Food | Lifestyle | Pregnancy Updates

How To Throw A Baby Shower Under $1,000

June 3, 2017

I am still recovering from the most amazing baby shower that was thrown for us and Baby P over Mother’s Day weekend. It was such a special day that I will truly treasure. Like many millennials, I have a high bar set for aesthetics while still on a budget.  So when it came to planning the baby shower, I wanted something that would look beautiful while also not wanting to waste money on one afternoon. In Los Angeles, living on a budget is no easy task and baby showers here easily cost $10,000 as a starting point. I wanted to share my tips for saving money for your shower without compromising the ambience.

Also, if you want to see more photos from the shower I’ll be posting the FB album link below. All photos in this post by: LKR Photography


1) You’re going to need an army of family and friends.

The “Ringleader” who also hosted the party in her backyard- Thank You, Kimmie!

My Parents, Siblings & Aunts who all helped make the shower so special!

There is no way I could have done this on a budget without so many amazing men and women donating their time and resources. So before I even get into cutting costs I need to give a shout out to the countless hours my family and friends dedicated to helping throw the most beautiful shower. You’ll need to identify your army into three parts – there’s the “Ring Leader” (shout out to Kimberly Woolf!), your “Main Group of Volunteers,” and then “Day-Of Volunteers”. The Ringleader handles overseeing the budget and delegates out all the tasks. The Main Group of Volunteers help with DIY projects and shopping (food & decor) in the weeks leading up to the shower. Day of Volunteers are close friends & family who are maybe coming from out of town or for whatever reason couldn’t help with the prep but can come a few hours before the shower to help set up. Don’t underestimate the need for Day of Volunteers. From my count I had nine Day of Helpers. There’s decor to be hung, flowers to be arranged, food to be prepped, plattered and displayed, photo booths to be set up, furniture to be moved…

2) Make a Pinterest Mood Board

My army was amazing about handling all the details so all I really had to do was show up the day of the shower. But the one thing I did before tapping out was put together a mood board of what I wanted and shared it with my tribe. This helped them make color & style choices that fit the aesthetic I liked. Here’s the mood board I put together:

3) Get Organized

Hopefully you’ll have an organized Ring Leader like I did to oversee all details. We set the budget, discussed food I for sure wanted, and any must have decor items. After that, she started an excel tracker to track all expenses and started a shared doc to-do list and assigned to my small but mighty army of helpers. Costs can add up so quickly so it will make a huge difference in your bottom line to try to anticipate exactly what you will need ahead of time and price things out.

Example of what our spreadsheet budget looked like

Once you have an estimated budget, see what you can widdle down.

  • I loved the tassel banners on Etsy but a friend was able to DIY them to save costs.
  • I liked having a uniform pattern for all signs, a mutual friend who is a graphic designer gave us a print for a small price and Kim learned how to do the gold looking font in photoshop from a coworker.
  • Decor can add up – I already had several cake stands, platters and decor items at my house that we used for the shower. This probably saved us hundreds of dollars that would have been spent at Target.
  • Flowers – Instead of using a florist, a friend bought flowers day of at Whole Foods. They were beautiful and lasted for 2 weeks afterwards!
  • Photo Booth – I really wanted a fun Photo Booth area. A friend with a hobby for photography hung a white sheet and helped decorate the area.  The cute signs were from etsy, only $14.99 and we were able to change the color to match my color scheme. Everyone had their own cell phones to take the photo – no need to use a vendor.

4) Price Compare

I went to Costco and Party City and took a TON of photos, what they had and how much – decorations, platters, server wear and food. I then uploaded it to a shared google folder that I shared with all my sweet helpers. There were huge price differences – tablecloths ranged from $4 to $25 per store, juice was way cheaper at Costco than the grocery store, Costco also had macaroons for a significantly cheaper price than the local bakery. We also used amazon and etsy. By having the items uploaded on the shared drive everyone could easily see where were the best places to purchase what and which stores carried what items – it was less running around town for the whole team.

5) Location, Food & Timing

We initially looked into renting out a restaurant event room but a lot of places have a minimum you need to spend and you need to use their food/catering. After getting a few quotes it was clear my whole budget would have went to food costs. I loved the backyard setting because we could decorate it how we wanted and there was no location fee. For the food, we had sandwiches catered, but other than that everything was bought and made ahead of time by my helpers. It helped us save hundreds of dollars.

We also had the shower strategically from 2-5pm. Meaning we didn’t have to provide a full on meal, just some tasty snacks and desserts. This also significantly help with the food costs.

6) The one thing to NOT skimp on – a photographer! I am so glad I paid to have a photographer at the shower. I wanted one after remembering how crazy my wedding day was – you spend all this time on details and then get barely any time, if any, to soak it up and enjoy it day of. So I wanted to make sure I had high quality photos of the setting and the day to look back and remember. I had the photographer come about 15 minutes before the shower started so she could get some photos of the setting and decor before people got there. It was also important to me to get some group shots with friends and family as so many were traveling from out of town and we are rarely all together. It also meant I wasn’t stressed about capturing moments so I left my phone in the house the whole time and just spent the afternoon actively engaged in conversation with loved ones and not getting distracted with my phone or social media. It was so nice to just be present.

If you want to see all the photos from our special day check out my facebook album here.

Let me know if you find these tips helpful and what you did to keep costs down for your shower in the comments below. I’d also love to see photos of your special day!



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