Bridal shower on a budget: Tips to throw a stylish event without spending a bunch of cash

September 2, 2020 Vancouver, BC, Canada

bridal shower on a budget backdrop

bridal shower on a budget photo booth

bridal shower on a budget entertainment

bridal shower on a budget decor and gifts

bridal shower on a budget decor

This summer, my family and I threw a small bridal shower (socially distant, of course) for my middle sister, who is getting married this fall.

With a few family and close friends in attendance, we hosted a stylish outdoor party, complete with decor, backdrop, photo wall and more. And it cost us around $300. 

When my eldest sister and I set out to throw her a memorable event, we knew we wanted to do so without spending too much money. We also wanted to find ways to keep the waste down (I didn't want decor that we would throw out after a day), without sacrificing on style.

After all the planning — and, I think, a pretty successful party — I wanted to share a few photos, as well as a few tips for throwing your own event on a budget

Tip #1: Decor on a dime(s) 

In order to cut down on waste, and save money, we decided to decorate the event with items that were already in our own homes. Thankfully, between my mom, sister and I, we had several stylish pieces that worked well together. 

I have an obsession with handwoven rugs, so I secured the large rug from my living room to an oversized wood frame for the backdrop. Then, we used circle towels, outdoor blankets and Turkish rugs for the seating, along with poufs and pillows that we already had. We used cinder blocks and six lengths of 2x10 boards for the low table.

For the florals, we again used vases and dried florals that we already had. I bought the bunny tails at Michaels and then split the bunch between a few small vessels for added effect, which cost about $23. 

For the few items we didn't have, I scoured Facebook Marketplace to find a few things that were pre-loved, and therefore much more affordable than retail. One thing I did splurge on was a vintage Moroccan pouf from a friend's business called Coe112. Offering artisan pieces with a past, the pouf was just too perfect to pass up, and it now has a happy home near my couch. 

Tip #2: Embrace the DIY

You can't throw an event on a budget without doing a little DIY. For this party, we bought a package of wall art papers from the dollar store, and then used frames we already had, temporarily displacing the photos and art that usually live in them. We secured these to a cedar hedge on the property and added a tray of paper props for an easy photo wall to get photos of the bride-to-be and event attendees upon their arrival. 

Another DIY I did for this event involved the gifts and paper goods. I run a small Etsy shop that sells metallic-foil wall art, so I used my foiling machine to make the place cards and thank you gift tags. Then, I made homemade soaps for gifts for the guest along with sachets of dried lavender that I had cut from our own garden. 

Tip #3: Friends with benefits

We knew we wanted to have some form of entertainment for guests, so we asked a friend who is looking to start a wine tasting event business to run a small tasting. We bought the wines and charcuterie items that she suggested, and paid her a small fee to attend. It was a fabulous way to keep guests entertained and engaged — while also offering her a chance to practice her business plan. (If you're looking for a sommelier event idea in Vancouver, I'd definitely recommend Petite Chateau!) 

Tip #4: Small bits and bites 

Lastly, food and drinks can get pretty pricey when you're hosting an event. That's why we went with a set plate of nibbles to accompany the wine sips. We also offered a fruit-infused water and a few sodas for those who didn't want to go the wine route. 

We baked a mini four-tier cake, which we served at the end of the event, decorated with dried roses from the garden. Having the event just after lunchtime and before dinner meant that guests weren't expecting a full meal, so the nibbles that we provided seem to satisfy everyone without requiring a full spread of selections. 

Do you have any party tips? If so, I'd love to hear them.

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