Bridal Shower Games!!

by Jenny Bryde 31. January 2013 01:07

Yes they can be cheesy and embarassing, but games at your bridal shower will probably happen.  They make wonderful ice breakers and certainly take up attention away from you who, if you're like me, always feels funny opening gifts in front of people.



So here are a few of my favorite games:


  • Give everyone a large safety pin with five smaller pins attached to it.  They can each then attach the larger pin somewhere to them or just hold on to it.  The idea for the game is that no one can say the word "bride".  You have to come up with creative ways to get around saying that exact word.  If someone says the word "bride", the first person who says back "mine" (or some other word you come up with), gets the pin.  People will start losing pins left and right, and some people will get really good at trying to get people to say the word.  This game starts at the beginning of the shower once all the pins are out and goes on until the hostess decides to stop the game.  The person with the most pins at that point wins!
  • Ask everyone to make a photo copy (so that the original doesn't get ruined) of their own wedding picture if they have one and get it to the host ahead of time.  The host can then blur out or put a sticker on the faces of the brides and grooms.  The guests can then do a guess the picture game and try to figure out which wedding picture goes with which person.  The guests can record their answers on a form for the hostess to "grade".  The person with the most correct guesses wins!
  • Wedding Family Fued - look up some trivia questions revolving around weddings ahead of time.  Divide the guests into two teams, and let them play the classic game of trivia with steals and all.  Don't forget to say, "Survey Says!"  Lots of fun!
Below are a links with a huge number of other games to play at wedding showers!

So start sifitng through those games and figure out two or three that might work well for your crowd.  Whether you're silly or serious, social or shy, there's a game just for you!



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Entertainment | Jenny Bryde | Parties

New Ideas for Wedding Shower Themes and Registries

by Jenny Bryde 25. November 2012 01:48

So you'd prefer a leaf-blower to a stand mixer?  A sexy pair of undies rather than linen napkins?  A massage certificate rather than an espresso machine?  So be it!  Each engaged couple has different needs, and often, especially when a couple lives together before saying "I do", they don't need the traditional items found in a white sale.  So how do you as an engaged couple communicate that to your guests who will resort to their tried and true gift ideas if you don't steer them in the right direction?  

How about a themed shower and/or wedding registry?  Choosing a theme really helps your guests conceptualize the idea behind what you and your fiance need.  How about these ideas:

1) A room specific theme - Don't need anything in the kitchen but really need help in the living room?  Create a registry based around furniture, knick-knacks, candles, and electronics. 

2) A barn-raising shower - In the middle of a renovation project at your new abode?  Suggest that the host of your shower throw you a shower that includes items from the tools and supplies departments like paint, small tools, wall paper, etc.

3) A green thumb gathering - Maybe you'd prefer to work outdoors and could really use some landscaping materials.  Your host could request that everyone bring a plant that could be transitioned to your yard.  You could even work with a local landscaping company to help create a list of what you'd need for a yard plan.

4) A boudoir soiree - Maybe you're more interested in keeping the sparks alive in your bedroom than you are keeping a perfect household.  Your shower host could suggest that the guests bring you their idea of the perfect lingerie.  

5) A wine-celler cultivation - Ask that each guest bring a bottle of their favorite wine to stock up on your collection!  

Keep in mind that your wedding shower and your wedding registry are serving a purpose of enhansing your household in some shape or form.  Not all households have the same needs and wants, so make sure that you speak up when it comes time to plan your shower and make your registry.  Your guests will be happy to make you happy, so just figure out what you want to do!  Have fun!  

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Parties | Registries

Introducing the Newest Hot Spot for Weddings in the QCA: The Hotel Blackhawk!

by Jenny Bryde 28. July 2010 00:55

Oh, do I have a treat for you today, boys and girls.  I know that I often put teasing photos on my posts of places that only exist in our QCA imagination, but today, we have a bona fide luxury hotel property to show off that 1) IS in the Quad Cities, and 2) IS available for QCA brides!

Today on the blog, we are introducing the newly renovated Hotel Blackhawk which is simply a dreamy slice of posh sitting right smack dab in the middle of downtown Davenport.  Nestled right next to the River Center, the Hotel Blackhawk is in the neighborhood of places such as the Figge Art Museum, the Bucktown Center for the Arts, and the riverfront area. 


I recently had the priviledge to pick the brain of Tim Heim, the Director of Marketing and Sales for the Hotel Blackhawk who filled me in on just how this delightful place is going to be a much needed luxury property that will suit the needs of so many brides and grooms.  Check out all the juicy details in our interview below…


JB:  When a bride and groom decide to book their reception with the HB, who will they be working with (also the person they should contact if interested in booking or a tour)?

