Tis’ the season for engagements, which means plenty of reasons to celebrate! From engagement parties to wedding showers, bridal showers to bachelorette parties, the events surrounding the main event (the wedding) seem endless and as friends and family move apart, it may feel impossible to plan especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. After throwing my sister a bridal shower in Alaska and bridal shower/bachelorette party in Hawaii (all while living in Louisiana), I have learned a few tips and tricks.
GAMES and ACTIVITIES
ICE BREAKER: It’s safe to say that at most showers, there will be guests who have never met before so I’d recommend starting with an “ice breaker”. My personal favorite prompt is for everyone to give their name, how they know the bride and share their favorite piece of relationship advice. From endearing and romantic advice of long-married parents, hilarious and heartfelt stories from still-single gal pals sharing their Tinder-fails, to the “wait, did she just say that?” moments that only the bride’s esthetician and waxer can provide, you’re guaranteed to start the party with a lot of laughs making everyone feel more at ease.
ALL ABOUT THAT BRIDE JEOPARDY: Create a chart with categories along the top and point levels (or punishments for incorrect answers) along the side. The categories can be anything about the bride and groom, i.e.: her younger years, their love story, etc. and the bride will serve as “Alex Trebek” determining whether the answer passes the test. Go around the room selecting categories one-by-one or choose categories for the group while each guest writes their answer on a sheet of paper, tallying points for correct guesses.
THE LINGERIE GAME: A game that doubles as gifts and decor. Each guest brings the bride an unwrapped bra and panty set that represents their personality, then the bride guesses who gifted each set. Have the guests “drop their panties” at the door so the host can hang around the room (decor) and as bride surveys each piece, she must guess the gift-giver, drinking for each incorrect answer. Best of all, the bride starts her newlywed days with a whole new collection of lingerie.
KISS THE MISS GOODBYE FRAME: Set up a “Kiss the Miss Goodbye” station with lipstick samples, make-up removal wipes (for those that don’t want to don their new look), pens to sign their name, and a frame. This decor doubles as a keepsake for the bride, just don’t forget to get a group photo.
GOODIE BAGS: They’ll just be sitting there until the end of the party when guests leave so why not use them as decor. Fill the goodie bags with useful items that relate to your destination – ours featured Advil and Emergen-C for a post-wedding hangover, bandaids and sunscreen to avoid any major injuries or sunburns, mints and a sweet treat.
BOOZY BEARS: Soak gummy bears in any liquor and they’ll turn into a deliciously deceiving treat (yes, they will still cause a hangover). We used vodka but I’ve seen recipes for rum (rummy bears, ya dig?) and champagne. The longer they sit, the more they soak up the goods (I only had time to soak them overnight) but they tend to stick together so I’d recommend stirring a few times a day.
SIGNATURE DRINK: Like I’ve said before, a signature drink is a simple way to extend the theme of your party. My sister’s wedding was in Hawaii so we combined vodka and POG (pineapple, orange, guava) juice for an easy cocktail. Bonus: fresh fruit and florals make for quick and gorgeous garnish, and Hawaii is bursting with both. If you need drink ideas, check out a few of my favorite cocktails.