LOVE/HATE: The bridal shower games edition

The fabulous Ashley recently sent me a link to twenty bridal shower games and I couldn’t help but think of my own shower. We didn’t play any games, but my mother did make me wear a extra-large sombrero festooned with ribbon removed from all the presents. I wore the hat because I am a ham and will do whatever it takes to remain the center of attention. Don’t believe me? I even did a little dance!

Many of the games requiring personal knowledge of the wedding couple (e.g., the Couple’s Roast) wouldn’t have worked, since none of the people I actually hang out with on a semi-regular basis could make it to the shower. I believe that only two non-family members at the shower had ever met The Beard! But there are plenty of games that don’t require anyone in attendance to know anything about the groom OR the bride. Here are a few examples:

Mystery Toilet Paper Game
When guests show up, hand them a roll of TP and tell them to tear off whatever length they think they’ll need. Do not explain what it’s for. When the shower is in full swing, try to fit each length of TP around the bride’s body in the bustular area. Whoever has the length that is closest to her bust size wins. You can modify this game for height or waist size if you’d rather not think about the bride’s boobs.

His Legs?
This game is for co-ed showers, obviously. Blindfold the bride-to-be, and line up all the dudes in the room. She has to feel them all up until she figures out which one is her intended. Ummm, can you say awkward?

Wedding Ring Dec-a-Cake
This is a variation on the ring-baked-into-a-cake shtick. Bake enough cupcakes (don’t forget to put a ring in one!) for each guest, and have your attendees decorate them with frosting, candies, and other decorations. Whoever creates the craziest, most beautiful, or perfectly polished cupcake wins a prize. Then let everyone know that there’s a choking hazard hidden in one of the cupcakes. Whoever breaks their tooth on it will be the next to get hitched!

If you’re planning a shower — or trying to subtly influence the direction your shower will take — keep in mind that not everyone enjoys bridal shower games. Guests who don’t particularly care to pin the underpants on the groom can suck it up, but if the bride isn’t keen on wearing a TP gown or a ribbon hat, it’s time to choose some alternate amusements. Like, oh, I don’t know, conversation? A nice slide show? A wine tasting so everyone gets good and sloshed and chatty?

I’ll admit it…I’m not a big fan of shower games. Baby shower games are one thing, since everything about baby showers is kid-centric. But bridal showers don’t necessarily have to be juvenile. We’ve all learned to have fun without embarrassing anyone or requiring everyone to do handicrafts, right?

What say you?

20 Responses to “LOVE/HATE: The bridal shower games edition”

  1. blablover5 says:

    It seems to me that most shower games are just stupid. It isn’t that they’re embarrassing it’s just that they aren’t the point of a game: fun.

    I can deal with making a fool out of myself and do it all the time, but no one can tell me all those clothespins games are fun.

  2. Toni says:

    I give a big UGH to embarrassing shower games. When I planned my best friend’s Amy’s shower the only game that we played was a homemade version of scattegories where the categories were things like “flavor of cake” “type of flower” and “honeymoon destination” and the letters used were “A” “M” and “Y.”

    Then again, we all enjoy playing board games.

  3. Wendy says:

    The only bridal shower game I can tolerate is bridal shower bingo. It can be pretty boring to watch the bride open 50 presents, especially because these days you can just go on her registry to see what everybody bought her, so there’s no suspense. The only exciting gifts are the ones that people didn’t buy off the registry. At least bridal shower bingo keeps you occupied during the gift opening and gives you a reason to pay attention.

  4. Evie says:

    Yeah…not a fan either. Even when I went to a few bridal showers as a child, I thought the games were at best pointless and at worst embarrassing and uncomfortable. I get that it can be nice to have something to break the ice with a crowd of people who may or may not know each other, but wouldn’t many of those games make the situation MORE awkward, not less?

  5. Jen says:

    I’ve thrown two showers in the past three years. One bride specifically requested games, while the other forbade them. Putting together the games for the game shower was pretty easy – we played this “which white is right” game, where various white household substances (sugar, salt, powdered soap, cream of tartar, etc) were placed in little dishes and we had to identify them by sight and texture, and a trivia game about the bride and groom. However, nobody seemed terribly interested in them, mainly because most of the shower attendees were older (friends of the bride’s mother) and didn’t know much about the groom.

    At a shower I recently attended, it was announced that before the bride opened her gifts, a game timer would be set. If the timer went off while the bride was opening your gift, you won a prize. It was a cute game that didn’t involve any guest participation, but kept the guests’ attention on the bride. Once they ran out of prizes, however, people stopped watching.

    Personally, I don’t enjoy bridal shower games and don’t care to have them at my presumptive shower. I think they’re just time wasters, and like Evie said, can range from pointless to uncomfortable.

  6. met says:

    My friend forbid games, so we did a wine tasting. we did have prizes for the best and worst wine and favorite label. It was a lot of fun!

