Bridal shower games that don't stink
May 7, 2005 5:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm co-hosting my sister's bridal shower. My co-host and I decided that we should have some sort of game, mostly to break the ice and introduce everyone to each other, even though we're leery of typical bridal shower trappings. (Most people won't know each other, being friends and relatives from both sides of the family.) Who out there—male or female—has been to a shower with games that didn't stink? Or what games have you played at a party, even if it wasn't a shower, were genuinely fun, easy to lead, and allowed people to get to know each other with a minimum of groans?

The shower as we've planned it bears nothing in common with a typical bridal shower; we'll be rolling sushi and having some drinks, and my sister, who is in her late twenties, has indicated that presents are not necessary or expected. The group is all female but diverse in age, and there will be as many as twenty guests.
posted by cacahuete to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've been to two pre-wedding type events which had amusing games.

The first was a sort of scavenger hunt, but the items were facts about all of the guests. We had to match up the list of facts with the individual people. Examples were things like, "This person is going to cheauffer Andrew and Caroline to the wedding reception in a 1938 Nash." Then we had to go around and ask people if they had an antique car.

The second was more of a theme-game so it might not work as well for you. This shower was a "kitchen shower," and everyone was given a card with the name of something found in a kitchen. The cards were taped to our backs without our knowing what was written on them. We had to go around and play 20 questions with other people who could read our cards, trying to figure out what our label was. When we figured it out, we got to put the card on our front.
posted by autojack at 5:15 PM on May 7, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, autojack. Both those sound good; the first especially might be useful for our purposes. Anyone else?
posted by cacahuete at 5:19 PM on May 7, 2005

The best party game I've played with strangers is "Whatchall Thinkin' Of?", which I believe most people call "What Are You thinking Of?".

Everyone gets paper and pencils/pens and there are categories announced -- anything from 'Silent Movie Actors' to 'Types of Fruit', but I'm sure you could make it wedding/couple/bride/marriage related by prewriting the questions.

The question is asked and everyone writes down as many answers as they can think of in the time alloted (the more people, the less time). Then, one by one, people read off their lists and ask who else has that answer (usually by a show of hands).

The number of points are for the numer of people with that answer, and everyone with that answer gets those points. (4 people had "underwear. 4 points go to each of them. 8 people had "garter", add 8 points to their sheets, etc.)

It doesn't matter if the answer is right or wrong, just how many people have it. If only 1 person has it, it's a 0 point.

You go through everyone's unique answers until they're all accounted for and then move on to the next question. You tally up all the points from all the answers and the person with the most points wns. (We usually also give a prize to the person with the least points.)

It requires nothing but a timer, paper and pencils.
posted by Gucky at 5:28 PM on May 7, 2005

I went to a library conference where there were two parts in the icebreaker of the evening. The first part was fairly standard, each person being given a puzzle piece of a certain color, and having to find the people in their group [I'm sure this was set up so everyone met different people and didn't group together] then once we were in groups there was 5-10 minutes for chatting, icrebeaking, getting drinks etc, and one MC person would call out more general descriptions "does your group have someone who speaks Finnish?" and the first group to all raise their hands would get some silly door prize. It kept everyone chatting as well as paying attention.

At the dinner that evening where people also didn't know each other there was an "identify these items" game where there was a centerpiece on the table with ten mystery items in a basket and an entry form. People worked with the people at their tables to identify them [toasted marshmallow jellybean, lime juice, alpaca wool, etc] and the team with the most right answers got a prize which was announced during dessert. The clues were tough enough that no one would know all of them and people were from all over so they could collaborate and work together. In general, I can't stand ice breakers and I'm shy at big get togethers and both of these were pretty fun.
posted by jessamyn at 5:29 PM on May 7, 2005

Maybe you could make up a balderdash type game:
one person picks a card, and reads off the first half of a little known wedding related fact, eg:

Adam and Eve's first date was interrupted by

Then, everyone completes the fact by making something up and writing it on a slip of paper.

The slips all go to the leader of that round, who then reads off each possibility, including the actual complete fact. Then, everyone votes for the one which they believe is the true fact. Each vote = a point for the author of the fact, or for the leader of the round if the correct fact is voted for.

