Your bestie is getting married, and you’re the M.O.H. That means, you and your fellow bridesmaids are responsible for planning the bridal shower. You’re psyched for the chance to celebrate your girl and plan a gorgeous shower that will wow her family and friends. There’s just one problem: You don’t exactly have unlimited financial resources. Don’t feel like you have to be prepared to use the phrase, “money is no object” to plan a beautiful bridal shower. Follow the tips below to save some budget dollars where you can, so you can spend it on the items that matter most.
- Choose a Theme. Surprisingly, the simple technique of choosing a theme for the bridal shower can help to keep you on budget. By selecting a theme to which all shower elements from décor to food, to favors and games, must adhere, it can save you from feeling like you continually have to add to your purchase list. For example, you may be tempted to splurge on an out-of-your-price-range cocktail dress you come across, but if your theme is retro chic, you can save by searching a vintage shop for a less expensive, Gatsby-inspired option. Choosing a theme will limit your options in a good way, and it will allow you to throw a unique and meaningful shower the bride will love. Start with your stationer and let her help you define your theme.
- Throw the Shower at Home. If you live in the same city as the bride and the majority of the guests, consider throwing the shower at your home to save the cost of renting a venue. If you don’t think your studio apartment will hold 30 of the bride’s closest friends and family, perhaps another bridesmaid or a member of the bride’s family would be willing to let you host at their home.
- Keep the Menu Simple. You don’t need to plan for appetizers, a sit-down meal, dessert, and an open bar. Keep the menu simple with delicious finger foods or a light lunch, and pair it with a custom designed candy buffet or dessert table that can serve double duty as both dessert and a thank you gift.
- If You’re Traveling, Cost-Compare. One of the most significant shower (and wedding) related expenses can be travel. You can certainly plan a fantastic shower remotely, but you’ll eventually have to travel in person for the big day. Depending on the distance, compare the costs of driving versus flying. Ask if you can crash with the bride or a fellow bridesmaid to save on the cost of a hotel room, and sign up for a fare alert service such as Hopper or Skyscanner and watch for special deals and low rates if you do need to fly.
- Create a Signature Cocktail. If you’re hosting an evening affair, but can’t afford bartenders or to stock a full bar, create a single signature cocktail instead and place a pitcher on every table.
- Keep Your Décor Simple. Resist the urge to cover every inch of your venue space with balloons, flowers, streamers, candles, and other decorations. Keep it simple and spend your efforts instead on creating a photo collage board of the happy couple. Your guests (and the bride) will appreciate the photos much more than anything you could buy at a store.
- Choose Flowers that are In Season. Amaryllises may be the bride’s favorite flower and will be perfect for her winter wedding, but for your late summer bridal shower, trying to incorporate them into the shower will be costly. Talk to your local florist to find in-season (read: less expensive) floral options, and stick to small displays per table.
Final Tip: Don’t break the bank planning your best friend’s bridal shower. Remember that you still have the wedding to budget for, which means your dress, hair, nails, gift, transportation, and more. The most important thing is to give your girl a chance to celebrate her engagement with the women in her life who have been instrumental in supporting her relationship and helping her become the woman she is today for the man she’ll love forever.