Chances are you probably have a few questions when it comes to deciding on which, if any, wedding shower games you’ll be playing (we know we did!) The fact of the matter is that no two bridal showers are the same, and the rules that apply to one may not necessarily apply to the other. That being said, there are some best practices in place, and to help you make sense of it all, we’ve answered the four most frequently asked questions about bridal shower games.
How many games should be played at a bridal shower?
There is no right or wrong answer to this particular question as it all depends on two factors: the length of the bridal shower and the bride-to-be’s preference. Our basic rule of thumb is one game played for every hour spent. As most batteries tend to be three hours long, the average number of games played at a bridal shower is three. Check out a range of Magic Men’s hens party ideas to help in your upcoming party.
If you’re anxious that you’ll make the wrong choice, discuss it with the bride-to-be and make your decision based on that. It’s her wedding shower, after all, so what she says goes!
What kind of games do you play at a bridal shower?
Typically there are two kinds of games played at a bridal shower: interactive and non-interactive, in other words, multiplayer and single-player.
Interactive games, also commonly referred to as icebreakers, require guests to mingle with each other play. Examples of classic ‘multiplayer games include:
- Find the Guest
- The Ring Game
- Bridal Mad Libs
Non-interactive games, typically found in printable form, tend to require more actual thought than socialising. Examples of classic “single-player” games include:
- How Well Do You Know the Bride?
- He Said She Said
- Would She Rather
We suggest featuring an even mix of both game styles of the game to get guests socialising and single-player to make things competitive.
Do you have to play bridal shower games?
In our honest opinion, the answer to this question is no; you do not have to play bridal shower games. There is no hidden handbook that says they are a must. It’s not even taboo if you don’t. We’ve attended many modern bridal showers that have skipped the game-playing portion and were still super fun.
The real question is, should you play them? And for that, we don’t have a definitive answer. Again, it’s all about your bride-to-be’s preference. If she’s looking for a traditional wedding shower- play some games! If she’s a nontraditional bride- screw traditions! It’s that simple.
What do you do at a bridal shower without games?
The truth is that a bridal shower without games is still just a bridal shower. In other words, guests must socialise with one another while the bride-to-be takes turns visiting with everyone.
If you are comfortable knowing that playing games are unnecessary to achieve this goal, you need not plan anything to take their place. If you are unsure or even the slightest bit worried, we recommend supplementing bridal shower games with one or two of these alternative activities.
Bridal Shower Games and Icebreakers
Of course, it's not required that you play games at the bridal shower but consider this: You're going to have an all-ages group, and most of the guests have probably never met one another before the party. Mixing in a few of these classic bridal shower games is a perfect way to break the ice.
Although it is only necessary to play games at a bridal shower, they are a hallmark of the party—for an excellent reason. Games break the ice between guests who may not know each other. These creative activities will help celebrate the bride-to-be and entertain guests of all ages.
Traditional Bridal Shower Games
You might have seen these before, but there's a reason they're so popular—they're fun!
Toilet Paper Wedding Dress
Divide the group into two or more teams of at least three people each. The units are given rolls of toilet paper, and each team chooses a "bride." Give the groups 15 minutes to create a wedding dress on their "bride" using toilet paper. At the end of the allotted time, vote for the best and funniest wedding dresses.
To begin, choose a common buzzword such as "bride," "groom," or "wedding." When each person comes into the party, hand them a clothespin. Then, if someone hears another person saying the buzzword, they get to take that person's clothespin. The person with the most clothespins at the end of the party wins.
Two Truths and a Lie
Everyone introduces herself and tells the group three things about herself: Two are right, and one is a lie. The audience then writes down or shouts out which one they think is a lie.
Who Am I?: Before the party, make a list of famous romantic couples that your guests are likely to know. These can be real (Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn), fictional (Fred and Wilma Flintstone), contemporary (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie), or ancient (Antony and Cleopatra). Write each name down separately on name tags and as each guest arrives, put a name tag (without showing them) on their back. Their task is to go around the party and ask yes or no questions about their "secret identity." For example, "Am I a fictional character?" "Am I a man?" Then, they have to find their "better half." The game ends when everyone has found their partner. Award a prize to the first couple to do so.
