You know it’s inevitable—bridal showers have gifts, food, and of course, games. For the most memorable and enjoyable occasion, match the game to the crowd. You’ll get the best participation—and a lot of laughs.
Sometimes the guest list will determine what kind of game to choose.
For the long-time friends
When the guest list is mostly long-time friends of the bride-to-be who also know each other well, choose a game that encourages reminiscing or awards in-depth knowledge.
Game: Who knows the bride best?
Prior to the shower, the bride-to-be fills out a questionnaire of twenty questions, some easy, some difficult. For example: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? What is your favorite place to eat lunch? Give the same questions to each guest and have them fill out what they think her answers are. The one with the most correct, wins!
For wedding party participants who don’t know each other well
These more introductory gatherings generally go over better when embarrassing moments are avoided. Choose safer games that allow the participants to get to know each other. This will help make everyone more comfortable on the wedding day.
Game: Who am I?
Ahead of time, write down the names of famous people on adhesive name tags. As each guest arrives, stick a tag to their back without them seeing it. Guests find out who they are by asking others yes or no questions.
For professional colleagues
Even though the bride might be blushing on her wedding day, you don’t want her to do so at an event involving work associates. Choose a game that challenges everyone to show their “smarts.”
Game: Purse scavenger hunt
Make a list beforehand of common and uncommon things that can be found in a woman’s purse. Assign each item a point value (uncommon items should have a higher point value). Divide the group into teams of two or three, and have them grab their bags. The team who racks up the most points wins.
Here’s the group who will want to celebrate all the bride-to-be’s milestones—birth, baptism, bat mitzvah, graduation. Pick a game that highlights the family’s many happy memories.
Game: Wise Ones
After everyone has arrived, ask each person to introduce themselves and offer a nugget of advice on how to have a happy marriage. Assign someone to record the tips, and compile it later as a gift for the bride.
Game: Guess Who?
Ask everyone to bring wedding snapshots of themselves or earlier generations, putting their name on the back for identification. Then, everyone will try to guess who brought which photo and who is in the photo.
For college buddies
Time to bring out the stories you’ll never repeat in front of the groom! Guests at these gatherings will want to let their hair down a little and have some good-natured fun.
Game: Bridal roast
Guests take turns telling outrageous stories about the guest of honor, they tell about how they first met her, or tell about the most fun they ever had together.
For religious groups
These more wholesome get-togethers are woven into the fabric of most churches and synagogues. It’s the time for your spiritual family to offer their special congratulations. A game that capitalizes on the group’s fellowship would be appropriate.
Game: Happy Wishes
On index cards, have the guests write a happy thought or useful piece of advice. Have them share these nuggets of wisdom while also saying on what occasion to remember the words. Examples might be wedding night, first anniversary, first child, first fight, first house.
Sometimes the bride-to-be’s affinities suggest the tone of the party.
For an artistic crowd
If the bride-to-be has a lot of artistic or crafts-oriented friends, get them on their feet and working with their hands for your party game.
Game: Wedding Dress
At the party, divide the guests into two or more groups of 3-5 people. Each group must choose a model for their wedding dress (mothers of the bride and/or groom work wonderfully). The goal is for each group to design and fashion a “wedding dress” out of toilet paper. Once the groups are finished, the bride picks the winner. Great photo opportunities!
For a more cerebral affair
Word games or memory games are fun when the bride-to-be is Summa Cum Laude from Harvard or practices medicine when she’s not planning a wedding.
Game: Memory Game
Place fifteen to twenty small wedding related items on a tray and cover them with a lace napkin. Put the tray in the center of your guests and uncover for two minutes. Cover the tray again and ask the guests to write down as many of the items as they can remember. The person who remembers the most, wins a prize.
This is best about 30 minutes into the party. Have everyone sit in a designated area and hand them a piece of paper and pen. Then ask the bride-to-be to leave the room. Now have each guest describe on paper everything they can remember about what the bride is wearing. Give them 5 minutes, and then invited the bride back in. The winner is the person that remembered the most.
For sports lovers
If you’re more likely to get the bride-to-be hockey tickets than wine goblets as a gift, choose a game that allows for a rip-roaring good time.
Game: Toilet Paper and Stick
Divide the guests into teams with all but one member holding a toilet paper roll between her legs. The last member places a broomstick or pole between her legs. The goal of the game is for each member to walk (more like waddle) to their team’s “pole” and place the toilet roll onto the pole (without using any hands). The first team to place all rolls onto its respective team’s pole wins.
For already-marrieds, or those with small kids
Let the new moms and newlyweds coo about their situations when the party guests are mostly starting their own families.
Game: Mom’s Advice
Have each guest tell the best and worst advice they received from their mother or grandmother. Award a prize to the person who gives the best advice and a booby prize to the worst advice received.
Elegant party games that remind one of fine dining or haute couture will make a splash with this kind of group.
Game: The Spice Game
Get as many spices together as you can and place them in unmarked, but numbered jars. Pass each one around the room and have each guest write down what she thinks it is according to the smell. The one with the most correct wins the collection of spices.
Game like the above will be sure to make your bridal shower memorable. Don’t forget to provide the appropriate bridal shower favors as well. And, take lots of pictures!