Weddings are already a major hit to the budget, but once you factor in all the extra traditional events – engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelor parties, you name it – it’s easy to overspend. That’s why our favorite new trend in the wedding scene is going the non-traditional route. Skip all the extra planning, and condense all your pre-wedding celebrations into one big event with a Jack and Jill wedding shower! Jack and Jills are unique because they don’t leave anyone out; think of them as a bridal shower, but for the bride and the groom – and yes, men are invited! Tons of brides nowadays are opting for a combined, single celebration that brings all their loved ones together, and we’ve got the low-down on how to throw a fantastic Jack and Jill party under even the tightest of budgets!
IMAGE SOURCE: BRIT + CO.
First thing’s first: the guest list. Jack and Jills will inevitably have more guests than a bridal shower would, as both the bride and the groom get to invite their friends and family. The best piece of advice for a bride planning on a budget is to keep your guest list small! Don’t over-invite guests just because you feel like you have to – they can always make an appearance on the big day. Make your Jack and Jill a small and intimate celebration with the people closest to you and your soon-to-be hubby! Less people means more personal mingling, less food and drinks to pay for, and it gives you the freedom to play fun trivia games or pass out adorable favors to every guest. Our favorite favor idea is super simple and easy: create DIY pressed flower coasters. We love the idea of picking out some of the same florals you plan on using at your ceremony and tying those into fun arrangements for each coaster.
With a Jack and Jill party comes one major obstacle: most bridal showers just have finger food and tea time since they’re traditionally elegant and feminine events. Amping up your guest list to include men may seem a bit intimidating, since they’re likely to eat a good dozen of each of the hors d’oeuvre you spent hours slaving over. Consider approaching your menu differently to save time and money. An outdoor venue is not only free – backyards make a gorgeous event space, and you can play up the greenery and incorporate it into a beautiful spring party – but they’re also the perfect excuse for a classic barbecue! Make a packed topping bar, grill up some burgers and veggie skewers, and serve classic cookout food for a casual and relaxed event.
If you’re looking to save even more money and your gathering is on the smaller side, ask each guest to bring their best family recipe and style the event as a potluck. You’ll just be responsible for the drinks, and you can focus your energy on less daunting parts of the planning! We love the idea of creating one signature, personalized cocktail to serve up for guests and having a little bit of beer and wine available on the side. This cuts down the cost of alcohol substantially, and adds a touch of creativity and originality!
The key to decorating for a Jack and Jill on a budget is making sure there’s some personalization involved. Grab some customized disposable dishes with you and your hubby’s initials, search for some old thrifted picture frames and fill them with photos of you and your fiance, and incorporate your wedding colors into the decor. Romantic touches like a customizable date mason jar add some adorable decor, but they also function as a fun way for your guests to get involved! Have each guest suggest a date night and toss it in to reference when you’re inevitably stuck somewhere down the line, or even incorporate some classic trivia. Because both the bride and groom’s loved ones are involved, couple’s trivia is even more personal and is sure to be entertainment for everyone!
The everyday bride doesn’t have to settle for less just because she’s working with a smaller budget. With a Jack and Jill party, you can actually have more for less. It’s economical, easy to plan, and it’s so much more memorable to get all the guys and girls together to celebrate! The key is to set a budget, leave room for expenses, and stick to it. No one ever said a bridal shower had to be an exclusive, ritzy event, so make it more your style, involve more of your loved ones, and save some money while you’re at it!