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Bridal Shower: Entertaining on a Budget

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It is bridal shower season! And with the cost of the bridesmaid’s dresses, presents, bachelorette party, and now a shower, your wallet may be left feeling pinched. But that is why we are here, to help you fete your friend for less.

Location: Showers can be thrown at your house or a church, but why not get creative? Does your local park have a fabulous gazebo? What about your neighbor’s rose garden? Do you have a local beach or waterfront park? Check out the neighborhood for tea shops and charming B&Bs that might rent out their rooms. Usually, in the cost of the rental the places include plates, beverages, and some food. In the end it could be cheaper to outsource. And when your shower is thrown in a lovely location, you don’t have to decorate.

Hosting bridal showers in restaurants is becoming a popular trend. Many restaurants have back party rooms that you can reserve. Guests come and pay for their own food, while you provide cake and drinks. This is a very low-key shower option that will work for your budget.

Themes: Pick something unique about the bride and celebrate it. Does she like movies? Ask guests to bring DVDs and movie theater gift certificates as gifts. Is she a reader? Ask guests to email you their favorite stories about her and then scrapbook them in a keepsake notebook for her.

Throw her a romantic tea party, using these great tips and advice from our Entertaining on a Budget: Tea Party, edition.

Picking a theme doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as easy as centering around a color or a pattern. But remember, it is all about the bride-to-be, so don’t pick green if that is NOT her favorite color.

Invitations: has some fabulous print-your-own shower invitations(pictured above), all you have to do is provide the printer and the card stock. Also, we found these fabulous, customized invites on Etsy, $14.50 for a set of 12. Target has fabulous invitations. For a bigger party, we recommend purchasing a box of their wedding invitations and turning them into shower invitations.

Decorate: Decorating is fun, but it can be overwhelming. So narrow down your decorations with a theme first and then set to work.
Paper Flowers
Save money by making your own flowers. These aren’t the paper flowers you made in Kindergarten, these are incredible.

  • Martha Stewart has an easy how-to for making crepe paper flowers.
  • She also has a great how-to for making paper flowers from construction paper; is there anything she can’t do?
  • Make felt flowers to decorate boxes and party favors
  • Put your paper flowers into these lovely mint julep cups, only $5 each.

Paper Lanterns
Paper lanterns are colorful and an easy and cheap way to decorate.

  • Here are DIY instructions for making your own rice paper and bamboo lanterns
  • Or if you are going to purchase lanterns, Luna Bazaar has unique lanterns at reasonable prices

Food: Keep it simple. Plan your party for late afternoon and offer cupcakes and bite-sized snacks. If you are making quiche, make them in muffin tins for individual servings.

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