Planning a baby shower doesn't really begin with the mother-to-be's likes or dislikes. It actually all depends on what most people consider a four-letter word: a budget.
This is actually where everything starts with a baby shower! Once a budget is figured out, then the planning can start. What most people like to do, though, is to work backwards. They troll the net first to find the things they like, add up the totals, and then adjust from there. After all, it is rather exasperating to set a budget and then find out when you start shopping that nothing you choose can fit that budget!
It may be much better to host the baby shower with friends who would like to pitch in. Then it shouldn't be more expensive than a swanky dinner for two. It wouldn't be very hard to afford that, especially if you can explain to your co-hosts that it would cost around that much if they took the mommy-to-be out on a dinner for two.
An important factor that is usually forgotten when a budget is planned it to set aside a contingency fund. Most people find it unnecessary – until there's an emergency that needs quick cash! One woman rented dinnerware and cutlery but was told by the rental company that the glasses she wanted would be out of stock for that day. She OK'd it but forgot until the day of the baby shower. She had to quickly ask a friend to go out and buy paper cups for the guests and the expense was not in the baby shower budget! It came out of her own pocket as everything else was allocated down to the last penny. It would have been less painful if she had contingency funds for that.
Your best friend while you are planning the shower will be the baby shower budget template. Keep it with you at all times so you can snap up things you see while sticking to the budget that you've set for yourself. You can also keep a running total of expenses to find out how much money you have left.
And if you have co-hosts? Why not make an open document of the budget so they can add in how much they've spent for the shower. It will hasten things on the day and you won't need to face each other when you're already tired and discuss money. You'll also be able to rein in one co-host immediately if she goes overboard (and over budget) on a certain item.
Use this template as a guide for the possible expenses that you'll incur. Feel free to adapt it to your own baby shower.
Baby Shower Budget Template
Date and Time:
Estimated Number of Guests:
Items Needed Estimate Actual Multiple Hosts: Estimate Actual
Thank-you Cards 3
Food and Beverages:
Contingency Fund (10-15% of budget)