Bridesmaiding: Bad Bridal Shower Games

One of your most important duties as a maid of honor is the bridal shower. The bridal shower is a holdover from another (awful) time when women went straight from their parents’ home to their husband’s home, and so they didn’t even have their own kitchen utensils. Thus, the bridal shower, when they were “showered” with gifts.

Today, almost all women have lived outside of their parents’ houses before getting married, and most (I don’t know if it’s most, I’m not scientist) live with their partners already. Unless some lady has been eating off of paper plates and using plastic sporks for years, just waiting for the day she has a bridal shower, then she likely already owns everything she needs to build a home. Also, ideally people do not think of homemaking as strictly the woman’s job, but ha ha ha, right? So showers are mostly just an excuse to get together, honor your friend/relative/coworker/whatever, enjoy some cake and give her a nice present you know she’ll enjoy.

Oh yeah, and play some games.

“What do games have to do with getting married?” you’re asking, because you’re one of the men I know (also, you’re asking, “Are you hiring a stripper?” and “Wait, the bridal shower and bachelorette party are two different things?”). I don’t know! I don’t know what games have to do with anything! All I know is you might have to have some at your shower. While I guess you could use some non-bridal-shower-specific games (maybe play some Bridal Shower Risk) or make up your own games (like “Eat the Piece of Cake” wherein the person who eats their cake the fastest wins a prize [another piece of cake]), you’ll probably be choosing from the long, storied list of traditional bridal shower games. Some of them are fun, some of them are fine, and some of them are terrible.

Here are some of the worst I’ve played or heard about:

-Toilet Paper Dress: Everyone divides into teams and picks a “bride.” The other players fashion a dress out of toilet paper for the “bride.” Then the (actual) bride judges which is the best and the winner gets a candle (probably? This is a pretty standard shower gift. Ladies Love Candles).
Here’s why this game stinks: It’s messy. Like, do I want to clean up all that toilet paper? No. It’s wasteful: there are only so many trees, people. And also, everyone needs toilet paper. What are we doing just throwing it away like this? Sometime after you play this game, you’re going to run out of toilet paper and have the thought, “But I thought I just bought a whole…wait, did I use all of my toilet paper making wedding dresses?” Yes, and that is a thought you share with a mentally ill person. We are adults! We do not make things out of toilet paper!

-Broom Pole/Toilet Paper Roll: Here’s the description from Bliss Weddings:
The guests are divided up into teams with all but one member holding a toilet paper roll in between her legs. The last member places a broomstick or pole between her legs. The “pole” people stand side-by-side on one end of the room while each of their team members stand in a single file on the other side of the room in front of their respective “pole” person. The goal of the game is for each member to walk (more like waddling like a duck) to their team’s “pole” with the toilet paper roll between her legs and place the toilet roll onto the pole (without using her hands!). The first team to place all four rolls onto its respective team’s pole wins and is awarded a prize.

I don’t think I need to explain why this game is awful, but I will anyway. First off, gross. We get what you’re insinuating, toilet-paper-roll-broom-pole game! I’ll admit, much as I enjoy the silliness of bachelorette party shenanigans, there’s something about this type of thing at a bridal shower that really grinds my gears. I think it’s the emphasis on an outdated mode of femininity that I (duh) don’t subscribe to, and I think there’s just something else I can’t put my finger on. Also, this game is dangerous. You are going to end up injuring yourself/loved ones and (again) wasting toilet paper. Are you going to use that after someone else held it between their clammy thighs? No, you are not. Join me in the Stop Wasting TP 2012 campaign.

-Any game that references the groom’s anatomy/naked body.
You guys. The groom’s mom is probably at the shower. Maybe also his sisters and aunts and 5 year old niece. Do you think they really want to see a life size cut out of a naked body with his head attached to it? No! I honestly find this disrespectful to the groom (I thought about how I would feel if a group of dudes did the same thing with a picture of the future bride, and I would assume those dudes were sociopaths). Also the whole “you’ve never seen this before!” angle is tiring.

-Any game where you are penalized for saying a certain word/doing a certain thing.
There are several variations of this. One involves each woman wearing a paperclip on the hem of her skirt. If she crosses her leg/says a certain wedding-themed word, whoever notices and calls her out on it gets to take her paperclip. Whoever has the most paperclips at the end wins a candle (again, probably). I’ve never played this game and I hope I never have to. Much like Cher, I only answer to two people: myself and God (and also Cher, so I guess three people). Ain’t no woman on earth gonna tell me I can’t cross my legs. Girl, please.

8 Responses to “Bridesmaiding: Bad Bridal Shower Games”

  1. Jordan

    Ugh, I hate the Don’t Say Something games. I usually go around saying those words over and over until someone takes my ring/necklace/paperclip so I don’t have to play it anymore. And I’ve never heard of the toilet paper and pole one, but you’re right: ew.

    • heykerryann

      I don’t know what I would do if I went to a bridal shower where they played that game. Actually, I know what I would do. I would accidentally injure someone and/or myself.

  2. Sarah Von

    Sweet Eff, I haaaaaate bridal showers/bachelorette parties. I constantly thank my stars that my friends do things like camping/pub crawls/casinos for theirs. Ugh.

    • heykerryann

      I’m planning my BFF’s bachelorette party, and we’re making candles and drinking wine. Arts and crafts and alcohol? Sign me up!

  3. Mandy

    Oh my goodness, can I include a print out of this post to every single bride/bridesmaid I know? Because yes — these games make me an inappropriately angry person.

    • heykerryann

      Thankfully, I haven’t had to play most of these…just the TP dress game once (still bitter I didn’t win, honestly) and a really, really awkward game involving a “stripper” doll of the groom. Sigh.

  4. Cat

    My bridal shower clearly could have gone in so many awful directions but with you and Mama Winfrey at the helm it was BEAUTIFUL and PERFECT. <3


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