Last time, I showed you some unique ways that we decorated for this shower. We tried to tie everything we did together with the "tea party" theme in mind. There is a fine line to walk when you plan a tea party to make it classic and pretty without falling into the "grandma" category. Not that the "grandma" category is a bad thing, but for a 23-year-old bride it's probably not at the top of her list when she wants to remember her bridal shower. Lucky for us, one of the themes Michael's was selling was tea party! We found pens, notepads, albums, blank cards, and more with teacups, teapots, and flowers on them!
We had one table set up in the main room where Kim would open gifts with all of our supplies for the games. My mom found these adorable buckets filled with a set of tea towels and a teacup set for game prizes. We made sure to gather all the materials we needed so we wouldn't be running around when it was time.
The Timer Game
We used an egg timer and turned it to a random spot when Kim began opening gifts. The person whose gift she was opening when the timer went off got a prize! So simple, but an easy way to involve guests. I think it also helps them stay alert and paying attention when the bride is opening gifts. You could alter this game if you have a larger number of guests by re-setting the timer when it goes off the first time.
Bridal Shower Poem Game
The second game we played I found here. Since it was a Bridal Tea, I knew it would be a great opportunity to play a game involving what they were wearing. Each guest was given a piece of paper and a pencil to keep score. Then, I read this poem aloud and everyone added and subtracted until each person ended with a number. Here is the poem:
This is a rather peculiar game
It really does not have a name
It’s simple to play, as a game should be
You just do as you’re told, you see
So now if you’ll please give me your attention
We’ll put an end to this suspension
In the end, whoever scores the most
Will receive a prize of which to boast
Now since you’re all fashionable girls
Give yourself 5 if you have any pearls
You may add 3 if your toes peek out
And earrings will give you 2 more to shout
Score yourself 5 if you show any red
Add 6 more for a curl on your head
Now before you think you are going to win
Take away 2 for each safety pin
Give yourself 6 if your pants are tight
Add 1 for a scarf which is just about right
Add 5 more if your shoes are black
And take away 3 for a zipper in back
Now count all your buttons, for each you get 2
And take away 1 for each button that’s blue
Give yourself 5 if your heels are high
And why not take 10 for the green in your eye
10 more points for a rose on your clothes
Take away 5 if you forgot to wear hose
If your husband you kissed today – add 9
If you didn’t subtract 12 – you’re subject to fine
This is the end…there isn’t anymore
Who is the lucky lady with the highest score?
In case you can't read from the picture, here's what it says:
Little piggy on the table
Will grant your wish if he is able.
Drop some coins in his tummy,
He finds newlywed funds very yummy!
Don't wait, for now it's opportune
To help the new couple on their honeymoon!
A dime, a quarter, a dollar, or ten,
Your donation will be very well spent.
Couples' massage, dinner, a movie, or wine...
Let's help make their first days together shine!
At the end of the party, we'll see if you're wise.
The one with the closest guess wins a prize!
Besides these games, we had a couple of other activities for guests to participate in.
Thank You Envelopes
One of the duties of a bride is to send thank you notes for all the gifts that she receives at her showers. To help Kim with the toughest part of sending these notes, we had the guests help by addressing their envelope for their cards to be sent. All we did was purchase a few packs of cards (with the ones we found at Michaels, these were just $1 packs of blank cards). We separated the cards from the envelopes, then put a small basket by the front door with the envelopes and a couple of pens. I made another small frame with instructions for the guests. By the door, guests can do this when they first come in, or be reminded when they walk out the door to leave. Of course, this isn't fool-proof. You may still have some guests who skipped over this task or didn't see it. But the majority of guests will do this and it will save a couple of hours for your bride from gathering and writing out addresses.
A Year of Encouragement
As I mentioned, we wanted this shower to be a way for Kim to feel embraced with love and encouragement from the important women in her life. One of my favorite things that we did for this shower was cards of encouragement. Many have heard that the first year of marriage is a tough one. There are sure to be a lot of adjustments, drifting from friends, figuring out what this new life is as husband and wife. We wanted this feeling of love and encouragement to continue throughout Kim's first year of marriage. So, mom and I found a cute set of blank note cards at Michael's and scattered them on a table with a frame and instructions.
Dress-Up Photo Booth
One of the most popular things right now at weddings and other events is a dress-up photo booth. We thought this was a perfect activity to add to Kim's Bridal Tea. I mentioned in my previous post about this shower that it was planned and styled around a birthday party Kim had as a young girl, where we got to dress up in all kinds of fun stuff. It was fun to gather things for this activity, and pretty cheap, too! We asked friends if they had any old hats, scarves, etc. that could be used. We scoured Goodwill, yard sales, and the attic. We pulled random items that could be used from around our houses. I think we ended up with a pretty nice collection.
For the backdrop, we hung a black sheet over the curtain rod in my parents' office. We got a cheap clothing rack from Wal-Mart (which actually came in really useful later to hang our dresses the day of the wedding). My mom had an old frame that she hung from the bar on the clothing rack, then draped another black sheet over and around the frame. We set up all the hats, sunglasses, scarves, and boas on the long table against the wall and hanging on the side of the clothing rack. Then, my dad set up the tripod facing the frame and zoomed to where the only thing guests needed to do was snap a picture or set the timer.
It was a little less fancy than some photo booths, but I liked the way ours turned out. My favorite part was that it was so cheap! Well, that, and that we had a ton of fun playing dress up and taking pics.
Overall, I think guests had a pretty good time. There was a lot of catching up, giggling, and reminiscing on good memories years ago. I hope that these ideas can stir up some of the same results at the Bridal Tea you're planning!