Monday, June 6, 2016

Budget-Friendly DIY Bridal Shower


When my best friend from college asked me to be her Maid of Honor, I was totally thrilled! I would be able to stand up beside her at her wedding and watch her pledge to be unified with the man of her dreams. We went through a lot in college together- like the teaching program, the long hours of first year teaching, and the struggles of dating and post-grad life.

I wanted to make sure that the Bridal Shower we threw for her was going to do her justice. Here were some of the goals and themes we had for the day:
  • Be creative! Our friend is amazingly creative so we wanted to honor that.
  • Use the wedding colors (teal, burlap, chalkboard, etc.)
  • Have games that don't totally suck.
  • Prizes that people want to win
  • Easy set up and tear down.

Our invite asked people to bring a recipe for two, a bottle of wine for the couple, and a bible verse/quote to share!


Our total budget for the wedding was roughly $200.00 (not including the food). That included:
  • Invites (made mine online for free here and just inserted it into the body of an email to her friends and family. I also shared it via our event on Facebook.
    • Total cost for invitations: $0.00
  • Decorations. We used a bunch of stuff that another bridesmaid is using at her wedding, and other things that we had on hand between all of us. 
    • Total cost for decor: $45.00
    • Bride-to-Be Sash: $21.00  I got a really cool customizable one on Etsy here
  • Venue. Originally we considered going to a church or something like that- but instead we did it at her mama's house. It worked great and was free.
    • Total cost for venue: $0.00
  • Games & Prizes. I found some great games online at Etsy.com and we printed them ourselves. I then bought a package of Blue Ball jars from Target and filled those with fun prizes with different themes to each. We had one prize per game.
    • Total cost of 6 games (got em here): $10.40
    • Total cost of prizes: $45.00 (though I did go to Sephora and Ulta and ask for free samples of perfume and make up to put inside the prizes.)
  • Food & Drink: The bride's mama organized all of the food and she did a remarkable job! We did the shower in the afternoon and wanted to go with finger foods and mama had that on lock! 
    • She made a variety of things (mini BLTs, spinach balls, chocolate covered Oreos (MY FAVE!), mini caramel apples, rice krispies, and little sandwich wheels.) It was delicious. 
    • Drinks were pretty straight forward. I brought two fancy dispensers with the little spigots that make it easy. We had Sangria and sorbet punch. 
  • "Stations." We set up some fun stations around the shower for people to cycle in and out of to make sure everyone has something to do and make meaningful gifts for the Bride. More about that later!
    • Total cost: $70.00
Now I'll take you on a tour! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves for the most part. 


As she walked in we wanted it to be a surprise! That's the big part that she was excited about, she didn't want to have much to do with the planning. So, as she walked in, she was greeted by this veil on the door!




She did supply us with some awesome photos of her and the groom together. We used twine, little clothespins in her wedding colors, and dollies from Hobby Lobby and strung it up. Everyone loved it!


The games that we got off Etsy were a big hit! They included:
  • What's on your phone?
  • He Said/She Said
  • Scattegories
  • Word Scramble
  • Scratch-Off Game
Plus they were super cute! We got to order them in gold and blue so they matched her theme. 



We had the party set up in stations. One of them was to buy this beautiful leather bound bible from our local Barnes & Nobles and have it set up for people to highlight their verse. Some people aren't as comfortable with that, so we also added a couple moleskins in the wedding colors to give people a space to put their quotes. It was a big hit! We set it up in the backyard looking across the grass with a chalkboard for instructions.




My personal favorite was our photo booth station! I used a foam board I may or may not have found in the supply closet at school to cut out a frame for the Polaroid! Use an exacto blade. I tried to cut mine with scissors. It was not a good idea.


We brought some props (that will actually reappear at the wedding...) for people to have a good time! We added a chalkboard for people to write on for how they met the bride. It was fun! Plus, if you cropped it to put on Insta, it worked perfectly and looked awesome!





 Another station that we had set up was a letter writing station. The bride and I had gone to the store previously and picked out a scrapbook that she loved. We invited everyone to spend some time writing a letter to the bride for her to read on her wedding day. She can't see it until then! It was really special to see people sitting around the table sharing their love and thoughts for the bride and her soon-to-be hubby.


In the living room we had the gift opening station set up. We had a cool vintage box that was originally a box for shoes but we stole it for bottles of wine for the bride and groom! We're hoping it helps them get through that first year together! One of the bridesmaids made those great tissue paper balls and we used a a DIY chalkboard to tell people where everything should go. 


She seemed to totally love it and I couldn't be more grateful! It was a challenge to organize a bridal shower from 250 miles away, but I'm glad we put it together! The other bridesmaids and the Mother of the Bride were instrumental in making it a day that she would cherish.

And Poochie, he was loving it too.




Together we made an awesome thing happen and I am so excited! The wedding is only three weeks away and it should be a night to remember. :)