She’s been your best friend since fourth grade. You want to host a wonderfully creative bridal shower for her, but you have limited funds.
What starts as a simple bridal shower with a few guests can easily morph into a major – and unbelievably expensive – event. This is almost always because the person hosting it feels obligated to create something spectacular. However, thanks to some tips from the 2009-2010 Northern Virginia Bridal Planner, you can plan something that’s both tasteful and fun without emptying your savings account.
Invitations. One way to save on a bridal shower is to send the invitations electronically. This will also save you time. Sites such as Pingg.com allow you to send invitations and track responses online. They also contain tons of designs.
Food. An ice cream cake is creative, especially when you use a low-fat brand of ice cream. One way to save time and money is to purchase Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, stack them in a pyramid and add some creative garnishes such as pieces of white netting here and there. Depending on the look you want, you can stick to just one flavor or mix and match. You have a choice of strawberry shortcake, chocolate, vanilla, vanilla/chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, mint and cookies ‘n’ cream.
Beverage. Forget uncorking bottles of wine or brewing expensive gourmet coffee for your guests. Instead, fill a punch bowl with inexpensive sangria. For the non-alcoholic version, use grape juice and seltzer water in place of wine. The only other things you’ll need are around a quarter cup of sugar and slices of fresh fruit such as oranges. Go to Cooks.com or AllRecipes.com for variations on a basic sangria recipe.
Activities. How about a game of Bridal Shower Bingo? It’s an oldie but goodie. Start by creating a blank grid that looks like a Bingo card, then copy it. Hand out the cards as your guests arrive and ask them to fill out the blanks with gifts they think the bride will get. There’s a free space in the middle. Each guest can write his or her own gift there. They can cross off each gift on their card as the bride opens it. The person who’s the first to fill five consecutive spaces vertically, horizontally or on a diagonal wins the prize of your choice. How about a pair of movie tickets?
Favors. You can’t go wrong with homemade body scrubs because everybody likes to de-stress and feel pampered. You can use pretty glass Mason jars or shop for other suitable containers at your local dollar store. Fill each one with the scrub. You can customize the recipe. However, to prepare a basic version, measure 3 cups Epsom salt or sea salt and pour it into a big bowl. Measure 1 cup of almond, canola or olive oil and pour it slowly into the salt as you stir the contents. Then add essential oils for fragrance in the strength that you prefer. You can decorate the jar inexpensively with ribbons, hang tags or netting for a feminine, festive look.