I'm off to North Carolina today for my good friend Stephanie's bridal shower. She was one of my three bridesmaids, along with my sister and cousin and I'm honored to be doing a reading in her wedding. (In my opinion, that's the best possible role to have--you are invited to the rehearsal dinner, are listed in the program, but wear your own dress!)
One of my favorite things about a good friend getting married is hosting--or helping to host--the bridal shower. Oh how I love bridal showers! As this shower is long distance for me, I offered to help the hostess with two things: the invitations and the games.
I'm 99.9% sure Stephanie doesn't read this blog so feel safe telling you about the things we're doing at her shower tomorrow.
For the invitations, I purchased these from Target. They are currently on sale, $24.99 for 50 (I think they were $34 when I bought them). Either way, they are a bargain as they look and feel much more expensive than they are. Because we asked people to RSVP via e-mail, we are using the reply cards as a special surprise for Stephanie. I included them in with the invitation along with a note asking people to use the front of the card to write Stephanie a note, share a memory, give advice, share a quote or poem or even attach a photo of themselves with Stephanie. At the shower we'll put them all into a scrapbook and later add photos from the afternoon.
What else can a long-distance friend help with for a bridal shower?
I'm generally not a fan of games at bridal or baby showers. Toilet paper dress? Guess what's in my purse? Yuck and yuck. But, over the years, I've collected ideas for several fun and funny games.
1) Bridal Bingo -- The most boring part of the shower for guests is generally when the bride- or mom-to-be is opening her presents. Yay towels! Yay knives! So, let's give the guests something to do. Preparing for this game is easy. Just make a table with 5 columns and 6 rows. Instead of BINGO across the top, type in BRIDE. In the center square type "Your Gift". Hand the sheets out to the guests before the bride starts opening her gifts and give them time to fill in each of the squares with gifts they think the bride may receive that afternoon. When the bride opens one of those gifts, they cross off that box. The first person to get 5 across, down or diagonal yells "BRIDE" and receives a prize! With this game, I like to offer prizes to the first two people to get a row, just to keep it going a bit longer.
2) Advice Game -- This is a really funny game! Get all the bridesmaids to help come up with various wedding or honeymoon scenarios--they should be humorous and relevant to the bride and groom. For example, we played this game at my friend Katie's shower this summer. Her fiance, now husband, is an engineer and her mom sewed her dress (it was so stunning!). So, one of our scenarios for them was "On their wedding night, Katie discovers that her mom has sewn a chastity belt into her dress. Despite being an engineer, John is unable to remove it. What should they do?". There should be one such scenario for each guest at the shower. You hand out the pieces of paper with the scenario facing down--tell the guests to write down a piece of advice for the new couple on the blank side without looking at the other side. Collect the cards and read the scenarios followed by the advice. They end up being quite funny!
3) Love Poem -- This is another way to keep guests busy while the bride (or mom) opens all those gifts. Take a piece of paper and write the first line of a poem, for example, "Stephanie and Will have found true love". The guests add the next line of the poem, but--here's the catch--they can only look at one previous line. So, before the pass it, they fold the paper so that only their line is showing. After all the gifts are open, you read the poem--it always garners a laugh. The hostess can then type the poem up nicely for the bride or mom to keep in their shower album or scrapbook.
4) Famous TV Couples -- I just discovered this game and plan to use it for the first time this weekend. There are several different ways to do this game. I have listed the first names of 20 famous TV couples and the guests will have a certain amount of time to list the TV show that goes with each couple. The person with the most correct answers wins! There will be a broad age range at this shower so I've got couples ranging from Carrie and Mr. Big to Edith and Archie.