In the spirit of the long-standing tradition of the bachelor party, and the more recent bachelorette party, she rented two limousines, “one for the boys and one for the girls.” Chouinard’s plan: men-against-the-women scavenger hunt.

Chouinard told Nikki and Michael, who live in Auburn, that they could each invite as many friends as the limos could hold. After gathering at a local restaurant for dinner, and to kick off the festivities, teams of young men and women piled into their respective limousines, each of which was equipped with a cooler full of beverages and snacks.

To recognize the bride- and groom-to-be, Chouinard presented an inexpensive wedding veil to Nikki that she had purchased at a party store and to Michael she gave a felt top hat and bow tie. Then, to each “team” she gave two lists.

One list was of “photo ops” that each team needed to find or create, and the second consisted of items that they needed to find and bring back to home base.

The most important rule, when it came to photos, was that the bride-to-be or the groom-to-be, wearing their veil or top hat and bow tie, along with at least one other member of their team, had to be in every photograph.

Although mother and daughter have lost the original lists, some of the photo ops that they remember from their party, photos they wish they had included, or photos that they would suggest for another party include photos:

1. with someone in a uniform;

2. with someone on a motorcycle (not moving);

3. with a baby;

4. near a gravestone;

5. with a bearded man;

6. with a bartender;

7. on a slide;

8. with a horse;

9. in front of a school;

10. with someone who has a tattoo;

11. with someone wearing a bathing suit;

12. in front of a hospital; and,

13. with someone wearing a fast-food uniform.

“We went to the fire station and said, ‘We need a man in uniform,’ and they said ‘Yes!’ They sent out this young kid and we made him put on all of his gear,” said Nikki Kelson.

“The girls went into a store to try on a bathing suit,” a move which Chouinard found less creative than the boys who, she said, “actually found someone wearing a bathing suit. And, the girls sat on a mini kid’s carousel horse in front of a store,” while the boys found a real horse.

To complete the photo with a baby, “The guys visited the mall and just walked up to somebody and said ‘Can I take a picture with your baby?’ ” said Kelson.

“They weren’t shy,” added Chouinard.

After having trouble finding a fast-food employee, the girls were taking a photo of a character on a sign at a local fast-food joint, when a custodian, who was taking out the trash, came out – “So we took a picture with him.” He was a good sport, but according to Kelson,  “He thought we were crazy.”

Chouinard also gave each team a list of items to collect, including a knitting needle, condom, tampon, magazine, deck of cards, pack of gum, cigar, lottery ticket, and a newspaper.

And of course, there were rules!

They had to be back by a designated time, they had to stay in Lewiston-Auburn, and they couldn’t purchase any of the items that they collected.

“We had a great time,” said Kelson, “and the game kept us laughing.”

“It was quite competitive,” said Chouinard, “and even the two limo drivers got into it.”

Ultimately, “my mom gave the boys more points for creativity [even though] we had more stuff … and she said we were cheaters,” said Kelson.

“The teams were pretty even,” said Chouinard, “but the boys were a little more creative.”

Chouinard, who has always enjoyed a good scavenger hunt, prepared many when her children were growing up, especially around birthdays and other special occasions. Sometime her scavenger hunts also included riddles that needed to be solved to complete an item on the list.

If you’re thinking of doing your own bridal party scavenger hunt, Chouinard recommends that you wait until they get into the limo before you give them the lists.

“You can get pretty creative, and more scandalous if you want to,” she said, but be sure to lay down the ground rules and make it fun. 

After Chouinard and her husband met the limos at the designated spot, the group spent the rest of the night camping by the lake.

Chouinard, whose son is getting married next summer, said that it was so much fun that they just might do it again for his wedding.

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