Large guest list for a bridal shower

posted 3 years ago in Philadelphia
Post # 3
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@qreall361:  Could you split it into 2 showers, with one hosted by family?

I would look into hosting the shower at a restaurant – sometimes ethnic food places like Chinese or Mexican have really good deals and the space for large groups.

Post # 4
3222 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@qreall361:  Have you raised the guest list concern with the bride? Perhaps her aunt/MIL/SIL/other family member can host a second shower.

Post # 5
42082 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@qreall361:  I suggest you communicate openly and honestly with the bride about your budget. Showers are getting out of control.

Brides are being unrealistic about the expenses that they are asking their bridal party to incur hosting a shower. Showers used to be held in someone’s home, with a limited guest list and simple refreshments.

Now the expectation is that a venue will be booked, food is catered, decor is grand etc etc etc. It’s getting crazy out there.

I would tell the bride that your are hosting a shower for her friends ( of course you would invite the two mothers) and someone in her and/or FI’s family can host other showers if they choose.

Keep it simple. Have it in someone’s home. Perhaps the bride’s mom might be willing to have the shower held in her home?



Post # 7
6158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

what about catering from panera?  shower food doesn’t have to be anything fancy.

my girls rented the clubhouse in someone’s development for $40 for the afternoon.  they catered it with salads, wraps, dips, etc from someone that they know who cateres.  then my mom provided the make your own sundae bar.

firehalls are inexpensive to rent.  i’m sure there are places.

also, what about renting the nordstrom cafe.  i don’t know if they would do this but they have salads and sandwiches that are good.


Post # 8
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Can you have it at a church or cheap hall (VFW type) and either have it catered cheaply or have the bride’s mom and FMIL make the food? My shower is at the church and my aunt is making all the food. All my bridesmaids are doing is bringing drinks. I’m inviting over 50 people and my shower will cost under $100. 

Post # 9
138 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

How many people will it be?

Post # 10
22 posts

And which areas of Philadelphia are you considering? Are you looking for a city venue, or are you in the suburbs? If you’re in the suburbs, which town?

Have some sandwich trays, potato salad & pasta salad. Rule out anything with expensive ingredients. Tomato pies are great too. Serve water and iced tea or lemonade for drinks. Get a sheet cake for dessert. This will not cost a fortune. 

I’ve NEVER been to a shower where the women were loading up their plates like it was their last meal. You don’t need a ton of food.  If you your guest list is 50 people (I’m just guessing), then your budget is like $700-$800. You should definitely be able to find a place to rent for like $200-$300 and have $500 left for food/decor. It’s definitely doable. And stay away from Pinterest – that will only stress you out more.

Post # 11
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Tell the bride to cut her guest list because you can’t afford to host so many people.

Or advise guests the cost per head for their meal and have guests pay their own way.

Post # 12
242 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

It sounds like you’re set on having the guest list that the bride wants. I think it’s doable. What about a restaurant on a Sunday afternoon? I know there are restrauants who don’t do brunch, like italian restaurants, that tend to be dead sunday for lunch.

They could work with your budget and you could BYO to do a mimosa bar. Cheap but festive. 

Post # 13
138 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I never saw exactly how many people you’re having, but a brunch or early afternoon gig at a BYO sounds like a great idea. I love the mimosa bar idea…super cute, and not too pricey at a BYO!

Post # 14
181 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@qreall361:  Do you know anyone that lives in a condo building? they usually have really nice party rooms. My girls are throwing mine in a condo party room and it’s free (besides a small security deposit that you get back if nothing is damaged). It has a full kitchen so they are going to be cooking the food themselves. It has seating/fireplaces/pool tables/a bar/huge windows and it honestly looks more like a swanky bar than a party room. Just an option if you know someone who has access to one 🙂


Post # 15
3659 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Can you use a relative’s house if space is an issue? How many people are we talking about? One of my showers was really big – -my husband’s aunt hosted, and they have a huge family. I can’t imagine paying $14 per person.

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