Then, the leader reveals the truth.

And on and on.

Required a fair bit of preparation, tho.
posted by stray at 5:46 PM on May 7, 2005 [1 favorite]

(my girlfriend's answer)

The easiest game that I've put together actually has to do with the bride. We gathered lots of photos of her at different ages, scanned them in and printed them out on a color printer. We also cut out pictures of bride bodies (sans head) from bridal mags that we had collected. We pasted cropped head shots and matched them up to the bodies on a poster board. The guests were asked to guess her age and the key was an arrangement of the whole pictures along with her corresponding ages.

So the guests who knew the bride from various stages of her life were able share their connections, blah blah blah, as we went through the pictures. There were a lot of very sweet stories behind the pictures.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 6:16 PM on May 7, 2005

I interviewed the bride/groom for funny things that happened in their life and created multiple choice questions about them that began with, "who would be most likely to....?" For example, "who would chase a moose with a tennis racquet...J or K?" The guests had to write down who they thought did that. We went through 20 after each gift was opened. Of course, there were funny little stories that went with each question that different guests would tell (depending upon who knew the bride or groom when the incident happened.) The person at the end that guessed the most questions correctly won a prize. Lots of laughing and people figured out who knew the bride or groom and how they knew them. Plus, this created a lot of fun conversation starters at the actual wedding.

(p.s. The chaser of the moose obviously lived to tell the tale.)
posted by jeanmari at 6:19 PM on May 7, 2005

How about werewolf?
posted by ursus_comiter at 8:35 PM on May 7, 2005

A friend of mine had her sister's shower play "purse bingo". You can do it however you want- eg who has the most items on a list (penny, lipstick, kleenex, funnier stuff, etc) or get a bit more creative- who has the oldest penny, who has a picture of the bride, or whatever.
posted by cushie at 3:45 AM on May 8, 2005

1. We did "purse bingo" (see cushie's response) at my friend's shower and everyone had a laugh over it. We did it more like a scavenger hunt though, just giving each person a list of items, giving them time to find items, then I read the list one at a time and it was funny to see who had the most crap in their purse (I put some weird things on the list). It was a random group of people; I knew the bride and a couple of friends but no one else and it was still fun.

2. A similar game you can play is "gift bingo" where you give each guest a blank bingo grid and tell them to write in gifts they think the bride will be receiving today. While the bride is opening her gifts, they X off squares they filled in when they match a gift she receives, calling out BINGO when they get a line X'd off and receive a small prize. This gives guests something to do during gift opening aside from oohing and aahing and passing the gifts around.

3. At my shower, everyone had a great time with "Taboo." Everyone was so competitive about it, it was hilarious. You can make the rules whatever you want, don't say the bride's name (you have to call her "bride" or "the bride"), or you can't say the groom's name, wedding, shower, etc... You give each person three necklaces or pins or clothespins. Each time someone else hears them say one of taboo words or phrases, the offender gets a necklace/pin taken away and the person who heard them gets it. Whoever has the most at the end of a specified time/end of the shower, receives a prize.

4. Another game I've played at other showers that is OK is "Who knows the bride and groom best?" You have a list of questions about the bride and groom, people write down their answers, and whoever gets the most correct wins. You can do this a little differently and focus on the bride by asking the groom a list of questions ahead of time (what's her favorite color, shoe size, band, etc...) and asking the bride the same questions. For each one she gets wrong, she takes a piece of chewing gum; if she gets a lot wrong it can get kind of gross with all that gum in her mouth, but it's still funny.
posted by suchatreat at 7:56 AM on May 8, 2005

I will learn to preview...

4. ...asking the bride the same questions. For each one HE GOT WRONG, she takes a piece of chewing gum; if she gets a lot wrong...
posted by suchatreat at 7:58 AM on May 8, 2005

Check outApples to Apples it's a very silly game that everyone but me seems to like--and I'm not going to be at the shower.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 10:26 AM on May 8, 2005

A quiz about the couple with guests competing together in pre-arranged teams?
posted by Kololo at 1:01 AM on May 9, 2005

Response by poster: Great ideas here. I now feel a little more emboldened and prepared. Thanks, everyone!
posted by cacahuete at 8:12 AM on May 9, 2005

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