Although it isn't absolutely necessary to play games at a bridal shower, they are a hallmark of the party—and for good reason. Games break the ice between guests who may not know each other. These creative activities will help celebrate the bride-to-be and entertain guests of all ages.
Traditional Bridal Shower Games
You might have seen these before, but there's a reason they're so popular—they're fun!
- Toilet Paper Wedding Dress: Divide the group into two or more teams of at least three people each. The teams are given rolls of toilet paper, and each team chooses a "bride." Give the teams 15 minutes to create a wedding dress on their "bride" using the toilet paper. At the end of the allotted time, vote for the best and funniest wedding dresses.
- Clothespin Game: To begin, choose a common buzzword such as "bride," "groom," or "wedding." When each person comes into the party, hand them a clothespin. Then, if someone hears another person saying the buzzword, they get to take that person's clothespin. The person with the most clothespins at the end of the party wins.
- Two Truths and a Lie: Everyone introduces herself and tells the group three things about herself: Two are true, and one is a lie. The audience then writes down or shouts out which one they think is a lie.
- Who Am I?: Before the party, make a list of famous romantic couples that your guests are likely to know. These can be real (Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn), fictional (Fred and Wilma Flintstone), contemporary (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie), or ancient (Antony and Cleopatra). Write each name down separately on name tags and as each guest arrives, put a name tag (without showing them) on their back. Their task is to go around the party and ask yes or no questions about their "secret identity." For example, "Am I a fictional character?" "Am I a man?" Then, they have to find their "better half." The game ends when everyone has found their partner. Award a prize to the first couple to do so.
Get to Know the Bride Games
How well do you really know the bride? These bridal shower games will test your knowledge and reveal things you never knew.
- Bridal Bingo: Fill out bingo cards with things the bride likes. They can be places she has visited or her favorite color. Like traditional bingo, each card should be slightly different but have some squares in common with each of the others. Next, write down each item on a separate slip of paper. Fold the papers, mix them up and put them in a bag or bowl. Then have the guest-of-honor select one piece of paper at a time, reading it aloud to the group. When a guest has a square that matches what is said, she gets to mark off that square.You could also fill a bag with small gifts of things that make her happy, like a bottle of nail polish or a favorite magazine. Every so often, tell the bride to choose a gift rather than a slip of paper. Make sure these gifts also appear on the cards, so that guests get a chance to play. Be sure to also have door prizes for the first guest to get five in a row and shout out, "Bingo!"
- Bride-to-Be Trivia: Start off this game by asking the guest-of-honor to leave the room, standing just out of sight but within hearing distance. Ask guests what she is wearing, how her hair is styled, etc., and then move on to harder questions such as how the bride and groom met or her favorite animal. The first person to shout out the most correct answers is the winner.
- How Well Does the Bride Know the Groom: Before the shower, ask the groom questions about himself and carefully write down his answers. At the shower, ask the bride to predict what he said. If the answers match, she gets a prize. If the answers don't match, the first guest to call out the correct answer gets the prize. Sample questions include: What is his favorite color? Favorite band? Favorite thing to do on the weekend? Dream vacation? Where was their first date?
- How Old Was She?: Find pictures of the bride at a variety of ages. Pin them to a board and hand out sheets of paper to each guest. As they mingle and eat, they can guess what age she was in each picture. Give a prize to the person with the most correct answers.
Modern Bridal Shower Games
When you're entertaining a younger crowd made up largely of the bride's friends, traditional bridal shower games won't do. Try these slightly risqué, fun games instead.
- Toilet Paper and Stick: This is a great game for those who don't mind a little risqué fun. Divide the guests into teams and appoint a captain for each. Give each captain a broomstick or pole and ask them to stand against a wall, holding the pole between their legs. Give the other team members rolls of toilet paper. The goal of the game is for each team member to cross the room to their team's pole with the roll of toilet paper between their legs (no hands). The first team with all four rolls on its captain's pole is the winner and gets a door prize. This game is hilarious and makes for great pictures.
- Groom in His Skivvies: Tell each guest that the object of the game is to draw a picture of the groom in his underwear, but the catch is that the drawing pad must remain on top of the artist's head the whole time she is drawing. The bride picks her favorite drawing to win a prize.
