The time leading up to the big day should be the most exciting of the bride-to-be’s life so far. She gets to be the princess and marry her prince charming. All eyes will be on her on and leading up to the big day. A bridal shower is one of the fun traditions of getting married, and something that the bride’s friends should plan for her. It’s a bit of fun in all the madness of wedding prep. Bridal shower games make the day even more memorable.
It’s tradition for the maid of honor to organize the event and make sure it’s a magical day for the blushing bride. Sometimes the bride’s mother or sisters want to help or throw their own, family shower. Members of the bridal party traditionally pitch in to pay for the bridal shower. You don’t need a lot of money to throw a memorable shower. You just need a plan, food, and fun bridal shower games for everyone to play.
Planning a Bridal Shower
You want to throw the bride a shower she’ll love without burdening her with the details. This should be a stress-free day for her. As the maid of honor, sister, or other friend or relative, you get to iron out the details. You know what she likes, or you wouldn’t have been picked to head up the bridal party.
Three Months Out
You want to plan at least three months before the wedding. This is when you meet with the bride to talk about her overarching wishes for her shower. Things to discuss:
- Will the shower be coed or all women?
- Does she want a casual or formal affair?
- Does she picture an afternoon gathering or weekend night party?
- Is there a favorite color, theme or setting she’s hoping to have?
- Does she have a location in mind?
Now you have the basics. Because you know her friends and family, come up with a guest list and run it by her. Maybe her Aunt Fran cannot be in the same room as her sister and she’d prefer her sister be there. Just keep in mind, whomever you’re inviting to the shower has to be invited to the wedding.
Pick a date. It should be about three to four weeks before the wedding. If there are a lot of guests who will be invited that aren’t traveling until the week of the wedding, you’ll need to fit it in around the wedding week. If she’s decided on a public venue, call and make the reservation now.
Two Months Out
Have a meeting with the bridesmaids and talk about budget. There needs to be transparency here so nobody is surprised when it’s time to pay up. If it’s a little too pricey, think of lower cost things to substitute the higher priced items:
- Handmade centerpieces vs. florist bought
- Shop clearance sections for decorations—you’d be surprised
- Have a baking pro on the bridal party? You just saved a ton of money
- Go for lower-priced menu choices
- Have members of the groom’s party serve the food
Now is the time to email save the dates to the guests. Make a personal call first to the most important guests to rule out scheduling conflicts. Grandmothers, nieces, and the mother of the groom are all important guests, so the date may need to be shifted a week to accommodate. Have a bridesmaid reach out to guests that have a long way to travel and give them a head’s up.
Get all the guests addresses together if you’re using paper invites. Many showers are only using electronic invites these days. Keep in mind there may be guests who still don’t use email (right?) so you’ll need paper for them.
Have a brainstorming session with the rest of the bridal party. This may be the first time bridal shower games are brought up. You can make each bridesmaid responsible for one bridal shower game each or just take the reins yourself.
Assign tasks like music, decorations, flowers, guest check in, RSVPs and anything else necessary to each bridesmaid. Make sure everyone leaves with a detailed to-do list.
One Month Out
Now is the time to address and mail all invitations and ask for a two-week turnaround for RSVPs. Include the places the bride has registered for gifts. Shop for all decorations, paper goods, and the prizes for winning the bridal shower games. Confirm with people who have offered to bring anything to the shower that they’re still on board.
Two Weeks Out
Now is the time to confirm everything:
- Audio equipment
Make lists of groceries, last minute décor and alcohol. Now is also the time to buy your personal present for the bride.
One Week Out
Gift wrap all the prizes for the bridal shower games and make a schedule of what games will be played and when. Buy groceries and make place cards if you’re using them.
One Day Before
Prepare food items that can store overnight. If you can get into the venue the day before, decorate and set the tables. Run any last-minute errands and make sure the bridesmaids will be there early the next day.
The party supplies will depend on the theme and colors of the party. A list of the most important supplies:
- Plates, napkins, plastic ware, cups, serving ware
- Candles for ambiance
- Playlist of music
- Gifts for bridal shower games
10 Ideas for Bridal Shower Games
Bridal shower games are a great way to keep the energy up and bring people together. We’ve put together a list of the 10 best bridal shower games to liven things up and make it a shower to remember.
1. Romantic Movie Quotes
Pick ten memorable—but not too easy—romantic movie quotes and number them 1-10. Have sheets of paper for people to write their name and their guesses. The person with the most correct answers wins. If there’s a tie, make the tiebreaker questions about the bride’s favorite movies.
Gift for the winner—a DVD of one movie quoted. ($10)
This trivia game will be about the bride and groom. Have the guests pair into teams of two and hand out your printed pages of 20 bride and groom relationship trivia questions. Give them 15 minutes to scroll in their answers and collect the completed forms. The team with the most correct answers wins.
Gift for the winning team—travel trivia games ($5)
3. The Ol’ Ball and Chain
Get some Styrofoam balls, spray-paint them black and staple a rope to the top. Place 6-8 of them in a bucket and place an empty bucket next to it. The teams of two need to get as many balls from one bucket to the other using only their knees in one minute. This is hilarious and worthy of recording.
Gift for the winning team—cute bracelets ($20)
4. A Through Z
Give the guests paper and pens. Have them write one wedding term for each letter of the alphabet, in order. Give them only two minutes on the clock for this. Whoever has the most—and legitimate—words wins. Bonus points for creativity
Gift for the winner—pretty stationary ($15)
After about an hour into the shower, have the bride leave the room. Pass out paper to the guests and ask 10-15 questions about the bride from that day. Ask about the color and cut of her dress, her shoes, nail polish and jewelry. The winner is the guest who most paid attention.
Gift for the winner—the Simon memory game ($15)
6. Name That Love Song
Play a snippet of 12 love songs. Have the guests write the title and the artist. The person who can name the most titles and singers, wins.
Gift for the winner—I-tunes gift card ($25)
7. Well Wishes
This isn’t a game so much as it is a sweet gesture for the bride and groom. Have small cards for each guest waiting for them on the tables. Have them each write a wish for the new couple to give to the bride at the end of the shower.
A sweet game for the bride. When guests arrive, have them anonymously write a funny or sweet memory they share with the bride. Later, read each out loud to the bride and have her guess who wrote it.
9. Photo Challenge
Have a cork board in a central location. Put 10 numbered pictures of the bride and groom as kids on the board. Guests need to write their guesses of the age the bride or groom were in each picture. The most correct guesses win.
Gift for the winner—pretty picture frame ($25)
10. Wedding Trivia
Think of a series of questions about weddings. The questions can be general like “Name one wedding superstition” or difficult, like “Who composed The Wedding March?”. The person with the most correct answers wins.
Gift for the winner—Trivial Pursuit ($25)
Bridal showers show the bride how much she is loved as an individual before she becomes part of a married couple. These bridal shower games will keep guests entertained and laughing as they wait their turn to spend time with the bride. Laughter and fun are the perfect ways to calm the nerves of a jittery bride. And cake. Cake helps too.