Ahhh! Weddings and babies, those are definitely two super happy occasions in people’s lives that we seem to go gaga over and celebrate as best as possible. My little sister is getting married this spring and as her Matron of Honor, I decided to throw her a bridal shower.
Since we’re originally from California, and now live in the Pacific Northwest, most of our family and friends are still down there. My sister’s new mother-in-law is throwing her a shower in California in a few weeks, so the shower I hosted at my home was mainly for her friends and co-workers in the area.
I began searching for bridal shower ideas at one of my favorite places: Pinterest. I knew that I wanted to forego the typical bridal shower cake and do something fancy/unique with cupcakes. The bride and groom are having a small cake at their wedding and then an assortment of cupcakes so this goes right along with their theme. I decided to do this arrangement with the cupcakes for a few reasons. One, it’s adorable! Two, I knew I could easily arrange the cupcakes in this manner, no cupcake stand necessary, and while I would need more cupcakes to make this arrangement than we would need for the party, I decided to also purchase some Cupcake To-Go Boxes for any leftovers so the guests could take a cupcake or two home!
I originally was going to order 2 dozen white cake/white frosting cupcakes from the same bakery my sister and soon-to-be brother in law are getting their wedding cake and cupcakes from. But I wanted to personalize this shower as much as possible and decided to make the cupcakes myself. I simply placed foil over a sheet of cardboard for the base and arranged the cupcakes as in the picture. I purchased some beaded strands at Michael’s craft store to dress up the “dress”. And here’s the final result!
Other craft projects I did included these initials of their name, a jar with wooden sticks for the guests to write date night ideas, words of advice or encouragement, and this super cute chalkboard sign, also with inspiration from Pinterest. For shower favors, I chose another theme I saw on Pinterest, which was “From Jane’s Shower to Yours”. I made a homemade lemon body scrub, packaged it in cute jelly jars, and thought it was an adorable party favor.
Here’s the final tablescape (totally stealing this word from Sandra Lee!) for all things party…food was displayed on another table.
For anyone wanting some inspiration on throwing a small shower on a budget, I’ve decided to break down everything here for the shower, to give you an idea for planning and budgeting for your event. Here we go!
The menu is:
3 types of finger sandwiches (roasted red pepper and goat cheese, cucumber and lemon zest, and cream cheese and jelly)
Crock Pot Meatballs (a party favorite!)
White wine, red wine, and water bottles for beverages
Cupcakes for dessert
Most of the food I purchased along with my regular grocery shopping. All of the ingredients totaled $38.11. Things like butter for the finger sandwiches, mustard and olive oil for the deviled eggs, and cream cheese and jelly, I already had in my fridge.
The cupcakes total was $7.96. I used butter, eggs, and milk that I had on hand.
The total of the wine was $31.96 at Trader Joe’s. I purchased a 24 pack of water bottles for my drink tub and that cost $5 and was included in my grocery shopping total.
A couple of months before the shower, my sister and I visited a local party store so that I could get an idea of what types of decor she was into. Some party decor can be cheesy and I didn’t want to choose decor she wouldn’t like. The shower was not a surprise and so her helping me with this part went quite well! While we were there, I purchased invitations. I used standard party invitations that were in her wedding colors (cobalt blue and yellow). I purchased 2 packs of yellow and 1 pack of blue and our guest list actually shrunk a bit after our initial count (due to some of the guests going to the shower in California instead of the shower here). So I only had to use 2 packs of the invitations and I just kept the other pack for future use. The 3 packs of invitations was about $7.
Other decor purchased at the party store: honeycomb fans and paper lanterns in her wedding colors, honeycomb wedding bells, a bridal cake sign in sheet, plastic tablecloth, napkins, paper plates…this all came to $18.30.
I hit up Dollar Tree a week before the shower to fill in the gaps on some other items I wanted to grab. There, I purchased some more wine glasses for serving, a tablecloth, a glass vase to corral the wooden sticks where guests will write their words of advice, and I grabbed a faux silver tray for my chalkboard project. Total: $11.
Next stop was Joann’s, a place that I thought I might be able to finish the rest of my craft shopping for the other DIY projects, but was unable to. I had to go to Michael’s after that. At Joann’s, I grabbed a foam brush set for my paint projects, the yellow paint and the blue paint, the wooden sticks, and a “Bride to Be” sash for my sister. I won’t embarrass her meanly, but I will make her stand out! Hehe. Total at Joann’s was $11.45.
And finally, at Michael’s, I finished up my DIY items with some extra fine bright gold glitter for the ampersand, a nice cobalt blue bow to top my chalkboard platter, the crystal beads for the cupcake dress, a pack of chalk, and the wooden A, T, and &. Total: $25.63.
From Amazon, I ordered the following: Mr & Mrs. burlap banner, lemon essential oil (for the body scrub), PVA glue (for the glitter on the ampersand), chalkboard paint and the cupcake to-go boxes, total $34.87.
For the DIY lemon body scrub, as I mentioned above I purchased a lemon essential oil from Amazon. I used coconut oil from the grocery store (on sale for $5) and white sugar I had in my own pantry to make the scrub itself. I purchased the jelly jars to contain the scrub for $10.47 at the grocery store as well. All in all these favors cost me $22.51 to make 12 of them, which I think is a really reasonable price for a shower favor that isn’t some useless chotchkie.
So for those of you keeping count, let’s tally up my bridal shower now: $208.79.
Mind you, this total is simply to host the shower, do the DIY crafts, decor, and feed the guests. If $200 seems steep to you, keep in mind there are things you can do to keep the cost even lower. Things like not serving alcohol, and keeping the decor to a minimum, would have brought the total down. But the point is, you can throw a lovely bridal or baby shower and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. I didn’t buy all of this in one sitting either – these were items purchased over the course of about two weeks time and worked on little by little. If you are co-hosting a shower with someone else, keep in mind that you can discuss how to divvy up the costs of hosting the event in order to make sure that everyone is putting in a fair amount, and your portion of the shower will be even lower.
Now, another thing to mention too is that the $208.79 total doesn’t include the bride’s gift — But this post is about how to make a bridal shower that is affordable, memorable, and an all around great time!