Being a bridesmaid costs an average of $ 1,695, and of that total, $ 400 is spent just to shower the bride. This includes the purchase of a gift, the costs of the event, and a trip to the shower.
However, you don’t have to spend that much. Last summer I was a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding and spent just under $ 300 planning and hosting the shower with another bridesmaid. Everyone had a great time, and most importantly, the girlfriend.
From choosing a location to gifts and favors, there are a number of tips you can implement to save money and still throw a shower you will remember.
Do a bridal shower party on a budget
Consider your home first. If you organize the party yourself, you won’t have to pay rental fees. However, there are circumstances where it simply won’t work. I live in Pennsylvania and my friend, who I took a shower, lives in Michigan. However, my in-laws live in Michigan City where we grew up and they generously allowed me to borrow their house for a few hours. If you find someone willing to share your home, you may decide to give them an inexpensive thank you gift, like a bottle of wine.
You’ll likely have to fork out some cash if homes aren’t available, but the shower doesn’t have to be in a fancy restaurant or hotel ballroom. Think outside the norm and shop. Here are some outliers to see:
- You, a friend or relative of the bride may live in an apartment complex with a community center. Many resorts rent out these rooms to residents.
- A park. Make your arrangements in the event of a thunderstorm!
Municipalities, towns and other local governments often have meeting rooms large enough for a hen party.
- A historic house or a school. These places can be managed by a non-profit organization and can be available at an affordable price.
- Many fraternal organizations, like Rotary and VFW, maintain meeting spaces with kitchens, tables, and whatever else you need for a party.
It is expensive to drive hundreds of kilometers, no matter which mode of transport you choose. When I needed to travel from Pennsylvania to Michigan, I compared the cost of driving to the cost of the plane. The cost of gasoline to come and go was around $ 150, while the price of a plane ticket would have been at least $ 200 per person. Since my husband was also going to make the trip, due to a wedding we were attending in the area, we drove and saved over $ 350 in travel costs.
You may find other ways to save money on travel, depending on where you and the other co-hosts live and where the shower will be.
- Schedule the fall shower a few days after the bridal shower party or girls’ night out to save yourself a trip. Of course, you might want to have the bridal shower a few days before the wedding to save time and money on your way to the nuptials. A shower in the week or so after the wedding might be too much for the bride, her friends and family.
- If you have to fly, look for cheap flights to get the lowest possible fare.
- Share the ride with other hosts or shower guests in your area and share your gas costs.
Even if you’re a bridesmaid, you don’t have to attend the shower if it doesn’t make financial or logistical sense. If you just can’t make it to a bridal shower party, any reasonable bride will understand. In addition, you can still send your gift.
Shower invitations don’t have to cost anything. You can send an Evite or create a Facebook event and invite everyone to the party for free.
However, there is a slight problem with this approach: Not everyone uses the internet regularly, and the bride is likely to have a grandmother or other relative who does not use Facebook.
A search on the Internet will show many companies that will make personalized printed invitations. Do not order from a website if you cannot find an active promo code. Using a promo code, I paid just $ 84.70 for 40 invitations and recipe cards, in which each guest was invited to share a recipe for the bride.
Alternatively, you can visit any card store and find affordable blank party invitations. Or you can make them yourself, even if you are not the crafty type, you can buy invitation kits at many stationery and office supply stores. Many are compatible with standard word processors. Use a festive font, add some photos or clip art, and print them out on your home office printer.
To save money, avoid hiring a caterer unless you are organizing a shower in a location that requires it. It is much more cost effective to prepare the food yourself. Check out these quick and easy party appetizer recipes, or browse your cookbooks and the internet for snack recipes that match your shower theme.
Also, spread the cost of food by asking everyone who helps in the shower to bring a plate. I shared the hosting responsibilities with my friend’s sister, so we divided up the tasks of preparing the meals.
For drinks, have a soft drink and perhaps an alcoholic beverage on hand. My mother-in-law made us sangria and I made some punch with this simple recipe:
- 2 liters of cranberry juice
- 2 liters of ginger ale
- 46 ounces of pineapple juice
- 1 cup of lemon juice
You will need plates, but you or a co-host probably have suitable plates to serve. Otherwise, borrow them from someone who has them. If you want to serve your guests disposable plates and cutlery, you can find them inexpensively at a discount grocery store.
Party supply stores sell a wide variety of centerpieces, balloons, garlands, streamers, confetti, and other items that you may want to consider, although they are not necessary decorations for a shower. A more frugal option is to search your belongings for things that match the theme of your shower.
The theme of the shower that I presented was “Around the world”. I brought a plush kangaroo brought by a friend from Australia, seashells from my honeymoon in the Caribbean, and a few other items that I could find at home. Here are some other decorations you might have around:
- Christmas fairy lights
- Houseplants to use as centerpieces
- Photos or postcards that match your theme
If everyone who helps in the shower brings a few decorations, you will have enough to work.
Silly singles board games are a staple in any shower. Here are a few that cost little or nothing:
- Prepare a list of questions about the groom (What is his shoe size? What was his first car?). Put them on the bride and see how many you get.
- Use Google Translate to list how you say “love” in different languages. Create worksheets for your guests to match the translation to the correct language.
- Stock up on inexpensive toilet paper. Divide the guests into teams and assign them to create the best “wedding dress” out of toilet paper.
7. Favors and rewards
Games come with prizes and it is customary for guests to receive gifts. Shop Around and Be Creative – You can find inexpensive options for gifts, like pretty soaps, candles, or candy. For the in-game prizes, there’s nothing wrong with returning that bath scrub you got for Christmas but didn’t use.
Spending a ton of money on a bridal shower party doesn’t guarantee a good time. These parties are fun for the bride because she can see her friends and family, open a stack of gifts, and be the center of attention. Focus on making the event fun rather than extravagant. The guest of honor and your wallet will thank you.
What other ideas do you have for saving money on a bridal shower party?