Last week, I was helping a friend plan a baby shower for her 3rd child. She really wanted to throw a memorable shower, but her finances didn’t allow her to splurge too much on the event.
So she wanted to work around the money she had to create something extraordinary. When she called and told me her plans, I was excited to take on the challenge.
As someone who has organized baby showers in the past, I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I was determined to help her create a special day that she would cherish forever.
We started by making a list of everything we needed, from the venue to the decorations and favors. As we went through each item, we quickly realized how expensive things could get. For instance, finding a venue that was both affordable and appropriate for the event proved to be quite a challenge.
We had to get creative and think outside the box to find an option that fit our budget.
Once we had a venue, we moved on to the guest list. We knew we had to be selective with our invites to keep the budget in check. It was hard to decide who to include and who to leave out, but we tried our best to keep the list as short as possible without offending anyone.
The next challenge was the menu. We wanted to offer a delicious spread that would satisfy everyone’s taste buds, but we had to do it within a tight budget.
We spent hours researching affordable catering options and finally decided on a potluck-style meal that everyone could contribute to.
Despite all the challenges we faced, we were able to create a beautiful and memorable baby shower that exceeded our expectations.
We learned a lot about planning a budget baby shower and realized that with the right strategy, it’s doable.
That is why I wanted to put together this article and share everything I learned with you. So here is a cheat sheet on how to plan a baby shower without breaking the bank.
Step 1: Determine Your Budget
The first step is to decide how much you’re going to spend on the event.
Setting a budget helps you to prioritize your expenses and allocate funds accordingly so you don’t overspend. Without a budget, it’s easy to get carried away with unnecessary expenses and end up spending more than you planned.
Setting a budget is also an excellent way to manage expectations. When you have a clear idea of how much you can spend, you can communicate that to the mom-to-be and guests so everyone is on the same page. It’s important to remember that a baby shower is about celebrating the arrival of a new life, and it’s possible to create a memorable event without spending a fortune.
How to Distribute the Budget
Decide on the Guest List.
The more guests you invite, the higher the cost of food, favors, and decorations. To determine your budget, you first need to decide on the guest list. Consult with the mom-to-be to get an idea of who she wants to invite. Once you have a rough estimate, you can start planning other expenses.
Choose an Affordable (or Free) Venue
Choosing a venue that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg is crucial when planning a budget baby shower.
But to pick the right venue, you first need to consider the number of guests, the location, and the overall atmosphere when choosing a venue. A well-chosen venue can set the tone for the entire event and create a comfortable and welcoming environment for guests.
Renting a private venue can be expensive, and it’s important to weigh the cost against other expenses. In contrast, choosing an affordable venue can help reduce the overall cost of the baby shower.
Here are some of the affordable options we considered before we settled on a venue:
My friend lives in an apartment, so that wasn’t a great option. So the next best option was my home and this is the option we choose.
Hosting the baby shower at the home of the host is an excellent option when working on a tight budget. It’s a comfortable and intimate setting that can create a welcoming atmosphere for guests.
You can decorate the space to fit the theme of the baby shower and make it feel like a special event. This eliminates the need to rent a private venue, which can save a significant amount of money.
Our local public park was another affordable venue option we had in mind. This specific park has a very nice pavilion that could have made a great venue and would have cost us just a few bucks in rent.
This option also provided an outdoor setting that could have created a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for all our guests. The natural scenery of the park also provides a beautiful backdrop for the event.
Although the weather didn’t allow us to go with this option eventually, it was a great choice for many reasons.
A community center is an excellent option for those looking for an affordable venue that can accommodate a large number of guests. They are mainly in enclosed places and don’t cost much in rent.
What makes it even better, many community centers often come equipped with tables and chairs, making it easier to set up for the event. Additionally, community centers are often located in convenient locations and can be easily accessible for guests.
Since my friend is a member of a local church that is only a few minutes away from her apartment, we were lucky to get an offer to use the church hall for free. So this is also one of the options we had for our baby shower.
So, you can also check if your local church has any rental spaces that can be used for events such as baby showers. These spaces are often equipped with tables and chairs, making it easier to set up for the event.
Plan the Menu
What is a party without good food?
When planning for a budget baby shower, It’s essential to remember that enough food and drink is what will make the guests satisfied and happy.
However, it’s equally important to keep the budget in mind when selecting the menu. With a little creativity and some planning, it’s possible to create a delicious and budget-friendly menu that everyone will enjoy.
Plus, remember to take into account the tastes and preferences of the mom-to-be and guests. You want to make sure there are plenty of options for everyone, including any dietary restrictions or allergies. A well-planned menu can also help create a cohesive theme and atmosphere for the event.
My friend and I put all this into consideration and was able to create a great menu that left our guest satisfied and happy.
Here are some ideas for budget-friendly food and drinks:
- Potluck-Style Meal. This means that each guest brings a dish to share, which not only saves money but also adds a personal touch to the event. Encourage guests to bring their favorite appetizers, sides, and desserts to create a diverse and delicious spread.
- Finger Foods. These bite-sized treats are easy to eat and don’t require utensils or plates, which can save on cleanup. Consider serving a mix of sweet and savory options such as fruit skewers, mini quiches, and veggie trays. You can also make your own dips and spreads, which are less expensive than store-bought versions.
- Non-Alcoholic Beverages. Drinks can be a significant expense at any event, but there are plenty of budget-friendly options for a baby shower. Consider serving non-alcoholic beverages such as punch, lemonade, or iced tea, which are easy to make and can be customized to match the theme of the event. You can also offer water or sparkling water with fruit or herbs for a refreshing and budget-friendly option.
Decorations and Favors
For decorating, we figured that we needed to get creative to be able to work within our budget. So we decided to go with DIY decorations which were cost-effective and easy to do. Plus, it added a nice personal touch to the event. Simple decorations like balloons, streamers, and banners can go a long way.
As for favors, practical items like personalized candles, succulents, or mini picture frames can be great takeaways for guests.
Extra Tip: Games and Activities
Games and activities are an essential part of any baby shower. They help break the ice, create a fun atmosphere, and provide entertainment for guests. Here are some activities that are budget-friendly and don’t require a lot of preparation.
For this game, you only need bingo cards and some small prizes for the winners. You can create your own bingo cards using online templates or purchase them inexpensively at a party supply store. The game is easy to play and can be customized to fit the theme of the baby shower.
Another budget-friendly game idea is the word scramble. Create a list of baby-related words and scramble the letters. Print out copies of the list and provide pencils for guests to unscramble the words. The first guest to unscramble all the words wins a prize. This game is easy to prepare and doesn’t require any special supplies.