When Alex asked if I wanted to do some posts on “Wedding Wednesdays,” I said ABSOLUTELY! No, I’ve never been married. No, I’ve never planned my wedding. No, I have no idea if I ever will do either of those things. However, at twenty six, I’ve already been in more weddings than I can count, and have occassionally been teased that I’ll end up like the girl in the movie 27 Dresses. Hell, if I get to have James Marsden in the end, go ahead and keep filling my closet with bridesmaid dresses!
Anyway, sometimes brides like to take full advantage of that “maid” in “bridesmaid”…kidding…kind of. And one aspect of the weddings I have quite a bit of experience with are the showers. Oh, the showers. With the showers, come the games. And let me get this out in the open…SHOWER GAMES SUCK!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve probably made enough awful toilet paper dresses to wipe the butts of an entire nation. I’ve emptied my purse to tally points for weird items (this game doesn’t even make sense…) I’ve guessed odd facts about the bride and groom nobody gives a damn about. I’ve matched all of the famous couples in history on construction paper like I’m a kindergartener. I’ve filled out crossword puzzles, written down words of wisdom (Me? Give relationship wisdom? You’re kidding, right?) and played games where the bride has to match me to my underwear. These. Are. Dumb. Call me a stick-in-the-mud, or a scrooge, or a fuddy-duddy (apparently I’ve taken on the vocabulary of a 70 year old man for this post) but these games are just lame and make me and most other bridal shower guests want to roll our eyes.
Another lame thing about showers, is watching the bride open gifts. Nobody except your great aunt who smells like moth balls mixed with perfume and has lipstick all over her teeth likes this part of the shower. We act like we do, because social etiquette tells us we must. I’m excited for my friend or family member (the bride-to-be) to get these awesome gifts to stock her kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc…good for her. And I especially can’t wait to go to her house and play with all of them! But I really don’t need to watch her spend hours opening them or hear a million mentions of ribbon cutting superstitions and how if I give her a pocket knife to cut the suckers open she is going to have octuplets
Ribbon Cutting Side-Note: In my family, we have a ribbon tradition of our own, and it is comes in the form of a hideous doll my grandmother makes each daughter/granddaughter. These are truly some of the scariest things in the world, but she makes them with all of the love in her heart. We’ve taken to calling these “the brides of Chucky” and they look the part. You’re supposed to fill her dress up with the ribbons, instead of using a paper plate, and carry it down the aisle at the rehearsal. Check out me posing with my Cousin Lisa’s doll below.
Anyway….there is one thing that can make this game playing and wedding gift opening bearable. That, my friends, is Bridal Registry Bingo.
Step One: Find out where your bride is registered. Target? Kohls? Macy’s? Bed Bath and Beyond? Amazon? PERFECT! Find their registries, open them up, and snag pictures of all of the items on the registries. On most registries this will be easy, you just right click > save. Store them all in a folder somewhere on your computer.
Once you’ve gone through all of their registries and saved photos of all of the items, add a few extras. Personally, I like to add things like “cash” or “gift cards” and google image search random jpgs to include. These should be things you know might not be on the registry, but items that the bride will probably receive anyway.
I’ve made this game three different times for three different showers, and the way I did it was I create my own excel spread sheet and continued to reorganize the images, and then randomized them until I had enough cards. It is important to make sure you know about how many guests will be attending, so you know how many cards to make, and don’t waste too much of your time. Another awesome generator I’ve found is over at FiveRealMoms.com. They take all of the work out of this process and make it super easy to generate the cards. They’ve created a great tool to use in excel that is easier for someone doing A LOT of cards and not looking to spend too much time on them.
Use all of the images you just collected from their registry on the bingo cards. Be sure to go over your cards once you generate them, just to be sure some of the items make sense. For instance, if there is an item that you aren’t sure the bride will actually receive, even though it was on their registry, put fewer of those on and more items that you know the bride is likely to receive. You’d rather have more winners than a game that goes on forever with none.
Next, buy a box or two of crayons to hand out for guests to mark their cards. You’ll also want prizes. My suggestions for prizes are as follows: Candles. Lotions. Bath/Spa items. Picture Frames. Wine glasses. Etc. Be sure it is something all of the guests will enjoy (including the bride or groom’s great great grandmother who just happens to still be kicking but would probably not appreciate a penis-shaped candy bar or a bag of pre-packaged jello shots).
Print the cards on half or quarter sheets of cardstock. If you want to make them even cuter, try misting paint on them (preferably the bride’s colors). To do this, take an old squirt bottle (like one you’d find febreeze or bathroom cleaner in), add some paint, mix it with water to dilute it a little, lay the individual sheets of paper out on newspaper, and spritz from a good distance (so as to make the speckles smaller and not too large so they block the pictures on the card). This adds a nice touch of color. You can also cut each out with craft scissors, and mount them on another piece of colored cardstock.
While Bingo is being played at the shower, you can also set a timer to play gift hot-potato. Set the timer for three to five minutes, and when it goes off, the person whose present the bride is opening at that moment gets a prize. This keeps people awake, because there is the possibility of winning something. Also, those who NEED their game fix get it out of their system with Bingo, and don’t go home complaining there were no planned activities. It also makes this part of the shower that usually drags on seem to go by much faster.