How can you avoid the dull-shower-syndrome caused by too much gift opening and too little fun? Keep in mind that your guests, though happy about the upcoming wedding or baby that you are showering, are more immediately concerned about reminiscing with old friends and enjoying the party. Stir in some of these ideas to create lively conversation, new friendships and a party atmosphere.
- Encourage conversation during the gift opening by setting up seating in small groups and not requiring the guests to focus solely on the gifts.
- Set out photos of the guests with the mom-to-be or parents-to be. These photos may start conversations between family and friends, and among generations.
- Include conversation starters at each place setting. You could tuck a question for each place-setting under the plate or with the napkin. For a bridal shower, use questions related to dating, marriage and love: questions like, “do opposites attract?” or “what would be the most romantic proposal?” For a baby shower you could propose questions about infancy or childhood such as, “What is your earliest memory of your mother?” or “How many children is the perfect number? Why?”
- Put cameras on the tables for the guests to use during the shower. Perhaps give light-hearted photo assignments such as:
–photograph each person at the table with their best parenting or wedded-bliss expression
— capture each guest holding a baby doll
— take a picture of each guest toasting the marriage
Taking the photos will add a fun activity and will provide you with conversation starters for future events.
- Offer novel treats and beverages. A lovely buffet spread. Cheerful umbrellas in the cups. Adorable desserts.
- Many people prefer to have games at showers for the guests. If you ask your guests to join in games, choose interactive, conversational games. Quietly filling out worksheets does not conversation make. Gift bingo, on the other hand, encourages conversation within each group and offers you a chance to incorporate a humorous prize, or celebratory dance to liven things up.
- Break up the gift-opening time by starting a balloon or beach ball volley from table to table.
- Designate a “secret word” that the guest-of-honor may say during gift opening. Quietly ask guests to throw confetti or mini-marshmallows each time the secret word is said.
- Eliminate the gift-opening by having guests bring gifts wrapped only with a ribbon. This allows the guest-of-honor to mingle and talk with more guests.