10 Money-Saving Tips for Your Next Shower

(Before you start reading our budget-friendly tips, hop over to our giveaway and be sure to enter!)

Ok let’s face it – weddings are expensive, especially when you’re a bridesmaid.   According to this article on CNN, the average cost of being in a friend’s wedding is $1695. 


As much as you have the best intentions and want to make this the most special time in your friend’s life, one of the most “sour” parts of throwing any shower is the money.  When the wedding-related expenses start to add up, you might think twice about renting the margarita machine for your friend’s shower.

That’s why we strive to show you how you can create a memorable shower in an affordable and attainable way.

Below are some of our favorite money-saving tips using our friend Ruthie’s shower as an example.  Ruthie’s husband is very into Halloween and mildly into heavy metal, and Ruthie has graciously taken on some of these interests as her own.  Thus, we bring you the unique and affordable…skull shower.  So consider this a two-for: learning how to save money AND turn absolutely anything into a theme.  

1.    Ask for assistance.  We can totally relate to all the control freaks out there, but taking on the entire shower by yourself can be time-consuming and expensive.  You should check with other bridesmaids or even family members to see if they’d be interested in sharing hostess duties.  

Ruthie's bridesmaids and awesome hostesses
2.    Limit the guest list.   Couples showers are becoming the new norm, but you know what’s the quickest way to double your guest list?  INVITING THE MEN.  Encourage your bride to keep the party intimate.  Ruthie’s shower was a couples shower, but we made it special by only including very close friends and immediate family.  

3.    Hold the shower at home.  Most of the ideas we present on SASS are for at-home showers, but we know the restaurant brunch is also a popular shower idea.  Paying for everyone’s food and drinks at a restaurant can add up fast.  Even if you REALLY don’t like to cook, catering food at home will surely save some cash.   

4.    Consider the timing.  Don’t throw your party at 6pm when people are expecting a full meal.   Try scheduling your shower for mid-afternoon (around 2pm), or after dinner (around 8pm).  This allows you to just provide snacks, appetizers, or maybe even try your hand at a desserts-only shower – we can certainly help you there!


5.    Create an evite.  As much as we love receiving a special invitation in the mail, keeping it electronic will keep your costs down.   Plus, there are always those people on the guest list who you have to invite out of obligation even though they won’t attend.  Paying for those invites is just a slap in the face!  

6.    Keep it pot luck style.  We are big fans of DIY, so it’s only natural that we would recommend keeping your food homemade rather than catering or buying store-bought goodies.  For Ruthie’s shower, her sister and MOH did a great job of divvying up the food and drinks equally among the hostesses, so no one was overwhelmed by the time or money involved.  Plus, it’s nicer to be in charge of a few items rather than paying someone a lump sum at the end.

7.    Stick to beer and wine.  Drinks are one of our favorite parts of any shower, but as soon as you enter mixed-drink territory, the bills can add up.  Sticking to beer and wine is perfectly acceptable, and you can also find some fun recipes online that involve doctoring up a bottle of your favorite white or red.  Side note: if you hold the shower in the afternoon, people also tend to drink less.  

8.    Get creative with clip art and free printables.  For Ruthie’s shower, we literally used clip art images of male and female skulls!  We printed all different sizes and hung them from mirrors, cabinets, windows and tables.  We even used the skull image on our food labels.  (You might also notice this kickass depiction of a well-known mural in Austin.  Thanks to our friend Mary’s sister for that recreation!)

9.    Replace the photos in your home with pics of the guest(s) of honor.  This is one of those tricks we use at just about every shower.  Print out some of the couple’s engagement photos or silly pictures, and use the frames you already have at home.  

Framed pics in the background
10.    Go in on a gift.  The beauty of having multiple hostesses is that you can purchase a bigger/nicer gift and share the cost.  So, if you can only afford a $20 set of spatulas after planning the festivities, ask the other hostesses to go in on a gift, and maybe you can spring for a blender instead.

As much as we love pouring ourselves into the details of any shower, we also love to save a little cash.  What are some of your favorite money-saving tips when it comes to throwing a party?

Happy Planning,
Sweet & Sour Showers