Wedding and Baby Showers
I helped throw two wedding showers in 2017. Hosting showers are not cheap. There's invitations, decorations, food, games and prizes, and of course the gift you have for the honoree. My daughter threw her besties back in March. She got surprised by a lengthy guest list of people she did not know, extended family and friends of her friends mom. DD1 did a bang up job, but it cost a ton. I helped her out a bit, but we both learned a lot of lessons for the future. A month later, I co-hosted with my sister-in-law for our niece. Still spendy, but we applied some more veteran shower throwing tools.
- Tip one, co-hosting is always the best option! If the guest list is more than 10-12, the burden is too high any any one person.
- Along with tip one, when you offer to throw a shower, be clear what you are offering. If the honoree wants something more-expanded guest list, have them suggest someone reliable who can take on half the work.
- Water in pretty pitchers is elegant, and free! Most guests might have one or possibly two sodas, mimosa, glass of wine, but it's not a girls night out.
- No need to have everything color scheme matchy. Pick a couple things, maybe a welcome sign, or napkins, but then go neutral (cheaper in bulk) for other things like paper plates, cups. Better yet if you can use your own plates, glasses, etc. if the clean-up won't be too much of a burden.
- Plan less food than you first think. Women are not going to eat like linebackers at training camp. Salad, fruit, a roll or croissant, and a simple desert is plenty.
- While it's nice to have a little take away for guests, keep it simple and classy. Little boxes or bags with chocolates, a scented votive candle or tea lights in a bag or with a bow. Perhaps, depending on the theme or time of year, cookie cutters. Don't knock your self out if it's not your thing.
I love a good get together. Birthdays, anniversaries, new jobs, promotions all provide a reason to get together. It doesn't need to break your bank though.
- If friends and family planned, go potluck.We had a great party for my sister's 50th, with a variety of food and lot's of it since so many people pitched in to help her husband out.
- The guest of honor does not want more kitchy gifts.They want friends and fun. Remember that when you think about splurging on something silly. If you want to give a gift, either make it a real gift or a treat like favorite candy, wine, craft beer or flowers. If you absolutely have to go funny, go to a thrift store. My sister received butterscotch schnapps, hard cider and tiny red solo cups to make candy apple cocktails.My former boss got a bottle of red wine and a coffee card for me, with a funny note, "Coffee and Wine are like life coaches. Coffee says, come on, we can do this. Wine is there to say, things will be better tomorrow."
- If you are hosting exclusively or with another, put on invite specifically what you will provide, (pop, snacks and cake provided), but welcome BYOB. It's not being cheap to not cater to every possible preference a guest wants.You don't have to run a pub.
- Or, simplify by arranging this out somewhere, with everyone on their own tab, with a nudge to throw in a bit towards the honoree. Two new job parties, our birthday lunches or happy hours, all done nice with a call ahead to have tables put together, and we all took care of our own bills, with enough extra for the full tab and tip.
Sometimes it is the "getting there" that adds the unforeseen or un-thought of costs. It's later when your credit card statement comes and you realized the extra expenses.
- Budget gas. Fuel up before with a coupon and carry extra cents off for refills from chain gas stations.
- Pack water and snacks from home. Don't kid yourself that when you stop for a stretch and bathroom break that everyone in the car isn't going to also want a snack. Don't forget the return trip-my budget buster, and fill those water bottles again.