Thursday, March 15, 2012

How to throw a game shower

I have been best friends with bibliophile81 since we were in Kindergarten and so, as soon as she announced her engagement to Mr. Bitter, I knew I had to come up with a really cool idea for a shower / end-of-singledom party. Since Mr. Bitter and the bibliophile are both huge games fans, rabidmonkey and I each independently came up with the idea to throw them a game-themed party. We formed a planning committee with evilducky, Teacher Incognito, and Danger and started scheming. I decided my birthday would make an excellent decoy date and set up a fake facebook event inviting all our close friends over for our typical hang out / eat cake kind of thing. Then I sent an email around to everyone but the bibliophile and Mr Bitter, inviting everyone to bring a game as a gift for the marrieds-to-be and come over early enough to shout "Surprise!" when they walked in the door. Then the committee got to work.

Evilducky made a congrats banner with cards from the game Aquarius as backgrounds:

We decided we wanted to have game-themed snacks and spent several weeks kicking ideas around that we found online. We didn't want to blow the bank or get in over our heads, so we narrowed it down to a few simple things. Back in November of last year, the bibliophile herself sent me a link to a tutorial on creating a mold to make chocolate D&D dice. Making the mold was way beyond my capabilities, but I got in touch with the chocolatier who wrote the article, Ariel Segall, and it turned out she now makes the dice as one of the products offered by her Dark Matter Chocolate Laboratory. We ordered a batch of 49 dark chocolate dice to give as an edible gift at the party and I need to tell you that Ariel and her business manager Kat were great to work with from start to finish. They were patient as we spent several weeks debating the different flavor options, were able to accommodate our chosen date, and then rushed the chocolates to us after an unexpected delay so that they arrived right on time. If you want a fun and delicious gift or treat for a special occasion, check out her stuff. She can even make a chocolate TARDIS!

one full set of d20 dice

We also wanted to do something inspired by the game Carcassonne, and evilducky suggested that we make square cookies and decorate them to look like the game tiles, then put the cookies on top of cupcakes. Danger volunteered to bake ridiculously delicious chocolate cupcakes. Evilducky found a painted sugar cookie recipe from A Baker's Field Guide to Christmas Cookies. She and I got together the Sunday before the party to make the cookies. We measured out 3" x 3" squares using a ruler and a pizza cutter, then painted them with egg yolks + food coloring, per the Baker's Field Guide instructions. We couldn't do a lot of detail and we had to be careful not to let the colors bleed together, but I think overall they turned out pretty awesome.

We made some meeple:

Then they were united with the cupcakes half an hour before the party started on Tuesday (wooden meeple added for fun):

Haul of games:

I think we succeeded at throwing a good, memorable party for our friends. We wanted to send them off to the wedding feeling loved and celebrated, and I'm hoping we accomplished that. It was a lot of fun, too.


  1. as much as i like a bit of credit, i didn't come up with it. i just remembered an idea you'd mentioned back when the engagement was expected to happen eventually but hadn't yet.

  2. We really, really loved it! It's had me smiling ever since. <3