The great news about this game is that the bride already did a lot of the work for you, and she doesn’t even know it! To create a hilarious and personalized bridal shower Mad Lib game, simply head to the bride’s wedding website and click on her “About Us” or “Our Story” page. Here, most couples will have included a paragraph or two describing their relationship—how they met, some of the high points of their relationship, how they fell in love, how he proposed. This is perfect material for a Mad Lib. Simply copy and paste the bride’s words into a Word doc and then get to work choosing key words to cut out.
I’ll use my own wedding website as an example. First, go through and identify words that have potential to be replaced. I’ve highlighted some in red below.
Caitlin and Andrew met in New York City in 2010. We met on Match.com (and no, we will not be auditioning for the commercials) and immediately felt at ease with each other, finding that we shared a sense of humor and a love of literature, traveling and the outdoors. While we couldn’t find much common grounds in our music tastes, we soon found ourselves exploring NYC together and growing closer as we learned more about each other (eventually we would even find some bands we could both tolerate).
When we had been dating for only a few months, Andrew asked Caitlin if she wanted to take a trip to Iceland with him. Caitlin was surprised to be asked to go on an international vacation together so soon but (after conferring with some of her girlfriends and deciding that yes, this was crazy, but yes, it was also awesome) she decided to go for it. It turned out to be one of the most amazing trips we’ve ever been on and set the tone for our relationship: encouraging each other to try new things, supporting each other through challenges, and laughing along the way.
After three years of heavy commuting from Caitlin’s apartment on the Upper East Side to Andrew’s apartment in Brooklyn (including Caitlin hysterically calling Andrew a record 21 times in one night when she found a mouse in her apartment at 1am), we moved into our apartment in Brooklyn’s Park Slope, where we are still living today. Five years after our first whirlwind trip abroad, we’re still going on crazy adventures and loving every minute of it.
I recommend leaving a maximum of 20-30 blanks, depending on the length of the bios. Mine was really long (because, hi, I like to write) so this version has 30 blanks. I even cut a few sentences that didn’t have good Mad Lib potential because mine was just too long. You want to have at least one blank per sentence. To figure out whether it will be funny or not, just slot in sex words while you’re working on it. You want to find the words in the sentence that will have the greatest impact. For example, in the first sentence, I want to keep “Caitlin and Andrew met” because it gives me the potential for a funny explanation of how we met. Changing the year wouldn’t be very funny, so choosing the place is the best word to change in the sentence. In general, you should keep the names of the bride and groom because you want it to be about them. And don’t change so many words that their story becomes unrecognizable.
You can also choose phrases rather than single words. For example, replacing just “at ease” might result in an awkward turn of phrase because of “with each other” following it. But if we just replace that whole phrase “at ease with each other” with a feeling, we’re guaranteed to get something that works. We’ll immediately feel “sexy” or “nauseous.”
Next you need to write out a list of the types of words you need. Here’s where you need to stretch your high school English muscles. You don’t have to follow the exact format of the original. For example, with my first blank “New York City,” I could say “city” but the answer wouldn’t be very funny. It’s much better to just say “place.” Then Andrew and I can meet in a bathroom or at a sex club. You can also lead the witness a little to make the Mad Lib funnier and specifically ask for the type of words you want. For example, if you want a place, just say place. If you want a number, just say number. If you want a body party, say body part.
If your high school English skills are a little rusty, here’s a quick guide to a few of the most common parts of speech to slot in.
noun: a person, place or thing (bride, strip club, wedding ring)
proper noun: a specific person or place (Michael Jackson, Disney World)
gerund: here’s some advanced shit for you. A gerund is derived from a verb, but functions as a noun. You can identify them because they always end in -ing. In the example above, “commuting” and “traveling” are gerunds.
verb: an action word (wiggle, run, jump)
For verbs, make sure to communicate the tense you need. You will probably need past tense, present tense and verbs ending in -ing (present participles).
adjective: describes a noun (in the example above, crazy and awesome are adjectives)
adverb: describes or modifies a verb, adjective or another adverb (hint: adverbs often end in -ly, like warmly or kindly)
interjection: a word or phrase that expresses surprise or emotion (WTF! Yikes! Hooray!)
If you’re worried about how the bridal shower Mad Lib will work, try taking it on a test drive with one other person (maybe someone who won’t be attending the party). This will help you figure out if any of the blanks aren’t really working. But don’t stress over it too much. It’s a Mad Lib, it’s supposed to be a little wacky!