Wedding season is officially upon us—and you’ve been tasked with the all-important duty of throwing the bridal shower of the year.
The challenge: doing it all without breaking the bank, seeing as you’ve already dropped some serious dough on the dress, the shoes, hair and makeup, travel and hotel expenses, and don’t forget about that upcoming bachelorette party…
You don’t have to sacrifice an epic bridal shower at the expense of your budget—all it requires is a little planning. Here’s how to plan, cut costs, and throw the ultimate bridal shower.
When it comes to bridal shower invitations, online is the way to go—with a few exceptions. Yes, this may violate a few old-school etiquette rules, but there’s a way around that.
Realistically, most of the bride’s friends won’t sweat at the thought of an online invitation—in fact, many will appreciate the convenience of being able to refer to details online and RSVPing electronically.
The key: Look for invitation websites that offer both online and paper options. For a reasonable fee, some sites will allow you to order hard paper versions of your electronic invites. Order one for your bride’s scrapbook, and a few extras for guests like Aunt Edna who insist that paper is the way to go.
There are two primary ways to save money on shower food without sacrificing quality.
The first is to schedule the shower between meal times so that you’re simply providing light snacks, not a full-blown meal. The second is to utilize the rest of the bridal party’s talents. See if that Martha Stewart-like bridesmaid is willing to whip up a batch of designer cupcakes, and ask if the mother of the bride will bake some of her signature lemon bars.
It’s always a good idea to provide a few different crudité platters and additional nibbles. DIYing fruit, veggie, meat, and cheese platters will save you considerably over buying pre-made ones. Hit the bulk food store for nuts, sweets, and other snacks for cheap, and display them in pretty bowls and containers at the shower.
It’s a bridal shower, not a bachelorette party, so your drink budget shouldn’t break the bank. Nothing screams celebration more than a glass of bubbly, so pick up a few bottles of sparkling wine to toast the bride.
Offer non-alcoholic options to guests, too. Depending on the time of day and theme, these options can range from fresh-squeezed orange juice to craft sodas to an assortment of fine teas.
It’s bridesmaid bonding time! Gather the other maids and brush up your craft skills for an afternoon of pre-shower DIY décor. Pick a color scheme and/or a theme, and keep the décor simple but pretty. Bunting banners, tissue paper pom-poms, and mylar letter balloons are all on-trend, inexpensive ways to set the mood.
Shower favors are certainly not a must, but they are an appreciated touch. Most event attendees agree that consumable favors are the way to go. Well-received favors could include a small artisanal soap (think of the “shower” puns!), a sachet of gourmet tea, or a treat that’s local to the area (think caramel popcorn, candy apples, or a delicious truffle).
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