Whether you’re hosting a shower for an expectant mother or bride-to-be, the cost can add up. Here are my best tips and tricks for hosting a shower on a budget and still wow-ing the guests and guest of honor.
#1 RULE FOR HOSTING A SHOWER ON A BUDGET- Don’t do it alone!
Seriously. Gone are the days of it being required to be the maid of honor who throws the shower. Showers for brides or babies can be hosted by the sister, mother, friend or a combination of all of them. I recommend having at least three people host the shower in order to split not only the costs, but the responsibilities of the shower.
How do I like to split things up? Invitations & Decorations by one (or a group) person, Food done by another person (or group) and Games or Activities done by another person (or group).
Let’s talk about how to be frugal in each of these areas:
Hosting a Shower on a Budget: Invitations & Decorations
1- Look for free printable decorations. This should always be the first thing you do!! Google “Free Printable Baby/Bridal Shower” and you will get tons of results. One of my favorite sources is here. I’ve used them several times. All you do is download the package to your computer and either print at home or send to a copy/print center (highly recommended). Need something customized? Most of the time you can get the creator of the free printables to do a little customization for just a few dollars (like, less than $5)!
I used these free Little Man printables at the last shower I helped with and it saved so much time and money!
2- Don’t mail invitations to every guest on the list. Just as outdated as the rule that the shower has to be thrown by a certain person, is the idea that a mailed invitation is the only classy way to do an invite. Now through social media and email you can contact tons of people without spending a dime! Create an event on Facebook, or send a digital invitation through email. You can still design a cute invite, just don’t have it printed – upload it and send it instead! Now, you’ll most likely have to still use snail-mail for great-aunt Beth, but the amount you’ll save from not mailing to everyone goes a long way in your budget!
3 – Incorporate your gift into the decor. I created a onesie garland for the last shower I hosted and at the end I gave the expectant mother the onesies as a gift. You can do this with all kinds of things, get creative!
Hosting a Shower on a Budget: Food
1- Don’t have the shower during a meal time. Instead, plan for a brunch shower from 10 – 11:30 or an afternoon dessert shower from 1:00 – 3:00. By not having to serve an entire or specific meal, your options are wide open and your savings just went up!
2- Serve one item as a bar. I’ve mentioned this before in other posts, but the more options you offer, the more food people will eat. If you pick one item and serve it as a build-your-own-bar, then guests will make one and most likely not come back for seconds. Some of my favorite dessert bars are: ice cream sundae, fruit pizzas, fruit & yogurt parfaits or Crepes/Waffles. Some of my favorite savory bars are: Nachos, Bruschetta Bar (slices of toasted bread with 3-4 bruchetta topping options), Baked Potato Bar, Pasta Bar, and Salad Bar. For more ideas, read this.
3- Don’t buy Dinner Plates. The size of the plates and cups you offer will also help manage the portion size guests take. Purchase appetizer plates and smaller glasses. Chances are high they will get settled in their spot and not want to keep getting up for more.
Hosting a Shower on a Budget: Games & Activities
1- Three is the magic number! Don’t plan more games or activities than three. I like to do one that can be done at the guests liesure, while they mingle and chat. Another that is useful or helpful to the guest of honor (creating the pages of their sign-in book, or making cute hair bows for their new baby), and the last is just something fun.
2- Use Free Printables! Just like in decorations, there are tons of free shower game printables for bingo, candy bar games, guess the stats, etc. Use them – they are FREE!!
3- Incorporate the favor into one of the games. Rather than spending double to provide a prize for one of the games and a favor for the event – combine the two and give something sweet and special to all of the guests for part of one of the activities.
So there you have it, my opinions on how you can host a totally awesome shower without spending a ton of money. What are your best practices for keeping to a budget when hosting a shower?