A murder mystery bridal shower combines the traditional pre-marriage celebration with the storytelling excitement of Sherlock Holmes. Use the game as an opportunity to learn more about how your friends think and to enter a world of your (or the bride's) choosing. Just make sure not to use the bridal shower murder mystery as a chance to kill any of your in-laws, even as part of a game, or you could end up with a painful first couple years of marriage.
Although you can use any location for your murder mystery bridal shower, Amy Ward, a party planner and contributor for Celebrations.com, suggests holding your party in a "quirky" building such as an old house or a Victorian-style bed and breakfast. Ward also suggests choosing a location that serves meals in several courses, with a space in between each course, to allow for action and story development.
When it comes to your story, select something that matches the celebratory atmosphere of the evening; if you can, write or acquire a plot-line that deals with weddings. For example, the story might detail a bridal celebration where a groomsman sneaks in and kills a guest. Or, a jealous bridesmaid could kill the groom. You can get your murder mystery story ideas from books or the Internet, or hire a planner to create the murder mystery specifically for your situation (this is more expensive).
When you mail out the invitations, include "character cards" with pertinent information for the acting and storyline. Additionally, inform the participants of the mood and style of the evening; for example, you might let them know that you intend for '20s jazz music to play throughout the whole night and to prepare themselves for dancing. Depending on the budget for the event, you could provide costume pieces at the door for players to use in creating their characters. For a 1920s murder mystery, for example, you might place on a tray a faux pearl necklace, a collection of feathered hats and a cigarette holder.
Bridal Shower Events
Incorporate traditional bridal shower events, such as gift giving, into the storyline. For the example of giving gifts, you can suggest that each person choose a gift that relates to her character. If you don't feel comfortable tying these more traditional things into the murder mystery, plan for them to occur at the beginning or end of the night -- whichever distracts the least from the murder mystery evening. As for the host, a bridesmaid traditionally hosts the bridal shower. Unfortunately, this person will know the murderer's identity, which means that she can't play a role in the guessing. To allow this person to play, hire a party planner to host the murder mystery.
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