The bridal shower is a pre-wedding celebration held in honor of the bride and an opportunity for the guests to give gifts to the bride so she can prepare her new love nest. It is a daytime event in which the guests eat together and play different games, among other activities.
This type of feminine farewell is more relaxed and less extreme. It does not follow the rules of conventional bachelorette parties, which is why questions arise, such as who pays for the bridal shower and whether the bride has to chip in, among other questions.
Traditionally, the host pays for the bridal shower, but all close friends and relatives can chip in.
Continue reading to learn more about bridal shower costs and the different parties who can contribute towards its expenses.
How Much Does an Average Bridal Shower Cost?
The short answer is – it depends. For instance, how big do you want the shower to be? How many guests are you going to invite? Will you host the party at home or rent a venue?
Below are a few factors that affect the bridal shower cost:
- The location of the bridal shower party
- The size of the guest list
- The type of food to be served
- Details of decorations and entertainment
- Invitations (stamps, envelopes, packaging, shipping costs, etc.)
By calculating the number of guests, you can use the figure to gauge how much you’ll have to spend on essentials such as food. Depending on the budget, you’ll decide whether to go all out or focus on cost-effective but delicious meals.
Regarding location, here are location considerations that will affect your bridal shower cost:
- Bridal showers at the host home cost an average of $10-$15 per guest.
- For bridal showers at mid-range restaurants or party rooms, you can expect the costs to go slightly higher to around $15-$40 per guest.
- Bridal showers featuring fun and elaborate activities are the most expensive; the average price is around $40-$150 per person.
From the above analysis, hosting a bridal shower at the host’s home is cheaper than renting a hotel or holding the shower at a resort or party room.
Ultimately, it’s up to you as the host to decide on the budget you and other hosts are comfortable with and decide who’ll pay for what.
Should the maid of honor pay for the bridal shower?
When it comes to bridal showers, it’s the full responsibility of the maid of honor to cater for all the costs since she’s the host. But again, the maid of honor can ask the bridesmaids that make up the bridal party to assist her financially if she can’t cover the costs alone.
Some of the costs that the maid of honor can split with the rest of the bridal party include the cost of the entire decorations, games/activities, beverages, and food. That being said, there’s no harm in asking for bridal shower contributions from both the mothers of the soon-to-be bride and groom or any close family members.
Does the mother of the bride pay for the bridal shower?
The bride’s mother isn’t supposed to pay for bridal shower costs unless she willingly wants to help. Still, she’s not usually the bridal shower host.
Today, though, things seem to have changed, with most people throwing the old rules out of the window. In scenario where the bride’s mother is willing and financially capable of handling the bridal shower costs, she can go ahead and cover the costs.
Should the soon-to-be bride pay for the bridal shower?
The host(s) of a bridal shower should never be the soon-to-be missus, as it doesn’t make sense for her to throw a gift-giving event in her honor. In other words, the soon-to-be bride shouldn’t pay for any bridal shower costs.
The soon-to-be bride can always offer her home as the venue to spare her from dragging her bridal shower gifts from one place to another.
The only role that the soon-to-be missus can financially participate in the bridal shower is in terms of favors. Her share in the event will be finding the best options for favors that will be a small but meaningful token of appreciation for the love, care, and dedication that all of the guests have shown.
Therefore, it is best if the bridal shower is not a surprise event — mainly so that the bride can have sufficient time to get ready, choose a good dress, put on her makeup, and do her hair. Informing her prior will help draft the bridal shower guest list and avoid the risk of forgetting a special guest.
Are guests invited to a bridal shower supposed to cover their expenses?
As noted earlier, bridal shower etiquette dictates that whoever is throwing the shower is responsible for footing the bill for the event. Asking guests to assist to cover part of the costs is poor etiquette and may appear rude.
The guests you invite to the bridal shower understand that the main reason for attending such parties is to “shower” the soon-to-be bride with gifts, play bridal shower games, and ensure the soon-to-be missus experiences wonderful moments prior to her big day.
And since your guests will be bringing bridal shower gifts, asking them to contribute money towards the bridal shower costs doesn’t make sense.
5 Practical Tips to Reduce Bridal Shower Costs
- Choose an affordable bridal shower venue – one of the affordable options is the host’s or bride-to-be’s residence.
- To cut food expenses, opt for a tea party bridal shower. Alternatively, prepare your food instead of ordering it.
- To cut decor costs – shop balloons, light holders, signs, and other items from a local store. For flowers, get them at a florist nearby. You may DIY some of the items, especially if you have an eye for craft.
- Choose a cost-friendly bridal shower theme. It’s only reasonable to settle for a theme that will make the event successful without breaking the bank.
- To save on invitations, consider sending digital or print bridal shower invitations at home or a local print shop.
The Bottom Line
Every bride is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to matters revolving around bridal showers, especially on who’s supposed to pay for what. Traditionally, though, the one throwing the shower is supposed to cater for the entire bridal shower costs. But again, times have changed, and any willing person can pay the bridal shower costs.
Unlike a few years back, today, the rules are somewhat relaxed on who hosts the shower, who pays, and other bridal shower etiquette. Should you be the maid of honor, a good friend, or the bridesmaid, you can offer to host the bridal shower without taking care of the entire expenses.