12 Tips to Planning a Bridal Shower on a Budget
Hello ladies! Today’s post is for my Maid of Honor’s out there! As the MOH, you’re the bride’s most special gal pal. You know the bride better than any other friend, and you have special insight into her personal style and everything she loves. Making you the perfect person to throw her the bridal shower of her dreams!
Now I am not going to lie, throwing a bridal shower is not an easy task. I was my sister’s MOH, and I went into the planning process thinking that it was going to be a breeze..boy, was I wrong!! Planning my sister’s shower involved a lot of preparation, funds, and work. It was honestly stressful! I knew it was going to be a day my sister was going to remember forever, so I wanted to make her shower stylish and perfect. After spending countless hours on Pinterest, DIY projects, and working my booty off, my sisters shower came together beautifully and exceeded everyone’s expectations.
From my experience, I’m here to give you all the tips and tricks to throwing the perfect bridal shower that will make your BFF feel showered with love..see what I did there.
1. PICK A THEME
This one was so easy for me! As soon as I started planning, my sister told me she wanted her shower to be lemon themed! Her shower took place in the Springtime, so the stores were loaded with lemon themed decor, making my life easy! I recommend sitting down with the bride and seeing what she is envisioning. Yes, you want her to be surprised, but you also want the shower to be a reflection of the bride, not yourself. Some fun themes that I have seen are tea party, tropical, picnic, boho, country-chic, etc.
2. PICK THE TIME OF DAY YOU WANT TO SHOWER TO TAKE PLACE
Do you want this to this to be a breakfast, brunch, or lunch event? This will make a huge difference in your food menu!
3. PICK A DATE AND SEND INVITATIONS
Now that you and the bride have decided on a theme, it's time to find a a cute invitation that matches the theme! I recommend browsing Etsy for a template. The templates are very affordable, and are usually under $10. To print the invitations, I bought watercolor paper at Micahel’s. Watercolor paper is great because it is nice quality. It is thick like card stock paper, but much cheaper than card stock . You can use water color paper on your home printer if you have a backloading printer, if not head out to your local Staples.
4. MAKE A GUEST LIST
I made a guest list based on everyone I knew the bride would for sure invite. I then had her review it to add whomever she wanted. Having the bride have the final input in the guest list for her shower is very important! You don’t want to forget anyone!
5. PICK A SPACE
My sister was being bougie and didn’t want to have her bridal shower at my parent’s house..making my party planning budget skyrocket! I couldn’t afford to rent out a beautiful restaurant or country club, so I had to get creative! I ended up renting the club room at my friend’s apartment complex for a few hours. It was $50 a hour, and we rented it out for six hours (we had to include extra time to set up and break everything down). This space ended up being SO gorgeous! The room was brand new, modern, had plenty of tables and seating, and was the perfect size! I think it was worth splurging a bit on this room. It had plenty of room to accommodate everyone, and it felt more sophisticated than a backyard party.
This is my favorite part about party planning! I highly recommend making a Pinterest board for your decor ideas! My Pinterest board really helped me stay organized and inspired!
When shopping online, I personally found a lot of the decor on Etsy and even Amazon to be extremely overpriced. I feel like companies spike the price of ANYTHING bridal related. This is why I decided to DIY was much as possible! I bought a blank garland at Michael’s and had the bridesmaid with the best writing write, “She found her main squeeze”. I bought a blank canvas at Micahael’s to make a cute sign for the bubbly bar. One of my FAVORITE pieces of decor was a DIY lemon garland. I cut sliced lemon, dried the slices in the oven, and made a garland out of it! It turned out SO cute and cost next to nothing to make!
You can also check out stores like Marshalls, Hobby Lobby, Micahel’s, etc for any decor that matches your theme. I ended up finding super cute lemon themed items like signs, candles, picture frames, table cloths, and serving plates for very cheap!
Photos are another option for decor! You can hang photos of the bride and groom from their engagement shoot, or photos of the bride from her childhood!
I cannot stress this one enough. Planning a shower is a lot to handle both financially and mentally. As MOH, you will be taking on the most responsibility, but that does not mean you need to be responsible for every last thing. Make a list of the inventory of everything you will need, and then evenly delegate it to all of the bridesmaids. You can even ask the MOG and MOB if they’re open to helping! For example, I asked each bridesmaid to bring a bottle of Prosecco (alcohol is expensive, so it was perfect to split this). I also assigned each bridesmaid an individual task. For example one bridesmaid was in charge of the games, another created the balloon arch, the MOB provided desserts, and so on..
