How to Play “Don’t Say Bride”

How to Play “Don’t Say Bride”

We recently brought you the ultimate list of hen party games, and, in the process, realised that it would be really helpful to give detailed instructions on exactly how to play some of the most popular hen party games. Here, we’re guiding you through how to play one of the simplest, and yet one of the most fun hen party games around, Don’t Say…, known hereafter as Don’t Say Bride. Let’s start with a brief explanation of how the game works, and what you’ll need. Then we’ll tell you exactly how to play Don’t Say Bride!

Photo by Zara via Everyday Pursuits

How Does Don’t Say Bride work?

Don’t Say Bride is a really simple game that revolves around banned words. A word is selected and identified by the host as the banned word (the most popular one is “bride” but we’ve put a list of suggestions below), and a forfeit is set for anyone who speaks that word aloud. It sounds easy, but as drinks and conversations begin to flow, it becomes unexpectedly difficult!

Photo by Paul McGinty Photography via One Fab Day

What you Need to Play Don’t Say Bride

Nothing! You don’t need anything to play Don’t Say Bride but, depending on the rules of your specific game, you might need to source some props. You can have signage made up reminding people what the banned word is, and you might decide to award the winner of the game a prize, but those are totally optional!

How to Play Don’t Say Bride

Here’s a step-by-step guide to organising and playing the Don’t Say Bride game;

1. Establish what the banned word will be. We’ve put a list of suggestions below, but feel free to get creative and come up with your own. Just remember that it should be a word your guests are likely to say frequently over the course of the hen party!

2. Establish whether the game will be forfeit-based or points-based.

  • For forfeit-based games: Don’t Say Bride makes a fun drinking game if you’re having a particularly wild hen party, but instead of drinking when they utter the banned word, guests could also eat a teaspoon of spicy hot sauce or some sour sweets! Depending on how much you want to embarrass your guests, you could also make a list of forfeits or dares, and write them on a piece of paper for the loser to pull out of a hat. They might include, “Wear your dress inside out,” or “Do a viral TikTok dance!”
  • For points-based games: Organise a way to keep track of the banned word, which could be as simple as an easel set up at the hen party. Whenever a guest utters the banned word aloud, the host makes a mark beside their name. The guest with the lowest number of marks at the end of the game wins! You could also remove marks when a guest successfully points out another guest’s slip-up! Another way to keep track of this is with props – something like children’s fancy dress jewellery or Team Bride pins work a treat! Each guest could be given a toy ring or pin to wear, and the first guest to point out their slip-up is allowed to steal their ring/pin. The guest wearing the most rings or pins at the end of the game wins!

3. Establish a timeline for the game. Don’t Say Bride is best played for a couple of hours, but don’t let it run on all night, as your guests will lose interest. It’s a good idea to have the timeline sync up with one of the hen party activities, so, for example, it could be played during the meal, with the winner announced just before you leave the restaurant.

4. Establish a way to communicate the game to your guests. This could be as simple as a quick announcement explaining the game, but of course, you could create or commission pretty signage, too.

5. Establish whether a winner will be chosen and a prize awarded. Don’t Say Bride is a fun hen party game to play, even if you don’t keep track of the scores, but, if you’d like to crown a winner, you could give them a specially-selected gift, buy them the fanciest cocktail on the menu, or, quite literally crown them with a hen party headpiece similar to the bride’s! Just make sure to have a second prize on hand in case the competition is tied!

6. Organise a prize for the game, or any other props you’ll need to play your version of the game.

7. Play and enjoy! 

Photo by Weddings Line Design on Etsy

Our Favourite Banned Words to Use in Don’t Say…

  • Bride
  • Wedding
  • Hen party/bridal shower/bachelorette party
  • Wedding dress or dress
  • The bride’s name
  • The groom’s name
  • The name of the wedding venue
  • A favourite saying of the bride’s (this is a great way to personalise the game!)

Planning a hen party? Check out our comprehensive list of (uncringey!) hen party games!

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