Before you start ordering those cuter-than-cute personalized baby shower invitations or book a private room at a that trendy new restaurant downtown, you should take a moment to consider how you should budget for the upcoming baby shower event you will be hosting.
It may not seem like baby showers could cost a lot of money – how much could some balloons and baby shower games cost anyways? But there are lots of little items that go into hosting a baby shower that can really add up.
Between finding a venue, ordering and sending out invitations, baby shower games (plus prizes for the game winners), baby shower favors and decorations – you can easily spend hundreds of dollars on the event before you know it! So creating a budget now – before you do anything else – is a good way to make sure that you keep your spending in check.
Your Baby Shower Gift
As you dive into the planning the event, one thing you should remember to consider is the baby shower gift that you plan to give to the expectant parents. As the baby shower host, you are probably very close to the parents-to-be and probably want to spoil them with an extra special gift.
If you know what gift you want to give the parents, then it will be easy to fit that into your budget. If not, then maybe give yourself an estimate of how much you'd like to spend on the item and keep that in mind as you start to plan the event.
Invitations and Postage
Invitations and postage can range from next to nothing (if you are sending out electronic invites, also known as e-vites) to hundreds of dollars if you are sending out personalized invites and your guest list is large. If you are budget-conscious, then invites can be one area where you can save some money.
E-vites and Facebook event invitations are essentially free and it a good way to save some bucks, although it is a very casual manner to invite guests, but you know your audience best, so if you think it'll work, then do it!
Big box stores and online stores also sell fill-in invitations where you can handwrite the event information on the invites and send them out that way. This may be a good option if you have a reasonable guest list, if your guest list is very long, then it may become a bit time consuming to handwrite all the invites. If you enlist some help and make it a fun afternoon for you and some friends, then you can turn it into a fun event!
Personalized invites are another option if you aren't too concerned about your budget for the invites and postage. Personalized invites become less expensive if you are ordering a lot. So if you have an extensive guest list, then personalized invites may be the way to go. There are even some websites where you can have the invites mailed out for you – provided you give the website the addresses of the guests and pay for postage.
If you are crafty by nature and have more time and energy than room in your budget, then you might consider creating handmade baby shower invitations for your event. If you already have card making supplies, then this could a great option because there's just something special about handmade cards.
Baby Shower Decorations
Baby shower decorations can really put a dent in your budget if you're not careful. If can be very tempting to overdo things because of all the awesome ideas you've collected on your Pinterest board, so before you go out and start buying decorations to deck out your venue, take a step back and consider what's important. For instance, are there space limitations at your venue?
If you are hosting the shower at your place, then it'll be easy to know what type of decorations will work. If it's at someone else's house or a rented venue, then you may need to think carefully about what to get before purchasing.
For example, if the venue doesn't allow decorations on the walls, then you may not need to get those banners and rainbow streamers, and instead focus on table decorations. If you are hosting a baby-q event outdoors at someone's house, then you should focus on decorations that will work well outdoors rather than indoors because most of the guests will be hanging out outdoors. And if you are hosting an event outdoors, then you want to make sure that the decorations that you'll choose will be able to withstand any potential weather changes – depending on the season.
To help trim the costs of baby shower decorations, you can consider decorations that you can make yourself or enlist the help of some creative friends. Color coordinated streamers that match the theme can go a long way in dressing up big spaces.
You can also look for bargains when shopping for decorations. If the expectant parents are having a girl and it's near Valentine's Day, then you may be able to snag some deals on seasonal decorations to dress up your event. If you're hosting a fall or winter shower, then pulling out some cozy decorations that you may already have to add the element of season is perfectly acceptable. The event decorations do not need to be brand new – using what you have a great way to reduce the cost of decorations, so you can use your budget for other things.
Food and Drinks
Food and drinks can be another big budget item on your list, especially if your guest list is extensive. If you are planning the baby shower during a normal lunch hour, then guests may be expecting to be served a hearty lunch – though if it is during mid- morning or mid-afternoon, then it would be reasonable to get away with finger foods and other appetizers.
If you are hosting the event at a restaurant, then it is often expected that the host will foot the bill, and so you might inquire about having a buffet style set up rather than having each person order their own meal. A buffet style set up will also help to encourage people to get up and mingle!
Hosting the event during happy hour can also be a great way to trim costs because you'll be able to order appetizers to feed the crowd and guests will be free to order their own drinks if they want. If you're having the event during happy hour, don't forget to order a mocktail for the mommy-to-be!
If the baby shower will be with close friends and family, then consider making it a potluck style event. Enlist the help of your guests to create a smorgasbord of yummy dishes! If it's all friends and family, then it's likely that they'll love to pitch in a share their favorite recipe.
The venue for the event can end up being a big event depending on where you host it. If you don't have a house suitable for the event, or you'd rather rent a place, then there are some options that you can consider to reduce the cost of a rental.
When choosing a place, you should consider how many people you think will be attending – this will help you to determine a suitable place for the event.
If it's a very large guest list with people of all ages, then you might consider a public park and having a barbeque. Some public parks allow you to rent a space with a barbeque set up, which would be perfect – especially if you are expecting a lot of younger guests because a park is a great way they can be free to play and burn off energy.
Community centers can also be a great place to host a baby shower because they're usually easy to get to, have plenty of parking, and their rental fees can be reasonable. With any venue that you are using to host a party, you should be sure to read to contract to understand what is acceptable. For example, many community centers do not allow alcohol, so if you are hoping to have mimosas or champagne ready for guests, then you might need to choose a different venue.
Baby Shower Games and Prizes
Baby shower games and prizes can be a big part of the event. While some people don't particularly like baby shower games, they are a great way to get the crowd together. Many typical baby shower games, like Baby Shower BINGO and Who Know's Mommy Best, can be found online and printed off. If you are looking for more themed or personalized baby shower games, then you might need to order them for the event.
Along with games for your baby shower event, you need to remember to get prizes for the winners! Based on the number of games you have and the number of winners for each game, you should make sure that you have enough prizes for every winner.
Prizes can be simple items like a new tumbler or pretty coffee mug. If you're in a time crunch, then getting little gift cards for your winners would work too! If it's a coed or workplace baby shower, then keeping the prizes gender neutral – like gift cards – may be the way to go.
Baby Shower Party Favors
Baby shower party favors are a great way to thank your guests for coming to the event. Party favors can be a simple decorative baggie with some candy treats, small candle, themed magnet or some other small item.
When ordering or creating baby shower favors, you just want to make sure that you have enough for each guest and that the item is appropriate for them. For example, if you are hosting a baby shower event that includes women, men and children, then a set of glossy, berry flavored lip gloss may not be the best choice, so keep your audience in mind.
After considering all the parts of the baby shower event, now you can crunch your numbers. Considering budgeting a certain amount for each part of the event.
For instance, if you want to spend $350 on the event, and you need to cover the seven categories listed above: your gift, invites, decorations, food and drinks, venue, games and prizes and party favors, then you'll have $50 to work with for each part – if you divide your budget evenly.
Let's say you are hosting the event at your house, so you can eliminate the venue cost, now you can spread the budget over six categories, so you'll have around $58 to work with for each remaining cost. If you send out e-vites instead of cards, then you further stretch your budget.
You may not feel the need to divide your budget up evenly either. If you want to spend more on party favors, then reduce your budget amount somewhere else. Regardless of how you divvy up your budget, having a goal in mind for spending and knowing what elements you'll need to have covered is the first step in making sure that your event doesn't break the bank.