Last weekend was Shane’s oldest brother’s wedding, which was so much fun! Some of the uncles hadn’t met our babies yet- it’s amazing how much time flies, they were expecting newborns still! The lovely bride, Teegan, is from Australia (Shane’s brother lived there for a few years) and during the lovely speeches I got to reflecting on when we first met her. One of the first times she was around our whole crazy family (Shane is one of 6 siblings) was at another sister’s baby shower. I’m pretty sure Teegan must have thought we were nuts as we hauled in boxes of vases, cake decorating kits, and bags of lace. Remember when I said my family loves to celebrate? My beautiful niece A is almost two years old now, but I love our memories from this day so I’m excited to be sharing it with you.
I thought I’d highlight all the things we did to keep the cost of the party down. Even though we like to party, we don’t like the price tag that sometimes comes with fancy showers and celebrations. In the first ‘behind the scenes’ photo, you can see me icing the cupcakes. There always seems to be someone who offers to make a cake or cupcake (and decorate to the theme- my friends rock at these things) so I take them up on it. If no one offers… I do it myself. Making your own cake/cupcakes saves big on bakery costs! In this case, my sister-in-law made the cupcakes, I just iced them. (Here’s us looking crazy, icing cupcakes an hour before the party… we’ve learned time management since then) ;)
So I know all over Pinterest that showers are thrown before babies are born. I’ve never been to one like that! Ever?! And I’ve been to my share of showers. Maybe us Canadians do it backwards- but it makes so much more sense to me! Especially if you’re not finding out the sex of your baby, you’d end up with a lot of green and yellow onesies. Plus- it keeps a lot of the awkward drop-ins from happening, since everyone knows they’ll get to meet and hold the little one at the shower.
Since we do showers after babies are born- we have the advantage of squishy baby cheeks as decoration. When I shot A’s newborn photos, we snuck in a few pearls and lace shots to use at the shower. My poor sister-in-law kept commenting that she liked the simple photos better… when she arrived at her shower it made more sense to her. I promise, I gave her beautiful simple shots of her little one too… no pearls or anything. Photos of the newborn (or maternity photos of the mama) are an affordable way to personalize a party- plus they’re a great take-away for the mama! Here’s one of my favourite with the pearls. Isn’t she precious?
All the flowers are from our local grocer, just like my monthly floral challenge, and were displayed in mason jars wrapped with lace and milk glass vases (who doesn’t love a good milk glass vase?). Last year I started putting signs or wreaths or something on the front door of the party house so people can tell they’re in the right place. It’s a fun little welcome. This wreath was made with a pool noodle wrapped in twine- frugal and so versatile! We added lace and pearls for this party, but I used it again for an underwater themed shower with shells, starfish, and pearls (that was so pretty- I wish I had taken a photo!).
I pulled out my pearls and only lace (ish) shirt for the occasion too.
We LOVE games… but know everyone doesn’t love embarrassing shower games- so we kept it simple with baby bingo, wishes for baby, and an advice tree. I put the wishes and advice together with photos into an album for her after the party (it may or may not have taken me months to get it to her).
Some of the advice that was given is so sweet! I created the Bingo, Wishes for Baby cards, and the ‘You Are Braver Than You Believe’ print for the party… would you guys want those? I’m sure I could dig them up to share if you’re interested! Making the game cards yourself (or getting them as a freebie) and printing them at a Staples will save some dough too! You can fit two bingo cards and three ‘wishes for baby’ on one regular sheet of paper- and upgrading to index weight costs pennies.
See that mirrored box I have all the games in? That’s actually my jewellery box. One of the best ways I like to keep parties affordable is to raid my home for pieces that will fit the theme. (Then raid you’re mom’s house and your sister’s and best friend’s to fill in the gaps!). Think I’m kidding? Those drink dispensers are from my best friend’s wedding, the frames are from my wall, the fake cherry blossoms are my sister-in-laws… and all for $0. The best kind of shopping.
That’s all the photos I have from the party (it was long before I’d even considered starting a blog). Even now I’m not very good at getting photos, I get so wrapped up in the ‘party’ part. Anyways, to recap- here’s how I keep parties affordable:
- Skip the bakery- take up volunteers who want to make the cake
- Use maternity or baby photos to personalize event decor
- Create your own floral arrangement with flowers from your local market
- DIY some party signage/or wreath like the one above (My DIY Chalkboard is another example of this!)
- Print your own games or activity cards- make them or use freebies… even if you buy a custom template, printing it at a local print shop will save.
- Shop your home (and those you know’s) for pieces that will fit the party theme. Your friends and family will be flattered you’ve asked!
So- let me in on your secrets? How do you keep parties affordable?