Many bridesmaids have bridal showers down to an exact science, from decoration ideas to the perfect chicken salad recipe. Veteran shower planners rely on a few trusty games to create a playful atmosphere and keep awkward mingling at a minimum. Shower games shouldn't be a source of stress, though. Some require little to no planning and supplies, whereas others take more effort. Most bridesmaids keep shower games PG, reserving the saucier selections for the bachelorette party. After all, it's best that the mother of the bride stay in the dark about certain things! These 10 tried-and-true shower games are fun for everyone from the junior bridesmaid to the groom's great-grandmother.
Get inspired by even more bridal shower games in this photo planning guide!
10: Toilet Paper Dress and Veil
Look no farther than the local drugstore for supplies to play this popular game! Kick it off by dividing shower guests into groups of three or four, with one member of each group selected to model a bridal gown, veil and even accessories made entirely from toilet paper. The guest of honor selects the winning group, with each member of said team receiving a prize, bragging rights or both. This game easily boasts the most scrapbook -- and blackmail -- potential.
9: Clothespin/Safety Pin Game
Topics of conversation at bridal showers typically revolve around the upcoming nuptials. So, how hard is it to talk about the event without actually saying wedding-related words? For this game, give each guest a predetermined number of safety pins (or clothespins, if you want to avoid poking holes in clothes). Announce a list of four or five wedding-related words that guests are forbidden to say for the duration of the shower, such as the groom's name, "wedding," "church," "love" or "honeymoon." If a guest catches anyone uttering a taboo word, she can commandeer all of the offender's clothespins and add them to her collection. The guest with the most impressive array of clothespins at the end of the shower wins a prize.
8: Trivia Time
Everyone will learn something new about the bride by the time this game is over! Easily spun in several different ways, one popular variation is the Newlywed Game, which tests the bride and groom's opinions on a variety of issues, as well as their knowledge of each other. Prior to the day of the shower, the groom answers 20 or 30 questions about the bride or their relationship, like where they had their first date, the issue they're most likely to fight about or where they want to retire. The groom can write down his answers or respond via audio or video recording. The bride answers the same set of questions, then the groom's responses are read aloud or played back for all the guests to hear -- and laugh about.
This game can be tweaked to test shower guests' knowledge of the bride. Everyone answers basic trivia about her or completes a computer-generated crossword puzzle filled with questions about her likes, dislikes, phobias, family, alma mater and other assorted tidbits.
7: Bridal Bingo
The beauty of bridal shower Bingo is that you can reformat it to suit the party's needs. Will many people be attending who don't know one another? Use Bingo as an icebreaker so everyone can meet and learn how they know the guest of honor. Simply create Bingo cards with phrases like "college friend," "relative," "also born in 1980" or "shares an unnatural passion for shoes." Each guest finds someone who fits the bill for the particular square and directs them to initial the spot. The first guest to fill the card wins a fabulous prize. (Scented body lotions are big at the showers we've been to.)
You can also play Bridal Bingo in the traditional way, using cards filled with wedding-related terms, rather than numbers. Prep prior to party time by filling out slips of paper with wedding lingo or trivia, such as the name of the reception hall, the bride's engagement ring cut or the location of the honeymoon. As you draw and announce each one, the players mark the square using a plain old pen or something more imaginative, such as candy hearts, which the wedding gurus at The Knot suggest.
6: Pass the Bouquet
Everyone's favorite childhood party game goes bridal when guests pass a bouquet (made from real flowers or the gift-bow variety) 'round the room in Musical Chairs fashion. Music plays while the bouquet is handed from guest to guest, and the music stops at intermittent points. The guest holding the bouquet whenever it stops is eliminated, leaving the rest of the guests to duke it out (in a friendly manner, naturally) until all but one lucky player is eliminated.
5: Name that Herb
Be sure to have plenty of snacks for guests to sample while playing this game -- it's guaranteed to work up a serious appetite. Especially appropriate for kitchen-themed showers, Name That Herb is surprisingly easy to pull off. All you need are fresh aromatic herbs, such as basil, thyme and oregano, in numbered paper cups. The containers are then passed around the party as each guest tries her hand at identifying the mystery herb. Game purists might place a lid with holes over each cup or require guests to cover their eyes as they sniff, since some garden-savvy guests might know herbs by sight. The winner is the guest to correctly match the most unidentified herbs with their proper names. Be sure to keep an extra herb or two handy in case of a tiebreaker.
4: Guess the Groom
This game is the bride's last chance to grope other guys without so much as a smidgen of guilt! Invite the groom to drop by the shower for a few minutes, and recruit some other guys to stop by in the same time frame. To play Guess the Groom, the blindfolded bride takes turns feeling the calves of each male model, finally making an educated -- if risky -- guess as to which legs belong to her groom. This game works particularly well at couples showers, where there's typically a plethora of willing (if intoxicated) participants to choose from. Couples showers also afford the bride the opportunity to turn the tables on the groom, who could be presented with the same sort of parade of legs or hands. Unless the bride is a natural exhibitionist, this game will surely help her earn "blushing bride" status.
3: Celebrity Hubby
Everyone has a weakness for one celebrity or another. Celebrity Hubby is a lighthearted, easy game that's guaranteed to draw hoots and hollers from shower guests. Simply ask everyone to write down her fantasy celebrity husband, and toss all responses into a bowl. The bride chooses slips of paper one by one while guests attempt to match the celebrity hubby with the guest who chose him. The game is sure to reveal latent longings for anyone from David Beckham to David Copperfield (we're not judging, but we can't promise your friends won't!). Guests of all ages will enjoy this foray into fantasyland. After all, celebrity crushes keep us feeling young, hip and sexy. That is, unless you're 30 and daydreaming about the Jonas Brothers. That's just gross.
2: Memory Lane
The bride's secret love of boy bands is sure to shock some partygoers when it's revealed during this hilarious game. The concept is simple: Guests write down a funny memory they share with the bride, such as the time they got matching Tweety Bird tattoos or sat front-row at a Backstreet Boys concert. Shower guests take turns figuring out who penned the memory. Hostesses might be wise to keep the guest list in mind when giving directions for this game. If the bride's future mother-in-law is present, keep the memories clean! She won't want to hear about the bride's affinity for table dancing and body shots.
It's easy to put a bridal spin on this longtime party favorite. You just need the standard Pictionary items: pens and markers, an easel with paper, a bowl or other container and pieces of paper with wedding-related terms and phrases written on them. Guests are divided into teams that take turns guessing concepts such as "flower girl," "getaway car" or "on bended knee." If the team is unable to guess the correct answer in 60 seconds, it's turned over to the other teams for a possible steal. The game can last until a team reaches a predetermined number of points or until the paper runs out -- whichever comes first.