How many prizes do I need for these bridal shower games?
November 2, 2017 4:06 PM   Subscribe

I have been tasked with coming up with last minute shower games for my best friend's wedding shower on Sunday. (I'm her maid of honor but I'm out of state and her aunt is hosting the shower. I just assumed she was taking care of it but she told me last night it was up to me. Whoops!) I found what I hope won't be horrible games, but I'm having a hard time thinking through how many prizes I need for each one.

So here are the games we'll be playing:

1) How well do the guests know the bride? I'll ask a trivia question about my friend to the group, and the first person to raise their hand will answer. The first person who gets it right will get a poker chip (it's a Vegas theme). Whoever has the most poker chips at the end of the day will win a prize.

2) What's in your cell phone? Guests will be given a list of things that might be in their cell phone (a contact starting with V, a picture of the bride, the Words with Friends app, etc.), and get points for each one they can circle. There are 4 point categories (1 point, 2 points, 3 points, 4 points) and 7 items per category. So if I did the math right, the maximum score someone could have is 70 points.

3) Shower gift bingo. Guests will fill out blank bingo card with gifts they think the bride might receive. Once they've filled out the blank card with gift ideas, they'll mark off each corresponding space as my friend opens up each gift. Obviously first to hit five in a row gets bingo.

On my first thought, I figured that it was easy enough - 3 games, 3 prizes. But I can totally picture each game possibly having a tie. I don't know if it would be a two-way tie, a three-way tie, or even more. And I can't figure out mathematically/logically what the maximum number of winners per game is. How prepared should I be? I was going to give out $5 Dunkin Donut cards (because I absolutely hate shopping for tchotchkes and gift wrapping) but I'd obviously like to avoid getting 10 cards when 5 might be all I need. But I'd really hate to buy only 5 cards and then having someone not get a prize.

My particular concern is the bingo game. Since folks will be filling in their own spaces, I don't have a sense of how long it will take for someone to hit bingo. Like, she could start opening gifts and someone could hit bingo 10 minutes in, and then the game is over even though she still has tons of gifts left to unwrap. Or should I say that the first 3 people to hit bingo win to keep the game going? Or if no one hits bingo, then the person who has the most squares filled out wins - but, for example, there could conceivably be 5 people who have 15 squares filled out.

Clearly I'm overthinking this. If money were no object, I'd buy a whole bunch of cards and just use the leftovers myself. But I'd really prefer not to drop $100 at Dunkin Donuts.

(I'm also feeling very stressed because my wedding shower was a picnic in my mother's backyard with no games - I've never organized shower games before, and I feel so out of my element. And I feel like it is on me 100% to make sure every single person is entertained, and I have to pull it off without a hitch like a professional. I'm sure she's not expecting that of me but if this shower is a dud I'm gonna feel like I utterly let her down. So I'm sure that's where some of this anxiety around the prizes is coming from.)
posted by Neely O'Hara to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
Best answer: In my experience, the prizes for this kind of think are super small. Like a candy bar or a fun tube of lip balm. Or bags of cookie mix from the dollar store. That will help your money stretch farther and it’s more fun than gift cards anyway.
posted by jschu at 4:23 PM on November 2, 2017 [8 favorites]

Best answer: One prize per game is enough. At showers I have been to where there have been one or more winners per game they do a tie breaker like the prize goes to the person who traveled the farthest that day/has known the bride longer etc. Or pick a number and have them guess it for a tie breaker.

If you want to do more, for the bingo game or whichever you can do that but it's not necessary. I don't think anyone will be super disappointed if they don't get a prize.
posted by Lay Off The Books at 4:23 PM on November 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: We just had this problem at a shower I cohosted. Had three gift cards, two games tied. Each time there was a tie both wining parties tried very hard to give the gift card to each other person, it was sweet and fun watching people argue “But I hardly ever go to Starbucks, you take it!”

This also happened at a shower I was a guest at a few months ago, and the tie was resolved by having a quick round of bride related questions. The parties tied were asked stuff like “What’s her favorite color?” with the person running it asking the bride first. It was very amusing for the guests.

I think you’ll be fine with 3 gift cards, and good luck!
posted by lepus at 4:31 PM on November 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you all so much! I don't know why easy tiebreakers didn't occur to me but that is just so helpful. I can get really bogged down by details so it was great to get some perspective. Thanks for helping me have an easier shower!
posted by Neely O'Hara at 6:22 PM on November 2, 2017

The target dollar spot is perfect for small items like this. I'm trying to remember what I bought as prizes back when I hosted a bridal shower in June and I think a pack of blank note cards and envelopes and some chocolates might have been one or two prizes
posted by raccoon409 at 7:43 PM on November 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

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