Just the phrase "bridal shower games" may make you cringe, but these games can actually be fun if they're planned well. Games often are played near the end of the shower, so guests may consider sneaking out the door before the fun begins. Passing out prizes ensures that everyone will want to stay and play.
Wine and Spirits
At a baby shower, alcohol generally is excluded in any form since the guest of honor can't partake. At a bridal shower, all bets are off. If you want to bring out the competitive side of all the shower guests, make it known that a bottle of wine or liquor is up for grabs. Avoid giving out beer unless the shower theme is casual backyard barbecue. If you're using white wine as a prize, keep it refrigerated until right before the shower so the winner can enjoy a glass as soon as she gets home.
The bride will want all her guests to look their best at her wedding, since this day will be immortalized by her photographer. Even after the wedding is over, nearly any woman will appreciate the chance to make herself more beautiful. Passing out small bags of nail polish, lipstick or upscale hair products will let the prize winner pamper herself; as long as you choose fairly neutral shades and scents, any guest can use these products.
Some shower hosts may share the elementary school mentality that everyone's a winner. If you're planning several games and want to award first-, second- and third-place winners in all of them, giving out lottery tickets will keep you from going broke. This prize idea also works if you're only celebrating one winner. Buy a variety of scratch-off tickets to give to the lucky lady, along with a dime she can use to scratch them. If she strikes it rich, maybe she'll throw a few dollars your way.
Between decorations and game prizes, hosting a shower can be expensive. Stretch your budget by turning your decor into prizes. Buy large scented candles, picture frames, flower pots or vases to arrange on tables throughout the shower, then give them away to the game winners. Since shower organizers often opt to play games at the end of the event, winners won't be plucking the decorations off the tables until they're on the way out the door.
- David Woolley/Photodisc/Getty Images