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10 Helpful Tips for Planning a Bridal Shower on a Budget

As the Maid or Matron of Honor or even a bridesmaid, expenses to be in your loved one’s wedding can really pile up.  This is especially true when you start factoring in added costs like bridal showers and bachelorette parties.  When these extra expenses are your responsibility it may be difficult to balance wanting to throw a beautiful shower while still keeping it affordable.
Today I’m sharing some of my favorite tips for planning a beautiful bridal shower on a budget.  No one will ever know the party didn’t cost a fortune!

Share the Hosting Duties

The Maid of Honor can recruit the Bridesmaids to help plan the party and share in some of the costs.  This takes the financial pressure off just one person.  I have also worked with quite a few mothers of the bride over the years who are also very involved in planning and helping pay for the bridal shower.  As long as everyone can agree, this is a great way of spreading the costs around.

Skip the Fancy Venue for Someone’s House

Do the Parents of the Groom have a fabulous back yard?  Great, host the party there.  While it can be special to plan a shower at a great venue, between venue fees, linen rentals and catered food, costs can really add up.  Consider someone’s home that maybe has a large, open floor plan or a great back yard.  These often make some of the most memorable locations for a shower and it’s FREE!

Shrink the Guest List

As the host, it may be a good idea to talk with the Bride to see who she really wants at her shower.  This is often a more intimate affair compared to the wedding so there is no need to invite every woman invited to the wedding.  Keep it to close friends and family only.  Remember that only those invited to the wedding should be invited to the shower.

Cut Transportation Costs

This may not apply to everyone but if you have bridesmaids or close family that live out of town, try to plan the shower around a time that the trip can serve double-duty.  For example, schedule the final dress fittings for the ladies for the same weekend as the shower so only one trip needs to be planned.  If the bride’s sister lives far away, plan the shower close to a holiday when she’d be home anyway.  This may not always work but it can help.

Save on the Invitations

As a stationery designer I know I’m biased but there are ways to save on invitations and still send quality invites for such a special occasion.  For less than $10 you can purchase an instant download and edit it yourself and then print at home on your printer.  Amazon and Kraft Stores sell pretty paper and envelopes and no one will ever know you didn’t spend a lot!  If you aren’t computer savvy, order a pre-edited jpg and send your invitation electronically using a service like Paperless Post.

Keep the Menu Simple

Plan the shower for a time between common meal times and don’t worry about serving a three course meal.  Plan simple finger foods and keep it light.  If you want to serve a meal, consider a bar-b-q with picnic style food.  Pass on the caterer and enlist your co-hosts to help make the food and share the cost.  No one will know, or care that you didn’t hire a fancy food service to cater the party.

Skip the Bakery

While a professionally made cake looks great in photos, a cake made at home or some other fun dessert will work just as well and can look just a pretty.  DIY fancy cupcakes or dress up simple desserts with pretty dishes.  A pretty presentation will make the food seem taste better and it costs way less!

Simplify the Decor

If you are throwing the shower at someone’s home, use regular household items to dress things up.  No fancy decorations required.  I personally feel like if you want to splurge somewhere then focus on the food or dessert table and keep everything else simple.  Potted plants as center pieces, pretty vases with simple, single stems of greens or a single flower look just as lovely as fancy floral arrangements that can get pretty expensive.  Add a focal point behind the food table with fun paper pom poms or paper fans like this fun set.  I’m also loving these large crepe flowers.

Go Light on the Entertainment

No need to go overboard on entertainment.  Cut up Pandora or IHeartRadio for some light music in the background while everyone is eating.  Then consider a few, fun games to keep everyone engaged. 

Skip the Fancy Prizes and Favors

Instead of spending a ton of money on game prizes and favors, consider wrapping up some tasty edibles like homemade chocolate chip cookies or DIY some pretty “cookies in a jar”.  If that doesn’t speak to you, consider making the shower a “crafter-noon” where the group diy’s a wreath or other craft and that becomes their take-home favor.  Have fun with this and plan it around the bride-to-be’s own interests to make it more personal.
I hope these ten simple tips have inspired you!  Do you have a favorite or did you get some super amazing idea from these tips?  If so, share them below.  Do you have other money saving tips for bridal shower planning?  Share those too!

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