As the maid of honor, planning a bridal shower tea party for my sister was both an honor and a challenge. I wanted to create a special and memorable day for my sister, but I also wanted to keep costs down. With a little creativity and some careful planning, I was able to plan a beautiful bridal shower tea party on a budget. Here’s how you can do it too!
- What is a Bridal Shower Tea Party?
- How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Bridal Shower Tea Party
- Do You Bring a Gift to a Bridal Tea Party?
What is a Bridal Shower Tea Party?
A bridal shower tea party is a fun and elegant way to celebrate the bride-to-be with family and friends. Typically held in the afternoon, a bridal shower tea party features tea, finger sandwiches, and desserts. Guests are invited to dress up, and the atmosphere is typically sophisticated and chic.
How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Bridal Shower Tea Party
Find out who is contributing to the shower
- Budget is a sensitive but necessary topic. While you may want to celebrate and shower the bride with gifts and make her shower the most Pinterest worthy event ever, but everyone has different abilities to contribute and that’s totally okay.
- This applies not only to budget, but also to time. Is it just you? The bridal party? Mother of the Bride? Mother of the Groom?
- Some people may not be able to help contribute monetarily, but could totally help with the event itself (cooking, helping decorate, etc.), which may result in budget savings for you!
Choose a theme
- Think of the bride and what she likes. Do you think she wants a classic tea party? Something Barbie pink? Bridgerton themed? This is a fun way to tailor it to the bride and make her feel so special.
- ou can always create a mood board and then present your ideas to the bride and have her pick. I knew my sister wanted high tea and had a good idea of what decor she’d pick, but I still ran three mood boards by her just in case. I made a tiktok about it here.
- DIY decorations such as tea cups and flowers can add a personal touch!
Find a venue
- A tea-themed bridal shower can be held at a variety of venues, including a park, a backyard, or a community center. We held my sister’s bridal shower tea party at a friend’s house to help keep costs down.
- Don’t forget to consider who will be coming though. You want to make sure that your venue can comfortably accommodate the guest list!
- DIY decorations such as tea cups and flowers can add a personal touch!
Create a guest list and send out invitations
- Consider inviting only close family and friends to keep the guest list small and intimate (less people = less costs)
- I chose to design an invitation on Canva and print it through them and saved a lot! You can also print through Costco or Staples.
- You can also use online invitation services to save even more money on printing and postage.
DIY your decorations
- Decorations make things feel festive, but it also adds up really quickly. That’s why when thinking of how to plan a bridal shower on a budget DIYing your decor is probably key. It’s also arguably not necessary, so if you’re looking for a category to slash, this might be it.
- If you love flowers (like my sister does), try to DIY your centerpieces instead of getting pre-made bouquets from a florist to help you save. I watched a few videos on youtube, and then went to trader joes the day before to try and make my own arrangements and they turned out beautifully!
- Flowers are also expensive, so you could use less of them and decorate with other things. I printed out a few photos of the couple (8″x12″ and 4″x6″) and put them in frames that I already had and used those as decor. I definitely recommend this as it made the shower feel personal, I only had to purchase photos, and it was useful because I got to keep using my frames afterwards and the bride got to take home some nice photos. If the bride has already printed out any photos from her engagement session, you could also ask to borrow those for the shower!
- You could also do a balloon installation as use it as a cute photo backdrop for the bride and her guests.
Plan the activities
- Tea and desserts are a must-have (see planning out your menu section below), but you can also incorporate games or a craft activity to keep guests entertained.
- You can DIY activities! I DIYed the games for us in order to keep it budget friendly. To do this, I designed a few games on Canva and printed them at home. Then I brought pens I already owned to the shower and bam! Done.
- Here are the games I chose to include:
- Find the Guest – I created a list of descriptors of the guests and how they knew the bride. Then everyone had to find as many people as they could in 5 minutes. It was a great icebreaker!
- Guess the Dress – this was a low key activity that I had out at tables for people to sketch the dress during any downtime.
- How old were they? – I got childhood photos of both the bride and groom and had everyone guess how old they were in each photo.
- How well do you know the bride? – This was a fun game with surprising results! I made a list of questions from “what is her full name?” to “what does she think is her best feature?” to “what’s her shoe size?” and everyone answered.
- You can also buy some games off of etsy (just search “bridal shower games” and a TON pop up).
Pick out your menu
- Since you already know you’re having a tea party, this is a bit easier!
- You can always cater or you can cook/prep a lot of the food before and serve, or do a mixture of both! Cooking yourself is usually the most budget friendly. I ended up recruiting some family members to help make scones and food so we only had to pay for groceries.
- Good ideas for a bridal shower tea party include: tea (obviously), scones, tea sandwiches, chocolate covered strawberries, and little finger foods!
Decide on favors
- Favors are totally not necessary. However, they are kind of fun. If you’re looking to save, I’d slash this. But if you want favors, try DIYing these! I made a video on DIYing some bath bombs here.
- Other simple and budget-friendly favor options include tea bags or small candles.
Tips to keep costs down
- Plan the shower tea party in the afternoon to avoid having to provide a full meal.
- Serve only a few types of tea and keep the menu simple.
- Use paper or plastic dishware to save money on rentals and cleaning fees.
- Try to start as early as you can so you can swoop some deals and not feel stressed about it!
Do You Bring a Gift to a Bridal Tea Party?
Yes, guests should bring a gift to a bridal tea party. Gifts can range from small, thoughtful items to larger, more extravagant gifts. It’s important to follow the bride’s registry or ask her directly for gift ideas.
In conclusion, planning a budget-friendly bridal shower tea party can be a fun and creative process. With a little bit of planning, you can create a beautiful and memorable event that the bride-to-be and her guests will love. Just remember to keep costs down and have fun with the planning process! If you want even more in-depth information on how to keep costs down, I wrote another post on how to plan a bridal shower on a budget!
I hope this helps you plan your bridal shower tea! If it helped or you have any other tips and tricks, please leave a comment below.
You’ve got this!