Get to Know the Bride Games
How well do you know the bride’s favourite colour? Like traditional bingo, each card should be slightly different but have some typical squares with each of the others. Next, write down each item on a separate slip of paper. Fold the papers, mix them up and put them in a bag or bowl. Then have the guest-of-honour select one piece of paper at a time, reading it aloud to the group. When a guest has a square that matches what is said, she gets to mark that square. You could also fill a bag with small gifts of things that make her happy, like a bottle of nail polish or a favourite magazine. Every so often, tell the bride to choose a gift rather than a slip of paper. Make sure these gifts also appear on the cards so that guests get a chance to play. Be sure also to have door prizes for the first guest to get five in a row and shout out, "Bingo!" Tired of looking for hens party ideas? Look no further, Magic Men has you covered.
Start this game by asking the guest-of-honour to leave the room, standing just out of sight but within hearing distance. Ask guests what she is wearing, how her hair is styled, etc., and then move on to more challenging questions such as how the bride and groom met or her favourite animal. The first person to shout out the correct answers is the winner.
How Well Does The Bride Know the Groom
Before the shower, ask the groom questions about himself and carefully write down his answers. At the battery, ask the bride to predict what he said. If the answers match, she gets a prize. If the answers don't match, the first guest to call out the correct answer gets the glory. Sample questions include: What is his favourite colour? Favourite band? Favourite thing to do on the weekend? Dream vacation? Where was their first date?
How Old Was She?
Find pictures of the bride of a variety of ages. Pin them to a board and hand out sheets of paper to each guest. As they mingle and eat, they can guess what age she was in each picture. Give a prize to the person with the correct answers.
Modern Bridal Shower Games
When you're entertaining a younger crowd made up mainly of the bride's friends, traditional bridal shower games won't do. Try these slightly risqué, fun games instead.
Toilet Paper and Stick
This is an excellent game for those who don't mind a little risqué fun. Divide the guests into teams and appoint a captain for each. Give each captain a broomstick or pole and ask them to stand against a wall, holding the stick between their legs. Give the other team members rolls of toilet paper. The game’s goal is for each team member to cross the room to their team's pole with toilet paper registration between their legs (no hands). The first team with all four rolls on its captain's bar is the winner and gets a door prize. This game is hilarious and makes for great pictures.
Groom in His Skivvies
Tell each guest that the game’s object is to draw a picture of the groom in his underwear, but the catch is that the drawing pad must remain on top of the artist's head the whole time she is drawing. The bride picks her favourite drawing to win a prize.
Gossiping: The host of the party and the bride write a gossipy question about every guest on index cards, such as "Who did Lisa have a date with two weeks ago?" or "Who was Maggie's first kiss?" or "When was the last time the bride's mom bought lingerie?" When guests arrive, they each draw an index card and have a set period (30 minutes to an hour) to come up with the answer to the question. They should try to avoid asking the person directly. At the end of the period, each guest comes to the front of the room and shares their bit of gossip with the group.
Pin the Lips on the Groom
Purchase a traditional pin the tail on the donkey game and post the donkey picture on the wall. Cut out a picture of the groom's face and paste it over the donkey's head. Have a tube of garish, inexpensive lipstick available, ask blindfolded guests to put on the lipstick, spin around, and then kiss the groom The guest who gets closest to his lips.
Unique Bridal Shower Games & Activities
If you're planning a shower for an artistic or unusual bride, you won't want to ask her friends to sit around drinking tea and swapping stories. Instead, look for alternative wedding shower games and activities.
Arts and Crafts Activities
Have a supply of papers, pens, paints, etc., and ask guests to write and illustrate either their favourite memory of the bride, their best marital advice or a recipe. After the present opening, ask each guest to read or explain their project and have the maid of honour gather the pages into a scrapbook.
Spa trips are becoming increasingly popular for pre-wedding get-togethers. The maid of honour or organiser finds a spa nearby and usually books a private room, or sometimes the whole place. If the maid-of-honour is feeling generous, she may pay for small treatments for everyone. More common, however, is for each guest to pay for her treatments and pitch in for the bride's treatments.
At-Home Spa Day
If you are on a budget, there's no reason not to create a spa at your home. You and the other bridesmaids should bring whatever fun lotions, nail polishes, and beauty products you have at your home. Have a big stack of clean fluffy towels available, magazines, and a large plastic basin for every guest to soak their feet in. Make sure you have nail polish remover for old polish, good eats, and some relaxing music on the stereo. Get everyone to chip in for a spa gift certificate as a present for the bride.
