Planning a party or event and need to save money?

When you are planning an event, no matter how big or small, there is always a budget. Usually that budget gets pushed to the max and either some ideas or items have to get cut or someone has to pony up some more money. More often than not, the answer is to cut something out.

However, you can be creative and do double duty! There’s no rule that says one item can’t double as a favor and a place card setting. Recently I was helping a friend come up with ideas for a bridal shower that she has to throw. Since she hasn’t had much experience with doing this (and I feel like I have been in a million weddings), I helped her out with some ideas. The budget is small, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t throw a shower to remember!

One of the ideas that I had was to do a cupcake bar. Originally this was one of my ideas for my sister’s shower, but that got nixed. Baking cupcakes ahead of time is inexpensive and can make sure that all the bridesmaids are included. I then suggested that it be a make your own toppings bar, like an ice cream bar but with cupcakes! Who doesn’t love a cupcake?

But, how would this pull a double duty? My suggestions were to make this the favor by having little cupcake boxes (the Cricut makes adorable cupcake holders from the cartridge Sweet Treats) and have little flags with the bride’s name and shower date on them.

Another idea was to make the cupcakes the centerpiece. You can buy cupcakes and have them decorated at a bakery or do them yourself. A baby shower I was at had pictures of the mother and father as babies printed out on to paper and then placed on popsicle sticks and inserted into the cupcakes. This was the dessert and a cute centerpiece for the table! For a wedding shower, you can have pictures of the bride at different ages, the bride and groom throughout their relationship or maybe tying in something with the table name, say if the bride was an avid tennis player, have pictures of her throughout her tennis career at one table.

A third idea for the cupcakes is to make it into a game. Bridal showers usually give away some little prizes to break up the monotony of the shower. For my sister’s, we played the BRIDE game where people had to dig through their purses to find something that began with each letter of the word BRIDE. With the cupcakes, you can do a contest to see who decorated their cupcake the silliest or who used the most sprinkles or MnMs. Have a couple of inexpensive prizes to give out to guests and make sure that you have one or two extra in case of a tie!

Hope some of these ideas help when it comes to planning a party. Remember, be creative and you can find other things that can play a dual role. It’s not about being cheap, it’s about being efficient! If you have any suggestions, comments or want more tips, please leave me a comment.


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