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Four Great Games To Play At Your Next Bridal Shower

One of the most fun -- and occasionally dreaded -- parts of a bridal shower are the games. Although they're meant to be bonding experiences, bridal shower games aren't for everyone . and if your gal group meets exclusively for cosmos and indie jazz, you might want to skip them. But the fact is, bridal shower games serve a purpose. No matter how familiar or unsophisticated they might seem, they still serve as icebreakers. And icebreakers are especially useful if your shower combines guests from different walks of life.

A shower might toss the bride's work friends together with her hometown friends and a handful of relatives -- and these groups probably don't know each other -- but an icebreaker can bring them together (of course, so can a few chilled bottles of Veuve Clicquot). So your guest list is a mixed bag of ages, backgrounds, tastes and styles, here are some true-blue games that will bring your shower through with flying colors. Bridal Shower Bingo One of the most popular is, of course, Bridal Shower Bingo. To play this game, dream up a list of words for each bingo card that relates to weddings, wedding gifts, the bride herself, or romance. For the cards themselves, arrange a grid of squares in your favorite desktop publisher, placing each word or phrase in its own square.

Make the center square "free" (you're just generous that way). Or just grab some of those no-cost, printable bridal bingo cards from the internet. Give each guest their own card. Or if you really want to press home the icebreaker effect, get two guests to share one. Next, print out your word selection with lots of letter spacing so you can cut up the sheet into strips and toss them in a basket. Finally, have the hostess act as the caller. She'll pull the words out of the basket and call them out. Once a player gets a complete marked-off line of words, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally, she shouts out "Bingo" (or "Bride") in return for a prize. Uncool, you say? Angelina Jolie would never be caught dead playing Bridal Shower Bingo? Maybe, but you'd be surprised how jiggy things get when you turn up the music and start calling out those words. There's a reason why hundreds of people flock to bingo halls on a weekly basis -- it's freakishly fun.

Leave the anthropologists to wonder why, and just roll with it. Bingo Redux One of the funniest variations on Bridal Shower Bingo is to give guests blank cards and have them fill it out with predictions of what gifts the bride will get. Or for another twist, fill your cards with titles of songs relating to love and romance, and then play 10 second snippets from a CD you've burned ahead of time. This gives your guests the double challenge of identifying what they're hearing, and crossing off the titles. Choose a sweet Starbucks-y combo of Cole Porter, Diana Krall, Ray Charles, and obscure Beatles tunes. It's fun and cool. Kiss George Clooney You could also "kiss the groom," but why not kiss George Clooney instead? Take a sturdy board, and staple on a men's shirt and pants combo from the thrift store. Draw in the hands and shoes, and glue on a life-sized printout of George Clooney's winsome face. Have each guest apply a healthy dose of lipstick. Now blindfold her, turn her around three times, and have her try to kiss George Clooney on the lips.

The closest kisser wins a prize (how about an inexpensive autographed photo from the man himself? Try eBay). The rest get to dream. Lottery Tickets Fast and simple, not too costly, and who knows? Someone might go home with special memories . to her new penthouse suite. It could happen! Purse Pursuit Or try a scavenger hunt -- through a purse. In this one, give your guests a list of things you might find in a purse. Guests mark off items for points as they hunt through their purse. Expected items (aspirin, cosmetics, mints) should get a few points. Give higher points for odder objects (tiny airline liquor bottles, a granola bar, crochet hooks, a Canadian coin). Award really high points for random items that might show up in a purse (a rock, toilet paper, chopsticks).

If all this seems too complicated, weigh each purse and hand out a prize to the heaviest handbag -- since a gift certificate to an orthopedic specialist probably won't fit your budget.


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