A few weeks ago we had a lovely Opening Social for the women's group I'm a part of - the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - and I took a few pictures of our evening I thought I would share. This is the second event I've helped plan and facilitate, the first being our Service Auction, and both have been huge successes!
The evening started out with a dinner of soup, salad and bread (all provided by different women in the group), along with a bit of socializing, and ended with our "Minute to Win it" style games - modified for our audience.
One thing I loved about our decor was all the natural elements. It is amazing what you can do with little to no budget! Most of the items on these tables were gathered from women we know (with one brilliant lady in charge of the overall decor and the one who provided most of the accessories).
She did a few simple things that made the evening seem so elegant. The platters of bread and pots of soup were set on overturned bowls that had been covered by a 2nd linen tablecloth. The differing heights and spacing made the food eye catching and easy to access.
Things like burlap and twinkle lights are inexpensive, and often things that people have already, which can be used to add texture and interest to a table! Above is our dessert table, and again, I love the differing heights of the platters, and the interspersed natural and vintage decor. I felt so warm and inviting!
Ball jars as vases, old books tied with raffia, fresh flowers and a burlap table runner made each table warmly decorated on a very small budget. This is the kind of place you want to sit down and chat with your friends while eating warm homemade soup -- don't you think?!
We encouraged people to socialize with women they might not know very well by randomly assigning each person a table based on color (see the painted fall leaf in the picture below, which represents the purple table). We also had "get to know you" questions written out on popsicle sticks at each table, and encouraged women to break the ice by asking their neighbor some of the questions while they ate.
For the second half of the evening, each table became a team to play our quick, team building games - all with an LDS twist. Instead of completing a task in a minute, we modified the game so that each team completed each game as fast as they could (they got a couple of tries at each game), and they recorded their fastest time at each. The team who added up all their fastest times and had completed them all in the least amount of time, won!
One lady that helped out with the event even made a darling scorecard for each team to use!
Game 2: Party Planner - 1 player must setup 6 chairs in 2 rows. Have your team sit in the chairs, stand up, and the same player must then re-stack the chairs.
How fast do you think you can put away those stubborn metal folding chairs? ;)
Game 3: Fast Faith - Recite the 13th Article of Faith from memory, no mistakes. Another teammate will check your work with the provided answer.
Game 4: Stack N' Sing - Sit or stand and stack 3 hymn books on your head and sing all the verses to a popular [church] song (you are allowed to look at the words for this one.) Sing as fast as you can, and don't let those books drop!
Game 5: Church Ball - One person holds a clip board at their waist, another stands behind the line and tries to bank ping pong balls off the clip board into the garbage can. Get 3 ping pong balls in as fast as you can - and the person with the clip board can feel free to move around to try to help!
Game 6: David's Practice - Slip a toilet paper roll through a broom handle, and tie one end of the TP through the tab of a pop can to weigh it down. Stand behind the line, and using rubber bands, break the line of toilet paper apart.
It was so fun to see everyone playing our silly games! Each person was welcome to play the games as many times as they wanted, or a person could simply cheer on their team - whatever made everyone comfortable! It was great to see people laughing, cheering, and competing -- and it's always nice to have people talking to one another, and making new connections!
Plus, we ended the night with these amazing pumpkin bars for dessert - and these are so good - they make everyone happy! ;)
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