If your friend or family member is preparing to welcome a little one into their life, you may feel inclined to throw a baby shower in their honor. Once you start planning, however, you may run into a longer list of expenses than you were hoping for.
To plan a baby shower that celebrates the arrival of their little bundle of joy without straining your finances, check out these tips on how to host a baby shower on a budget.
Choose an Affordable (or Free!) Venue
Renting a place to hold an event for a large group can be expensive. Some locations, such as restaurants, may require you to purchase a certain amount of food in addition to paying a rental fee for the space. Others, like event venues, may charge by the hour for the space and/or limit what types of food and decorations you’re allowed to bring in. To avoid these costs, scout out some affordable – or even better, free – venue options.
- Start by asking close friends or family members of the expectant parents if they’re willing or able to open their home for the shower. This is especially helpful if the home is large enough to accommodate a bigger group inside or has great outdoor space and is located within a reasonable distance of most of the guests you’ll be inviting.
- You could also throw the shower in the home of the expectant parents. Send the parents out for something fun – breakfast or brunch at their favorite café – while you decorate and have them return once the party’s started. One major perk of having a shower at their home will be not needing to haul gifts back after the party. Just make sure you don’t leave them with a mess to clean up once the shower has ended.
- If hosting in someone’s home isn’t an option, consider event spaces that aren’t typically used for these more formal gatherings. For instance, a community room in your local township building or a pavilion at a nearby park. Rental fees for these locations are typically lower than what you’ll pay at a restaurant or hotel.
Tap into Friends’ and Family Members’ Talents
Does your friend have an aunt who’s famous for her beautifully decorated cookies? Or a sister who’s great at graphic design?
Tap into these talents for the shower. Make a list of the things you’ll need for the shower – everything from food and decorations to invitations and favors. Then ask around to identify who may be able to help cross these items off your to-do list.
Don’t be shy about asking for help in these ways – most people who are close to the parents-to-be will be excited to contribute toward the shower in such personal ways.
Serve Lighter Fare
Food can be one of the most significant costs of any event, especially for a larger group. To keep your food expenses within budget, consider scheduling the shower between major meals, typically in the mid-afternoon. Let guests know in advance that you’ll be serving appetizers or finger foods so they know not to expect a full meal.
Then, have fun with the lighter food theme. Brainstorm snacks that are easy to make in large batches, such as:
- Dips – Ask the new parents for their favorite flavors and make a big batch in a crockpot that can easily be reheated the day of the event.
- Fruit and veggie trays – It’s often cheaper to buy fresh veggies and make your own than to buy several pre-made ones at the store.
- Cheese and cracker boards – Again, it’s often more affordable to buy blocks of cheese and cut them up yourself than to buy pre-made ones.
Keep the Decorations Simple
Between traditional retail and online stores and marketplaces like Etsy, there are countless decorative options for almost any shower theme you can imagine. However, decorations (even small ones) can add up in price.
If you’re working with a limited budget, commit to keeping the decorations for the event simple. Choose one or two anchor pieces that draw attention and omit the smaller decorations that are often overlooked and can add up in price.
Plan other details of the party so that they can double as décor. For instance, if you’re getting a cake or cupcakes designed, use them as a centerpiece on one table, and if you’re gifting a diaper cake, use that on another.
While baby-specific themes are fun, unfortunately, baby shower-specific merchandise is often marked up compared to plain color or general decorations and party supplies. Flex your creative muscle by aiming to shop outside of designated baby shower sections of the store or site and building your décor from more generic, lower priced items.
Go Green with Your Invitations
In addition to being more environmentally friendly, using digital invitations can also cut your baby shower costs. There are plenty of free websites that allow you to send out invitations via email and collect RSVPs online, as well.
If there are shower guests that aren’t comfortable using a computer, such as the new parents’ grandparents, consider calling to invite them personally instead.
Get More Tips for Celebrating on a Budget
Baby showers are just one of the many ways that we show love to the little ones in our lives. If you have friends with older kids or want to plan ahead for the baby being honored at this event, check out our video on budget-friendly alternative gifts for kids. Plus, get more tips for celebrating all occasions on a budget on our blog.