Who Pays for the Bridal Shower? Everything You Need to Know 

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By Audrey

There are a lot of questions to be answered about bridal shower etiquette before you can even start planning this pre-wedding event. By far, the most often asked question is who pays for the bridal shower. What, specifically, are they paying for? And, maybe most crucially, how much will it cost?

In this article from Viva Wedding Photography, we are going to answer these questions and present a detailed review of each and every price that you are expected to be responsible for. As a special bonus, we also share with you some of the best budgeting tips for substantial money savings.

Who pays for the bridal shower traditionally?

The simple answer is that whoever is in charge of throwing the bridal shower is also responsible for paying for it. Traditionally, this responsibility falls on the bridal party, led by the maid of honor and supported by her fellow bridesmaids. However, this payment rule is not always the case. Friends or close family members of the bride (such as a grandmother or aunt) can also throw and pay for bridal showers.

In the past, it was considered inappropriate for the bride’s mother or future mother-in-law to host the shower (it was perceived as a blatant gift request). Nonetheless, this bridal shower payment etiquette is no longer a taboo in today’s society.

Who pays for the bridal shower? answer
The maid of honor is the person who typically pays for the bridal shower – Photo by: Brides

Therefore, etiquette about who pays for the bridal shower is not set in stone. Anyone can contribute or pay for the bridal shower, including family members, bridesmaids, or even the couple themselves. But, according to custom, the bride and groom are not expected to pay for or worry about this celebration since their primary focus should be on the wedding preparations.

Bridal shower payment etiquette also notes that if multiple people are planning the bridal shower, the maid or matron of honors should coordinate the event and ensure that everyone is included so that no one feels left out.

How much does a bridal shower cost?

To be honest, providing a definitive answer to this question is quite challenging, as the number depends on a wide range of factors.

Someone who needs to rent a venue space, for instance, will surely spend considerably more than someone who holds the event at home. Additionally, the costs associated with throwing a more intimate and low-key shower will be lower than those of a larger party.

Who typically pays for a bridal shower
The average cost for a bridal shower is not a concrete number – Photo by: Maman

Based on personal experience, we can tell you that we have spent more than $500 on hosting a bridal shower, but that we have also spent as little as $50 (not including the cost of gifts) on such an event. This is not a fixed amount you should anticipate spending; rather, it is merely an example of how diverse budgets might be.

Generally, it is up to you to decide on a total budget that both you and the other hosts are comfortable spending. Once you nail the overall spending down, the next step is to identify what you’ll need to spend it on.

Bridal shower budget breakdown


bridal shower payment etiquette
The first thing to consider when deciding the average cost of a bridal shower – Photo by: Lisa VanHorton

There will be no need to spend money on a venue for those who are able to use either their own or someone else’s house. If you do not have access to this luxury, you will need to consider the expense of renting out a restaurant or event location. When choosing the second option, be sure to factor in the amount of tax and tip.


Who pays for the bridal shower invitations
Invitations are a significant expenditure in the average cost of a bridal shower – Photo by: Etsy

Bridal shower invitations are not cheap. As the person who typically pays for a bridal shower, you might want to make sure you get the best bang for your buck. That means you should shop around and compare prices before you buy. And don’t forget to factor in the cost of packaging (envelopes and stamps) as well as shipping when sending out physical invitations. You absolutely don’t want to end up spending more on postage than on the actual invitations.

Food and Drinks

How much does a bridal shower cost
Food and drink is a category that you shouldn’t overspend on – Photo by: Discover

The expenses associated with providing food and drinks to your bridal shower guests will certainly take up the lion’s share of the average cost. Depending on the total number of guests, this cost has the potential to become rather significant.


Average cost for a bridal shower
Decorations take up a portion of the average cost of a bridal shower – Photo by: The Budget Savvy Bride

If you are not careful, this additional expense for the bridal shower could end up costing more than you had initially budgeted for. A wide variety of options are available for you to open your wallet, from centerpieces and table arrangements to banners and balloons.

Games and Prizes

Who pays for the bridal shower games and prizes
The average cost for a bridal shower when having games – Photo by: Harper’s BAZAAR

Games at a bridal shower aren’t must-have activities, but they’re a great way to get people mingling and having fun. Fortunately, they’re also not too expensive to buy. While it is not required to award prizes to game winners, it is considered a nice gesture to do so. In general, this expense might not cost the person who pays for the bridal shower an arm and a leg.


average cost for a bridal shower favor
An optional cost for the person who pays for the bridal shower – Photo by: Amazon

The presents for guests are the last but not least of most bridal showers. You have complete control over this expenditure, which means you may make it as high or as low as you are comfortable with. If you have your eye on something that is beyond your budget range, you may want to discuss the possibility of splitting the cost with other bridesmaids.

