December 15, 2008

Getting to Know the Bride

Today, I received this email from Kimber, who asked:

"I'm helping throw a shower for my soon-to-be new sister-in-law. It's mostly going to be a family shower, and none of us know her very well yet. (I've never even met her). Any ideas for fun getting-to-know-the-bride/ welcome-to-the-family shower games or activities?"

Get your printer ready, Kimber, because I have several fun ideas for you.

Introductions Game

Typically at a bridal shower, everyone goes around the room and introduces themselves, usually saying her name and if she's related or a friend. At my friend Camille's baby shower (yes, I said baby not bridal - but hey, we use many of the same games at either one. So it works, right?), we were asked to introduce ourselves, but to also tell either a story about the first time we met Camille or our favorite story of our adventures together.

This is a fun way for others to see a little bit of the different connections and relationships the bride has with everyone in attendance. It's also fun for the bride to relive all those memories with her friends and family.

For those that may not know the bride as well, they can tell a bit of how they know her even if it's just from excited phone conversations with the groom. When I was at Camille's shower, she had lots of close family and friends there. But my relationship with Camille was a bit different. She was married to the missionary who taught me the first discussion when I was sixteen years old. While Camille and I had become friends, we didn't live close enough to each other to spend a lot of time together. But it was still fun to share the first time Camille and I had met. One weekend I decided I needed a break from Salt Lake and went to visit some friends in Provo. While I was in town, Jeff (formerly Elder Beard) brought Camille over to meet me. It was fun to see Jeff all sweet and lovey. At the shower, Camille shared that it had also been the first night Jeff had held her hand and been snugly in public. That night had not only been the first time we had met, but a turning point in their relationship as they became more serious about each other. What a fun memory to share together!

Getting to Know You Jar

My all time favorite bridal shower game is one of sharing stories. For each gift the bride opens, she tells a story about herself and her sweetheart while they were dating. Some brides are a bit shy when put on the spot, so I came up with this fun game that can be used in multiple ways.

1. Find a container. This could be a quart-size canning jar, a large decorative bowl, or if you want to be crafty, an empty formula container that has been wrapped with paper and decorated. Be sure the mouth of the container is wide enough to draw questions out of. It's also helpful if the container has a lid, but it's optional.

2. Have you ever . . . ? Create cute tags or cut strips of paper. On each tag or strip, write a question for the bride to answer. You can start with some of the sample questions below. To add to the fun, leave some blank tags or strips out for guests to write their own question on and have them add it to the container.

Sample Questions:

Where was your first date?

How did you meet?

Who introduced you to your sweetheart?

How did he propose?

What was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened on a date (to either the bride or the groom)?

What is the funniest thing the groom has ever done for you?

What's the most romantic thing he's done for you?

Was your first kiss: a) sweet b) foot-popping or c) spine-tingling?

How long did you date before the first kiss?

3. Shaky, shaky. Shake up the container or mix the questions up with your hand before pulling any out. Ask a question before the bride opens each gift. Then she should tell you a story before opening her gift.

Additional Options:

-Extend the game by pulling a question out of the jar every fifteen minutes while everyone is eating and visiting.

-To learn more about the bride, add questions about when she was growing up, her family, favorite vacations, favorite toy, pets, etc.

-For some silly fun, ask the family of the bride and groom to come prepared with funny short stories or pictures of the couple when they were growing up. The family members can be called upon to share alternately throughout the shower or they could take turns sharing stories after the bride opens each present. This is a wonderful way to fill the shower with laughter without bringing out any embarrassing gifts!

I hope these ideas have inspired you to create more intimate and fun bridal showers. And Kimber, I hope this was just what you were looking for! Please let us know how your bridal shower turns out.



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