Weddings are a time to celebrate, so prepare to have a good time even during the time leading up to the big day! From your engagement to your shower and many times in between, there will be a lot of opportunities for fun, friendship and, yes, party games.
This celebration, for men and women, typically happens soon after you announce your engagement. Guests range from adult friends and co-workers to family members.
Keep games simple and lighthearted, such as word searches of the bride and groom's favorite things, wedding movie trivia and bingo.
Try a "he said/she said" game in which guests try to figure out who said or did what, such as who paid for the first date or who said "I love you," first.
Traditionally women-only, bridal showers are usually held a month or two before the wedding. The female guests range in age from kids to seniors.
One classic shower game is a fill-in-the-blank questionnaire requiring attendees to answer questions about the bride, such as her favorite hobbies, how she met her soon-to-be spouse and her honeymoon destination. You can make up your own questions, which you can print on card stock, or order pre-set questions online on sites like Etsy. Give prizes to guests who answer the most questions correctly.
*Jack and Jill
These coed parties are like bridal showers for both girls and guys. It's still an opportunity for gift giving and getting to know each other's friends and family members.
The get-together is casual and fun, so don't overthink it. One caveat: Don't use this coed event as a lingerie party. It would be awkward and could be inappropriate.
The Emily Post Institute suggests incorporating party activities and themes into Jack and Jill showers, such as travel, outdoor gear and wine.
If you choose a travel theme for example, play a travel bingo or a trivia game where guests guess your vacation destinations. Cooking theme? Set up a cooking demo so guests can get to know each other while learning a new dish. Ask attendees to share their favorite recipes.
Keep guests entertained and interested with action stations, especially when the activities double as party favors.
These days, brides are planning do-it-yourself projects to make at bridal showers and parties. One company, Trend:Bar, books trend parties for DIY fashion, like bedazzling sneakers and sunglasses or decorating bags and phone cases. Attendees have something to do during the party and they get a keepsake of the event.
Don't leave little ones out of the fun. By nature, kids love to have a good time so consider a game of bingo -- with prizes of course!
Kids and adults also enjoy a scavenger hunt. The classic scavenger hunt has women looking in their purses for specific items from lipstick to dental floss to a crayon and more. The attendee with the most items wins.
For a modern approach, plan a photo scavenger hunt. Divide guests into a few groups; assign one camera (or smartphone) per team and give them a list of things to photograph in a designated area. Clues can range from specifics like the table centerpieces and the welcome balloons to open-ended clues like something pink or something sweet. Set a timer. The group with the most qualifying photos wins. Reward them with simple prizes like candies.
Make a game out of social media. Ask your guests to post photos of your event online with a special hashtag. At the end of the party, have guests vote on their favorite party pic.
Most of all, remember pre-wedding celebrations may bring together a lot of people but not everyone knows each other. Break the ice with fun, interactive activities and focus on having a good time with guests.
Kristen Castillo is a three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist. An editor and writer for wedding magazines, she's written hundreds of wedding articles, as well as an e-book, "Weddings on a Dime."