Whether hosting a wedding, bridal shower, baby shower, Christmas gathering or other party, it is common to give away the table centerpieces towards the end of the festivities. The focal point of each table is often so adulated by guests for its beauty, charm or creative design that many want to take it home. Play a friendly party game to distribute the piece at each table.
Attach an envelope underneath each chair. Inside all but one at each table, include the message “Thanks so much for coming but you’re not in the running.” Insert inside one envelope at each table the message, “Don’t go home feeling blue. This table’s centerpiece belongs to you.” Have guests remove their envelopes from under their chairs. As music plays, pass the unopened envelopes around the table. When the music stops, open the envelope you are holding. You could also have guests turn their chairs around, facing away from the table. As music plays, circle around your table. When the music stops, sit on the nearest chair and open the envelope underneath.
Remove all centerpieces and distribute note cards to jot down answers to questions about the centerpieces. After a question is read, each person shows his answer to his table. If incorrect, you are eliminated from the game. Ask questions until each table has a winner. Examples include, “What color are the flowers, candles (or other objects)?” “How many ribbons, balloons (or other object) are there?” or “What surrounds the bottom of the vase?” If all answers are incorrect, everyone continues playing. Develop a tie-breaker question requiring a number answer in case the game drags on too long. Come closest to the correct number to win. You might ask, “How many stones are inside the bowl?” or “How much did each centerpiece cost?”
Ask each table a different trivia question pertaining to the honorary couple, individual or occasion. The first to raise her hand gives an answer. If correct, she receives the table’s centerpiece. If incorrect, someone else guesses. Develop interesting, entertaining questions not readily known. For a wedding or bridal shower, ask “Where did (groom’s name) and (bride’s name) go on their first date?” or “How many kids does (groom’s name) or (bride’s name) want to have?: “How much did (expecting mom’s name) weigh when she was born?” is a great baby shower question, while Christmas party trivia might ask about holiday songs or movies. Give multiple choice options to make answering a little easier.
Instruct guests to find a hidden message inside their table’s centerpiece. Write a different message for each centerpiece, adding an element that makes them somewhat easy to spot. Tie rolled up notes with colorful ribbon or use decorative paper just visible behind an object. Each message is read aloud, revealing the winners. Notes might read, “The person here having the next birthday wins this centerpiece,” “Hand the centerpiece to the couple at this table married the longest” or “This centerpiece belongs to the newest mother.” Add a twist to messages to make them more interesting. For instance, “Award the centerpiece to the person here who first holds up a quarter” or “The centerpiece is yours if you are sitting to the left of the youngest guest at this table.”