  7. met says:

    I remembered right as I hit submit…
    We also made our own little wine charms for our glasses with wire and beads. people were a bit reluctant at first, but once they started, they really got into it and most people were excited to bring them home as the (super cheap!) favor.

  8. Ms. 122 says:

    i am sooo not a fan.

    you’re up on 122rollcall btw. 🙂

  9. Toni says:

    Wendy, that’s why I try to remember to always check the bride’s registry the day of the shower just in case present BINGO makes an appearance. Me, competitive? Of course not! 🙂

  10. Ninjarina says:

    woo, you think that’s bad? Chinese weddings typically do the games during the reception – while everyone is watching!

    We have this one game, where the bride has to bring an egg up one pant leg of her husband’s and out the other. My boss was at a wedding where they didn’t have an egg so they used a cellphone instead. Everyone started calling when the phone got up to the groom’s crotch D=

  11. Oh. My. Goodness. That’s nuts, Ninjarina — my family on my dad’s side would have been scandalized!

  12. daisyj says:

    Can I put in a vote against baby shower games too? I’m thinking specifically of the one involving microwaved candy bars in diapers, and anything involving eating baby food.

  13. daisyj: I have to say that I’ve never heard of such a game, and I hope never to be invited to an event where such a game is played. What’s next? A glass of lemonade in there?

  14. Twistie says:

    NtB, I was invited to a baby shower last summer where that game was played. It was revolting.

    My MOH and I vowed to one another that we would have no games at each others’ bridal showers. It worked out great. Everybody had a terrific time at both showers. We focused on good conversation and good food.

    I’ve been to a lot of wedding showers in my day, but the only game I remember enjoying was one where little paper bags containing small amounts of common kitchen items were passed around and we had to guess what they were by smell. I won the game, which probably helped, and got a special award for being the only person in the room to recognize cumin when she smelled it. The bride’s sister got a Very Special Booby Prize for being the only one in the room who couldn’t identify either chocolate or coffee by smell.

  15. Lana says:

    I helped my friend’s matron of honor throw a bridal shower today. Normally I am not that into games, but we had fun. Games included kiss the bride’s Ass. I actually had a pic of my friend bent over we blew it up to an 8 by 10 and people were blindfolded. Whomever could kiss closest to her mark got a prize. We did the laundry chore game, but the person in charge of that game gathered all the cards and read the reaosn people hated their chores (of course not saying what the chore was) as reasons the bride refused to sleep with her groom.
    Another game was du or stud. We had pics of very ugly male celebrities and the groom in ballons. The goal was to get the baolloon with the “stud.”
    I also did a “gane” where I wrote down anything the bride said while opening gifts that sounded dirty and then read it as things you may hear outside the bride and groom suite. Everyond had a good luaght with those. We played some other games, but I think we may have even had too many. Bridal showers should not last over 2 hrs. Luckily this was done within that time frame. The sucky part was people started leaving before the cake and champage toast and presents. Next time I think I woud start with one or the other and gave games in between.
    I have never enjoyed baby shower games especially word unscramble. How boring!! If I wanted to do a word scramble or crooss word I would have stayed home.

  16. KTB says:

    I just hosted a bridal shower with my mom over the weekend, and the only “game” we did was go around the room and have everyone introduce themselves and explain their connection to the bride and groom. It was great–everyone figured out who the rest of the guests were, and we hope it will make the wedding more fun, as we’ll all come in acquainted with one another.

    Plus, there was plenty of champagne and cupcakes, which helped!

  17. Stephy Garmola says:

    I think that embarassing the bride is just part of the fun. I guess if she doesn’t like it, she can let the hostess know ahead of time. Personally, i loved having eveyrone guess things about the groom and stick ribbons on my paper plate hat, but that’s just me. It’s tradition, it doesn’t hurt anyone, so who cares?

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think shower games are great! who just wants to sit there with a bunch of people you really don’t like and have akward conversation! its the hostess’s job to break the ice and loosen up the crowd with something to actually do. lets face it showers are really boring unless your the reason people are there. and the more embarassing the better, everyone should be able to take a joke 🙂

  19. Anon: While shower games can help people get to know each other and get the conversation going, some people (e.g., some brides-to-be) definitely do not like to be the center of mocking attention, no matter how well intentioned. It would be great if everyone could take a joke, but some people get downright distressed when on the receiving end, and shouldn’t the shower also be fun for the guest of honor? I say if you’re hosting, think carefully before planning embarrassing bridal shower games.

  20. Twistie says:

    Also, I have to say I find such games embarrassing and uncomfortable when I’m a guest, as well – particularly if I’m not especially well-acquainted with the bride.

    I say know your audience and pick accordingly.

    Me? If I never have to play another bridal shower game (especially one having to do with the couple’s sex life, the couple’s private parts, or who will ‘rule’ the household), I can die contented.