This wedding shower is an oldie but a goodie. :) My dear friend Amanda tied the knot in 2013 and I wanted to throw a little party in her and her fiance's honor before the big day. In the past during my more reckless spending years, I have spent a ton of unnecessary money on entertaining. Over time, I have learned that the sweetest get-togethers don't have to cost a lot of money. Some of my favorite memories include entertaining family with cheap bottles of wine and Trader Joe's frozen pizza. In fact, the party I spent the most money on (complete with a hired bartender) was the most miserable soiree to date. I was trying to impress a bunch of people whom I shouldn't have been and it was just a mess. This wedding shower was different. It was simple; full of true friends and lots of laughter. I wanted to share with you lovely people some of my favorite parts of this event in hopes to inspire you to have sweet, budget-friendly parties with your loved ones.
This particular event was a very low-key couple's shower. The down-to-earth bride only wanted close friends so the guest list was small and intimate. The couple (especially the groom) are big fans of southern food - in particular good ol' Bojangles' biscuits. So this became the theme of our shower!
We bought a ton of Bojangle's biscuits: mostly chicken but some plain. We also laid out an assortment of jams to create a mini "biscuit bar". Some more traditional hostesses may turn up their noses at the thought of serving (gasp) fast food at a shower, but the guests LOVED it, I didn't have to worry about not burning those darned mini quiches (that no one really likes anyways) and I was actually able to enjoy the party myself instead of being stuck in the kitchen. This is also a very economical option for a filling meal for a shower.
To accompany the biscuits, we served fruit salad and potato chips. I thought chips in a bowl are kind of boring (and reminiscent of a super bowl party) so I shortened some paper bags I had on hand and threw in coordinating sheets of tissue paper (also on hand) to dress up this otherwise blah side item. As a bonus, it also made serving a breeze since people could just grab a bag and throw it on their plate.
I think this DIY "naked cake" took... well, the cake at the shower. :) It was SO easy to make, ridiculously cheap, and quite impressive-looking if I do say so myself. I am by no means a good cook and a far worse baker, so when I make a sweet treat, you better believe it is going to come from a box. For this layered cake, I used two boxes of white cake mix and two cans of white frosting. I made four 9" round cakes, flattened the tops after they had cooled, and then dyed the pre-made frosting in shades of pink to create an ombre effect. The beautiful flowers on top were borrowed from a neighbor's camellia bush. All in all - this cake cost less then $5. A trick I learned to make a box cake taste more like it came from a bakery? Make the cake the night before and let it sit covered in the fridge overnight. It gets extra moist and I swear your friends will never know the difference. :)
The favors were also really fun to put together. For the ladies, I purchased some adorable gift bags from Etsy (sadly no longer available) and filled them up with inexpensive nail polish, a nail file, and good chocolate. Don't ever skimp on chocolate. :) Since I figured the men-folk wouldn't care as much about the packaging, I brought back out my handy paper bags, some twine I had stashed away, free chalkboard printables, and filled them up with guy-approved items: whisky, coke, and beef jerky.
For the decor, my motto is always "less is more," so I used a lot of things I already had on hand to create simple pieces. More camellias from my generous neighbor placed in an empty diffuser bottle from Target became the centerpiece outside. I cut up a clearance Christmas tinsel garland and attached to shish kabob sticks for drink stirrers. I used some leftover yardage of yellow chevron fabric as a table runner. A big gallon of Bojangles sweet tea become 100 times more elegant in a glass pitcher with lemon slices. Extra name tags from my sister's wedding were used as food labels. Pink doilies from my wedding dressed up the cutlery. I think a lot of people panic and buy a bunch of things for a party, but if you take some time to hunt around your house and get creative, you probably don't need to buy as many things as you think.
My gift to the couple were these cornhole boards. I bought them primed from a seller on Craigslist, and then painted the bride and groom's monogram on each board. The great thing about this gift is that we broke it in at the shower (instant entertainment) and then my sweet friends used them again at their actual wedding reception.
On food, favors, decor, and gifts, I don't think I spent more than $200 on everything. It was such a sweet little party; one that I will always cherish and I hope the guests will remember too. I would love to hear from you - any entertaining on a budget tips?