When planning anything, it's first most important to know your audience. In this case, I knew that there would be a mix of women including co-workers, future in-laws, buddies from college (who knew the sordid stories), buddies since college (who only heard tamed down versions of the sordid stories), and family. Compounding the difficulty of audience spectrum is that I hadn't met most of these people and I knew that there'd be about 25-30 women there. Consequently, the activities planned needed to be fun, fast-paced, allow for multiple games to be played concurrently, and appropriate - not too staid, not too racy because the bride still needed to be able to look at these people in the eyes the next day...without shame!
The theme for the bridal shower was "naughty & nice." With my meager graphic skills, I created the invitations (front side shown at right) to put the ladies in the mood. The teaser on the front is "Is Cecile Naughty or Nice?" The back side says, "Only John Knows for Sure! But we can still have fun at her naughty-or-nice themed bridal shower!" Apparently my friend was mildly mortified but trusting that this was the worst of it. Silly girl.
We didn't do too much with decorations due to time and space. However, we did arrange the tables according to what would be there. Were I to do this again, I'd make simple decorating changes. For example, the naughty table (where naughty food, naughty beverages are found) would be draped in a red satin sheet or black lace (easily purchased at a craft store for just a couple of dollars) with a few strategically placed black and red licorice whips. The nice table would have a pink and white crepe table cloth, perhaps dusted with some opalescent glitter, cut-outs, rice, and decorative doves (also easily purchased at a craft store for a couple of dollars).
Keeping with the theme, we had appropriately chosen the hors d'ouerves. Naturally, no matter what the theme, a house full of women need sustenance so we had the basics such as crackers and dips, a vegetable platter, and so forth. But we could definitely have fun with the dessert. For the nice dessert, we had white cupcakes with white frosting and sprinkles. For the naughty dessert, we had chocolate-dipped strawberries and erotic chocolates.
The beverages were likewise coordinated with the basic wine, spritzers, and non-alcoholic beverages holding up the nice side of the table, and champagne, Sex on the Beach, and shots (including the interestingly named Nipple Twister and Cock Sucker) at the naughty table.
Ah, yes, the games. (Fingers tapping together evilly.)
The nice games were all the ones you'd expect. The naughty was really where all the fun was had.
Clothespin Game. As each guest arrived, a clothespin was clipped to her clothing. When someone heard another person saying the bride's name specifically (e.g. Jane, not "the bride"), the person who heard it takes the clothespin from the person who said it. The player with the most "pins" at the end of the shower won a prize. In this case, it was a container of Downy liquid clothing softener to go with the nice (clean) and clothespin theme.
Safety Pins in Rice. A couple bags of small grain rice were dumped into a large container along with a package of about 25-30 safety pins. Blindfolded or with their eyes closed, women were invited to rake their hands through the bowl of rice and pull out as many safety pins as possible. After each woman finished her turn, the pins were counted, noted on a piece of paper, and returned to the bowl for the next woman to try. Whoever had the most won a prize which, in this case, was a 5-pound bag of (unused) rice (plus the very pretty crystal bowl the used rice had been placed into).
Pin the Bridal Bouquet. Get a large piece of poster paper or foam core board and paste a large outline of a woman wearing a bridal gown with the bride's face pasted at the top. Have available a cutout of a bouquet of flowers with plenty of double-sided tape on the back. Blindfold the guest (or have her close her eyes) and have her pin the bridal bouquet on the place where the bride's hands would be on the poster. The prize for winning is a small bottle of floral-scented lotion.
Guess That Lubricant. Go to the store of choice (I chose Spencer's, representing the first time I finally bought something at that store!) and purchase 3-4 different flavors of lubricant or erotic jellies. Also, at a craft or grocery store, buy a small package of stirrers or mini paint-mixing spatulas (about $1.99 for more than you'll need). Squirt a small amount of each flavored lubricant into a clear bowl/glass. Put a sticker on the side with a number. Keep a record of which number corresponds to which lubricant flavor and tuck it away. Invite women to taste, touch, smell the lubricants using their own personal sample (scooped out on the stirrer/spoon) and write down their best guesses for what each flavor is. Whoever has the most correct wins...the lubricant!
Pantie Decorating Contest. Go to Wal-Mart or your local outlet store and purchase whatever underwear you can find on clearance. Plain, tacky, gargantuan, small, it does not matter. Also buy some pom-poms, glue, lace, dried fruit, licorice whips, glitter, individually packaged candies, and so forth. Prepared with your supplies and some scissors, open everything and lay it out on the table. Invite your guests to enjoy the craft-making part of the evening by decorating a pair of underwear for the bride-to-be to wear her wedding night. Afterward, invite everyone to display their creations. No prize is needed for this game -- the experience and laughter is its own reward for all!
Grab the Snake. Purchase several of the liquid filled water snakes available at a party supply store. Instruct your guests to rub a little bit of vegetable oil, regular hand lotion, or water on their hands. Then, have them grab one of the water-filled snakes and, hand-over-hand, try to hold onto it as long as possible. Whoever holds onto it the longest wins the snake toy (hey, this could be good practice!).