I’ve said before that I’m a party gal. I love planning festivities with a low-cost, repurposed, recycled, homemade esthetic. Here are cheap, double-duty party prizes and bridal shower prizes and wedding party gifts for receptions or showers. Reuse decorations as game prizes, bridal gifts and thank-you presents. Here are suggestions.
* Live flowers. Avoid cut flowers; they’re depressing, especially day-after dead. Decorate shower or wedding reception tables with live potted plants. Go with the bride’s preferences, but buy in season to save money. In spring, use lilies, hyacinth, tulips, jonquils and daffodils. In summer, use gladiolus, daisies, iris, astors, petunias, geraniums, poppies, zinnia and impatiens. In fall and winter, mums, grape vines, African violet, roses, Christmas cactus and poinsettia work well.
* Candles. Place pillar candles on decorative plates (from T.J.Maxx, Walmart or dollar stores). Decorate with string bead (bought cheap at after-Christmas sales) or silk flowers. Viola, you have a lovely table decoration cum shower gift prize. At $3-$5, each, you’ve saved about 30 percent on decorations and spent nothing on gifts!
* Live trees, hanging baskets, potted shrubs. Decorate hall or church with potted trees and give as prizes, thank-yous or wedding gifts. The bride and groom will be halfway done landscaping or plant-outfitting their home. Choose small decorative trees and potted shrubs in the bride’s colors. For pink or red: dogwood, flowering almond, roses, hibiscus, azalea, rhododendrun, rose of sharon, bleeding heart and fuscia. For blue or purple: hydrangea, morning glory, forget-me-not, pussy willow and lilac. For white, yellow and green: spirea, burning bush, forsythia, evergreen, roses, pachysandra, norfolk island pine, holly, fern, mistletoe, philodedrun and ivy,
* Herbs. Culinary herbs are great table decorations/gifts for kitchen shower. Most decorative herbs are: rosemary, lemon balm, sage, oregano, cilantro, basil (all varieties) and mint. Decorate with measuring or wooden spoons, utensils or dish towel plant covers.
* Scented soaps and bath beads: This decoration does triple duty: aromatherapy, table decor and gift. Use baskets or coffee mugs of scented soaps, sachets of bath crystals (made from recycled fabric or tulle), bubble bath beads as prizes and centerpieces. Perfect for beach-themed wedding or bed and bath shower.
Write couples’ names and anniversary date on labels and add to gifts. Be sure bride gets one of each prize, too!