TH:  For the time being, the couples can contact me directly.  With the opening of several hotels and the execution of QCA bridal shows, I have had extensive direct experience in the QCA bridal market.  As the Director of Sales and Marketing, I can say that the Black Hawk Hotel is positioned really well.  Our staff understands the bridal market and we are offering high end services and amenities.   Our goal is to  create fairy tale weddings to our QC brides and grooms. 

We are soon bringing on an event coordinator who will be a great addition to our team.  This person has worked at luxury properties in major tier cities and is very familiar with high end services and amenities in the bridal market.  Together, we have over  fifteen years of bridal experience. 

JB:  It sounds like the staff of the HB knows their weddings!  How does the HB property tie in to the “fairy tale wedding”? 

TH:  You should come down and take a look!  The HB is truly going to be a luxury style boutique hotel with an old meets new type of feel:  high end furnishings and amenities.  Our sleeping rooms have a modern feel and our atmosphere is similar to high end hotels in larger markets.  The Hotel Blackhawk will be a very unique property to the QC area. 

JB:  With not all weddings being the same, what size of weddings can the HB accommodate? 

TH:   We can accommodate any size of party!  On the larger side, we can hold up to 300 people for a reception, and we even have space on site for the wedding ceremony.  We have a built in stage for a dance floor and a mezzanine area as an overflow area for cocktails and hand passed hors doeuvres.  If a couple is looking to have a smaller wedding or if they are looking for a smaller space for a rehearsal dinner or other gathering, we can do that too!  We have the Club Davenport room up on the 11th floor that can hold up to 60 people, and we have other break out rooms as well!  We even have an 8 lane bowling alley that can be used.

JB:  A bowling alley?  That is so unique!  I could see that being a really fun place for a bachelorette party!

TH:  Yes, or even if the couple wanted a place where children can  go hang out during the wedding. 

JB:  Great idea!  So many of our couples are looking for something different in their reception catering.  What kind of banquet is the HB equipped to host? 

TH:  We do all of our catering in house here at the HB.  We can do anything from a plated dinner, buffet, action stations, heavy hors d’oeuvres, cocktail receptions, brunches, gift openings, you name it!  If a couple would like to know more about our menu, they can send me an email, and I will send info along to them. 

JB:  It sounds like you guys can do anything!  Beyond food, what services are included in a reservation and what services can be added?

TH:  We have all the tables and chairs that a couple would require, and all of the tables will be covered in linens.  All the china and glassware are also included with their booking of the catering services.  We also include the cake cutting service in most of our bridal packages.  We also have some audio/visual equipment that the couples can rent. 

JB:  If there is a service that the HB doesn’t provide, for example a DJ, do you make recommendations for the couples?

TH:  Definitely!  I have worked extensively in the QCA bridal market over nearly a decade, and depending on what a bride and groom needs, I can definitely steer them in the right direction.  We have established relationships with many local vendors and will even help the bride and groom by making contact with the vendors when the wedding approaches to ensure that all details of the day are covered. 

JB:  What about services beyond a wedding?  What information should brides and grooms know about reserving a block of rooms for their guests? 

TH:  We like to make the wedding guests happy too!  A block of rooms can be reserved for a Friday or Saturday as needed.  All rooms include wireless internet, shuttle  service to the QC airport, and access to the pool and fitness room.  We have valet parking available as well as concierge service to help our guests feel at home in the QCA. 

JB:  Well it looks like you’ve got all angles covered!  If brides and grooms are reading this and are interested in more information on booking, how far in advance can they contact you?

TH:  The couples should call as early as they like to see which days we have open that can accommodate their needs.  We have our official opening this December, and we have already booked several wedding and events all the way through 2012!  We can also show brides and grooms some sample storyboards with swatches to help them visualize their wedding ideas.  We are still developing our website, but couples can have direct access to our services by calling me at 563.639.9124 or by accessing our Facebook page where we continually add information, pictures, and updates! 

JB:  Well what can I say?  The HB property is gorgeous, the service available is superb, and I’m definitely going to have to come down and try out that bowling alley!

TH:  Please do!  We are so pleased to be able to offer our QCA brides and grooms a high end luxury property that can accommodate any gathering with impeccable attention to details and service! 


