Honoring the bride-to-be is at the center of the bridal shower but when the games are planned with care, all guests will have a genuinely enjoyable time. Here, some of our favorite bridal shower games, from icebreakers to kick things off to post-meal festivities that will leave everyone wishing for more.
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Also known as Celebrity, HedBanz, and Heads Up, this guessing game involves securing an index card with an iconic name to your forehead and receiving hints until you guess who or what you are. For a bridal twist, write the names of famous people, places, or things that have significance to the bride or groom on the backs of escort cards and tape or tie them to the guests’ foreheads as they arrive. No peeking!
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Type up multiple-choice quizzes with trivia about the bride and groom. (Ask relatives for anecdotes from their childhood and teen years.) For example, “What is Steve’s all-time favorite cereal?” or “Which famously bad hairdo did Maggie sport at age 6?” Give each guest a quiz and a pencil. Reading the questions and answers aloud makes the game more entertaining. Whoever gets the most answers right wins.
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Hand out numbered slips of paper and ask shower guests to write their little-known nicknames (romantic or otherwise). When they’re finished, hang the slips on a cute board (like this DIY heart-and-arrow display) or place them in a hat or bowl from which to draw. Hand out pre-numbered sheets of paper and read aloud each name, one by one, asking the ladies to write their guesses for each nickname on the corresponding line. The person with the most correct guesses wins!
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Bridal Shower Cootie Catcher
Get everyone talking (and toasting and laughing) with our spin on the childhood favorite. To play, assign someone based on the top options (Bride, Your Choice, Everyone, or Bride’s Choice), and spell the name of the person chosen (or the word “everyone”) as you move flaps in and out and side to side in coordination with the letters. Then, ask the chosen person to pick a number and move the flaps as you count. Finally, have her pick a number and open the fortune-teller to reveal one of the following tasks:
Make a toast!
Give a relationship tip.
Tell your love story.
Serenade someone (group picks the song and the muse).
Snap a funny photo!
Play 2 truths and 1 lie (group guesses the lie).
Pick an iconic couple and give clues till the group guesses.
Share a fun fact about the bride or groom!
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Assemble a dozen or so photographs of the bride, showing her at different ages. Mix them up so they’re not in order. Give pencils and paper to everyone, pass the photos around or display them someplace where everyone can see, and have guests write down their guess as to how old the bride was in the picture (she has braces, so that must have been in junior high). A prize goes to the person who gets the most ages right.
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In keeping with the theme of “love,” come up with a list of iconic duos. Download, print, and cut out our heart cards. Write one name from each pair on either side of the heart and use decorative scissors to cut through the center to create two cards. Set a card at each seat and instruct the ladies to find their match. For a cute touch, have one of the couples be the bride and groom!
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Some things get even better with age, like this whispering game that is a throwback to your elementary school days. Place an instruction card on one guest’s seat, which prompts her to initiate a toast (it could be anything from well wishes for the bride and groom to a funny story about the bride). This toast will travel from ear to ear until it makes its way back to the guest. She then announces her original toast, as well as the group’s mangled version of it. Take turns until each guest’s message is delivered.
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This Mad Libs-inspired bridal shower game is a playful way to gather both the names of attendees and their marital advice. Have each lady fill in a blank and write her name on the back of her card. Read the sentences—ranging from silly to serious—aloud and have the bride (or everyone!) guess from whom the words of wisdom came.
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Bridal Shower Love Bingo
Learn more about the bride and the groom by playing a round (or two) of bridal shower love bingo.
1. Print grids of 16 squares onto card stock. Number squares randomly, 1 to 16.
2. For paddles, glue a craft stick between two card-stock rectangles; write the bride’s name on one side, the groom’s on the other.
3. Number 16 cards 1 through 16; on the back of each, write something about the bride or groom (“hates bugs” or “Madonna fan”). Each player gets a bingo board, paddle, and candy “chips.” The leader reads the cards; with the paddle, players indicate whom the statement is about. If correct, they place a chip on the square with the card’s number. Whoever gets four in a row first wins.
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Bridal Shower Gift Bingo
For this version of bridal shower bingo, write the names of gifts the bride may receive, and have guests mark the appropriate spots as she opens her presents. As Sharon Kroll, who invented this registry-inspired take on the game for a friend’s shower, says, this “fixes the problem of people being bored watching the gifts being opened.”
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Also known as The Newlywed Game, The Shoe Game, Mr. and Mrs., or His and Hers, this activity allows you to test the bride and groom on just how well they know each other. Before the shower, send the groom a list of questions with two parts: His response and what he thinks his bride will say. At the party, give the bride the same questionnaire and have her, too, answer honestly and give her groom guesses. When she's finished filling it out, read both their responses out loud, checking for accuracy, or alternate playing a video of the groom’s replies between the bride’s answers. You could also use dry-erase boards (have a friend copy the groom’s responses), or give the bride a pink and a blue paddle or a male and female shoe to raise with her response. (Note: With this version, you must be able to answer simply, “him” or “me.”)
Come up with your own questions (the wittier, the better), or steal some of these:
1a. Who said “I love you” first?
1b. Who will ____ say said “I love you” first?
2a. When did you know you were in love?
2b. When did ____ know he/she was in love?
3a. Who usually gets his/her way?
3b. Who will ____ say usually gets his/her way?
4a. What’s your idea of a perfect weekend?
4b. What’s ____’s idea of a perfect weekend?
5a. Who was your first kiss?
5b. Who was ____’s first kiss?
6a. What’s number one on your bucket list?
6b. What’s number one on ____’s bucket list?
7a. Where was your most memorable date?
7b. Where was ____’s most memorable date?
8a. What’s your favorite drink?
8b. What’s ____’s favorite drink?
9a. What was your first impression of the other?
9b. What was ____’s first impression of you?
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For a food-themed bridal shower, play this fun twist on the couples quiz. Have the couple answer the questions below (prompted by associations with the five taste buds) separately about one another. Then have the pair attempt to guess the other's responses in front of the group with only a few clues.
Which of your partner's personality traits has best seasoned the relationship?
When resolving a fight, who attempts to make amends first and how?
Which of your partner's antics have you grown to love, even if it began as one of your personal pet peeves?
What gift or act of kindness engineered by your significant other tops the list, in your opinion?
What joke, spoof, or act employed by your spouse-to-be will likely make you laugh for decades to come?
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Instead of an album-style guest book, have a custom puzzle made with the names of the bride and groom (ours is by Bella Puzzles). Place the pieces in a glass bowl at the shower, along with a sign asking attendees to autograph the unfinished backs. Keep any children at the party busy assembling the pieces while the bride-to-be opens her gifts. When the celebration is over, she can have fun reading the good wishes.
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Pen a poem collectively about the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. While she is opening her gifts, pass around a piece of paper with a starter sentence at the top. Each guest should look at the last line, add another, then fold it over so that only their phrase is visible for the next person to follow, and so on. Read the poem aloud at the end and see if it took any twists and turns.
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Hand out pencils and slips of paper, and have guests sit in a circle. Ask each person to think of three facts or anecdotes that describe her relationship with the bride or groom—two true and one not. Have each guest tell her stories (while trying to keep a straight face). The others write down which statements they think are false. The guest who identifies the most tall tales, wins.