Learn a New Skill
If you know how to knit, arrange flowers, make jewellery, or paint pottery, why not teach it to the guests? They'll spend a fun afternoon learning a new skill and leave with a project or give one to the bride. If you're not confident in your teaching abilities, look to local stores for group one-day classes that can be booked for the day. A favourite one of mine is to paint your pottery or attend a group cooking class.
My Favorite Memory
Along with your invitation, include a printed card that says, "Please write your favourite memory of the bride or groom." During the present opening, each guest stands and reads the card she brought. Some are funny, some are sentimental, and all are enjoyable to hear. Purchase a photo album to collect the memories and photos of the party.
Your guests may not want to play challenging games, but who doesn't love a present? As your guests enter, have them write down their birthdays and wedding anniversaries (if applicable). The guest whose date is closest to the wedding date wins a prize. The hostess can then copy down the birthdays and anniversaries in an excellent birthday book for the bride, so she'll always know when to send a thoughtful card.
Bridal Shower Games that are Fun
Okay, so the first of the bridal shower games require a bit of prep, but if you’re a fellow lover of Taboo (everyone, right?), it’ll be worth it. It’s a bit like charades, but with words instead of actions, which means lots of shouting and a fast pace. Our twists? Creating your cue cards that relate to the couple, so the game has an element of how much players know the couple. If you know that the couple had their first date at the movies seeing Mad Max: Fury Road, you’ll learn to look for it in the cue cards.
A team member will draw a card with a word or phrase on it and then try to get their teammate to shout out the name without saying the word/phrase or any common “no-go” words also listed on the card. For example, Mad Max: Fury Road and the no-go terms are Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Australia, Science Fiction, or Apocalyptic.
You’ll have to make up some cue cards and print them out, but it’s easy, we promise. Try favourite restaurants, a honeymoon destination, or past date spots.
It’s lively enough to get the energy flowing, but it’s also not a huge commitment. You can stop any time it starts to feel tedious.
PASS THE PRESENT: LOVE SONGS
What is it
As a kid, we had a rotating repertoire of games at our birthday parties, but one was always on the itinerary, no matter the theme or age: Pass the present. You can make it bridal shower game-worthy by playing funny or upbeat love songs, or songs the couple has loved or loves, and will make players giggle. (Britney always kills it.)
Players pass a wrapped gift around a circle while music plays. When the music stops suddenly, whoever has the present, gets to open it. Within each wrapping, they’ll find a small gift—and another wrapped present, which gets passed around to music until the last round, which holds the best talent.
You’ll need to source presents of varying sizes and then wrap them up within each other, matryoshka style. Then, make a playlist of songs. Assign someone to music-stopping duty, and you’re done.
First of all, presents are always fun. Second, sometimes you need a break from all that competition and hard work and want a game that’s a bit more chill.
WEDDING HUMAN BINGO
What is it
Does a bridal shower even exist without some type of bingo? This human version of bingo is an oft-used option at team-building workshops, which sounds may be awful, but actually—honestly!—is a great way to get people who may not know each other mingling and breaking the ice. As event planner Rebecca Wright said, “I put a series of questions for the bride-to-be in a bowl (like “how did you first meet” or “tell us about the proposal” etc.), and each has a number on it. Everyone is given a 5×5 bingo card with unique numbers in the grid, and then the bowl is handed around the group. Someone at a time, someone draws a question, reads the number first (which corresponds to the bingo cards – anyone with that number on their card covers it up) and then asks the bride. The first person to cover five numbers in a row on their bingo card wins a prize. Usually, everyone wants to finish asking all the questions even after someone has already called “bingo” because it is fun to hear all the answers. It keeps everyone engaged and gives the bride-to-be a chance to tell some personal stories. It also works well with groups of varying sizes. Pro-tip: Make sure the game prizes are something worth winning, and you’ll have everyone’s attention/participation.” Want to have the best Melbourne hens party? Magic Men has you covered.
