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With the advent of early gender detection as soon as 10 weeks gestation, gender reveal parties have become all the rage. These parties are often planned to be just as much a surprise for mom- and dad-to-be as they are for their friends and family in attendance. Some couples now feel the pressure to keep up with the Joneses, but the truth is, you can spend as little or as much as you want on a gender reveal party.
Here's our budget breakdown.
Of course, any time you host a party, you should offer your guests something to eat. You can keep it light if you aim for a mid-afternoon party. Appetizers like cut fruit and veggies and a cheese platter can suffice. (Tip: Cut your own foods to save time over buying them pre-cut from the grocery store.) You can also make a burger and hot dog meal quite cheaply, too.
On the other end of the spectrum, some couples like to rent out a private room in their favorite restaurant and provide for everyone's meals. Fancy gender-themed desserts are also increasing in popularity, though having these professionally made will up your budget by an average of $100.
Either way, food is really the only essential for a gender reveal party, and the final cost is extremely variable. The rest of the budget breakdown items are just bonuses.
For many couples, the actual gender reveal is done with a cake that has blue or pink icing in the middle. Once it's cut, the cake reveals the surprise you've all been waiting for. To save even more, you can have the reveal cake be a miniature cake that runs around $15 at most grocery store bakeries. The cake you serve to guests can be a generic sheet cake from a big box store like Costco, which will cost much less per serving.
To make it even more budget-friendly, you can make your own cake from box mixes. Simply dye white or vanilla icing with food coloring. If you're trying to save the surprise for yourself, too, try enlisting the help of a friend to color and ice the cake.
Other parties get a little more elaborate with the gender reveal mechanism, but these ideas can all still be very budget-friendly. Releasing colored balloons from a cardboard box, busting open a piñata, or firing off a confetti cannon are all fun ways to make the announcement. Any of these ideas should cost $20 or less.
Of course, you can skip the cost and hubbub by simply announcing it verbally or having a special someone (typically a soon-to-be grandparent) read a card aloud. If that's more your style, then just be yourself!
There is certainly no shortage of decorating possibilities when it comes to a gender reveal. If you enjoy making a Pinterest-perfect party, you'll likely want to budget at least $50-$100 for décor. This could include banners, streamers, matching place settings, balloons, tablecloths, and signage.
Most DIYers will tell you that making things yourself isn't necessarily cheaper than buying them. The time and money you invest in special tools and materials you'll never use again can be saved by going to a professional décor-maker on Etsy or just buying the finished products online.
Just beware that your dream tablescapes and room décor can add up fast. You'll enjoy them for a few hours before they're trashed or, at best, stored away in a bin for a future pregnancy. Have fun, but think carefully about how that money might be better used for those many diapers and wipes you'll be going through.
Gender reveal party invitations can be a lot of fun to design and send. The pink and blue or boy vs. girl theme can inspire so many ideas. Yet this is another area you should not feel obligated to spend unless you really want to.
Professionally printed invitations typically cost a minimum of $1.00 per invite, including the card, envelope and postage. Depending on how many people you're inviting, you could be looking at a significant portion of your gender reveal party budget going toward invitations that most people will throw out.
If you're looking to save money, get the word out with an electronic invitation using a site like evite.com or punchbowl.com.
Whatever your budget, remember a gender reveal party should be focused on the joy of your new little one! Since these parties are a relatively new phenomenon, there is no pressure to go into debt hosting the “best reveal.” You can spend as little as $50, and surrounded by your family and friends, your gender reveal party will be just as fabulous as one costing far more. But if you have the extra cash and want to take on a creative project, you can certainly fulfill your Pinterest dreams with the many gender-themed party supplies available online.