Planning a bridal shower for a friend or family member? Of course you’ll serve some tasty refreshments like Champagne and sorbet cocktails and add pretty décor to celebrate the occasion. But why not bump up the fun factor by planning some entertaining activities (aside from eating and opening gifts) during the get-together. Here are my tips:
First off, plan to play games toward the middle and end of the party. At the beginning of your shower, I suggest letting folks gather for twenty minutes or so, just in case a few guests are late. Offer everyone a festive welcome drink. Then, once all your guests are present, serve the food, whether it’s a couple of simple snacks, a buffet lunch, brunch, or a sit-down dinner.
After the food is served and folks have had a chance to mingle, round them up so they’ll be gathered for the main reason a shower is held in the first place — to shower the bride with gifts for her new life! I suggest planning one game for before the gifts are opened (gift-opening, by the way, is mandatory at a shower from an etiquette perspective), and one either during or after the gift-opening concludes. What kind of games?
Well, I love any activity that is personalized to the bride herself, or the couple, if you’re hosting a co-ed shower. (Hey, it’s becoming a trend!) Prepare a trivia “quiz” of little-known facts about the bride or couple and ask guests to answer. Ask questions about how the couple met, where the bride (or groom) went to elementary school, which designer she’ll wear at the wedding, etc., and keep score of correct answers.
I prefer hosting this game “live” with folks calling out answers rather than filling out forms, as it keeps the energy of the party up and gets everyone involved. You can even divide the room into teams. Have some small prizes on hand for winners, and remember — you could have a tie. (DVDs of The Wedding Planner, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and other nuptial-themed movies, or small items like candies, soaps, tea, or a bottle of prosecco are all great ideas). One fun idea for awarding prizes is to have a “grab bag” of items. Winners reach into the bag with eyes closed and pull out their “sur-prize.”
One of my favorite games at a bridal shower is “Bridal Party Bingo.” I discovered this game a few years back and it is the best way I’ve found to keep a group of people interested in the gift opening, which can go on for a while. Guests mark bingo cards with typical shower gifts listed on them, and call out “Bingo!” when they’ve got a solid line, four corners, or whatever pattern you choose. Again, I recommend giving out small prizes for the winners. Think note cards, a candle, or something funny like a candy necklace or toy diamond ring.
It can also be fun to make a “bouquet” for the bride out of the ribbons from each package. Just cut a slit in the center of a paper plate and pull ribbon tails through, leaving bows to rest against the top of the plate. The tradition is that the bride will then carry this special bouquet at her rehearsal, a sweet memory of her day with family and friends. (Photos courtesy of William Geddes)