How to Host a Bridal Shower on a Budget: 13 Tips

Planning a bridal shower on a budget might sound a bit intimidating at first—after all, you want to celebrate in style without breaking the bank. But here’s the scoop: it’s totally doable to host a memorable event without splurging too much.

According to CostHelper, hosting a bridal shower typically ranges from $15 to $40 per guest. For a party with 20 attendees, this translates to a total cost of $300 to $800.

So, how do you pull off a fabulous bridal shower without the fabulous price tag? It’s all about getting creative and strategic with your planning.

This article is packed with handy tips and clever ideas to help you organize a delightful bridal shower on a budget. You’ll discover ways to trim expenses without skimping on the fun or flair.

bridal shower on a budget

Bridal Shower on a Budget

#1 Cut The Guest List

Inviting fewer people can really help you keep costs down, and it also makes the party feel more intimate and special.

I invited way too many people to my celebration (mostly out of respect), and trust me, it’s easy to fall into that trap!

Here’s a secret: make it about the bride’s VIPs. When creating your invitation list, ask:

  • Who truly matters to the bride?
  • Who does she see or talk to most often?

Keep it cozy with close friends and immediate family members. Remember, if they’re invited to the shower, they should generally be expecting a wedding invite too. Don’t fret though; it’s a good excuse to keep numbers down.

Now, addressing the elephant in the room—how do you handle the would-be guests who aren’t on the list? It’s simpler than you think and being honest usually does the trick. You could say:

  • “We’re keeping the shower small due to budget constraints.”
  • “I wish we could include everyone, but we have to keep it intimate.”

Handling it with grace and honesty will be appreciated, leaving everyone feeling positive about the entire celebration. No hard feelings, just sweet anticipations for the big day!

#2 Host At Home/Backyard

Hosting a bridal shower at home or backyard is not only cozy but also cuts down venue costs significantly. You’ve got the liberty to decorate as you please, and let’s not forget the plus of time flexibility.

No curfews here!

Looking for a spot? Reach out to your inner circle — perhaps your maid of honor, a bridesmaid, or a family member has the perfect setting in their home.

A friend’s backyard can sometimes be that hidden gem you’re searching for.

Also, local community centers, parks, or botanical gardens can be low-cost alternatives that still provide a delightful ambiance. Just be sure to check their availability and any fees that may apply.

#3 Send Digital Invitations

Have you ever thought about the chunk of your budget that goes into traditional paper bridal shower invitations?

Let’s be real, between the printing and postage costs, that’s no small penny.

Why not go digital? It’s way lighter on your wallet and, hey, it’s a huge win for the trees, too.

Here’s why digital invitations are a lifesaver:

  • Cost-Effective: Digital invites are often free or really cheap, and you won’t spend a dime on stamps.
  • Eco-Friendly: Less paper means less waste, and that’s something you can feel good about.
  • Convenient: With digital invites, tracking your RSVPs becomes a breeze. You can get instant notifications and updates without the hassle of chasing down replies.

Ready to create stunning digital invitations? Check out these platforms:

  • Paperless Post: Snazzy designs at your fingertips that can match any bridal shower theme. And yes, there are free options!
  • Evite: They’ve been around the block, and they know their stuff. Get your hands on numerous free templates that are as easy to use as pie.
  • Canva: Unleash your inner designer with Canva’s user-friendly interface and a treasure trove of free and affordable templates.

And don’t worry, you don’t need to be a tech whiz to navigate these platforms. They are user-friendly and guide you through the creation process with simple steps.

Most importantly, you get to pour your personal touch into every invitation, ensuring your bridal shower vibe starts with the very first click.

Not sure how to word your invitations? Check out this Bridal Shower Invitation Wording Guide.

#4 Keep The Appetizers Simple

Ever thought about how the simplest dishes often take the spotlight at gatherings? In hosting a bridal shower on a budget, embracing minimalism can be your secret weapon.

Why not showcase a classic cheese and crackers array? Fruit chunks and veggie platters? They’re not just budget-friendly; they’re a breeze to prepare.

Mini sandwiches? They’ve got convenience written all over them. And let’s not forget about the all-time favorites – dips! Hummus, salsa, and spinach artichoke come to mind, easily served at room temperature and perfect for making ahead of the big day.

Here’s a tip: presentation is everything. You’d be surprised how some elegant decorative trays and platters can turn even the simplest foods into a feast for the eyes.

Even toothpicks can dress up your display when they feature those cute little frills. And don’t underestimate the power of bold printed napkins to add a splash of fun and color.