Instead of filling your bingo sheet with numbers, fill it with characteristics of other party members—that relate to the bride, or the wedding, of course. Guests need to get signatures of people who have those characteristics. They could be anything from “someone who speaks French” when the honeymoon is in Paris to “the bride’s family member” to “someone who loves corn dogs,” the groom’s favourite food.
You’ll need to create and print the bingo cards and do a little research on how to tie things back to the couple. Don’t forget enough pens for everyone to have one!
This one is pretty easy to explain since everyone has played some sort of bingo before. And the prep is pretty minimal!
What is it
This is a wedding twist on the game Mafia, which isn’t yet a thing (call me Hasbro), but I’m making it one now because Mafia is hella fun, and I’ll take any excuse to play it. This role-playing game (read: no prep needed) of deception, mystery, and revelations (!) involves typically a moderator who designates part of the group to be mafiosos and part of the group innocents. Instead, we go with The Betrothed and Wedding Crashers. So bright, we know!
First, select a moderator. Everyone gets their designation as either Wedding Crasher or Betrothed by drawing cards (or straws, or however is easiest) secretly. Everyone closes their eyes. The officiant alerts all the Crashers to identify themselves to each other silently and to pick a Betrothed’s wedding to crash. Then, everyone opens their eyes, and the moderator announces whose marriage has been hit. Players can then accuse anyone of being a Crasher, and a vote is put to the group as to whether or not to “throw out” that person. Rounds continue until the Crashers are eliminated or until they take over the party by the majority.
No prep needed for this game, plus suspicion and mystery makes for excellent gameplay.
BRIDAL SHOWER GROG
What is it
This is less a game and more an excuse to get silly and drunk. The real story: I had a grog-inspired activity at my wedding, and it was great.
In the military, there is a gag tradition at dinners and events called a grog ceremony, where liquors are ceremoniously added to a punch bowl, with each liquor representing something about the unit or troop (“Red wine for our time in France in World War II!” “Sake for our service in the Pacific Theatre!”), and then everyone toasts with it. It often gets a bit gross—but that’s the fun of it. At ours, our wedding party members added one ingredient to the bowl. They gave a mini-speech about how that ingredient represented love, marriage, or their relationship with us, the couple. While we cheated, using a predetermined punch recipe for our wedding and asking people to make the metaphor work, you could also stick with the hodgepodge juice approach for the bridal shower. Looking for an affordable lingerie shop? Check this website!
Ask all the guests at the party to bring a Lil something to contribute to the punch bowl and explain how it represents their relationship to the couple. (Note: A very little something, depending on how many guests you have.) Then, everyone toasts the couple! Some ingredient ideas: Champagne, because the bride’s got a bubbly personality. Aperol, because the honeymoon is in Milan. Kombucha, because the couple brews their own. Strawberries because they’re an aphrodisiac.
Shared hardships, like drinking from a tub of unidentifiable booze together, bonds people. Also, who doesn’t like to play with their food (and drink!)? This puts a whole new twist on bridal shower games, for sure.
BRIDAL SHOWER… CRAFT-A-THON
What is it
It’s not quite a game, but we like to live on the edge… on the edge of a craft store, that is! Tapping into those creative juices with your people is an enjoyable and relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
Guests may end up leaving the event with a little something they shaped from their own two hands. It could be anything from decoupaging teacups with brightly coloured tissue paper, to indigo-dying tea towels, to decorating cookies (surprisingly relaxing!!), to making (of course) flower crowns, which I’m always trying to find an excuse to do.
The best part about craft parties is having all the tools and materials at your fingertips, so you’re free to let your creativity blossom—and sip champagne. (No hunting through hodgepodge drawers for your pair of scissors or that damn glitter glue you bought last summer.) Make sure everyone has a base (whether that be a teacup, blank tea towel, cookie, or wire for their flower crown base) and tools (frosting tips, glue, gloves, floral tape), then provide a variety of different crafting options that will ensure each guest’s creation is foreign—such as many colours of sprinkles or frosting, many shades and patterns of tissue paper, or many types of greens or flowers. You don’t want every guest’s masterpiece to end up looking the same due to limited resources!
You’re making something together, which is, like, beautiful, guys. Also, it’s fun, and you don’t have to worry about a) everyone getting bored halfway through and b) cousin Linda getting into one of her crazy, scary-ass competitive fits during a game. Typical Linda.