Bingo With a Twist
Fun and Superstition

In Maillardville, a French Canadian community near Vancouver, British Columbia, unmarried girls play a game at wedding showers to predict how long they'll have to wait for marriage. An older woman puts a coin in cold water, then sticks it to the girl's forehead. The girl shakes her head until the coin drops off. The number of shakes is said to be the number of years until her wedding [source: Layton].

This game is appropriate for all shower groups and keeps guests alert and interested during the long process of opening gifts.

Most shower guests will be familiar with the game of Bingo. These two versions use the same playing format, but the game cards have a wedding shower theme. The word "bride" is substituted for "bingo" across the top of each card. The center square is still "free," but other game squares are customized with wedding words or shower gifts instead of numbers. Wedding bingo cards can be purchased or designed and printed from a home computer.

For the wedding words version, the game grid contains randomly arranged words like cake, veil, rings, church, rehearsal, flower girl, dress and bouquet. Any words related to the bridal shower, wedding or honeymoon will work. It takes 24 words to fill all the grids. Using more words provides variation among the cards.

As guests assemble for the gift opening, each receives a bingo card and some type of grid marker. Each time the bride says a wedding-related word as she opens her gifts, players mark that word on their bingo cards. The first player to complete a straight horizontal, diagonal or vertical line across the card wins a prize. If there are still a lot of gifts to open, everyone can switch cards and start the game again. The hostess may change up the game by playing "four corners" (the first player to mark all four corners of the game card wins) or "fill up" (players must mark every square on the card).

The shower gift version is basically the same, but potential shower gifts fill game card squares rather than wedding words. Gifts can be compiled from the bride's gift registry or go with the theme of the shower. When the bride opens a gift, say a blender, players mark the square of same name.

The next game gets guests up and moving.