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Highlights from a Budget Savvy Shower

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Laura P

Readers, this week I want to share some of the frickin’ awesome details from the co-ed wedding shower my mom (aka the sole member of my wedding party) threw for me and Tim this past weekend. It feels like wedding showers, in general, have gotten increasingly bigger and more expensive to keep pace with weddings, and have really morphed into their own event.  It’s been years since I was invited to a wedding shower that just took place in someone’s home. Many showers now take place at their own venues, with buffet lunches, drinks, favors, themes, and big prize giveaways. This can make sense for bigger weddings with 50-person showers, but Tim and I wanted something small and simple. Big productions makes us sweat, and Tim sweats enough as it is (because you wanted to know that).

As I wrote in a previous post, our families are geographically all over the place. Most of my family is in Scranton, PA and Tim’s is in Nebraska, Colorado, and a few other spots, while Tim and I are in Pittsburgh. To make sure we could include everyone in our celebrations, we are holding one event in Scranton (our shower), one in Pittsburgh (our wedding), and one in Omaha (a post-wedding reception for Tim’s family).

I love, love, love how our shower in Scranton turned out. A friend (the same magically talented friend who took our engagement photos) created a beautiful flower and bee-themed invitation for us, and my mom had the invitations printed at Staples, so they were very inexpensive. My mom pulled the bright yellows, oranges, and greens from the invitation to create a beautiful space. We were fortunate to be able to use a room in our church for no charge, which included tables and chairs, lace tablecloths, and access to the kitchen. My mom made all the food ahead of time and reheated it in slow cookers the day of. We had a tasty spread of meatballs, pulled pork, fresh rolls, and tons of dips, cheese, crackers, and other snacks. Two of my friends made chocolate cake, banana cookies, and lemon squares.

Centerpieces: For centerpieces, my mom used mason jars she already had and added a burlap and lace wrap and decorative flower, then filled them with a mix of grocery store bouquets and wildflowers from home, including queen anne’s lace. To be able to arrange the flowers in the wide-mouthed jar, she used mason jar “frogs,” which are inexpensive and let you arrange each stem into its own spot. You can buy them from any craft store or Amazon, or learn how to make them here.

Budget Savvy Shower

Favors: My mom created a unique, decorative favor for guests to take home. She took an inexpensive miniature glass flowerpot (or votive candleholder),  filled the base with a bit of moss (available at any craft store), and inserted a mix of dried and artificial flowers.

Budget Savvy Shower

She stamped “thank you” onto the back of a cute bee tag (printable here, from this site). She used the same bee tags as seat markers tucked into forks, with each person’s name written on them.

Budget Savvy Shower
Place card tags and back of thank-you tags

Games: Shower games make me anxious, but Tim suggested a game that required no participation from the guests–they could just sit back with a drink and watch us make fools of ourselves (much more our style). We played the shoe game, which was actually a lot of fun, and let my family and friends get to know Tim a little better. Our friend CC served as MC–she asked a series of questions, and our guests got to see the answers that Tim and I gave, but Tim and I couldn’t see each other’s answers (sort of a variation on the Newlywed Game). The game can be played at a shower or wedding receptions–see some sample questions here.

Budget Savvy Shower

My mom also included a recipe card for guests to fill out and return at the shower, so now we have a stack of everyone’s favorite recipes. I loved that our shower was filled with so many personal touches, and was intimate enough that we could spend time with everyone.


Laura P

is a bride blogger who got married in 2014, in gorgeous Riverview Park in Pittsburgh. You can read her wedding planning posts here.