The average baby shower cost is between a couple of hundred dollars and a thousand dollars, depending on how many guests you have, the food you buy, and your venue.
Baby showers are a special part of the journey to becoming a parent, but it’s also an honor to host the event for the mom-to-be.
However, if you’ve decided to throw a baby shower, you don’t want to break the bank over the event. So while you want to ensure the baby shower is memorable, there are several ways to cut expenses to avoid taking out a second mortgage.
I fondly remember my baby showers, and I am forever grateful for my time with friends and family. However, I wouldn’t want anyone in debt because they threw me a lavish shower.
When I think back to my baby showers, I don’t necessarily remember the food served, the decorations, or how fancy the cake was. Instead, I remember who was there, and the time I had with each guest.
Before I dive into tips on saving money, let’s look at the typical costs you’ll encounter when planning a baby shower.
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The Typical Costs Associated with a Baby Shower
You usually associate specific costs with a baby shower, so it’s a good idea to have an overall picture of how much you’ll spend. So, for example, giving yourself a baby shower budget will help minimize unnecessary costs and ensure you don’t break the bank.
I’m a planner, so I appreciate understanding what is required to throw a baby shower. If you’ve ever been to a baby shower, you know the extensive work the host puts into it, which includes planning every aspect beforehand. Here are the top costs you should consider when planning a baby shower.
1. Food and Beverages
Even if you don’t plan on serving the main course like lunch or dinner, you should have appetizers for guests to snack on, especially the mom-to-be. One of the easiest paths to choose is small sandwiches, which are easy to grab, and you can get them at your local grocery store.
You also want to pick up cheese and crackers, fruit, cookies, finger food, chips, veggies, and other snacks that are easy to eat. Don’t forget to factor in beverages, but there is no need to go extravagant as this is a baby shower, not a bachelorette party.
The average cost of food per person is $10-$15, depending on how much you make at home versus what you buy pre-made at a store. That said, you’ll likely spend at least $200 – $300 on food, depending on how many guests you have.
2. Venue/Location of Baby Shower
If you host the baby shower at home, you can skip over this cost; however, if you don’t have the space, you’re likely looking at local venues to hold the shower. The price of venue rentals can vary significantly depending on where you live and the venue you choose. Here’s an average cost of popular venues you’ll likely find.
- Neighborhood Country Club/Community Room: $50-$100
- Local Park or Pavilion: $50
- Hotel Banquet Room: $200-$300
- Church: Free (Although you might want to consider a donation to the Church)
Remember, these costs are only for the space, not food, decorations, etc. So, if you go the venue route, this will be the base of your budget.
Having the baby shower catered undoubtedly makes your life easier. You don’t have to worry about cooking various foods; usually, catering companies bring the food to you and likely have the option to have someone stay and help serve the food.
However, you should consider how much you want to spend on food because catering will cost more than making it at home or buying it pre-packaged at the grocery store.
If you decide to cater, you’re likely looking at about $15-$25 per person, depending on the company. So if you have twenty people on your guest list, you’ll pay at least $300 for food alone.
4. Decorations and Party Games
It’s nice to decorate for a baby shower, and it helps further excite everyone about the new baby. You can buy pre-made decorations or get creative and make your own. Along the same line as decorations are party games, which get mixed reviews from partygoers.
How much you spend on decorations and baby shower games depends on how elaborate you get. In addition, you usually get prizes for games, so you want to calculate that into your expenses. However, you probably won’t spend more than $50 on both the games and prizes.
Also, you should be able to limit the cost of decorations to $50, as you aren’t decorating for Christmas and don’t need to put things throughout your home. A fun decoration that also is a gift is a diaper cake, which is always a hit with the mom-to-be.
When I threw a baby shower for my sister-in-law, we hung a string across the wall and clipped baby clothes to clothespins. It was an adorable decoration but also a gift for her to take home.
Since guests need to know about the baby shower, you must get invitations. The price of invitations will vary dramatically depending on whether you have them made at a print shop, make them at home, or buy a package of invitations and fill in the appropriate information.
Ensure you add the baby registry information to the invitations, so the mom-to-be gets the baby shower gifts she wants, not the ones guests think she needs.
If you buy invitations at a print shop, each invitation will cost a few dollars, which means for a party of twenty people, it will cost you at least $40 – $60. Another option is printing invitations through a site like Snapfish or Shutterfly. You can usually find coupons online, and they also have the option to address the invitations and send them directly from the site.
However, you can find templates at home and print invitations and only pay for postage. In addition, you can run to Target and get a package of invitations and only need to fill in specifics about the baby shower. You’ll probably spend less than $20 if you go this route.
Bottom Line: If you add everything up, you’re looking at an average cost of about $400-$600, but the price can vary substantially based on how many guests you have, where you host the baby shower, and where you buy the food.