8. MAKE A PLAYLIST AND BRING A SPEAKER
Who doesn’t love music?! I made a Spotify playlist of easy listening and romantic songs for my sister’s shower! It was full of Jack Johnson, Vance Joy, and Ed Sheeran to name a few- with some throwbacks, of course! It was so nice to have a pre-made playlist ready and not have to worry about being DJ when I was busy hosting.
9. FOOD MENU
This one was tough for me! I couldn’t decide if I wanted to serve breakfast or lunch.
We ended up going with brunch, and our menu was perfect!
Our menu included:
-A bagel bar with different spreads including cream cheese, almond butter, cookie butter, and jam.
-A plate with toppings for the bagels including lox, sliced tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, onion, and hard boiled eggs.
-Pastry’s from Porto’s (if you know, you know)
-Build your own yogurt parfaits with honey, granola, and nuts.
-For dessert we had a Bundt cake and cake pops!
Soooo much yum!!
10. BUBBLY BAR
Champagne and bridal showers go together like a bagel and cream cheese. What better way to celebrate the bride to be than sippin' on bubbly together!? I think picking the right champagne is key for a bubbly bar! The cheap stuff like Cook’s is going to give everyone a headache. I went with La Maracca’s Proseco! It’s so yummy and it was about $13 a bottle.
Once you pick the bubbly, its time to decide what fruit and juice you would like to serve. Since my sister’s shower was lemon themed we went with strawberry lemonade, of course! Other popular juices are orange, pineapple, or cranberry! Don't forget to provide beverages for your guests who do not wish to drink any alcohol.
I always think it looks so classy to have actual glassware vs plastic cups for a bridal shower. You can either buy or rent out mason jars or champagne glasses. Don't forget to decorate your glassware with a fruit garnish, a sugar rim, or a cute paper straw!
Lastly, make sure to decorate your bubbly bar! You can add a cute banner, or maybe some balloons!
Games are a great way to get guests interacting! Although games might not be some bride’s thing, I think playing 2-3 games during the shower is a perfect way to get the fun started. Don't forget to get prizes for the games!
12. MAKE A CUTE PHOTO BACKDROP
Lets face it..us girls are obsessed with taking photos, especially if we are looking cute at our BFF’s bridal shower! A photo backdrop is necessary to get that Instagram worthy photo.
I delegated the task of a photo backdrop to a bridesmaid, because I knew it was beyond my creative abilities! And let me tell you, she killed it!! She painted wood pallets, made a balloon arch, and even added little flowers to the balloons..so cute! Word to the wise, if you’re going to make a balloon arch, purchasing a balloon pump is necessary!!
EXTRA TOUCHES: These next few items are for my overachievers out there!
Florals drastically enhance the aesthetic of any event. They add color, style, and aroma. Hiring a florist can be VERY expensive. If I could have afforded it, I 100% would have hired one of my fellow vendors to create beautiful florals for my sisters shower. However, that was not in my budget, so of course I had another DIY project on my hands. I went to the local wholesale flower market the day before the shower and bought a lot of greenery, roses, and several yellow flowers. I spent $100, but I was able to make 2 large table runners, 3 large bouquets, several smaller bouquets, and an arrangement for the bridal chair! It was fun for me, and added so much to the room!
-RENT OUT A CUTE CHAIR FOR THE BRIDE TO OPEN GIFTS IN
I love a statement chair for the bride, because it is almost like a throne for her to sit on! Add some flowers and greenery to her chair to make her feel even more like a princess!
-GET YOUR BRIDE A FLOWER CROWN
Every girl wants an excuse to wear flowers in her hair. A flower crown is an accessory that will enhance the bride's outfit and make her feel extra special on her bridal shower. Make sure the flower crown matches the theme of the party and the style of the bride.
DAY OF DUTIES
-Arrive early and give yourself plenty of time to set everything up! Make sure all of the bridesmaids are there to help you.
-Be the hostess with the mostess. Replenish food and drink containers, get the games going, pick up forgotten trash, and keep the party flowing!
-Record all gifts!
-Relax, have fun, and celebrate a job well done!!
It's time for you to get planning!