If you are getting married, or someone you know is about to be a bride, then chances are you are gearing up for (and possibly dreading) the bridal shower portion of the celebration. And you’ve got every reason to roll your eyes at the thought of a shower. Sure, they can be sweet, but they can also be beyond boring. Or on the flip side, they can be super inappropriate and involve a whole lot of penis-related-shenanigans. And while those activities can certainly be funny for a brief moment, they have a time and place, and when it comes to a game of “Pin the Penis on the Groom,” the bridal shower might not be it. After all, let’s not forget who is planning and attending the shower event. According to Anna Post, etiquette expert and co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th edition, “anyone from the bridesmaids to the mother of the bride to the mother of the groom can host a bridal shower.” Which means that there will probably be your fiancé’s family members, friends of your mothers, coworkers, and even your grandmother in attendance. Note to self: silly games about genitals and your sex life are not really fun when you’re sitting next to your mother-in-law.
The good news is that bridal showers do not need to be boring, and they also don’t need to be inappropriate. They can be tasteful and entertaining and full of love and joy, and you do not need to suffer through games that are overdone and outdated. Here are 7 bridal activities that are non-penis-related, and perfect for your next bridal shower.
1. Newlywed Game A classic game, that’s for sure, but this trivia game to see how well the soon-to-be-newlyweds know each other is always a crowd-pleaser. It’s also pretty simple: you ask the bride and groom each a set of the same questions, then record their answers either in writing, a voice recording or these days, with a video. You ask the bride what she thinks her fiancé said and then reveal the true answer. It’s a way for guests to get to know the couple, and it’s fun for the bride too.
2. Lingerie Gift Game Instead of having guests give the bride a gift from her registry, ask all guests to buy an article of lingerie. It can be sexy, romantic, traditional or sweet, and it should be wrapped with no card or label of whom it is from. The bride then opens all gifts and has to guess who bought her which piece of lingerie. It’s fun, it’s a little racy (without going overboard), and the bride walks away with some pretty gorgeous bedroom attire.
3. Bridal Bingo The gift-opening process can be tedious and oh-so-boring for guests. And honestly, it can be a little awkward for the bride as well. Playing bridal bingo gets the entire party involved and makes it a team effort. Give all guests empty bingo charts, and have them fill in each box with a potential gift item that they think the bride will receive. As the bride opens gifts, guests can check off their bingo boxes, and the first guest to achieve bingo gets a prize.
4. What’s In Your Purse? Sometimes bridal party guest lists are random and mixed—work friends, family members from far away, old friends and new friends. A great way to have all your loved girlfriends get to know each other is with this fun ice-breaker game where everyone gets points for items they are carrying in their purse at the party. You can print out custom cards like these to use for the game and the winner gets a prize.
5. He Said, She Said Similar to the newlywed game, you ask the bride and groom a series of questions. But in this activity you print out a collection of the quotes without noting who said what. Then you ask guests to guess who said which statement, and reveal the correct answers to the entire group. It’s always funny and always a little embarrassing for everyone involved.
6. Fold and Pass Poem Remember way back in English class growing up when you would write a poem collectively as a class? Everyone would have to contribute a line or two to the finished product. This works the same way, and the bride gets to keep the work of art when it’s done. It’s also easy to set up: simply provide a notepad, and have one guest at a time write one line of poetry about their wishes for the newlyweds. The next guest will pick up where the last line left off and add her own words.
7. Photo Booth and Scrapbook Photo booths are everywhere these days—at holiday parties, work events, weddings, and yes even bridal showers. It’s always fun to take silly pictures with loved ones, and it’s even more fun for a bride to get to keep all those photos so she can share them (slash blackmail) guests later. For instant gratification, use a cool Polaroid camera and then to make it special, add some cute bridal themed props for the photos. When they are done, encourage guests to post their photos in a scrapbook that you keep after the shower is done.