- Gossiping: The host of the party and the bride write a gossipy question about every guest on index cards, such as "Who did Lisa have a date with two weeks ago?" or "Who was Maggie's first kiss?" or "When was the last time the bride's mom bought lingerie?" When guests arrive, they each draw an index card and have a set period of time (30 minutes to an hour) to come up with the answer to the question. They should try to avoid asking the person directly. At the end of the time period, each guest comes to the front of the room and shares their bit of gossip with the group.
- Pin the Lips on the Groom: Purchase a traditional pin the tail on the donkey game and post the picture of the donkey on the wall. Cut out a picture of the groom's face and paste it over the donkey's head. Have a tube of garish, inexpensive lipstick available, and ask blindfolded guests to put on the lipstick, spin around, and then kiss the groom The guest who gets closest to his lips.
Games to Play During Gift Unwrapping
Nothing is worse than watching the bride ooh and ahh at her third set of towels. Gift unwrapping is the most boring portion of a bridal shower, so instead of leaving your guests to strategize an exit plan, keep them entertained with some fun bridal shower games they can play while the bride opens presents.
- Bridal Bingo: In another variation of Bridal Bingo, guests fill the cards out themselves with presents they think the bride is likely to receive, putting their own gift in the free square in the middle. When a guest has a matching square with what the bride has called (or opened), she can cross it off. Five in a row across or diagonally counts as bingo. Give a door prize to the first winner.
- The Bride's Poem: Start off by writing a sentence about the bride (or bride and groom) as if it were the first line of a poem. Pass it around the room as the bride opens her presents. Each guest must write down a next line of the poem, following the previous line as logically as possible. Then, she folds the sheet of paper over so that the next guest only sees the line she has written. The maid of honor or hostess reads the wacky poem at the end of gift opening.
- The Wedding Night: This one is particularly fun at a lingerie shower. As the bride unwraps her gifts, have a bridesmaid quietly write down everything she says, such as "Ooh, this is pretty" and "Where does this go?" In the end, have that bridesmaid announce, "This is what the bride will say on her wedding night," and then read the list out loud.
Unique Bridal Shower Games & Activities
If you're planning a shower for an artistic or unusual bride, you won't want to ask her friends to sit around drinking tea and swapping stories. Instead, look for alternative wedding shower games and activities.
- Arts and Crafts Activities: Have a supply of papers, pens, paints, etc., and ask guests to write and illustrate either their favorite memory of the bride, their best marital advice or a recipe. After present opening, ask each guest to read or explain their project and have the maid of honor gather the pages into a scrapbook.
- Spa Day: Spa trips are becoming increasingly popular for pre-wedding get-togethers. The maid of honor or organizer finds a spa nearby and usually books a private room, or sometimes the whole place. If the maid-of-honor is feeling generous, she may pay for small treatments for everyone. More common, however, is for each guest to pay for her own treatments and pitch in for the bride's treatments.
- At-Home Spa Day: If you are on a budget, there's no reason not to create a spa at your home. You and the other bridesmaids should bring whatever fun lotions, nail polishes, and beauty products you have at your home. Have a big stack of clean fluffy towels available, magazines, and a large plastic basin for every guest to soak their feet in. Make sure you have nail polish remover for old polish, good eats, and some relaxing music on the stereo. Get everyone to chip in for a spa gift certificate as a present for the bride.
- Learn a New Skill: If you know how to knit, arrange flowers, make jewelry, or paint pottery, why not teach it to the guests? They'll spend a fun afternoon learning a new skill and leave with a project or give one to the bride. If you're not confident in your teaching abilities, look to local stores for group one-day classes that can be booked for the day. A favorite one of mine is to paint your own pottery or attend a group cooking class.
- My Favorite Memory: Along with your invitation, include a printed card that says, "Please write your favorite memory of the bride or groom." During the present opening, each guest stands and reads the card she brought. Some are funny, some are sentimental and all are enjoyable to hear. Purchase a photo album to collect the memories and photos of the party.
- Door Prize: Your guests may not want to play involved games, but who doesn't love a present? As your guests enter, have them write down their birthdays and wedding anniversaries (if applicable). The guest whose date is closest to the wedding date wins a prize. The hostess can then copy down the birthdays and anniversaries in a nice birthday book for the bride, so she'll always know when to send a thoughtful card.