B and I have the most amazing friends, this is no secret. But when we asked our bridesmaids and groomsman to be in the wedding (and we had a BIG wedding party, 18; not including the two flowergirls and two ring bearers!) we realized that they were scattered from all the different parts of our lives and didn't necessarily know each other. So although each person is awesome - come wedding day, we didn't want there to be a whole bunch of awkward introductions and weirdness for lack of mutual experiences.
So we decided that the summer before our wedding, we would hold a party for just our wedding party to create some common memories. This way, when it was taking 100 years for Brandon and I to take all of our lovey couple pictures after the ceremony; we would know that our wedding party wasn't sitting in awkward silence on the party bus trying to make small talk. They'd already have some mutual memory to laugh about saying, 'Remember this summer..."
Since we were having a party in the summer, and since we were having the party at B's parents' house/pool, and since I think I'm very clever; We decided to hold a Wedding Party Plunge.
We spent the initial part of the party being all weird and awkward (like everyone would have been at the wedding without the plunge) and easing into introductions and spending time with the people that everyone already knew from some other shared past. It was fun because it was good people and good food and summer...but there was still the element that not everyone felt totally comfortable.
But in true Tab-fashion, I had some plans up my sleeves to put everyone into friendships - hahh. We spent the afternoon playing games* (no alcohol involved at this point) for our wedding partners to become familiar with each other. I'm the best. HAHAHAHAHhhaha.
For our wedding partner pairs, I had purchased different colored handkerchiefs and we had the partners wear matching colors to distinguish them as a pair. In the case where one of the partners wasn't at the party (because they lived waaay out of town or worked that day - we enlisted the help of other family/friends to step in place). Then we started out with a few partner style games:
Water Balloon Toss: partners start by standing about 3 feet away facing each other. Toss the water balloon back and forth and with successful catch, you each take a step back.
Three-legged Race: Tie the partners inside legs together and have them attempt to skip/run/hobble to a finish line
For our winners, they received a choice of silly dollar store prizes like gold (plastic) medals, shape-sunglasses, or fake gold teeth grills.
After our partner games, we split the whole wedding party down the middle and had a spin relay race, because dizzy grown ups that have trouble running is maybe one of the funniest things on the planet:
Dizzy Relay: Have participants cross one arm to hold onto the opposite side ear and loop the other arm through the elbow of the crossed arm. Bend down and spin 10 times. Attempt to run around a marker and back to the start line to tag the hand of the next participant.
And then because I know that the only way to get rid of any 'we just met and its sort of awkward'-ness is to play three games that are so hilariously intimate that there is just no more room for awkardness afterwards. (these are our three favorite, non-drinking, party games. They're entirely inappropriate but absolutely hilarious.)
Neck Orange Pass: Place participants in a line, have them pass an orange from the front of the line to the back of the line using only their necks. If the orange falls, they must start back at the beginning of the line.
Knee Cucumber Pass: Place participants in a line, have them pass a cucumber from the front of the line to the back of the line using only their knees. If the cucumber falls, they must start back at the beginning of the line.
Toothpick LifeSaver Pass: Place participants in a line, have them pass a lifesaver from the front of the line to the back of the line using only a toothpick that is in their mouth. If the lifesaver falls, they must start back at the beginning of the line.
If you noticed, the girls are all wearing matching shirts - my Mom surprised us all with tank tops that said "Tabitha & Brandon" and our wedding date in a heart. It also included the role that my girls had in our wedding (ie. Maid of honor, bridesmaid, MOB and MOG, and flowergirls)
As the sun started to set, the drinking started (as it normally does with us) and we set up Groomsmen versus Bridesmaid flip cup:
And a massive beer pong tournament that lasted long into the night:
And as they do, the fun and laughter grew naturally because we were spending time with all of our friends who now knew each other enough to let loose and enjoy themselves.
|MIA's Paper Planes was very big during our Wedding Plunge|
We closed off the evening with a fire and some music (a la Justin on the guitar) before falling onto my in-law's couches and floors to sleep (or calling in the DD's for a pick up)
It was really such a fun party and a great way to informally get our wedding party introduced to each other before they had to stand for us in the fall at our wedding. Because these were not only the people that will stand with us during our wedding day but because they had been standing with us all along. These were the people that had given us advice when we were having hard times and hugged and celebrated with us when B and I were having good times. Weddings are all about parties to celebrate the bride&groom - but the Plunge was a party to celebrate the people who had helped us get to the Wedding in the first place by supporting and loving us through our relationship.
Even now 5 years later, we love you guys so and depend on you to help us celebrate and look to you for guidance. Thank you for being there all the times before, and still today. We are so blessed because of all of you.
*perhaps its due to my past as a teacher and people feel easily persuaded to follow my direction. Or maybe its just because my voice is louder than everyone else's - but I never have issues organizing funny children's games and getting grown adults to participate. This is also why the Beer Olympics work. If you are nervous to ask people to participate in games, remember these two things: a) people are always eager to be competitive (even if the game is childish) and b) people make friends faster when they are put in alliance with one another for a common goal. Don't be afraid, people might moan about it for 1 minute and then everyone forgets about how silly it is and has a lot of fun - I promise!