Appetizer IdeasMake-Ahead?Temperature
Cheese and CrackersYesRoom
Fruit PlatterYesCool
Veggie PlatterYesRoom/Cool
Mini SandwichesYesRoom
Dips (Various)YesRoom

#5 Plan A Simple Menu

By planning a simple menu, you’re not just saving pennies; you’re creating a cozy atmosphere that’s all about celebrating love and friendship.

Isn’t that what it’s really about? Plus, a simpler menu means less stress in the kitchen, so you can focus on toasting to the bride!

Why not get creative with your menu, reflecting the bride’s personality? Is she more a laid-back brunch gal or a fancy tea party aficionado? Or maybe she loves the great outdoors, making a picnic or barbecue-style menu a hit!

Here are a few tips that are cost and efforts low, while still dazzling your guests:

  • Finger Foods: Less can be more with a selection of bite-sized treats. Think mini quiches, Carpese skewers, or spinach and feta puffs for a brunch theme!
  • Buy in Bulk: This can be a huge money-saver, especially when you’re planning to feed a bigger crowd. It really makes sense for certain items.
  • Let Your Guests Help: When your guests ask, “What can I bring?” take them up on the offer! Assign each guest a side dish or dessert to bring along. This not only helps with the budget but also adds a personal touch to the party.

#6 Potluck Style Menu

A potluck menu style not only will save you from the hefty catering bill but also become a delightful icebreaker as guests sample each other’s specialties.

Imagine each guest bringing their signature dish—won’t that be a spread to remember? It’s like hosting a mini food festival in honor of the bride-to-be!

To ensure a balanced menu, coordinate who brings what. This way, you won’t end up with ten pasta salads and no dessert.

Here’s a simple way to organize:

  1. Create a sign-up sheet (or a digital version) with categories for bridal shower desserts, appetizers, entrees, and sides.
  2. Encourage a mix of vegetarian and meat dishes to cater to all diets.
  3. Don’t forget the drinks! Assign a few guests to beverages – alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

To add to the fun, add name tags for each dish, sharing a story or recipe. It’s all about creating memories, after all.

#7 Limit Alcoholic Beverages

One of the simplest ways to curb expenses is to rethink the drink options. Alcoholic beverages can quickly blow your budget.

So, how can you keep those costs down while still providing a toast-worthy experience? Let’s break it down:

  • Offer Signature Cocktails: Choose one or two signature cocktails that align with your bridal shower theme or color palette.
  • Go for Mocktails: Who says you need alcohol for a good time? Create fun and festive mocktails that look just as enticing. This can immensely reduce your expenses and cater to guests who prefer non-alcoholic options.

Take a look at our article where we’ve compiled some of the best (non-alcoholic and alcoholic) bridal shower punch ideas.

#8 Order Supplies Online

Ordering supplies online is another savvy move! You’ll find a treasure trove of affordable decorations, favors, games, and other must-haves.

Why shop online?

  • Discounts & deals: Websites like [Amazon], [Etsy], and [Oriental Trading] are goldmines for bargains.
  • Coupons: Hunt down those promo codes!
  • Free shipping: Keep an eye out for this perk to save extra cash.

Think about personalizing items to add a special touch. It’s simpler than you think:

  • Customize: Add the bride’s name or initials to favors.
  • Reflect style: Choose items that mirror her unique flavor – does she love vintage charm or modern elegance?
  • Use photos: Nothing says “one-of-a-kind” like personalized decor showcasing memorable moments.

#9 Get Creative With Decor

Now, let’s chat about turning ordinary items into extraordinary decor that charms your guests and keeps your wallet happy.

DIY Projects: Unleash your inner craft guru with some easy DIY projects. For example, imagine transforming colorful paper into sweet garlands or making a beautiful banner proclaiming “Future Mrs. [Name]”.

  • Banners & Garlands: Grab some card stock, scissors, and string. Cut out letters and shapes, then string them together for a personalized touch.
  • Centerpieces: Combine jars from your pantry with flowers from your garden to fashion simple yet elegant table features.

Why not repurpose and borrow, too? Friends and family might have just the thing to add that special twinkle. A chic tablecloth or a string of fairy lights can go a long way.

Seek out gently used items:

  • Thrift stores can be treasure troves for unique decor.
  • Borrow vases or candle holders from friends.

Making a backdrop? Hang a curtain, string some lights, and voilà, you’ve got a photo-worthy spot without splurging on a professional setup. Remember, your creativity is the secret ingredient.

A few more tips:

  • Mismatched is Magical: Eclectic collections of glassware or plates add charm.
  • Printables: Loads of free designs are just a click away—perfect for signs and games.

