Baby Showers on a Tight BudgetSo; your best friend is pregnant and you want to throw her a baby shower, but you’re not sure you can afford the expense. There is a cost associated with a baby shower, but it doesn’t have to be prohibitive, especially if you enlist a few other mutual friends to help with the preparation and the expenses. The following suggests a few proven ways to throw a successful baby shower without going into bankruptcy.
Selecting Attendees and a LocationThe most important consideration, when it comes to limiting costs, is deciding how many people you can ask to attend. This can be a tricky task. Regardless of how you define the group that will be asked to attend, someone will undoubtedly have hurt feelings, so define the group carefully. Perhaps it can be limited to personal friends and close family. A larger group may include associates from the mother-to-be’s workplace.
The estimated number of guests will obviously be the driver for selecting an appropriate place at which to hold the event. If it’s a small group of close friends and relatives, a family room or great room at the home of one of the shower planners could do the job at virtually no expense outside of decorations and food. If attendance is expected to match the number of attendees at the last British Royal Wedding, renting the local Elks Hall might be the best bet, with the cost split among those hosting the event.
Sending InvitationsShower invitations can be costly, and in most cases unnecessarily so. An inexpensive baby shower is generally an informal affair, and does not require formal, printed invitations. If one of the women in the hosting group is handy with Photoshop or some other graphics program, nice looking invitations can be printed for little more than the cost of the paper. Hand delivery of the invitations will save nearly 50 cents per person. If the Photoshop option is not available, nicely handwritten invitations on heavy, colored bond paper are perfectly acceptable. I have been to baby showers where the invitations were sent via email. This is unquestionably inexpensive, but I find it inappropriate, and would suggest the handwritten invitation as the least expensive acceptable method.
Decorate ThoughtfullyDecorations can be very expensive, and it is the one area where hostesses often get carried away. Before you begin buying decorative items, get together with all the hostesses and decide what is already available at no cost. Here is where clever thinking can save a lot. I attended one shower where the gifts were placed in a borrowed bassinet decorated with crepe streamers. Christmas lights make excellent decorations when done with moderation. Pictures of the mother-to-be, when she was an infant, are always a crowd pleaser. And don’t forget an assortment of borrowed baby toys placed around the room. For finishing touches, crepe paper streamers and balloons are inexpensive and standard fare for baby showers.
Feeding the GuestsFood can be expensive, and a lot of it goes wasted. Baby showers are not often held at a time when most people eat, so snacks and soft drinks are usually sufficient. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask guests to bring some sort of pot luck snack or beverage. Nuts, chips, pretzels, and candies are always a good mix. If you want to include a simple buffet style luncheon, potato salad, cold cuts, and sandwich rolls are quick and easy.
When the guests participate in providing the food, the greatest feeding expense for the hostesses is the cost of serving dishes. The cost for paper plates, bowls, plastic utensils, serving utensils, cups, and glasses as well as table cloths, napkins, and table decorations can add up quickly. Convenience is important, but if the hostesses don’t mind a bit of after-party cleanup, dishes can be brought from home and cleaned after the guests leave.
Suggesting GiftsDon’t overlook the fact that baby showers can be expensive for the guests if suggestions for gifts are a bit pricey. Focus upon things that the mother and baby will actually need on a regular basis; things like diapers, laundry detergent, powders, baby clothes, bibs, and other such inexpensive but necessary items. For larger, more expensive items like strollers, high chairs, and cribs, suggest to family that maybe some could share in the purchase of a major item for the nursery.
At one baby shower that I attended (the same one that used a bassinet for a gift holder), the hostesses had suggested that used baby clothing would make delightful gifts. Babies grow so quickly that baby clothes are barely used before they are outgrown. As long a baby clothing is clean and undamaged, they are excellent gifts for the new baby, and save money for both mother-to-be and shower guest.
About the Author:
Hi, this is Christine Allen from Livesnet, a site devoted to helping people find the perfect baby gears for their needs, and offer tips on daily problems. I love to write about parenting and baby product reviews. Why not visit our website to see my hot reviews on Davinici Kalani 4 in 1 crib and Kidsline baby bedding.