Wedding Season is fast approaching which means Bridal Shower season too!
We all know that throwing a Bridal Shower can be very expensive. I put together this guide to How To Throw a Bridal Shower on a Budget sharing some ideas some friends and I used when we hosted a Bridal Shower recently.
When it comes to celebrating our friends up and coming nuptials we want to throw them an incredible party-but often that requires hefty budgets and hours of planning. Some friends and I recently threw a fabulous Bridal Shower for a dear friend on a very tight budget!
We all love parties and celebrating so we put our heads together, and our small budgets and came up with some great ideas of how to throw a Bridal Shower on a budget.
1) Plan in advance
The further in advance you plan the more likely you are to be able to reduce the overall cost of the shower. When we are planning in a time crunch, budgets tend to get throw out and we overspend. Careful advance planning allows you to search online (see #7), find discounts and spread out the costs. You also have the opportunity to find skilled people who are willing to help you.
2) Pick a Theme
Choose a theme that is quite general-this allows you a lot of fluidity when purchasing decorations, planning food and games. The more limited your theme, often the bigger your budget has to be. The color theme for the Bride’s wedding was red-so we chose that! We were then only limited by color but had lots of other things we could include to make the theme sing!
3) Make your food, or find someone who can!
If you are not a budding chef, then look over your guest list and see who is. There is probably a very capable budding chef waiting in the wings to showcase their talents. Ask around as if they are a good enough friend to be invited to the shower then they probably want to bless the Bride in anyway they can.
I was in charge of food because I love it and can make many things from scratch on a budget. I know how to cut corners, where to find bargains, what to buy and what to spend time making.
4) Choose appetizers or dessert only
Instead of hosting a full lunch, brunch or dinner for a shower-choose just appetizers and/or dessert. This will drastically cut your costs but you can still provide enough food to satisfy everyone. This also cuts down on your labor time and means you can probably make most of the food in advance-allowing you to focus on other things right before the shower starts.
I made Hummus and Crab Dip and served them with chips and salsa and a veggie tray, a friend made her incredible Deviled Eggs, we bought party-sized meatballs and served them in a Marinara sauce. For dessert I made Red Velvet Cupcakes and decorated them with the shower colors. I bought some red candies to add to the red decor too
5) Don’t prepare more than you need
This is one of the biggest errors people make when hosting parties-buying, preparing and serving too much food! I fall into this trap all the time, as I am my Mother’s daughter, she taught me to make more “just in case”, and I have been over-catering ever since. I found this very helpful guide online to save you from overspending-How Much Food & Drinks To Serve At A Party
6) Co-ordinate who is in charge of each area
Ask someone to run games/activities during the shower. Have someone in charge of all the food. Ask someone to co-ordinate decor. Make sure someone liaises with the Bride so she arrives on time and not before!! Split activities with a team of friends and give them something in their area of expertise! More hands make lighter work!
7) Go online and search stores for discounts
Try and plan as far in advance as you can. This helps find discounts, offers and spreads out the cost over a period of time rather than having to spend lots of money at the same time.
Here is a list of some great websites and stores I have used for events:
Party City– try in stores too
Dollar Tree– try in stores too (they even deliver for free to the stores)
Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts
8) Consider the Season
Try and pick a theme that fits the season we are in. For example, trying to find Fall decor and colors in March will be nearly impossible and will therefore limit your choices and boost your budget. Pick Spring colors in Spring, and Fall colors in Fall. We found some items for our shower in post Valentines Day sales as it was a few weeks after Valentines Day.
9) Don’t spend unnecessary funds on invitations
Create a Facebook event, use Evite or even send an email to your guests rather than wasting money on formal invitations. I know they are pretty and they make a great keepsake for the Bride but in this multimedia culture most people use social media and/or email to communicate now anyway so utilize that method of communication. If you have any elderly or non-social media using guests consider sending them a more formal invitation and maybe even one to the Bride so she has a keepsake!
10) Use a free venue
We hosted ours at our church, but you can host it at home, ask a local church or community center if they have a space you could use, if the weather allows have it in a local park, ask at your local coffee shop-they may let you use a back room or part of the shop in exchange for buying drinks. Ask around-someone will know a perfect, free space you can use….for free and at minimal cost.
And remember……Have Fun!
The most important thing is that the Bride has an incredible time, celebrating her upcoming wedding with the people that mean the most to her. Don’t get too wrapped up in the decor, food, invitations and games and lose sight of the most important part. Enjoy yourself! Celebrate! Have Fun!