Planning and hosting a baby shower, either for yourself, a friend or a family member, or a friend, is always a good time. Between choosing a theme, settling on color schemes, and deciding on a menu (if there is one), there's plenty of fun to be had. Unfortunately, a baby shower can be quite an expensive affair.
I've hosted a couple of baby showers in my life and, while everyone had a blast, they both cost me back hundreds of dollars and hours of lost sleep. During these uncertain times, I wouldn't feel comfortable spending as much, as I'm sure everyone can relate to.
The good news is that I've learned it's entirely possible to throw an inexpensive baby shower that doesn’t break the bank: here's how.
Host The Baby Shower At Home
The easiest way to save money is to host the baby shower at home, which costs nothing at all. Each time I hosted a shower, I rented out an event space for all of the guests. Both rentals cost over $400 just for a three hour shower. While the end result was beautiful, we could have celebrated at my house for free and that money could have been allocated elsewhere (like my pockets).
Keep The Guest List Small
It might be tempting to invite every friend that the mother-to-be has ever had, but remember: more guests equals more mouths to feed. Do yourself a favor and keep the guest list small. Start with the immediate family like mothers, sisters, grandmas and best friends and perhaps a current co-worker or two. If the budget allows for it, you can add more people; just be selective.
Plan The Shower For A Weekday
Another smart (yet sneaky) way to keep the guest list small is to host the baby shower on a weekday. By doing so, many people will have to work and won't be able to attend. Plus, most activities are most expensive on weekends. So a weekday shower will cut down significantly on costs.
Have A Potluck
Feeding a crowd of people is always hard on the pockets. Food is already expensive and party food is doubly so. In fact, if the caterers or suppliers know the food is for a baby shower (or wedding), they'll mark it up even more! Totally unfair! So, don't let them in on that detail — just tell them you're hosting a party. But a better decision would be to allow the guests to pitch in and throw a healthy potluck. If everyone brings a dish, the financial burden isn't just on the host anymore.
Skip The Booze
One thing I did right, concerning the baby showers I hosted, was that I skipped the alcohol. Alcohol, in any quantity, is expensive, so it's best to keep it off the menu. Baby showers aren't exactly avenues for letting loose anyway, so the guests shouldn't mind too much. And if they do, they'll get over it! Also while pregnant you need all the sleep you can get.
Get A Sheet Cake — And Decorate It Yourself
Remember that part about places marking up the price if they know you're shopping for a baby shower? Well, it's true and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Instead of buying a speciality baby shower cake from a bakery, you might decide that a Costco sheet cake might better fit your needs. They're delicious, affordable, and come in different flavors. And if you get one covered in white icing, you can decorate it yourself (with colored frosting, fresh flowers, and other sweet treats) — if you have those skills!
Let Friends Chip In
Whenever there is a party to be had, friends will usually offer to pitch in. Sure, some of those offers will be disingenuous, but that's only because they're not used to the hosts actually accepting the help. Don't let them back out, though, and graciously accept their contributions! This will help to keep costs down, and allow the friends to feel a sense of pride about pulling off the mother's big day.
Do Electronic Invites
If you keep the guest list low, then sending a few paper invites probably won't cost too much. But if you're planning a larger gathering, it might be best to switch to electronic invites! They'll either cost very little or nothing at all (especially if you create your own via an app like Canva and email them out.)
Make The Decorations Yourself
Baby shower decor, while beautiful, is also quite pricey. Especially for something that will only be used once. A fun way to skirt this cost is to have some of the baby shower attendees make the decorations themselves. Between YouTube and Pinterest, there are plenty of tutorials out there to help you along, and you can get many of the materials from the dollar star. Bonus: you can make a party of it and have an extra excuse to eat, drink and be merry.
Last but not least: going virtual is a great way to have a cost-effective baby shower. By moving the party online, you will automatically bypass many of the costs that come along with baby showers. (Things like a good budget and venue will be a thing of the past.)
The best part is that virtual showers still come packed with all of the fun of a traditional shower. There will still be games, photos, and the celebration of a new life among friends and families. And if you still want to send out physical invitations, you can do that too.
While you might choose to go this route to save money, the current Covid-19 Pandemic also heightens the importance of social distancing. So there's no better time than the present to give the whole virtual baby shower route a chance.
And before you ask, no, there's no extra planning involved. You don't have to go out and buy bulky camera equipment and set up websites. All you have to do is purchase a package from WebBabyShower, and then sit back, relax, and click your way through a custom experience.
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