It’s been over five years since I got married, and although weddings have always been a “big deal” in the United States, I’m still amazed at how much the costs have sky rocketed in the last few years.
It seems like many brides have extremely high expectations of how their wedding and all their showers should go, and for bridesmaids who are young, planning showers, trips, and get togethers for the bride can quickly add up and break the bank.
So, if you want to throw a frugal bridal shower or you’re concerned that other bridesmaids can’t or won’t contribute enough to help you, here are some tips:
1. Purchase Trays and Decorations Second Hand
Many people don’t want to go to the Dollar Store for bridal shower decorations, and I definitely get that. You want it to look nice. When my in laws threw me a bridal shower, they went to a local antique store and bought several crystal platters, trays, and bowls for absolutely nothing. Now, these women are experienced shoppers mind you and they always get the best deals, but they planned for quite some time and looked around.
At larger antique stores, flea markets, and even Goodwill, you would be surprised at the very affordable prices for some nice trays, cups, and decorations. My mother in law was very insistent that no one eat off of a paper plate; she really wanted it to be special. However, at the end of the day – even with nice plates abound – she only spend around $30 on decorations, plates, etc., getting one piece here for $1 and another piece a few days later for $2, until she had enough for the whole group.
2. Use What You Have
There are likely so many things in your house you can use for a nice party. What types of decorations do you have on hand? Construction paper? Streamers? A printer to print out some free Printables from Pinterest? Remember, you don’t have to be Martha Stewart to throw a nice party. Just a quick trip to your storage closet to see what type of wrapping paper, scissors, glue, and glitter you have on hand can give you what you need to at least create a fun bridal shower game.
3. Cook Your Own Food
Probably the most expensive part of any bridal shower is going to be the food. And, I know it’s tough but the biggest ways to cut costs on this is to go ahead and make your own food. This is something you can ask each of the bridesmaids to contribute too, especially if they are unable to help financially.
For example, if you want to throw a relaxed and casual outdoor barbeque, you can ask one bridesmaid to bring the hamburgers, one to bring the buns, and so forth and so on until you have everything you need. If you want to go a little more upscale with just some really nice finger foods, ask each bridesmaid to bring something and arrive early to help you set it all out. Even if one of the bridesmaids can’t cook to save her life, she can bring a really nice salad, chips, cookies, etc.
Again, my mother in law made everything for my bridal shower herself with the help of my two sisters in law, and afterwards she even made me a little packet called “Cat’s Bridal Shower Recipes” in case I ever wanted to recreate everything again. I still have it and it’s a really sweet way to remember that day so don’t always assume that a catered meal is better.
4. Serve Champagne
So, if you have a bridal shower in the afternoon, there really is no need to purchase an intense amount of alcohol. In fact, you can just make a signature drink with some fruit juice and champagne or maybe not have any alcohol at all (but what’s the fun in that amiright?) That way you cut down on the amount of champagne you use (and you don’t have to buy super expensive champagne if you’re mixing it) and it still seems a little bit nice!
Really, just like weddings and other gatherings, bridal showers really are just about gathering and celebrating. So, as long as you provide some sort of food, clean your house, and look up some silly bridal shower games to play, chances are, the bride will have a good time. You only have to rock it for 3 hours or so and about 1 hour of that will probably be opening gifts and passing them around, so don’t fret too, too much about it. Even if you have to shoulder the expense yourself, as evidenced above, there are many ways to cut costs while still throwing a beautiful party.