Okay so someone has asked to you be a part of their special day. So exciting! But now what? Chances are you won’t know everyone in the bridal party personally so first things first, make the introductions. I’ve found the easiest is through a group text. If you don’t all have iPhones, get a group messaging app like GroupMe, Whatsapp or Telegram. Also name the chat so that you can easily find it! It will be in your phone until the day of the wedding, so anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Life gets busy for all of us, so trust me when I say that you’ll need it to help keep your planning on track and also to ask any quick questions.
We also made a google doc, organizing everything which was so amazing! If you have time to do this, DO! It was so great to reference whenever I couldn’t reach anyone in the group chat or just needed to remind myself of the details.
So you’ve created a group chat and/or a Google Doc. The next most important duty is helping plan the bridal shower. Being someone who has never been in a wedding before other than the current one I am in, I knew nothing about anything. Thankful I’ve learned and am now able to pass along some tips on how to plan decor on a Budget and what areas you should leave to the professionals.
Planning Decor on a Budget
Being in a wedding can be very expensive so you may want to try to plan on a budget. Especially when it comes to decor. It can be hard because obviously you want the absolutely best for your bride, but you also don’t want to starve for the month after either. Decor is important but you have to be strategic. Checkout some of the following stores that will help you ball on a budget for the Bride’s Shower.
Hit up your local dollar stores. I recommend The Dollar Tree or Dollar General for the best and classiest finds. I’ve had success finding glass wear for flowers, frames, candle holders, baskets, etc. at the dollar store, so I would start there first.
I love thrift stores! You can find THE BEST decor items there. Goodwill is my jam. I found the framed canvas sign that you will see in some photos below (originally $48 from Homegoods) at Goodwill for $3! I also snagged a metal distressed ‘A’ for $2 and a mirror window pain (not pictured) for $4. The window pain was dark green so I ended up spray painting it gold. When thrifting, always keep in mind that you may need to add your own DIY touches to make it perfect and most importantly, match the other decor.
For my friend Jenna’s shower, we put together home-made sugar scrubs to give the guests as a favor. We purchased the tiny jars from Amazon and looked up a super simple sugar scrub recipe. The theme to her shower was lemons so we even added a few drops of lemon essential oil to each. We got stickers printed for the tops of the jars and done!
Craig’s List/Facebook Marketplace/Offer up/Let Go
Love, love, love Craig’s list as well as those other re-selling apps. Be careful though because sometimes listings can be sketchy so use caution obviously! I found this distressed tall window shutter for $15 on Craig’s list. It came distressed and everything! Usually these are sold in stores for $50+ so you can imagine how excited I was to find it. We ended up getting little clothes pins and attaching photos of the soon-to-be bride and groom to it – so cute!
If you’re a procrastinator, Amazon prime will save your life for those last minute items. If you’re a planner checkout AliExpress. I have never personally ordered from there but I have seen some super cute party items from there at a fair price. I think the catch is that they take longer to ship so make sure you prepare in that sense.
For everything else, hit up your local craft store
I hate craft stores. Well I actually love them but I hate that they are crazy expensive. Like, no I do not want to purchase this cardboard ‘LOVE IS SWEET’ sign for $20 but did I? Yup.
Sometimes you have to pick and choose your battles when planning an event. If you can DIY it, do, but if you think it will end up being just as expensive to make it yourself, don’t. In this case, I knew it would be more of a pain to make it myself so I went with the store bought sign. However, if you google ‘coupons to Micheals’ some will almost always come up!
I also made the tulle backdrop that you’ll see in some photos. I purchased tulle from a craft store (a little expensive but was worth it. Paid $30 I think) I looked up the DIY instructions on Pinterest and literally all I did was tie the long piece to the one hanging piece. Simple and it makes a huge difference in decor!
If you’re new to this whole bridal shower situation, then let me explain that it’s kind of a thing to play cheesy games with the guests. For example, we gave everyone a card to write down advice for the bride. We also had a few interactive games where the groom previously answered a series of questions and the bride had to guess what he answered. There are hundreds of game ideas and templates on Pinterest, Google and Etsy.
With games come prizes, duh. For one shower I helped plan, each bridesmaid was responsible for putting together a basket that we could use as a prize. At the other shower, the maid of honor hit up Bath and Body Works semi-annual sale and grabbed a ton of soaps, lotions, etc. at a great price. We then placed them in bags for a cute presentation and called it a day.
Food,drinks & dessert
I believe food is the most important part of any party but unfortunately it can also be the most expensive. Some places provide food in the rental package, but if you choose to host the shower at someones home, a park, etc. you will need to supply food. My tip for doing this on a budget is to cater the main course, so fried chicken for example. Then have anyone close to the bride help with the sides, drinks and desserts!
What is a party without flowers, am I right? Yes. Yes, I am.
Okay so you basically have 3 options when it comes to flowers. Option #1 is to hire a florist. For one of the showers I helped plan, we hired Jess of Jessica Linn Events to do our florals. We rented the mason jars and vases that you see in the photos from her as well. She made the process so easy! I sent her an inspiration photo, told her my budget and she worked around it. She set up the day of the event within an hour and it was stunning! So stunning that all of the guests thought that they were the favors and wanted to take them home lol. Not to mention they lived for a good 3 weeks after, NOT KIDDING. Jess is super professional, trendy, modern and most importantly good at what she does. Hire her for your floral or event planning needs and you won’t be disappointed! You can find more info about her services here.
You can’t afford a florist? No biggie, hit up Trader Joes the morning of. Their flowers are stunning, affordable and they usually have a variety of options. The downfall here is that they may not have exactly what you’re looking for and it’s going to take a good amount of time buying and arranging them on your own.
If you can’t afford flowers at all or you don’t live near a Trader Joes, visit your closest public flower picking garden! This is what we did for one of the showers and it turned out great and was super inexpensive. We also invested in faux garland from Micheal’s to give the tables an added touch.
That about wraps this one up! I hope this post will be helpful when the time comes for you to plan a bridal shower – or really any event in general. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!