Tips to save money on a bridal shower

1. Know your bride’s preference.

If you are the person who pays for the bridal shower, chances are you know the bride quite well. Nevertheless, it is essential for you to be sure of how she wants her special day to look and feel.

 who typically pays for a bridal shower: saving tips
Consult with the bride before setting the average cost for a bridal shower – Photo by: Lulus

Some expenses and activities connected with traditional bridal shower payment etiquette may not be applicable depending on the guest of honor’s style and personality.

She may not want to invite a lot of people, or she’d rather skip the games. Or, she may choose to simply have a meal with her closest female friends at their favorite restaurant or perhaps have a picnic in the park instead of a traditional bridal shower. Depending on how well you understand the bride’s interests, you will be able to throw a shower that is comfortable for your budget.

2. Don’t overthink expectations.

Planning a special event like a bridal shower can be stressful. You might think you need to impress your guests with fancy things like a chocolate fountain or an Instagram photo backdrop. But as the person who typically pays for a bridal shower, you still have a bunch of other categories to spend money on. Don’t let these unnecessary expenses blow your budget just because you believe that’s what bridal shower guests expect.

Saving tips for the person who pays for the bridal shower
Budgeting tip to throw a budget-friendly bridal shower: Focus on a meaningful shower – Photo by: Martha Stewart

Keep in mind that the majority of guests attend an event with quite straightforward desires: to be fed and, hopefully, to have some drinks. Start by satisfying those fundamental requirements, and then, if there is money left over in the budget, you may add on the other fun stuff.

The bridal shower is not an occasion to show off or compete. Focusing on providing the bride and her guests with a memorable and meaningful experience is the best way to follow bridal shower payment etiquette.

3. Go for reasonable flowers.

Floral centerpieces are a lovely addition to every celebration, but be aware of the vast price range of flowers before making an order. It’s necessary to distinguish the difference between dahlias and carnations, for instance, since they seem very similar but are sold at different prices.

How much does a bridal shower cost? saving tips on flowers
Saving tip for the person who pays for the bridal shower: Opt for affordable flowers – Photo by: The Knot

To minimize the expense in this category, we recommend using affordable flowers that provide both beauty and volume. Flowers like hydrangeas, sunflowers, and daisies will brighten up any space without putting a dent in your wallet.

You might even give some thought to supplementing the bouquets with candles, which can raise the atmosphere without requiring an excessive amount of financial outlay. Even during the day, the aroma and visual warmth provided by a scented candle will be enough to make the space seem cozier and more inviting.

4. Print your bridal shower invitations or use digital invitations.

Buying a bridal shower invitation template and printing it on your own is a simple way to cut costs. Even though you still have to spend money on envelopes, stamps, and postage, in the long run, you will find that you have spent more time than money on the invites.

bridal shower payment etiquette on invitations
Sending digital invitations is a cost-free option for the person who pays for the bridal shower – Photo by: Etsy

Or, better yet, why not go digital and send out electronic invitations instead? You’ll save both time and money. Plus, you’ll avoid the hassle of dealing with snail mail, lost invitations, and RSVPs. You can use online platforms like Canva to create and send beautiful and personalized invitations to your guests. They’ll love getting a cute and convenient email or text message with all your bridal shower details. It’ll be easier to track who’s coming, who’s not, and who’s still thinking about it.

5. Prepare the food yourself.

Who pays for the bridal shower? Saving tips on food and drink
Homemade food wouldn’t take a huge portion of the average budget for a bridal shower – Photo by: Pampered Chef Blog

Instead of shelling out money for catering, consider coming up with a menu of dishes that you can make yourself and asking others to assist you. You will save a significant amount of money if you have the members of the bridal party and any close relatives of the bride bring a dish to share at the party.

By doing so, you can follow the bridal shower payment etiquette without costing a fortune. It also makes the party more personal and intimate by having homemade food that everyone can enjoy. Just make sure that everyone works together to decide who will bring what!

6. Don’t overdo it with decorations.

keep the decorations simple to reduce average cost for a bridal shower
Saving tip for the person who pays for the bridal shower: Keep the decorations simple – Photo by: Green Wedding Shoes

When it comes to the décor for the bridal shower, less is more. If your venue is already nicely adorned, save money by omitting expenses such as flowers and centerpieces. A few unique elements, such as a creative banner or backdrop, are more than enough.

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We hope you have enjoyed reading this article and figured out who pays for the bridal shower. As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The bridal shower host can be anyone willing to pay for it. If you are planning a bridal shower, don’t forget to follow the etiquette rules and consider applying Viva Wedding‘s tips to create a memorable party without breaking the bank.

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