If you’ve been tasked to plan a bridal shower, then firstly, congratulations! This is a huge honor and an indicator of how fondly the bride-to-be feels about you. Secondly, start planning early. Throwing a bridal shower is a big responsibility, and one that can cost a lot of money if you don’t plan it properly. Did you know that the average bridesmaid in the U.S. spends an average of $1,325 to participate in all of the wedding festivities? Some of these costs are more worthy of their hefty price tags than others, but when the cost of attending a bridal shower is $193, then surely there’s a more affordable solution! By following some of these tips, you’ll see just how much more affordable a bridal shower can be.
Save in Advance
As soon as you’re tasked with planning the bridal shower, you should start right away so you can get an idea of how much money will be required. Weddings are once-in-a-lifetime events, so it’s understandable if you have to dip into your savings a little to pay for your bridesmaid dress, transportation, accommodations, hair, makeup—dare I go on? In the midst of planning, it’s easy to forget that you should be setting aside money every month to even have a savings account to pull from. That’s why mobile banking apps that help you save money automatically can be your best friend. This way, you can get your mind off your bank account and back on bridal shower planning.
Host at an Affordable (or free) Location
When thinking about a location, choose one that is within proximity to most of your guests to cut down on transportation costs. Ask your fellow bridesmaids, or even the bride-to-be, if they’d be willing to host the shower at their house. This will greatly cut down on party costs, as you won’t be needing to pay venue rental or waitstaff fees. If you have your eyes on a venue, try to choose one that lets you bring your own cake and drinks.
Wear a Dress You Already Own
No need to go out and buy a new dress—you’ll be needing to buy a bridesmaid dress soon enough, anyway (which will set you back about $165)! Instead, go with a dress you already own. If you’re aiming to be Instagram all-stars on bridal shower day, agree on a dress color that most bridesmaids have. Should you be the odd-bridesmaid-out and in need of a new dress to fit the theme, don’t feel like you have to spend excessively.
Eat on the Early Side
This doesn’t apply to house-hosted bridal showers, but if you’re looking to host at a venue, then eat on the early side—did someone say mimosas?. Venues and restaurants naturally receive more business after standard working hours. As a means to attract business during the daytime, most lower their prices—and often for the same exact food. This is an easy way to save a lot of money per person.
Skip Favors or Make Them Yourself
Favors fall into this weird paradigm where they add on to the total cost of the bridal shower while usually being too cheap to entice guests to keep. This often means they end up getting thrown out, or worse, left at the shower. Favors used to be a necessity, but the times are a-changin’ and so too is standard bridal shower etiquette. Therefore, don’t feel bad leaving them off the list—especially if you’ve been generous with the mimosas. If your heart is set on including them and you want to make sure they get taken home, go with something irresistible, like sweets. For a fun list of DIY favor ideas, click here.