When your sister or best friend gets engaged, you’re thrilled to be dubbed the one responsible for throwing her a beautiful spring bridal shower. The initial reaction is excitement, of course… and then panic. Although you’ve been dying to bring your Pinterest boards to life, when you realize this shower is going to cost you a fortune, it’s hard to see beyond the hit your wallet will take. Or will it? Not if you plan smart! Hosting a bridal shower for your fave lady can be so much fun, and it doesn’t have to feel like a burden. You just need to know when to splurge and when to tighten your purse your strings. Don’t worry, girl. We got your back with these money-saving tips below.


1. Flowers: It can be tempting to go big or go home for the bridal shower flowers, but this is a hidden opportunity to save. Test your skills and knowledge in flower arranging: Keep things simple and stick with table centerpieces. First, find the right vessel for the buds. Keep the theme in mind, and then choose two or three kinds of blooms in the bride’s chosen wedding color palette. To top things off, get some greenery that’s totally on trend (like eucalyptus) to save money but still have that *wow* factor. You’ll be surprised how easily your arrangements come together. Pro tip: Put them together the day before the shower and leave them out overnight so the blooms have a chance to open up and be their best selves. No one will ever even know you did them yourself — unless you want to brag about your mad new skills! (via Lauren Rae Photography / Chic Vintage Brides)


2. The Cake: There’s definitely a reason that bakers exist — cakes not only have to look pretty but also *taste* amazing. For this reason, you can (and probably should) splurge to work with a pro, unless you’re already a baking master. That said, there are definitely lots of affordable options in the dessert category. If the bride doesn’t have her heart set on any specific dessert, you can BIY (bake it yourself) cake balls, cupcakes or even cookies, mini cheesecake bites or brownies. Go with whatever you think will best fit the bride’s vision. (via annawithlove / Style Me Pretty)


3. Decor (and Venue): If you have to rent a space to host the shower, it can eat up a pretty significant chunk of your budget. Hosting at your own or a friend’s house is ideal for saving money, but either way, the decor can cost you. Keep it all in check with a priorities list. Rank things like balloons, framed pictures (like this Foxbairn Bridal Shower Sign [$15]), candles and a photo booth to help you stay organized, and then price everything out. You might find that your “must-haves” quickly become “nice-to-haves,” and that’s okay. If the cost is too high, go back to your list and decide which items have to go. It can be tough, but you’ll thank yourself when you get your credit card bill next month.


4. Booze: Tell us about an event with Champagne and we’re basically inviting ourselves. If you know the bride is a fan of the bubbly, a mimosa bar can usually fit into any budget. However, if that doesn’t make the cut on your priorities list, don’t fret — there are tons of fun drink alternatives out there that will keep your pocketbook happy. Make a delicious punch that only calls for two bottles of Champagne, rather than the eight to 10 you might need for a mimosa bar. Shop wisely when it comes to glassware, and opt for the disposable Champagne flutes rather than splurging on glass ones. (via Catch My Party)


5. Food: You have a huge opportunity to save with the meal. Sure it might require a little more blood, sweat and tears, but people appreciate homemade food more anyway, right? If you’re going for a brunch menu, keep it classic with some kind of egg, fresh chopped fruit and a muffin or bagel option. You can either make everything yourself, or just do the eggs and chopped fruit and opt to buy the muffins and the bagels. A few extra details, like this Sweet Tea Paper Love Script ($18), gives your DIY catering a chic setup. Boom — you’re done.


6. Favors: One of the least expensive (and easiest) ways to do a favor is to buy something in bulk and break it down into individual containers to hand out. Most commonly, people do this with bath items or food. If you want to go edible, think small like mints, taffy or chocolate. For bath items, think bath salts or scrubs. Put them in a unique container or packaging to give the favor a personal touch. You’ll be sure to impress guests with the effort you put in, and they’ll never guess it was the most affordable option you could find. (via Etsy)


7. Place Settings: There are so many options these days for beautiful disposable plates and cutlery, with creative options like these hexagon Oh Happy Day Blush Stripe Party Plates ($8). You can get all kinds of colors or even textures and not have to worry about cleaning up a mess afterward or paying a hefty cost to rent or buy them.

Want more wedding inspiration? Follow us on Pinterest!