This game is good for all showers. An old standby, it sorts the lovers from the fighters.
Here's how the clothespin game works. Before the shower, the hostess determines a word or gesture that guests must not utter or perform during the shower. The forbidden words are ones that are hard to avoid during the course of the shower, like wedding, gift, honeymoon or the groom's name. Off-limits gestures are usually habitual and equally difficult to avoid, like crossing your legs or touching your hair.
As guests arrive, the hostess clamps a clothespin on her shirt and explains that if she says the forbidden word or does the off-limits gesture, another guest can take the clothespin. The object of the game is to collect as many clothespins as possible from other people. If a player has collected extra clothespins and gets caught crossing into forbidden territory, she loses all her/his clothespins to the alert guest. At the end of the shower, the player with the most clothespins looks silly, but she or he wins the game and a prize.
It's fun to see how guests react to this game. Some players, the lovers, are relieved to be rid of the clothespin. They just want to talk and act naturally. A few of these types get it over with immediately, walking up to the first person, clothespin held in offering and do the deed.
With other players, this game activates a latent competitiveness or reawakens sibling rivalry. When the bride's grandmother, who seemed stiff and standoffish for the first two hours, suddenly launches herself from her chair and charges across the room to snatch a clothespin from her sister's dress, you'll understand why this game shows up at nearly every shower.
More Great Links
- Adam, Elise Mac. Something New: Wedding Etiquette for Rule Breakers, Traditionalists, and Everyone in Between. Simon & Schuster, New York. 2008.
- Adams, Michele and Gia Russo. Wedding Showers. Chronicle Press, San Francisco. 2000.
- Bussen, Karen. Simple Stunning Wedding Showers: Festive Ideas and Inspiration for Perfect Pre-Wedding Parties. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, New York. 2006.
- Elliot, Amy. "Bridal Shower Games: A Complete Guide." The Knot. (July 27, 2011)
- Hakulinen, Salla. "Here Comes the Bride! Wedding Traditions in Finland and the United States." Department of Translation Studies, University of Tampere. Spring 2005. (July 28, 2011)
- Isidore, Chris. "It's official: U.S. in a recession since December 2007." CNN Money. Dec. 1, 2008. (Aug. 4, 2011)
- Layton, Monique. "Magico-Religious Elements in the Traditional Beliefs of Maillardville, B.C." B.C. Studies, no. 27, Autumn 1975, 50-61. University of British Columbia. (July 28, 2011)
- McMurray, Shane. "Average Length of Engagement Time and Engagement Months." The Wedding Report. June 15, 2011. (Aug. 4, 2011)
- Montemurro, Beth. "'You Go 'Cause You Have To': The Bridal Shower as a Ritual of Obligation." Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 25, No. 1 (2002), pp. 67-92.
- Pearson Education. "Median Age at First Marriage, 1890-2010." Info Please. (August 4, 2011)
- The Maid of Honor Guide. "Top 10 Bridal Shower Games." (July 27, 2011)
- Warner, Diane. Diane Warner's Complete Book of Wedding Showers. Franklin Lakes, NJ: Career Press, 1998.
Floriography — the association of flowers with special virtues and sentiments — has been a practice from antiquity to the present day.