Play: On the invites, ask each guest to bring underwear or lingerie gifts that matches their personality and style. Hang a clothesline across the room and have everyone hang their underwear on as they arrive. The bride-to-be then has to guess who each lingerie gift is from. At the end of the day, she goes home with a new panty wardrobe!
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