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Tips for Planning a Bridal Shower on a Budget

Shalu Bhatti
A bridal shower happens to be one of the most important and memorable events for the bride-to-be. Therefore, it is natural for one to do all that's possible to make this day an extravaganza. But, what if you are low on budget? This story will give you some helpful tips for planning a bridal shower without leaving a dent on your wallet.
As per tradition, a bridal shower should be hosted by a close friend, a bridesmaid, or the maid of honor. To make the event extravagant without feeling the pinch of splurging, team up with other bridesmaids and organize a memorable day for the bride-to-be.
Who doesn't want to go out of their way to host a bridal shower that becomes the talk of the town for weeks, or even months? Most of us tend to have this perception that fantabulous bridal showers come at a significant price, well, that's not the case anymore.
Of course, with plenty of cash in hand, you can always host a lavish party, with rented limousines, a 5-star venue, exclusive dishes on the menu, and loads of guests and expensive favors, however, these are not the ideal things that every bride-to-be looks for.
Being close to the bride, you would definitely know her plight in the midst of the unceasing chaos that comes with pre-wedding preparations. From dealing with the wedding planner to shopping, to deciding on the menu and preparing the guest list, it is natural for her to turn into a bridezilla.
A thoughtfully planned bridal shower comes to the rescue to calm her down, giving her an opportunity to feel special and pampered with love and laughter, while surrounded by her closest girlfriends.
While today most people are opting for wedding showers, where both the bride and groom are a part of the event, the relaxed and merriment involved in an all-girls-party is of no comparison, don't you agree girls?

How to Plan a Bridal Shower on a Budget

Budget―instead of feeling daunted by the word, think of it as an opportunity to introduce some out-of-the-box and heartfelt elements into the bridal shower. Saving on money might just stimulate your creative instinct to make everything from scratch for the bride-to-be.
The lack of money makes room for personal creations. Can you imagine how touched she will be when she finds out how everything in the party was made by loving hands, and not by hired professionals? The following points will give you some tips on how to host a bridal shower with a personal touch while saving money.

The Venue: Home, Not Hotel

Host the shower at your own home or a close friend's. Remember, that there is no other venue that feels as relaxed and welcoming as a close one's home. Not only will this step save you a large chunk of money, but also make the bride-to-be feel at home, where she can let down her guard and enjoy being herself.
If your house is unavailable on the decided date, then you can always ask the others from the bridesmaids team if they'll be comfortable with hosting the party at their home.
I'm sure one of the girls will agree. If not, then you can always contact a relative and request them to lend their place for a few hours. You can always give them a thank you gift, post the event to express your gratitude. The cost of the gift would definitely be lot less than renting an expensive hotel room.
Ensure that the location of the final venue is feasible for the guests to arrive at. The place should also be big enough to accommodate all those who are going to be a part of the event. FYI, there are people who end up inviting guests to the bridal shower, who are not part of the wedding.
Such guests may feel humiliated, so make sure you invite only those who are going to be a part of the final event. Usually only close friends and family members are invited to the bridal shower.

The Invitations: Email, No Printed Invites

A lot of money goes when you send out printed invitations to the guests. Remember, this is not the wedding day. To save time and money, the best option would be to send an email to the guests instead of postal mail. You can use web services such as Evite, Pingg, Crusher, and the like.
These invitation services give you numerous options to choose from when it comes to selecting the design, RSVP option, digital envelope, and more. And the amazing part is that all this is free of cost. So, yes, you get equally fancy invitations at no expense.
If there are some elderly guests on the list, who are unlikely to keep a tab on their email accounts, then you may send a printed invitation to these selected few. The overall expense saved by using the web would save enough, anyway.

The Menu: Homemade, Not Ordered

It is imperative to have an abundance of good food and drink, because a deficit of these are enough to label your party as a letdown. Ordering food from a caterer may prove to be very expensive, especially if there are quite a bit of guests.
Save yourself from the blow by taking care of the menu yourself, well, with your girlfriends' assistance, of course. Teaming up with other close friends will take most of the load off, and together, things will fall into place with ease.
Being close to the bride-to-be, you would all undoubtedly be aware of her favorite drinks, dishes, snacks. You can either ask a good cook from the group, or a close relative to help you with the preparation of the menu, or if you wish, you can go for a potluck arrangement, where everybody takes the responsibility to prepare a few items from the menu.

The Decorations: DIY, Don't Hire

Decoration is what sets the ambiance in sync with the event. As important an element as it is for your bridal shower, remember that hiring professionals to do this task for you can cost you a bomb. But with a little creativeness, planning, and some trusted help, decorating the house with fun bridal shower elements will be a cinch.
To start with, decide the theme of the bridal shower and choose the decoration accordingly. For example, you can go for an offbeat theme such as 'the bride-to-be's favorites' and infuse her favorite elements in the decor. Include her favorite color, symbols, toys, clothes, accessories, pictures, and the like.
Shop for ribbons, balloons, lights, crêpe paper, and decorations in her favorite color. You can also cut-out symbols from cardboard and stick them around the venue, labeling them as 'bride's name favorite vacation spot', 'bride's name favorite car, 'bride's name favorite song', and the like.
Handling the decorations with close friends will not only prove to be cost-effective, but also a fun-filled activity where all of you will feel all the more connected with the bride-to-be and with each other. The thought and the emotions put into organizing the event will surely be reflected on the final day, bringing your way loads of praise and hugs.

The Games: Browse the Internet, Don't Brainstorm

A bridal shower without fun games is like a birthday without a cake! Cake is also an essential part of the bridal shower. Bridal shower games are known for their naughtiness, and revolve around the bride-to-be and her married life. There is a pool of interesting ideas that would make your party memorable for its frolicsomeness.
While there are some traditional games―such as Toilet Paper Wedding Gown, where the players have to create a wedding gown from toilet paper where the best looking gown wins; or Bride Trivia, where the guests are asked questions regarding the bride, determining how well they know the bride-to-be.

The Favors: Be Creative, Not Commercial

Favors and prizes are an indispensable part of the party, so it is always better to give something thoughtful and creative, so that each and every person at the event goes home with a unique souvenir. Considering the personality of the bride-to-be, you can opt for favors that instinctively remind you of her.
For instance, if she is no less than a fashionista, then giving out favors such as homemade beauty products―soaps, bath salts, scrubs, and the like―would be a good idea. You can place them in small glass containers and wrap a satin ribbon around them, and distribute them in mini gift bags.
There are a variety of options for homemade favors. If you or your close friends have a knack for writing, painting, candle-making, pottery, or any other hobby, then use these skills to create favors for the guests. It would be something different, thoughtful, and something that the guests will cherish with a lot of sentiments.
Yes, saving money may mean that you'll have to invest more time into planning the whole event. We recommend to start planning at least 2-3 months before the actual day. Though it might seem like a lot of time, the fact is that there are many things to consider.
Right from the guest list to checking if guests are free, to ensuring that the event doesn't cause a botheration in the midst of other events prior to the wedding. So, yes, plan it out with your friends and give yourself enough time to avoid any last-minute mishaps.