Talking to Tim was such a delight, and I can tell you that whoever decides to book their event with the Hotel Blackhawk is going to find themselves in very capable and stylish hands.  Give Tim a call or stop in to the Hotel Blackhawk after its grand opening in December.  Remember that you can book today, and with a property this hot, the dates won’t stay open for long!  Happy Planning!  J

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Food and Drink | Jenny Bryde | Locations | Parties

Crib Notes for Bridal Shower Anxiety

by Jenny Bryde 16. July 2010 03:22

If planning this wedding has taught me anything, it is that I am a blundering idiot when it comes to etiquette.  In general, I think that I am a polite person and a good hostess.  I can talk a blue streak to anyone, and I feel comfortable hosting a party.  HOWEVER.  I feel decidedly awkward when it comes to being the center of attention.  I would hate for anyone to feel that I am demanding or greedy or narcissistic.  I think all human beings can be a little demanding/greedy/narcissistic; I’d just prefer to be on the lower end of the scale for these attributes. 

Unfortunately, I feel like I have to face these things when it comes to wedding-associated events.  Generally speaking, while planning a wedding one cannot avoid asking for things, placing direct or indirect expectations on people to give gifts, and the spotlight certainly cannot be avoided.  What one does and how one does it is being closely scrutinized, right?  Or is this all in my paranoid head? 

I did a decent job keeping the gift giving on the down low.  When my Martha Stewart to-do list told me that it was time to register, we registered…but didn’t really tell anyone.  When we sent out save the date cards, we put our wedding website on it which has registry info…but again, we didn’t draw attention to it. 

Then about a month ago plans were put in place to throw a bridal shower in my honor.  All the important ladies in my life are pitching in to throw a nice little afternoon get together with my closest friends and family.  Food is being prepared, games are being planned, and invitations with registry info are being sent out.  Everyone is being really lovely about everything.

Inside, I am cringing a little.

I blanche a little every time someone asks me a question about our registry, and while I’m looking forward to socializing and eating food (my MOH is a seriously awesome chef), I am totally dreading the unavoidable moment when I have to sit down in front of everyone and open gifts.  I find this rather ironic since I love going to parties and watching people open gifts!  It’s pleasant, it’s fun, it’s nice to see what things people get.  But when it comes to my turn, I get butterflies. 

Why is this?  Is it because I’ll be opening gifts and feigning surprise over something that I’ve picked out myself?  Is it because I’ll probably open gifts that weren’t on our registry that maybe I won’t care for?  Is it because I’ll probably open cards with money in them?  How do you graciously open gifts in these situations when everyone is looking forward to your reaction?  How does someone who detests being fake put on the fake face and muster up a genuine smile no matter what?  Help!

I voiced these concerns to my mom who reminded me of a birthday party I had had when I was a little girl where I opened a gift that happened to be a Barbie doll that I already had.  She told me that she sweated for a second worried about what I’d say but that I smiled at the little girl who had given me the gift and gave her a big fat thank you before moving on to the next gift.  Oh.  Okay, I can do that.  My mom’s anecdote gave me a little hope that certainly I may have retained this gift opening ability from my childhood. 

After researching some shower etiquette and gift opening tips, I felt a little better.  Here are some things you should NOT do:

1)       Refuse to open gifts.  Not nice.  Will cause drama.  Now you’re REALLY the center of attention.

2)      Hide.  They will eventually find you.  They know where you live.

3)      Drink heavily before entering the shower…unless everyone else is.  J

Here are some crib notes of ten things we SHOULD do at a shower.  (I will read these three times before entering the bridal shower):

1)       Remember that while this party is thrown in your honor, it’s not actually all about you.  While YOU may not want to open gifts, your guests probably are looking forward to this part. 

2)      If you registered, you will most likely receive presents off of your registry.  You don’t have to act surprised.  Rather, you can tell everyone how you’ve been looking forward to this and how you plan on using it.

3)      Even if you’ve registered, you will probably have guests who would prefer to buy you something else…maybe something personalized or maybe some artwork even.  You can definitely act surprised for these as, well, it’s a surprise!  Compliment the item, and ask the gift-giver a question about it – This is amazing/gorgeous/useful!  Where did you find this?  Did you notice that we had forgotten to register for XXX? 

4)      You might receive cards with money, checks, or gift cards in them.  Tell them that you registered at the XXX store because you LOVE shopping there, so you can’t wait to use the gift card down the road, maybe for XXX.

5)      You may receive a duplicate gift.  This happens sometimes if someone doesn’t tell the cashier or the cashier incorrectly enters the info into your registry.  Look up and laugh because it’s not a tragedy and say something to the effect that so and so have equally great taste evidenced by picking out the same gifts. 