#10 DIY Entertainment

Another ingenious way to cut costs is with DIY entertainment that simultaneously ramps up the merriment. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Wedding Bingo: Tailor bingo cards to the wedding theme with specific moments or phrases. Offer a homemade prize or a special keepsake to the winners, adding a personal touch to a classic game.
  2. Scavenger Hunt: Transform the venue into a treasure trail with clues that reveal fun facts about the couple or little symbols of their relationship. It’s a dynamic way to involve everyone in an unforgettable adventure.
  3. Karaoke Corner: Set up a space where guests can sing the bride’s favorite songs or give heartfelt performances using a karaoke machine or smartphone app. It’s a fun way to celebrate with music and laughter.
  4. DIY Photo Booth: Create a photo booth with a backdrop and props found at home. It’s an excellent way for guests to capture goofy, candid moments that will be cherished for years to come.
  5. Story Relay: Hand out pens and cards to each guest. The first person writes the beginning of a story about the couple, then passes their card to the next guest who adds their own sentence. Each participant only reads the previous entry, making the plot a fun surprise! Have the bride read the full story aloud at the end for a guaranteed laugh.
  6. Bride & Groom Trivia Challenge: Interview the groom before the party and gather fun facts and heartfelt moments from their relationship. At the shower, see how well the bride can match his answers to questions like “How did you meet?” or “What’s one habit of hers you love?” It’s a great way to share laughs and love stories.
  7. Toilet Paper Couture: Split guests into teams and give each a roll of toilet paper and tape. They have a few minutes to fashion a wedding dress on one team member. The bride-to-be judges the creations and picks the winner. This game is always good for some creative fun and memorable photos!

#11 Make DIY Party Favors

Why buy pricey store-bought favors when you can whip up something adorable and useful in your very own kitchen?

Get those creative juices flowing and consider these cost-effective yet delightful favor ideas:

  • Hand-poured candles: A cozy light never fails to please.
  • Custom bridal shower cookies: Who doesn’t love a sweet treat?
  • Personalized magnets: Keep those memories stuck on the fridge!

To give your favors an extra dash of charm, dress them up a bit! Presentation is everything, after all. Here are a few simple ideas that can make a world of difference:

  • Tags & Labels: A little note that says “Made with love” or “Thank you for being here”.
  • Ribbons & Twine: A simple bow can turn even a plain bag into something special.
  • Attractive packaging: Think colorful bags, clear boxes, or rustic burlap pouches.

Sure, it might take a bit of time and effort, but when your guests gush over their unique favors, you’ll know it was worth it.

Plus, you’ve saved money and created something one-of-a-kind – now that’s smart planning!

#12 Utilize Free Printables

thank you letter

Why should you use free printables?

  • Saves money: Cut down costs on paper goods.
  • Personal touch: Add style that feels unique and personal.
  • Easy to customize: Tailor to your bridal shower theme with a few clicks.

Where can you find these magic papers? Online, of course! There are tons of resources that offer no-cost options for your shindig. Need a sneak-peek into what kind of printables are out there? Check this out:

  • Invitations: Create an elegant or whimsical invitation design that guests will adore.
  • Thank You Cards: Show your heartfelt appreciation with a charming printable thank you card.
  • Signs: Guide your guests without saying a word. “Welcome!” “Gifts Here!” You get the drift.
  • Labels: For those DIY favors or treats, labels can add that polished look.

How do you use these printables? It’s as easy as download, customize, and print. Got a printer at home? You’re all set! No fancy paper needed—regular stock works wonders.

There are many free templates to be found on Canva.

Remember, the key is to mix and match but not to overdo it. Keep it simple, keep it you, and let those printables work their magic!

#13 Plan In Advance

lady planing

Planning your bridal shower ahead can be the secret sauce to a fabulous party without breaking the bank. Starting at least two months prior gives you breathing space to hunt for deals and avoids the premiums of last-minute bookings.

Why start early? It’s simple! Early planning can:

  • Snag discounts for bulk purchases.
  • Give you time to DIY decorations, invitations, and even party favors, adding personal touches while saving cash.
  • Allow room to adjust the budget as quotes come in.

Here’s a quick breakdown on how to get the ball rolling:

  1. Create a Timeline: Outline all the major tasks you need to do from start to finish.
  2. Checklist Time: Make a list of everything you need.
  3. Budget Boundaries: Decide how much you’re willing to spend overall.
  4. Backup Plans Are Your Friend: Sometimes, things go sideways. A plan B for major elements ensures you’re not caught off-guard.

A pro tip: keep a folder or a digital document where all your bridal shower info lives. Trust me, your future self will thank you for being so organized!