Here’s a brief overview breaking down the average costs you’ll pay:
Food: $200 – $300
Venue: $0 – $300
Party Games and Prizes: $50
Invitations: $20 – $60
Figuring Out Who to Invite to The Baby Shower
It can be tricky deciding on who to invite to the baby shower. However, depending on your relationship with the guest of honor, you can narrow down your guest list.
For example, if you are best friends with the mother-to-be, you’ll likely invite other close friends to the baby shower, but you should also consider inviting future grandmothers as a kind gesture.
However, if you are a family member like a sister, you want to ensure you invite cousins, aunts, and other close family members. So while the baby shower is a celebration of the mother-to-be, you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by leaving them out.
When in doubt, you should ask the guest of honor who they want at the baby shower, but don’t be afraid to give them an ideal headcount, so they know how many people to include.
Who Typically Pays For The Baby Shower?
The hostess should pay for the baby shower, and if you are co-hosting, you should divide the costs to ensure all co-hosts pay equal amounts. However, asking others for money isn’t always the most straightforward task, so you can ask for specific items from a co-host to ensure there is no debate over monetary costs.
If you decide to hold the shower at home, fellow co-hosts can do it potluck style, and each makes a few dishes for the party. This will also help everyone save money in the food category since you split up food duties.
6 Tips to Save Money on a Baby Shower You’re Hosting
If you are throwing a baby shower, it means you have a deep relationship with the expecting parents. So while you want to give them a memorable experience, you also want to end the celebration with an unscathed bank account.
So, I put together six tips to save money on a baby shower so you remember the event for the fantastic memories and not the dent it placed on your wallet due to excessive expenses.
1. Send Out Digital Invites
Printed invitations are undoubtedly beautiful; however, they also come with a higher price tag. Instead, consider sending out digital invites to cut costs, especially if the guest list is younger. You’ll also save money on postage, which can add up if you have a lengthy guest list.
However, you may pick up pre-made baby shower invitations if only some people invited have an email address. You will need to consider family members or relatives in the older generation who aren’t as tech-savvy.
In addition, most sites that send out invitations allow guests to upload photos after the event, which is a great way to share photos.
2. Make DIY Decorations and Games
Don’t hesitate to channel your inner DIY and search baby shower Pinterest boards for inspiration. I can guarantee the guests don’t show up to the shower and rate your decor. The dollar store is great for supplies like balloons, a banner, and streamers, allowing you to create incredible decorations without a high price tag.
In addition, you can print games online to reduce the cost of purchasing them. Also, don’t feel the need to get extravagant prizes because it’s not necessary. You can pick up a few pretty candles and call it a day. I’ve never met anyone who goes to a baby shower because they want to win at the games.
3. Host The Baby Shower at Home
One of the easiest ways to save money is to host the baby shower at home instead of a venue or restaurant. For example, a venue will likely charge you a flat rate to host the party, and you’ll be limited to a certain amount of time. In addition, while a restaurant might not have an extra fee, you will pay more between food, drinks, and tipping to the servers.
I also prefer hosting a baby shower at home because it allows guests to interact more and move around the room instead of being stuck in their seats at a restaurant. Usually, a baby shower brings together people who don’t usually see each other, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to catch up. A person’s home makes it easier to do so.
4. Make The Cake at Home
You don’t have to be a professional baker to make a delicious cake for the baby shower. However, if you’re determined to purchase a cake, you can find one at the grocery store for a reasonable price. While I love the fancy cakes at specialty shops, it’s hard to swallow the price tag.
You can purchase decorations for the cake online to fancy it up a bit, which will make it look like you spent a fortune on it. I remember going to a baby shower where the hostess didn’t want anyone to eat the cake because it seemed too pretty. I wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with it.
5. Limit The Guest List
The fewer people you have, the less money you’ll spend. The average cost of a baby shower is directly related to the number of guests you have. If you are unsure who should make the list, ask the expecting parents who they want to be invited.
As the hostess, you should ensure you include those closest to the guest of honor, but understand you don’t need to invite everyone they’ve ever met. I remember telling my mom if I wouldn’t recognize someone on the street, they didn’t need to be invited.
6. Skip The Party Favors
Personally, I don’t see the need for party favors at a baby shower. Guests are adults and likely don’t need something to bring home. However, if you are keen on giving a party favor as a gift, consider something sweet, like a dessert they can enjoy later.
In addition, if there will be children at the baby shower, you can provide party favors for them, not the grown-ups. Honestly, I’ve never been to a baby shower and left disappointed because I didn’t get anything.
Kelly is a mom of three who finds joy in writing about her parenting experiences and filling in others about the must-have products and the ones you can leave on the store shelf. With a bit of humor, Kelly tries to laugh off the messy side of parenting and, instead, focus on the beautiful moments it brings. Originally from South Florida, she now calls Northern Virginia home and looks forward to connecting with readers through The Place for Parents.