6)      You will quite possibly receive a gift or two that you just plain don’t want or don’t like.  (At their wedding shower, my parents received planters fashioned as outhouses with their names engraved on them as gifts…from my grandmother.)  Follow the same protocol as when you receive anything that you didn’t expect.  After the shower you can decide what you want to do with the item (use it, return it, re-gift it, etc.), but for now, it’s the thought that counts.

7)      With any gift, you should say aloud who gave it, and you will want to read the card before opening the gift.  That’s just niceness, and we are not three.  Card first.  Gift second. 

8)      With any gift, you definitely need to look up and make eye-contact with the gift giver so that you can give them a genuine thank you and a smile.  Whether you love the item or not, whether you feel awkward or not, this person spent time and/or money to come to the shower,  and that makes them as much of an honored guest as you are.

9)      Have someone on the side writing down who gave what because right after that shower is over, you should get going on those thank you cards.  Each gift warrants a thank you card, and this is an etiquette rule that just doesn’t go out of style.  A note sent in the mail is preferable.  Etiquette says that the thank-yous should be sent out no later than two weeks after the shower.  My advice is to do this right away while everything is still fresh in your mind and before you roll up the nice list that your friend made of who gave what to use to kill a spider in the corner or something.

10)   Consider giving a small favor to your shower guests as a token of thank you.  I personally will be doing this as I will feel better if I’ve given something back to my guests. 

So this is what I’m ultimately telling you (and myself) today:  Come on!  Give the guests what they want!  They are not vultures waiting to humiliate or torture you; these are your family and friends!  Relax, open the gifts, and if nothing else, be thankful that you don’t have to open the wedding gifts at the wedding!  J

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Jenny Bryde | Parties

Some Helpful WebTools to Keep Your Planning a Breeze!

by Jenny Bryde 9. January 2010 13:07

First off, ladies and gents, I wanted to remind you all that tomorrow is the WeddingMax Bridal Show at the iWireless Center.

Check out all the info here! I hope to see you there!

Next on my list of to-do's... If you remember from a few posts ago, one of my new year's resolutions is to become more organized. Certain aspects of our wedding I have certainly paid close attention to lately, and others have fallen to the wayside because a) they are things we haven't decided upon yet, b) they look like boring tasks to me, or c) I am a procrastinator. I am trying to eliminate option C from my repertoire of excuses.

Recently Donna sent me an email about a company called Places Everyone which sells sets of magnetized shapes and a lay out that you can customize to look like your reception hall. The magnetized tables come with magnetized seats on which you can write your guests names. This is a brilliant idea especially for those of us who need a visual or who learn by touching and moving things around. On the site you can see the different options for purchasing, and as I was going through the site, I thought to myself, Self, you could probably make something like this with materials you already have. So for those of you who can do a little scaling math and don't mind scrounging up some construction paper and childproof scissors, go nuts. If not, Places Everyone is there for you.

One word to describe me would be procrastinator. Another would be Cheap A$$. The thought of plunking down $50 for this kit made me cringe a little, so I did a little researching and came upon the mecca of wedding planning, Martha Stewart, of course! On, you can register (for free) and find not only a virtual seating chart program, but an entire set of wedding planning tools of which I will be taking full advantage. Here are a few things that I am excited about...

1) The Seating Chart Planning Tool. There are options to change the size and shape of the reception area lay out, different sizes of tables, and the program will upload info right from your guest list that you can also create with the MSW planning tools! Neato!

2) The Budget Planner Tool. I've seen a lot of budget planning tools, and I've even kept our budget on an Excell sheet, but this one has so many bells and whistles! For example, if you end up underspending (ha ha), it will ask you how you'd like to redistribute the funds. It will also keep track of payment dates and send you reminders! Swell!

3) The Checklist Tool. Are there others like me who leave things off until the very end? This one's for you! For example, right now my check list tells me that we are overdue on making a wedding webpage (ironic). Dandy!

I really think I owe good ol' Martha a thank you note because her wedding planning tools are going to be really helpful here in helping us to stay on track with our wedding and to eliminate my procrastination problem. There are other organizations and websites that offer free and subscription based wedding planning tools. What are some of your favorites? What programs have saved your life and your sanity as you plan for your upcoming nuptials?

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About the Blog

Hi!  Welcome to the blog!  My name is Jenny, and I am a Quad Cities bride to be.  Our goal for this blog is to share information on all things wedding including local vendors, new trends, and amazing inspiration.  Let us know if there is something you'd like to see on here!  

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