Though some may say playing games at a bridal shower is "so 1960s" and quite passe, games can serve as a way to break the ice. Showers often bring together people who don't know each other well; they each know the bride, but not necessarily each other. Games loosen up the party with laughter and chatter among the guests. Because flowers play a major role in romance and weddings, they provide the perfect theme for shower games.
Pretty, Pretty Posy
Play your first party game as guests arrive. Give each guest a blank name tag and instruct her to write her first name on it, along with a flower that begins with the first letter of her name. When all guests have arrived, go around the room and have each guest state her new name, such as "Begonia Barb" or "Marigold Meg." Award a prize for the best floral name, either chosen by you or by vote among the guests.
Match the Meaning
This game can be played to pass the time as guests are arriving or at any time during the shower. Research the standard meanings of about 10 flowers. For example, everyone will probably know that a red rose stands for love, but what's the meaning of a lily, a violet or baby's breath? Write the names of the flowers down the left side of a sheet of paper for each guest, with the meanings of those flowers down the right side, mixing them up so no flower is directly across from its meaning. Ask guests to match the flowers with their meanings by drawing a line between them. When everyone has finished, go over the answers and award a prize to the guest with the most correct answers.
Everyone knows how to play bingo, so this game is easily understood. Use one of the free bingo card-making programs on the Internet or make them by hand. Instead of "B-I-N-G-O" across the top of each card, write "B-R-I-D-E." You can either use numbers in each row as with standard bingo or change the numbers to names of flowers. Instead of B-7, you might have "B-rose." Announce before each game whether the objective is to get five in a row, all four corners or a full card. The first person to yell out "BRIDE!" wins that game. For more fun, give guests candy pieces to use as markers -- tiny tart candies, conversation hearts or small cinnamon dots. At the end of game, guests can eat the candy!
Name That Flower
Make a floral centerpiece, using 10 different flowers in a vase, and place it on the gift or food table. Give each guest a paper with a diagram of the centerpiece on it and ask her to write the name of each flower in its spot in the diagram. Make one or two of the flowers very common, such as a rose and a tulip, so every guest is assured of getting a few correct answers. Make the other flowers less common -- gerbera daisy, gladiola and snapdragon, for example. Make a few of the flowers on the rare side -- nasturtium or delphinium, anyone? -- so you won't end up with a lot of perfect papers. The guest with the most correct answers wins a prize. (Anyone who works in a flower shop can be smug, but can't be a winner.)
If you know the bride's favorite flowers, or the flowers she's chosen for her bouquet, write the name of one or two down the left side of a sheet of paper for each guest, vertically. If she's only using roses, add another short flower name so you have 10 or so letters. Ask each guest to write the name of a flower that starts with each letter. The guest having the most answers reads her flower names aloud and, if all are deemed legitimate, she wins a prize.
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