New Jersey

Shower on a Budget in Northern New Jersey?

Any ideas for a venue in Northern New Jersey that is relatively inexpensive to host a bridal shower? There are 5 bridesmaids, we're all students with low income, probably can only spend $100 dollars each so $500 dollar shower including invitations, favors, and the food. None of us have houses that can accomodate catering.

The bride gave us a list of about 60 people to invite, and it will probably be about 40 coming. We want to have it on a Sunday and maybe do brunch if it's cheaper?
Our options are: have it at an inexpensive restaurant, or rent a hall and have it catered.
If there is any way to get the cost down to $10-12 per guest let me know!

Any ideas welcome! Specifically close to the Livingston/East Hanover/West Orange area.

Re: Shower on a Budget in Northern New Jersey?

  • kpolitikpoliti member
    First Comment
    edited May 2012
    Any ideas for a venue in Northern New Jersey that is relatively inexpensive to host a bridal shower? There are 5 bridesmaids, we're all students with low income, probably can only spend $100 dollars each so $500 dollar shower including invitations, favors, and the food. None of us have houses that can accomodate catering.

    The bride gave us a list of about 60 people to invite, and it will probably be about 40 coming. We want to have it on a Sunday and maybe do brunch if it's cheaper?
    Our options are: have it at an inexpensive restaurant, or rent a hall and have it catered.
    If there is any way to get the cost down to $10-12 per guest let me know!

    Any ideas welcome! Specifically close to the Livingston/East Hanover/West Orange area.
  • HobokensFuryHobokensFury member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited May 2012
    Come over to the Jersey board.  The guys and girls over there are extremely helpful.
     
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  • AdeleDazeemAdeleDazeem member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited May 2012
    You guys have a budget of $500.  You decide how many people you can comfortably host and then YOU set the guest list.  It's great that the bride wants 40 people there... but she's not shelling out the money for the party so she doesn't really get much say over the size.  The hosts - the bridesmaids, in this case - get the final say.

    Showers don't need to be elaborate catered affairs.  It's perfectly acceptable to have a shower at someone's home with tea and sandwiches.  I'd choose between having the 40 people she wants and thinking less grand OR having a smaller affair and at more upscale venue.
  • Can the mother or family of the bride chip in? I dont think it is soley the bridesmaids responsibility to throw the bride a shower.

    Anyway, I have been to a  nice low budget shower (baby but whats the difference) in a church basement. Her mother bought sandwich, veggie and salad platters at Costco. They served coffee, tea, water and soda. It started at noon and the clean up was minimal. I never remember the favors from showers so dont go crazy. You can find bulk candles online cheap. 

    I personally think 40 people is overboard! I would try to cut that down to 20-30 max.
    I have already told my MOTHER and two maids to keep it small and simple. 

    Good luck! 
  • mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    My shower was in a church basement. You should be able to rent one even if you're not a church member. Also try a VFW, women's club, community centers, etc.

    Food: to keep it really simple, host a 2-3 hour party in the middle of the afternoon and serve cake, a fruit platter, coffee and soda. Maybe a few bottles of inexpensive champagne or wine. That'll keep it short and inexpensive.

    If you would rather do a meal-type shower, pasta is cheap and easy, and if you do something like baked ziti or lasagna it can be made and frozen in advance. Bread and bagged salads can flesh out the meal. The location for my shower had a kitchen in the next room, but if that's not available to you then you could ask the other bridesmaids to bring crockpots full of heavy appetizers (meatballs, hot dips, pulled pork). Or do cold stuff like sandwiches (or platters of deli meat and cheeses and a basket of rolls so people can make their own). Or keep it really casual and order pizzas.

    For invites, you could probably pick up an inexpensive kit from a craft store or Target and print them yourselves. If someone can whip up a nice design on her computer, then print them at home on cardstock or order something through Vistaprint.

    Favors aren't necessary. But if you want them, just do little bags of inexpensive candy, or maybe someone can bake cookies. I recently made sugar cookies for a friend's shower ... found a recipe online, bought a heart-shaped cookie cutter from, decorated them with swirly designs or the couple's initials with a bottle of Wilton cookie decorating icing, then just put them in sandwich baggies and tied them shut with ribbon. Cost me less than $10.

    If you want to do games, the favors can be a box of candy, an inexpensive bottle of wine, or a $5-10 gift card to something like Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks or iTunes.

    Decorations: print out photos of the couple (you should be able to get 100 for free if you sign up for a new account on Shutterfly), put them in picture frames (dollar store, thrift store or ask each BM to grab a few from her house), or get a big vase full of branches and hang the photos from ribbon.

    Here's a cool shower that the blogger did on a small budget: http://decoratingobsessed.blogspot.com/2011/03/mate-check-couples-shower.html
    image
  • dalm0mdalm0m member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    Do any of your parents belong to groups that have a hall -- Elks, VFW, American Legion, Fire Dept. Etc.?  Book those places.  Then make food.  You can do that very cheaply -- pasta etc.  for probably about $100 for 60 people.  Make a champagne punch & maybe have some wine, soda & water.  If you DIY the invites you are only looking at at < $30 in stamps. 
  • mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    Forgot you said you're near EHanover/WO/Livingston:

    Would you want to do Mexican food? Tinga's in Montclair has yummy food and good service, and it's BYOB. They also have an on-site party room. Their catering menu has a bunch of options for under $15pp: http://www.tingausa.com/tingapharm.htm

    Even if you just get something catered from a restaurant, supermarket or pizza place, you can flesh out the menu with homemade stuff. Get the entree(s) catered and then divvy up the appetizers, sides, desserts and drinks between the bridesmaids.

    I've thrown a few house parties with lots of food with about $200 worth of groceries and liquor. Here are some details (click links) about my housewarming party and my Christmas party.

    image
  • RMMJSRMMJS member
    100 Comments First Anniversary
    If you have  Dollar Tree by you, they have great cards/invitations.  You can get a set of cute cards (8-10 per pack) for a dollar and just fill them in the old fashioned way.  They also have a big section of party supplies too!
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