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The bridal shower is one of the most fun parts of the wedding season. It’s a time to celebrate the upcoming marriage and the woman of the hour, shower her with gifts and have some fun before the big day.
However, it’s easy for this party to max out its budget. What’s the average cost of a bridal shower anyway? Learn more about the typical price tag for this celebration, who foots the bill and how you can budget to get the most for your money.
What Is the Average Cost of a Bridal Shower?
Since there is so much variety when it comes to planning a bridal shower, it’s difficult to identify one average cost for the celebration. However, the price tag on most of these parties ranges from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand. It all depends on how many guests are invited, the venue, food and beverages, decor and any other expenses.
On average, a bridal shower can cost anywhere between $15-$200 per guest, depending on the factors mentioned above and more. That means a small shower with just a few close friends could fall under a few hundred dollars, while a larger party with professional catering could cost upwards of $3000.
Who Pays for the Bridal Shower?
Before you start planning a bridal shower, it’s important to answer the question — who is actually responsible for the party, including planning and footing the bill?
The person who hosts the event typically pays for the bridal shower. Traditionally, that duty falls to the maid of honor. She should plan the party with input from the bride to ensure the guest list, budget and itinerary are on par with the bride’s wishes.
Depending on the situation, other friends or family members can step up to help organize and pay for the shower. Sisters, aunts, cousins, other friends and relatives can contribute their time and money to share the cost and effort of hosting this bridal event.
Common Costs at a Bridal Shower
The price of a bridal shower can quickly add up. Whether you’re on a budget or you’re planning an extravagant get-together, make sure you plan for these common bridal shower expenses.
Where are you going to host the bridal shower? That should be the first question you answer — and it’s one of the most important for your budget. If you’re hosting the shower at your home or another friend’s house, you probably won’t have to set aside much for rent.
However, if you’re holding the bridal shower at a restaurant, community center, park, banquet hall or another public or commercial space, you’ll likely spend a chunk of your budget renting out the venue. Some spaces charge by the hour while certain restaurants charge per person. Do your research and determine how much of your budget can go towards renting a location.
The decorations at a bridal shower can take the event from a typical get-together to a truly special part of the wedding experience. The decor might include balloons, banners, signs, tablescapes, a backdrop and props for photos and party favors. You could even get creative with wrapping gifts for the bride. Each of these items contributes to the shower’s ambiance, getting everyone excited about the special day.
Determine whether the bridal shower’s theme is going to match the wedding theme, complement it or be totally different. You can use the wedding colors as inspiration or take things in another direction — just stay consistent and keep the bride’s style in mind.
Food is an important consideration at any event you host, and bridal showers are no exception. Depending on the time, location and length of the shower, people might expect just a few snacking options or a full meal.
Take your budget into consideration when planning the bridal shower menu. If it’s a smaller, more casual affair, you can get simple finger foods and cupcakes topped with bridal decorations or icing that match the wedding colors. At a restaurant or if you order professional catering, you can expect to shell out a bit more — anywhere from $20-$70 per person or more.
Games and Entertainment
You’ll need to plan some fun and games at the bridal shower to keep everyone entertained. That might mean some wedding-themed games and trivia questions about the bride and groom or a luxurious girls’ trip to the spa together.
Whatever your budget, you can find some fun that everyone will enjoy — without breaking the bank. Print out free “he said, she said” games for guests to fill out, play charades or lawn games, or let people unlock their creativity with painting or cake decorating.
Tips for Budgeting a Bridal Shower
If you’re planning a shower on a budget, you’re not alone. Check out these tips to throw the best celebration for the bride while making the most of your money:
- Focus on what matters: While you may be tempted to go all out on every aspect of the party, your budget might not accommodate that style. Determine what your priorities are — including what matters most to the bride-to-be — and handle those aspects first. Then, you can use what’s left of your budget to enhance the shower in smaller ways.
- Stay on theme: Selecting a theme and sticking to it can help you as you choose the venue, decor and activities for a wedding shower. When you have set colors or a specific aesthetic style, your options are narrowed down already.
- Delegate to trusted friends and family: Hosting any event on your own is a lot. If you’re the maid of honor, you already have a lot on your plate. Don’t be afraid to delegate certain tasks and responsibilities to other members of the wedding party or your friends. Ask them to pick up desserts, put up decorations or set our snacks before the shower begins.
- Combine favors and activities: Rather than spend twice as much on separate games to play and favors for guests to take home, consider an activity that people can take home and treasure. Let guests create floral arrangements that they will enjoy for weeks to come or visit a pottery studio and make personalized mugs.
Determining the Average Cost of a Bridal Shower
Bridal showers are a time for the bride-to-be to celebrate her upcoming wedding with all of her closest friends and family members. If you’re responsible for hosting the party, you don’t have to break the bank. Budget for the shower and you’ll make it a special day to remember.
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