Are you still reeling after learning the cost of Meagan Markle’s baby shower? ($200,000!!!). Well, in case your best friend isn’t Serena Williams, then here are some tips for throwing a party worthy of your bubs to be (who may or may not be a future prince/ss).
I love DIY and I wanted to have as little waste as possible as baby showers only generally last for 2-3 hours. The thought of all those streamers, balloons thrown in the bin after the fact makes me reel! I’m really lucky to have a large family of women who jumped at the chance to help out with my baby shower. That being said there were also a lot of elements that I handled myself as I love to be creative and plan parties!
Here are some tips and tricks that I used to have a champagne baby shower on a beer budget! (alcohol free of course haha)
No need to go all out and have a sit down champagne breakfast or have dapper waiters walking around with carefully prepared canapes you can’t pronounce the name of!
Get the family (or whoever) involved – delegate or get your host to delegate
- Suggest food that each person would be comfortable making,
- Set a theme they have to follow
- OR ask them to suggest something – all depending on how much control you want over your buffet.
Stick to easy finger-food – fake it til you make it!
- Buy things like quiches, pies and sandwiches in bulk and arrange on nice platters to go for the ‘catered’ look
- Supermarket cupcakes with fresh icing look just like you bought them from an expensive French bakery
You just sprung for a ridiculously priced wedding cake. This one does NOT need to be as extravagant!
Skip the real cake
- Opt for cupcakes which can double as a party favour (two birds right?)
- Have a nappy cake as the center piece instead. You can opt to make this yourself or you can ask a friend or family member to do this. Bonus you get to keep and use the nappies afterwards!
- Do you know anyone who has a ‘cake lady’?’ – see if you can get a discount
- The new trend of the nude cake is a godsend – no more sickly-sweet fondant and it definitely keeps the cost down! It even makes the idea of making the cake yourself not so daunting hey?
Set Up & Decorations
This one is easy to save money and what gets my creative juices flowing.
If the thought of hiring a party planner to organize the floral arrangements, balloon installation and smoke machine makes you want to cancel the whole event, calm down and dive into your craft box instead!
You are also going to have to make sure there are enough chairs, tables, cups, plates etc. You definitely do not want to go out and buy this stuff just for 1 day so this is definitely where networking shines.
Use items you will use later!
- Get some blue or pink ribbon and string up some cute onesies & bibs that you will use to clothe baby later. Just make sure you wash them before you store them away.
- Surely your unemployed cousin can spring for some streamers and balloons from the dollar store?
- How about your neighbour’s son’s girlfriend who gets a staff discount at Lombard’s? Networking at a time like this is key, everyone loves baby news and wants to be involved!
- Know someone who has recently had a baby? – See if they have any leftover decorations from their shower. Recycle what you can!
- Ask around friends to see if they have spare platters, chairs and/or table cloths.
DIY where you can!
- Flower arrangements – spray paint some old jars and fill with flowers from your garden or buy a few cheap bunches from the florist and split them between the jars. This can work with leafy branches as well depending on your theme!
Hire instead of buy
- Cake stands, wreaths, arches, table-wear. Places like Facebook Market Place can be a great place to start.
- If you can’t go past a large balloon display – try hiring a helium canister and blowing up your own balloons – this will be SO much cheaper than buying pre-blown balloons (depending on how that staff discount goes at Lombard’s 😉) – or just opt for blowing them up the old-fashioned way
Games & Activities
Ok so you have all these people show up and bring you gifts. Now you need to entertain them! The best way to do this is with some host run games! But no need to go and pay for fancy printed trivia cards or expensive prizes! It can still be fun as well as thrifty.
Use items you will use again
- Buy some nappies and pop them on a table next to a packet of sharpies. Get your guests to write messages on the nappies for your ‘late night changes’ – you will actually use the nappies and you can get a laugh out of the messages as well.
- You are going to need lots of bibs. Buy 10-20 plain white bibs and a packet of fabric markets and ask your guests to design a bib! You may not love all the designs but baby is sure to put his spin on aunty’s attempt at a dinosaur with a little spit up and banana custard in a few months.
DIY using minimal resources
- 1 ball of wool will make for a great game of guess the size of mum’s belly. Everyone uses the string to guess the circumference of mum’s belly – and the string will likely cost you 99c!
- Cut up some paper and have your guests write advice cards for the new mum and dad to read, include guesses about the baby’s gender, birthday, weight and even ask for name suggestions.
- Have a stats board showing the details of mum and dad’s own births as a benchmark for people’s guesses
- Look for sales at the chemist on cosmetics – these can be bundled up in some gift bags and tissue paper from the dollar store
Ok so this is something that is becoming a pretty old fashioned custom. Guests attend a function and you feed them and entertain them for how ever long. You don’t need to send them home with something! But, if you want to uphold this tradition and thank your guests for their gifts on their way out, here are some inexpensive ways to do this.
- A big jar of lollypops with the words ‘ready to pop’ – try getting these from a discount lolly-shop in bulk.
- Other colored candies in bags or jars – these can even match your theme!
- Multipurpose your sweets.
Personalize on the cheap
- Personalized stickers can be purchased from eBay and Etsy for a few dollars. These add a touch of exclusivity to your favors and take them to the next level without costing you much at all.
- DIY where you can!
- Try clear bags of popcorn with the same message! Clear bags can be purchased from the dollar store
This is a new tradition quickly gaining pace. You may choose to do this at your baby shower. We decided to have a separate intimate gathering of just close family. I used an old packing box, decorated it with some basic brown wrapping paper and paint from the dollar store and we bought $12 worth of blue helium balloons to put inside. When we opened the box the whole family were excited by the special reveal.
DIY ideas for your reveal:
- Buy a large black balloon and fill with colored confetti of your choic
- Bake cupcakes and fill center with colored icing
- Get everyone to guess what the result will be on a calendar – allow 4 weeks before your due date and 2 weeks after for them to write their names
- Paint wooden pegs in blue and pink and have guests wear these as their guess
However you choose to celebrate, rest assured that you do not need to spend a bucketload of money to honor your bump. Try DIY where you can and always look at ways to recycle party decorations to ensure minimal waste.
Try using items that baby will use when he or she arrives to save wasting money of things that will just get thrown out.
Whether you are hosting the affair yourself or you have a host, get the mums, nanas and aunties involved. People love baby news. Take advantage of this! Get help where you can from whoever you can, just make sure to thank them in your speech on the day.
Have you got anymore baby shower money saving tips? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!